The first two days of MozFest 2023 did not disappoint! From an energy-filled Studio to an epic opening circle, to hundreds of people attending over 135 sessions and milling about in Spatial Chat and Hubs - we’re off to an incredible start to the week.
If you missed it, don’t worry. Many sessions were recorded and a MozFest ticket provides you with on-demand access to catch up on all the great content. Pay-what-you-can tickets are still available. Snag yours today and attend the rest of the festival LIVE!
The opening circle is the official start of the festival each year, where everyone rallies together, harnessing our collective power towards our goal: more Trustworthy AI and a more humane digital world. We heard from our festival Director, Sarah Allen, and festival Executive Producer J. Bob Alotta, alongside community members Michelle Thorne, Aishatu Gwadabe, and Gunnar de Jong. This is also where we take our famous MozFest group photo that we’ll be able to share soon!
The MozFest Studio has become a beloved part of the schedule since the festival went virtual in 2021. Now in its 3rd year, the MozFest Studio is a 10-15 minute daily show to keep you up to date on all things MozFest. Host Dzifa Kusenuh brings such excitement and energy to each segment, from interview our Wranglers to sharing news and updates to spotlighting sessions you don’t want to miss.
New this year, the second Studio of each day is a game show where human contestants try to catch AI by testing their AI Radar. Can they spot the AI-generated artifact among human ones?
While the MozFest Zine Fair & Exhibition is open to ticket holders all week, the first day of the festival kicked off with a party to celebrate the creative zines and their artists! We enjoyed the live streamed performance from the on-site zine party in South Jakarta, Indonesia while also browsing the zines.
MozFesters tuned into the 'People Make Movements' Dialogues & Debates panel to join two remarkable activists, Tara Aghdashloo and Valeriia Voshchevska, for an insightful and interesting discussion moderated by the brilliant journalist Alia Malek!
In the work towards harnessing collective power for advancing positive human and digital rights progress, how do we center the people whose lives are at the crux of the issues we are fighting for? What is activism in the context of dissent? When activist art reflects the pain of people, what happens if it is commodified? What is the role of intimacy in the work of building movements? And what is the potential impact of social platforms on the success of movements, and the lives of those who are prominent online?
Tuesday, Mozilla Founder and CEO Michell Baker took the MozFest stage, alongside other Mozilla leadership to celebrate Mozilla turning 25! In the past year, Mozilla has grown to include Mozilla Ventures and Mozilla.ai. These new entities strengthen the Mozilla manifesto by responding to the current moment and the evolution in technology. Watch the recording to learn: What is the future of Mozilla, ethical tech, and open-source AI tools and practices?
Are ready to explore a virtual amusement park? What started as a project in MozFest’s Trustworthy AI’s Working Group has now been brought to life within Mozilla Hubs to critically explore machine learning processes and AI imaginaries. Sessions will take place all week, and starting first thing on Monday morning we were able to listen to an AI driven version of Moby Dick, and viewed an AI 3D whale and roller coaster ride!
We refreshed ourselves with guided rest meditation and nature sounds in Spatial Chat, MozFest’s common space. From a babbling brook to rushing waterfall, from canyon creatures to sunset viewing, participants were encouraged to take a break from the busyness of the festival and find refreshment from the sounds of nature and intentional breath.
This immersive Hubs experience of 1970s Iran is a beautiful capture of the artistic and cultural heritage in Iran. Disco Tehran is a funky warm dance party and live performance project that connects New York to the era of 1970s discotheques in Tehran. Disco Tehran parties were born out of a small apartment in New York City and rapidly attracted a cult following worldwide. Disco Tehran explores groovy household throwbacks and rare music from the Asian continent, Latin America, Africa, and Europe.
Together as a community, we:
- Built A Sci-fi Inspired Happily Ever After with the Tech & Biodiversity Space.
- Explored Data Governance As A Community with the Autonomy & Governance Space.
- Connected the Movements Between Climate Justice and Prison Abolition in the Parables Experience.
- Learned about and experienced an AI Séance with AI Cosmologies.
- Experienced a Monstrous performance in an AI-musement Park built in Mozilla Hubs with Allies in Practice.
- Enjoyed cooking and conversation with the Parables Experience and learn how food can sustain us through liberation.
- Brought Light to Shadow Data with the Utility of Transparency Space.
- Attended a web accessibility clinic for open source tools with Radical Inclusion.
- Fell down a rabbit hole to connect more deeply with nature with the YouthZone.
- Learned how to sustain our own digital activism with the Humans Behind The Machine Space.
- Found creativity in the Fungi Sea in Mozilla Hubs with Allies in Practice.
And much, MUCH more!
The rest of the week is slated to continue the epic, choose-your-own MozFest adventure with hundreds of additional sessions, experiences, and collaborations. Will you join us?
MozFest is part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world. To learn more, visit www.mozillafestival.org.
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Kristina Gorr is a storyteller and strategist who loves using her passion for writing to pull together communication campaigns for MozFest and the internet health community. Her Mozilla superhero powers include curating content from the community, mad organizational skills, rallying and connecting the community, and lending her eagle eye to those who need editing assistance.
Seher is Mozilla’s Wrangler Program Manager on the MozFest team. She has a deep interest in the intersections of democracy & tech, with a focus on those under-represented in both.