MozFest 2014: Spotlight on “Community Building”


This is the ninth post in a series featuring interviews with the 2014 Mozilla Festival “Space Wranglers,” the curators of the many exciting programmatic tracks slated for this year’s Festival.

For this edition, we chatted with Beatrice Martini and Bekka Kahn who are co-wrangling the Community Building track at MozFest—a track all about being members, builders and fuel of communities joining their forces as part of the Open Web movement.

What excites you most about your track?

In the early days of the web, Mozilla pioneered community building efforts together with other open source projects. Today, the best practices have changed and there are many organisations to learn from. Our track aims to convene these practitioners and join forces to create a future action roadmap for the Open Web movement.

Building and mobilising community action requires expertise and understanding of both tools and crowd. The relationships between stakeholders need to be planned with inclusivity and sustainability in mind.

Our track has the ambitious aim to tell the story about this powerful and groundbreaking system. We hope to create the space where both newcomers and experienced community members can meet, share knowledge, learn from each other, get inspired and leave the festival feeling empowered and equipped with a plan for their next action.

The track will feature participatory sessions (there’s no projector is sight!), an ongoing wall-space action and a handbook writing sprint. In addition to this, participants and passers-by will be encouraged to answer the question: “What’s the next action, of any kind/ size/ location, you plan to take for the Open Web movement?”

Who are you working with to make this track happen?

We’ve been very excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with many great folks, old friends and new, to build such an exciting project. The track was added to just a few weeks before the event, so it’s very emergent—just the way we like it!

We believe that collaboration between communities is what can really fuel the future of the Open Web movement. We put this belief into practice through our curatorship structure, as well as the planning of the track’s programme, which is a combination of great ideas that were sent through the festival’s Call for Proposals and invitations we made to folks we knew would have had the ability to blow people’s mind with 60 minutes and a box of paper and markers at their disposal.

How can someone who isn’t able to attend MozFest learn more or get involved in this topic?

Anyone will be welcome to connect with us in (at least) three ways.

  1. We’ll have a dedicated hashtag to keep all online/remote Community conversations going: follow and engage with #MozFestCB on your social media plaftorm of choice, we’ll record a curated version of the feed on our Storify.
  2. We’ll also collect all notes, resources of documentation of anything that will happen in and around the track on our online home.
  3. The work to create a much awaited Community Building Handbook will be kicked off at MozFest and anyone who thinks could enrich it with useful learnings is invited to join the writing effort, from anywhere in the world.


MozFest 2014 Keynote Speakers


MozFest logo copy

We’re excited to welcome a slate of thought-provoking keynote speakers who will discuss the state of the web today, why an open web matters more than ever, and how you can get involved in building the web of the future.

Beeban Kidron
Film Director & Co-Founder, FILMCLUB


The Baroness Beeban Kidron has been directing films for more than 30 years and is a joint founder of FILMCLUB, a educational charity that allows children to watch and analyze internationally iconic films. Each week the charity reaches 220,000  children, in more than 7,000 clubs.

Kidron is  best known for directing Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and  the Bafta-winning miniseries Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. She also directed To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, Antonia and Jane, as well as two documentaries on  prostitution: Hookers, Hustlers, Pimps and their Johns, and Sex, Death and the Gods, a film about “devadasi,” or Indian “sacred prostitutes.”

Her latest film, InRealLife, explores the first generation of British teenagers who are  growing up having never known a time before smartphones and social  media, whose childhoods are defined by status updates, emails and digitized friendships.

Mary Moloney
Global CEO, CoderDojo


Mary joined the CoderDojo Foundation team in June 2014, to take up the position of Global CEO. Prior to that, she was a partner in Accenture’s strategy practice, leading engagements with international clients in the Media, High Tech, Telco & Financial Services sectors. During her 23 years with Accenture Mary held a number of lead positions within the organization & within its clients, including; Partner, Managing Director and Multiple C-Suite positions. She has also been involved at board level with number of non profit organizations and remains on the boards of the Dublin Fringe Festival and the Professional Women’s Network. Both of her 9 year old and 7 year old sons are active ninjas who participate at the Science Gallery and Sandymount Dojos near where she lives in Dublin.

Mark Surman
Executive Director, Mozilla Foundation


A community activist and technology executive of 20+ years, Mark  currently serves as the Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, makers of Firefox and one of the largest social enterprises in the  world. At Mozilla, he is focused on using the open technology and ethos of the web to transform fields such as education, journalism and filmmaking. Mark has overseen the development of Popcorn.js, which Wired  has called the future of online video; the Open Badges initiative,  launched by the US Secretary of Education; and the Knight Mozilla News  Technology partnership, which seeks to reinvent the future of digital  journalism.

