Let’s be honest: Most event reports sound kind of the same. At least they always start very similar: the event took place for the umpteenth time, a lot of tickets were sold and after several days full of sessions, workshops and panel discussions, everyone came together for the closing-slash-networking-party to celebrate the event’s success and make plans for the next time. Overall, this year’s MozFest at London’s Ravensbourne College wasn’t completely different from that. And yet a recap according to the book just wouldn’t feel right for Mozilla’s annual festival – because it’s simply a little bit different from most other conferences. Maybe that’s because of its personal atmosphere. Or because a lot of the wrangling is taken care of by incredibly committed volunteers. Or it’s because the most diverse people come together at MozFest to explore how we can make the web better for everyone. But no matter what it actually is that makes MozFest so special: What begins with what may be the first rap that contains the word ‘innovation’ simply cannot end with run-of-the-mill. That’s why we’re letting seven of our dearest colleagues speak instead.
My first MozFest. I had already heard so much about it and was full of anticipation while traveling to London. Nevertheless, MozFest exceeded all my expectations. We live in a time when you sometimes just want to bury your head in the sand after reading the morning news. That’s precisely why the people at MozFest, their inspiring work and goals reminded me that being hopeful is worth it. For example, you may sit in a session with Jon Rogers and Julia Kloiber, both of them Mozilla Fellows, and collectively imagine a future you would like to live in – and then trace back, step by step, what would actually have to happen so that this future could become reality. And you realize that it’s maybe not a complete illusion – or at least it doesn’t have to remain one. It’s doable. If we work on it together and perhaps take an extra step from time to time.
Or you’re joining Camille Francois, Guillaume Chaslot, Alondra Nelson und Clinton Watts to learn about the impact of artificial intelligence on society, politics and the economy and suddenly realize: “Yes, we need be mindful, users and creators alike. Some things may be intimidating, even chaotic. But being overly pessimistic isn’t helpful; instead, we can try to make a change, shape, design. We can definitely do our part!”