Critical civil society organizations fight inequality, protect the public, and partner with the public sector to serve its citizens. In the era of ubiquitous technology, it’s paramount that civil society also work to address societal issues, as they converge with the digital world. Building capacity at the intersection of technology and society will help ensure the relevance and sustainability of these institutions.
The Ford Foundation and Mozilla are partnering to strengthen organizations in the Global Majority by layering technology strategies into their work. This will help create a ‘third space’ where key civil society organizations and tech-focused individuals address issues at the intersection of technology and society. This will also seek to address the political element of technology -- that technology as a neutral tool is affected by its creators and their biases. Benefits, harms and side effects come from how systems are designed, what data is selected to train them and what business rules they are given.
We envision that, in 10 years, this collaborative ‘third space’ will flourish in the Global Majority in which civil society organizations demonstrate strong capacity to address major issues at the nexus of social justice and technology. These organizations will leverage technology to promote these issues while preventing or mitigating their risks.
At the program level, Ford and Mozilla will place senior technology strategists as Fellows within select organizations and coalitions that are foundational to the strength and capacity of regional civil society.
Fellows will help increase the impact of the organization’s work by supporting them to recognize, design, and implement a strategy that accounts for the impact of technology on the organization’s mission.
Mozilla's Tech & Society Fellows work at the intersection of technology and social justice, building and advocating for a healthier internet.
These technologists, activists, journalists, and scientists will spend the next several months supporting a healthier internet, with a focus on strengthening civil society by collaborating with host organizations working at the intersection of technology and social justice.
In the course of their work, Mozilla Tech + Society Fellows collaborate with host organizations in their home countries, adding sorely-needed tech savvy to the civil society sector. The fellows collaborate directly with these civil society organizations to increase the impact of the organizations’ work by supporting the organizations to recognize, design, and enhance their capacity to address societal issues at the intersection of technology and social justice so that they may continue to uphold the rights of citizens.
Their collaboration with host organizations will integrate their technological expertise in across a diverse range of social justice issues including:
- Explore and implement strategies to mitigate online sociopolitical violence linked to authoritarian discourse as a way to strengthen democratic agency and environmental justice;
- Advance rule of law and activate civic participation online and accountability for good governance;
- Bridge the gaps between art and culture based advocacy to access to public spaces and information -- and to see the internet as a public, civic space -- as well as the institutionalization and dissemination of information relevant to legislative discourse; and
- Innovate strategies that would institutionalize Women’s rights and enhance civic engagement online among other things.
2020-2022 Host Orgaizations
- Ação Educativa | São Paulo, Brazil
- Federação de Órgãos para Assistência Social e Educacional (FASE) | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Middle East & Northern Africa
- Culture Resource (Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy) | Beirut, Lebanon & Brussels, Belgium
- International Media Support, Febrayer Network of Independent Media | Amman, Jordan & Berlin, Germany
- Legal Agenda | Beirut, Lebanon & Tunis, Tunisia
- Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez | Mexico City, Mexico
- EQUIS Justicia para las Mujeres | Mexico City, Mexico
- Mahila SEWA Trust | Ahmedabad, India
Read more about the fellows work
Fellowships & Awards July 18, 2022
Fellowship Learnings: The Importance of Sustainability
This is our third installment in a series reflecting on Mozilla’s Tech + Society Fellowship, a program which launched in October 2020. The program embeds technologists from the global majority within local civil society organizations, in order to bridge two worlds that have traditionally been siloed.
Roselyn Odoyo and Amy Schapiro Raikar
Fellowships & Awards June 2, 2022
New Anthology: Political Violence in Mexico Weaponizes Digital Spaces Against Civil Society
The newly-translated anthology ‘Digital Violence in Mexico: The State Vs. Civil Society’ explores the increasing usage of digital surveillance for oppressive practices — and its impacts on human rights. Mozilla Fellow Alex Argüelles contributes to the anthology
Fellowships & Awards Sept. 2, 2021
Fellow Research: Inside the Shadowy World of Disinformation-for-hire in Kenya
Mozilla Fellows Odanga Madung and Brian Obilo reveal that Kenyan journalists, judges, and other members of civil society are facing coordinated disinformation campaigns on Twitter — and the site is doing very little to stop it.
Fellowships & Awards Oct. 9, 2020
Introducing Our 10 Newest Mozilla Fellows
These technologists, activists, journalists, and scientists will spend the next several months supporting a healthier internet, with a focus on strengthening civil society by collaborating with host organisations working at the intersection of technology and social justice.
Melissa Huerta and Roselyn Odoyo
- How Public Interest Technologists Power Human Rights in the Global South (SSIR)
- Reimagining tech and social justice in the Global South (Ford Foundation)
- Application Guidelines (2020 call for proposals)