Prior to joining Mozilla, Mark was awarded one of the first Shuttleworth  Foundation Fellowships, where he explored the application of open  principles to philanthropy. During his fellowship, he advised a Harvard  Berkman study on open source licensing in foundations, was the lead  author on the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, and organized the  first open education track at the iCommons Summit, which led to him  becoming a founding board member of Peer-to-peer University (P2PU). Mark holds a BA in the History of Community Media from the  University of Toronto.

Mitchell Baker
Executive Chairwoman, Mozilla


As the leader of the Mozilla Project, Mitchell Baker is responsible for organizing and motivating a massive, worldwide, collective of employees and volunteers who are breathing new life into the Internet with the Firefox Web browser, Firefox OS and other Mozilla products.

Mitchell was born and raised in Berkeley, California, receiving her BA in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley and her JD from the Boalt Hall School of Law. Mitchell has been the general manager of the Mozilla project since 1999. She served as CEO of Mozilla until January 2008, when the organization’s rapid growth encouraged her to split her responsibilities and add a CEO. Mitchell remains deeply engaged in developing product offerings that promote the mission of empowering individuals. She also guides the overall scope and direction of Mozilla’s mission.

Get Involved:


Get involved with Web Literacy Map v2.0!


TL;DR: Mozilla is working with the community to update the Web Literacy Map to v2.0. You can read more about the project below, or jump straight in and take the survey or join the community calls.

Mozilla Festival


Mozilla defines web literacy as the skills and competencies needed for reading, writing and participating on the web. To chart these skills and competencies, we worked alongside a community of stakeholders in 2013 to create the Web Literacy Map. You can read more about why Mozilla cares about web literacy in this Webmaker Whitepaper.

The Web Literacy Map underpins the work we do with Webmaker and, in particular, the Webmaker resources section. As the web develops and evolves, we have committed to keeping the Web Literacy Map up-to-date. That’s why we’ve begun work on a version 2.0 of the Web Literacy Map.

To date, we’ve interviewed 38 stakeholders on what they believe the Web Literacy Map is doing well, and how it could be improved. We boiled down their feedback to 21 emerging themes for Web Literacy Map v2.0 and some ideas for how Webmaker could be improved.

Mozilla Festival London 2012

Community survey

From the 21 emerging themes mentioned above, we identified five proposals that would help shape further discussion about the Web Literacy Map. These are:

  1. I believe the Web Literacy Map should explicitly reference the Mozilla manifesto.
  2. I believe the three strands should be renamed ‘Reading’, ‘Writing’ and ‘Participating’.
  3. I believe the Web Literacy Map should look more like a ‘map’.
  4. I believe that concepts such as ‘Mobile’, ‘Identity’, and ‘Protecting’ should be represented as cross-cutting themes in the Web Literacy Map.
  5. I believe a ‘remix’ button should allow me to remix the Web Literacy Map for my community and context.

We’ve added these to a survey* which is available in the following languages:

The survey will close on November 1st. If you’d like to translate the survey into another language, please join one of the teams (or create your own!) on Transifex.

*Note: you can email your responses directly if you’d rather not sign into a Google account.


Community calls

Today, we’re kicking off a series of seven Web Literacy Map v2.0 community calls. These will be at 3pm UTC:

There is a calendar that you can subscribe to here.

If you can’t make the calls, please do leave notes for discussion on the agenda for an upcoming call using the links above. Alternatively, get involved in the Web Literacy Map discussion area of the #TeachTheWeb forum.

Mozilla Maemo Danish Weekend 2009


We’re hoping to have the text of an updated Web Literacy Map finished by Q1 2015. The graphical elements and the reorganization of that it may entail will take longer. We’d be very interested in hearing how you plan to use it in your context.

You can keep up-to-date with everything to do with Web Literacy Map v2.0 by bookmarking this page on the Mozilla wiki.

Finally, there will be a few sessions at the Mozilla Festival next week about the Web Literacy Map. Look out for them, and get involved!

Images: mozillaeu, REV-, Paul Clarke, and William Quiviger

MozFest 2014 kicks off in one week!


MozFest logo copy

It’s Almost Time!

