In the vibrant atmosphere of MozFest, where creativity and innovation converge, the Rise 25 Awards recently shone a spotlight on exceptional individuals and organisations. These winners, some of them a part of the MozFest family, have exemplified unparalleled dedication, creativity, and vision in their respective fields.From groundbreaking tech startups to community-driven initiatives, these winners embody the rich tapestry of talent and innovation that MozFest champions.
We're thrilled to announce that eight of the Rise 25 winners have actively participated in MozFest events in previous years.
- Our latest MozFest House: Kenya was graced by the presence of Daniel Motoung. Daniel talked about his journey standing up to Meta, instigating a lawsuit and working towards a fairer future of digital work on the African continent. His remarkable journey and insights captivated the audience, inspiring us all with his vision and accomplishments. Check out his keynote address here.
- Julia Janssen, an artist and ambassador for Dutch Data Protection Foundation, explores digital society challenges through interactive installations. Her work delves into data-driven issues like bias in AI, informed consent, and digital rights, aiming to foster awareness and positive change online.Check out Julia’s work at MozFest Virtual 2021.
- Dries Depoorter, a Belgian artist based in Ghent, fuses technology and art to address modern concerns such as privacy, AI, and social media. With projects like "Die With Me" and "The Flemish Scrollers," he's gained international acclaim, showcasing his innovative creations at renowned venues like the Barbican and Art Basel. Dries was a part of MozFest Virtual 2021, the project was called 24h Sunrise / Sunset that displayed a real-time sunset and sunrise somewhere happening in the world, with the use of unsecured CCTV.
- Charlotte Slaiman, Vice President at Public Knowledge, brings a wealth of experience from the Federal Trade Commission, where she investigated antitrust violations, and her role as Legislative Aide to Senator Al Franken, focusing on competition, media, and consumer privacy. Charlotte has been bringing her work and community to MozFest since 2017. As a friend of Mozilla and part of Whose Knowledge, read the latest in 2022 here. Read about Decolonising the internet in 2019. Here's a talk from 2018 with Whose Knowledge.
- Dr. J. Nathan Matias, a Guatemalan-American scientist, leads Cornell University's Citizens and Technology Lab (CAT Lab), focusing on digital rights, online harassment, and algorithm accountability. He pioneered rigorous scientific methods and co-founded the Coalition for Independent Technology Research, advocating for ethical technology impact studies. Nathan was a facilitator for our session Learning Guides for Community Makers in 2014.
- Fanny Hidvégi, was with us at MozFest 2019. She is Access Now’s Europe Policy Director in Brussels, and is a key figure in European tech policy. An influential member of committees like the European Commission's AI Expert Group, she's recognized as a POLITICO Tech 28 Class of 2022 member and Obama Foundation Europe Leader. Watch her talk here.
- Chris Smalls, founder of Amazon Labor Union and The Congress of Essential Workers, was a warehouse supervisor at Amazon, dismissed in 2020 for protesting unsafe conditions. Check out Chris Smalls and Angela Davis at MozFest 2023.
- Keoni Mahelona champions indigenous languages by developing secure digital technologies. His work ensures data protection and cultural sensitivity in advanced applications and machine learning tools. Keoni was a Data Futures Lab Grantee at Mozilla and was a panellist for our session Centering Communities in the Data Economy at MozFest 2023.
As we celebrate these winners, let's draw inspiration from their stories. In their diversity, innovation, social impact, resilience, and leadership, we find the essence of MozFest's spirit. Despite hurdles and uncertainties, they persevered, showcasing unwavering determination. They remind us that within every challenge lies an opportunity, and with passion, innovation, and unity, we can shape a future filled with endless possibilities.
Here’s to celebrating their achievements and looking forward to a future where MozFest continues to be a catalyst for transformative change and boundless creativity. You can watch the full event at Mozilla Youtube channel.