Cathy Davidson joined the Mozilla Foundation board in 2012, and has been a force helping us broaden our horizons and enter new areas. Cathy was the first person to join the Foundation board without a multi-year history with browsers or open source. This was an act of bravery!
Cathy is a leading educational innovator and a pioneer in recognizing the importance of digital literacy. She co-founded HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) in 2002. HASTAC is dedicated to rethinking the future of learning in the digital age, and is considered to be the world’s first and oldest academic social network (older than Facebook or even MySpace). She’s been directing or co-directing HASTAC since its founding.
Cathy has been using the Mozilla Manifesto in her classes for years, asking students to describe how the Manifesto is applicable in their world.
Cathy has been a forceful figure in Mozilla’s expansions in learning, outreach and more broad-based programs generally. She set the stage for broadening the expertise in the Mozilla Foundation board. We’ve been building a board with an increasing diversity of perspectives ever since she joined.
Three years ago, Cathy took on a new role as a Distinguished Professor and the Director of the Futures Initiative at the City University of New York, a university that makes higher learning accessible to an astounding 274,000 students per year. With these new responsibilities taking up more of her time, Cathy asked that she roll off the Mozilla Foundation board.
Cathy remains a close friend of Mozilla, and we’re in close contact about work we might continue to do together. Currently, we’re exploring the limitations of “STEM” education — in particular the risks of creating new generations of technologists that lack serious training and toolsets for considering the interactions of technology with societies, a topic she explores in her latest book, The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux.
Please join me in thanking Cathy for her tenure as a board member, and wishing her tremendous success in her new endeavors.