MozFest — Mozilla’s annual hands-on festival dedicated to forging the future of the open, global web — is about to begin.

This year’s festival, which takes place in London from October 24 – 26, will be packed with passionate technologists and creators eager to share their skills and hack on innovative digital solutions for the web’s most pressing issues.

The Web Is Vulnerable

It’s no secret that the web as a free and open public resource is under threat. Governments and corporations are vying for control, leaving web users across the globe struggling to protect not only their own personal online security, but the integrity of the Internet as a whole. As billions more people come online in the next decade thanks to affordable mobile technologies, is their web going to be open or closed? Decentralized or controlled? Will they be passive consumers or empowered creators? More and more people are realizing we need to step in and save the web, but that’s only going to happen if more of us are fighting.

Together We Are Strong

The good news is that hundreds of thousands of people, organizations and communities around the world are eager to help with this mission. MozFest is about imagining how we can work together. How can citizens of the web in communities around the world be empowered to take action? MozFest participants will tackle these challenges not just by talking about them, but by building new ways to teach and engage everyone in making the web together.

Hacking Practical Solutions

MozFest is where people who love the open web collaborate to envision how it can do more, and do better. The motto of the festival is Less Yack, More Hack which results in a focus on identifying current challenges and developing practical solutions. This year, MozFest will feature 11 themed tracks:

  • The Mobile Web
  • Policy & Advocacy
  • Community Building
  • Build and Teach the Web
  • Open Web With Things
  • Source Code for Journalism
  • Science and the Web
  • Art and Culture of the Web
  • Open Badges Lab
  • Hive Learning Networks
  • Musicians and Music Creators on the Open Web

Scores of individual sessions will be held as part of each track. Here’s just a taste of the sessions participants will be hacking:

  • How the next 1 billion internet users will bring their online ideas to life
  • Helping 10 million young people become digitally literate
  • Design your first mobile app
  • Hacking the gender gap
  • Using badges to support the delivery of the new computing curriculum
  • User privacy and security on the web
  • Let’s build an unbreakable internet
  • Making open web a part of the curriculum
  • I was born with the web – 25 under 25
  • How to get into the correct amount of trouble online

Our aim this year is to showcase and develop best practices for community leadership. Join us in discovering how distributed organizing and sharing skills through teaching and learning can build a web filled with opportunity for all!

Get Involved:


Q&A with Maker State


Every year we get the opportunity to connect with many great organizations who are spreading web literacy around the world at all times of the year. MakerState, hands-on makerspaces in New York City, is a perfect example. We had a chance to sit down with the founder of MakerState, Stephen Gilman to talk about what they’ve done in the past few months and the upcoming events they have planned for continuous making.

makerspace kids smaller

What is your organization and what do you do?

MakerState empowers kids ages 5-18 with science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) passion and skill through makerspaces in robot engineering, fashion/wearable electronics, video game design, paper circuits, 3D prototyping and printing, comic book creation, and moviemaking. MakerState hosts makerspaces nationwide in schools and after-school programs as well as community workshops, pop up makerspaces, and summer camps.

What are the events you hosted or ran this year?

We hosted over 30 makerspaces this year in schools and community centers in New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, Boston, New Haven…and hopefully coming to your town soon!

Why did you choose to get involved with Maker Party?

We are a community of makers and educators  who believe that all learning can happen through building, creating, hacking, inventing…through making. We are committed to bringing as many maker-learning experiences as possible to kids and Maker Party is a perfect partner for us in that effort. Whether we’re doing pop up makerspaces with Maker Party or ongoing school-based makerspaces throughout the year, we’re excited to be Maker Party hosts.

What is the most exciting thing about running events?

Our favorite moment in the makerspace is when a young person, maybe five, six, seven years old, finds a maker project that they really love and becomes completely immersed in it. They are creating and building and learning science, engineering, design, or programming at the same time. But it’s the total immersion and joy that is so captivating to observe. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has called that moment the “flow state”—we call it the maker state.

Why is it important for youth and adults to make things with technology?

We see technology as the tools and media humans use to create art, new products, and to interact with others. Tech is how people literally live their lives. Tech can also save lives and bring us joy and allow us to pursue common dreams. There is a darker side to tech too: polluting, disintegrating, even destroying life. We teach kids the power of tech and tool-making so that they understand how to create new technology and benefit from it. Ultimately, it’s about moving young people from passive consumption of tech to become the pro-active, socially responsible creators of it. We’re convinced that this generation of kids we’re working with will create safe forms of energy, life-saving medical treatments, and new forms of media that draw humanity together for peace and productivity. If we can engage kids at a young enough age and build skills, confidence and passions around tech, they will blow our minds with the new world they create.

