For a better climate online: MozFest Sustainability Space

Hope, optimism, positivity, courage, collaboration. If you’re concerned about the climate crisis and the lack of dedicated action across the world, then chances are these are not the first terms that currently come to mind. It’s time to change that.

The next iteration of the Mozilla Festival, virtual for the first time, promises to provide a platform for just that. Curating a dedicated Sustainability Space, we aim to bring communities together to spark hope in tackling the climate crisis jointly.

The Call for Proposals opens today, and I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

Whether you’re thinking about green tech, sustainable making, or carbon budgets; whether you want to pitch ideas on the right to repair, smart cities, or tiny AI; or whether you want to explore sustainable futures through art, music, or writing — we want to include it all.

We invite everyone, activists, educators, farmers, makers, engineers, artists, policy-makers, designers and all who care about the environment and our online world to share their knowledge and experiences.

A virtual MozFest has an additional advantage: No jetlag, no need to physically cross borders; more space to uplift the voices that everyone should hear.


One element that I’d love to see coming out of MozFest:

A compilation of the most pressing and insightful stories from all parts of the world. As Pacific islands and East Asia wrap up their conversations for the day, what were the highlights of these sessions, what should everyone be aware of? Moving along sessions from Asia and the Middle East, to Europe and Africa, across the Atlantic and further to North and South America – what did we learn from people in each of these regions, which ideas, solutions, and opportunities can we spin further?

If you’re interested in making that happen, help spread the word and pitch your ideas, the CfP is open until November 23. And if you’re on the fence, there are some helpful resources for (potential) facilitators, too.

Let’s organise, share experiences, and put these pieces together for a sustainable future. 

Fellowship: Asian Forum on Global Governance

In January this year, I was provided with the opportunity to travel to India as a Raisina Young Fellow to become part of a wonderful cohort of individuals during the Asian Forum on Global Governance.

I captured some highlights on Instagram, noting:

The #AFGG2020 fellowship was such an incredible experience. 48 people, 28 countries. Too many pictures, too many moments, and all the laughs and fun to choose from.
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We danced. We explored. We debated. We acted. We competed. We listened. We graduated. And obviously: So. Much. More.
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With huge thanks to the Observer Research Foundation and ZEIT-Stiftung for providing us with this opportunity. More to come, no doubt.
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#raisinadialogue #raisina2020 #afgg #youngfellows #globalgovernance #fellowship #lifelonglearning #bondingmoments #friendship #personalgrowth #delhi #india #2020journey #newperspectives

Panel: Internet Governance Forum, Berlin

During the 14th IGF in Berlin, I was invited to join a panel on “Unpacking Digital Trade”. And while my knowledge on trade negotiations is pretty limited, it was certainly interesting, and both surprisingly valuable and surprisingly shocking, to learn how many of the established channels for multistakeholder engagement are yet again pushed aside to move government-dominated conversations into archaic, difficult to reach fora (WTO et.al.) — and also how many of the lessons learned throughout my professional life were helpful in this context, too.

You can watch the recording on Youtube (my intervention starts around 54min).

In addition, I very much enjoyed seeing so many of my Mozilla colleagues in action and demanding better of the internet in the IGF village at our booth.

Blog: How to end the global governance gridlock?

It’s generally accepted that democracy is in crisis worldwide, and that spaces for civic participation are shrinking. Meanwhile, the so-called “techlash” is polarising debates around how governments around the world should govern the internet and social media.

For years, I’ve heard people talk about fostering dialogue between diverse stakeholder groups and the importance of soliciting input from a wider range of voices. And yet, when it comes to developing comprehensive policies nearly everyone reverts back to engaging the networks and processes they know (and are comfortable with) instead of experimenting with new models for deliberation and decision-making.

Here’s a checklist to do better and increase impact.

Full piece on Medium.

Panel: Kigali Global Summit

On July 4th, I had the great pleasure to join a stellar panel with Kevin Allison, Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola, Faith Keza, Nanjira Sambuli, and Samir Saran on “Trust in Tech: A New Paradigm for Democracy, Government, and Governance Online“. It was an engaging and insightful conversation — although most of the deep dives into societal change, human motivation, tech incentives, and global dynamics followed in the many, many encounters and thoughtful engagements off camera afterwards.

This was a packed, intense 3-day trip to Rwanda. I learned a lot — and not nearly enough. So I hope to be back sooner, rather than later.

Thanks to ORF for the invitation. You can find a recording of our panel on YouTube.

Keynote: Waterkant Festival Kiel

It’s been a pleasure to open Waterkant 2019 in Kiel. I was admittedly incredibly nervous, as I hadn’t really talked about my work this way before. This speech tried to give a run through of how I do strategic foresight, creating a mental map of what’s true now and the alternatives I’d like to see instead, and highlighting parts of my work and other Mozilla projects and how these feed into the futures we want.

On Day 0, I was delighted to join Jan Philipp Albrecht on a tour through the festival as well as a workshop on Digital Autonomy, in which we tried to identify ways and opportunities for people to take control of their digital lives.

Opencampus.sh recap video on Vimeo and summary blog on Medium.

Article: There’s a techlash. The G20 should listen.

The Internet is at risk. Once thought of as the global equalizer, opening doors for communication, work opportunities, commerce and more – the Internet is now increasingly viewed with skepticism. We are witnessing a trend where people feel let down by the technology they use. Fueled by unease and uncertainty about the growing scope of threats to security and privacy that come with an always-on, tech-driven world, people are now looking for ways to disconnect and are placing greater emphasis on values and human interaction.

Read the full piece written jointly with Constance Bommelaer de Leusse (Internet Society) and Nnenna Nwakanma (Web Foundation) here.

Auf Deutsch bei Heise.

En Español por InfoChannel Mexico.

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