What is the feedback you usually get from people who attend or teach at your events?

It’s so fun to observe parents as they watch their kids in the makerspace. I like to step back from the kids sometimes and stand beside their parents as they marvel at what their kids are building. The universal reaction: I can’t believe how much she loves this project. I’m so impressed with what my son has built. I wish their whole school experience could be like this. We agree!

Why is it important for people and organizations to get involved with Maker Party and teaching the web?

Maker Party gives kids and communities an opportunity to explore hands on creativity with technology, often for the first time. This experience is invaluable for young people—often it is life changing. It’s the moment a young girl realizes she can become an engineer and build her world. The moment an inner city student realizes the total joy of science and the rewarding life he can live in pursuit of new ideas and new solutions to human challenges. Maker Party offers these life-changing moments to young people and we are proud to be a part of the movement.

How can people get in touch with your organization?

To start a STEM-mastery makerspace in your school or host a summer camp, contact MakerState at

Support web literacy in action, donate to Hive projects


We recently kicked off the Hive Challenge on Crowdrise , a month-long fundraising campaign to support non-profit organizations that are working to prepare youth for success in a digital age.

Thirty non-profit organizations from Hive communities in NYC, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Chattanooga and Kansas City are participating in this first-ever, cross-Hive fundraising effort, and they’re raising money for a variety of causes, including:

  • expanding programs that empower youth to explore and develop new skills and interests
  • purchasing new or upgraded technologies that support hands-on making
  • providing professional development and training opportunities for mentors
  • buying materials–from 3D printers to vans–to enhance or grow programs that reach more youth and/or address the needs of specific under-represented communities

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 3.43.38 PM

Hive Learning Networks champion digital skills and web literacy through connected learning. Non-profit organizations that are part of these city-based learning laboratories design and implement innovative programs and practices that advocate for creative learning and change. They are museums, libraries, coding clubs, makerspaces, community centers and afterschool programs, and they need your help to sustain their efforts and build impact.

Mozilla is showing its support by contributing $50,000 in prize money, available to the organizations that are participating in the Hive Challenge. In addition to the funds each organization raises, they’ll have the opportunity to win additional cash prizes–through grand prizes and weekly bonus challenges–ranging from $1,000 to $15,000.

The first weekly bonus challenge is already underway, and any organization that raises $250 this week will be entered to win an additional $1,000 from Mozilla. New bonus challenges launch every Tuesday until the Hive Challenge wraps up on Monday, November 4th at Noon ET.

Please consider donating to some of these exciting Hive programs that are doing great work to spread web literacy and equip young people with valuable skills, confidence and a true maker spirit.

Get Involved

  • Visit the Hive Challenge and donate!
  • Join a fundraising team. Does one program or cause resonate with you most? Sign up to join their team and help them raise even more money.
  • Help spread the word. Tweet a link to the Hive Challenge on Crowdrise and don’t forget to add #hivebuzz.

MozFest 2014: Spotlight on “Build and Teach the Web”


This is the eighth post in a series featuring interviews with the 2014 Mozilla Festival “Space Wranglers,” the curators of the many exciting programmatic tracks slated for this year’s Festival.

For this edition, we chatted with Paul Oh, Christina Cantrill, Chad Sansing, Antero Garcia, and Jane Park, the Space Wranglers for the Build and Teach the Web track. Participants in this track will keep the web wild through hands-on making with innovative tools and teaching the web as a commnunity.

What excites you most about your track?

We have a rich array of sessions planned that cover an incredible range of web building and teaching possibilities, from hack days with youth in a science center to game building. And all our sessions will radiate around a central hub of making, building and collaborating, focused on the idea of teaching what you build—in other words, helping others see what it is that you yourself make. Anyone passing by the hub is welcome to drop in, hang out, mess around, and geek out with us!

Who are you working with to make this track happen?

We have an amazing set of facilitators from organizations around the world. A couple of highlights: the folks involved with Inanimate Alice will be launching their next session as part of our track. CoderDojo will be engaging people at MozFest with their amazing work. As will Creative Commons. As will engineers and educators from Mozilla itself. We could go on and on–the list of incredible facilitators feels endless!

How can someone who isn’t able to attend MozFest learn more or get involved in this topic?

You can follow the hashtag #mozfest on Twitter, of course. And also #teachtheweb. We’re also planning for the possibility of a Live from MozFest through Educator Innovator so stay tuned for more info!


Head on over to the MozFest site to register!

Take the Lights On Afterschool Webmaker Challenge


On Oct. 23, more than 1 million people around the United States will take part in the 15th annual Lights On Afterschool campaign. It’s an effort lead by the Afterschool Alliance to celebrate afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of young people, their families and communities.

Mozilla is excited to be a partner in this initiative! We created the Lights On Afterschool Webmaker Challenge–a fun activity that gives practitioners and youth in afterschool programs a chance to unleash their creativity—and learn some coding—by making their own digital afterschool posters using Thimble, our educational code editor.

Celebrating web literacy in afterschool programs across the US

We want educators and young people to see the web as a platform for creativity. Digital media and technology are constantly changing the way young people learn and interact with the world around them, and it’s vital that we provide them with the skills and know-how required to read, write, and participate effectively on the web.

The Webmaker Challenge is a simple, fun activity to help afterschool programs develop students’ webmaking and digital literacy skills. Staff and students will design their own digital poster to share the things they love about their afterschool program, while also learning a bit of HTML, CSS and concepts including remix and collaboration.

We created a step-by-step teaching guide to help afterschool facilitators and practitioners through every step in the process. They’ll work with students to share and reflect on their afterschool experiences, then they’ll create poster sketches, choose media and other images, remix and publish their digital posters! You can do this project as a group with one computer, or in teams if you’re fortunate enough to have multiple computers. If you can’t access the Internet, you can always try an activity from the Lo-Fi No-Fi Kit instead to teach other web literacy skills.

Share new skills and earn money for your afterschool programs

As an added bonus to participation, six programs that participate in the Lights On Afterschool Webmaker Challenge will be chosen at random to win $500! Select the box for the Webmaker Challenge when registering your event for Lights On Afterschool, or complete the activity and earn the Web Literacy Skill Sharer badge to win. See more here.

How to get involved

MozFest 2014: Spotlight on “Policy & Advocacy”


This is the seventh post in a series featuring interviews with the 2014 Mozilla Festival “Space Wranglers,” the curators of the many exciting programmatic tracks slated for this year’s Festival.

For this edition, we chatted with Dave Steer, Alina Hua, and Stacy Martin, the Space Wranglers for the Policy & Advocacy track. Participants in this track will help build the web we want by protecting and advancing the free and open web for everyone.

What excites you most about your track?
This is a critical time for the Internet. On one hand, it has become an integral part in the lives of billions of people. On the other hand, it is a fragile resource that is being undermined by interests that want to make it less free and open. We are excited to bring together the heroes of the Internet — the policy and advocacy community of developers, activists, and everyone fighting for a free and open Internet — to work together, share ideas, and celebrate the web we want. We’re excited for everyone to be together in a physical space that is interactive and inspiring, and that enables us to learn from each other.

We envision a space that invites all attendees to share questions and ideas for the web they want, and to feature sessions that invite people to work together to solve problems. Just imagine walls covered with thought provoking, challenging questions and a mass of people working together to answer some of the most vital issues of our times. That will be the Policy & Advocacy track.

We’ll also be running ‘fireside chats’ with leading thinkers about the current state of the web. Our track will aim to bring together the policy and advocacy community, discussing issues and topic areas that are important to the health of the Internet.

Who are you working with to make this track happen?
We’ve seen a ton of participation and collaboration among the community to make the Policy & Advocacy track happen. This participation has been widespread: from advocates in Europe to cyptographers and technologists in North America to Mozilla Reps in virtually every corner of the world. It’s wonderful to see the community come to life. In all, the community pulled together more than 60 submissions for MozFest sessions. It was great to see so many community members actively proposing sessions, and to see the participation of new members, such as the Web We Want campaign, a global effort celebrating the 25th birthday of the Web. As a result, we will have sessions that will teach everything from advocacy skills to anti-surveillance techniques.  We’ll explore the Web We Want, and we’ll see sessions devoted to enabling it for the youngest of people online.

How can someone who isn’t able to attend MozFest learn more or get involved in this topic?
We’re cooking up ideas of how to enable the community to participate in MozFest, even if they can’t physically be there. We have a few exciting ideas planned — stay tuned.

In the meantime, there are lots of things you can do to be an advocate for the open web. Here are a few things to get you started:


Head on over to the MozFest site to register!