First Mozilla Science Mini-Grants Awarded!!!

Thanks to generous support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Mozilla Science is ecstatic to announce that we have awarded our first three mini-grants in support of project ideas fostering open innovation, efficiency in regards to practicing open science, and reproducibility.

Read on to learn more about these innovators in our community and their projects:

Project: Preprint Journal Club Starter Kit

Leads: Samantha Hindle & Daniela Saderi (Twitter: @PREreview_)
Institutions: University of California San Francisco; Oregon Health & Science University

The process of publishing in the biological sciences has become lengthier over the past 30 years, often taking several months to a year from journal submission to publication. Preprints provide a solution to this problem as they are manuscripts that are free and immediately accessible to everyone. The Preprint Journal Club Starter Kit is being developed to encourage and support the discussion of preprints at journal clubs at research institutions around the world. Project Leads also recently launched a platform powered by Authorea ( where researchers can collaboratively write preprint reviews and get a citable DOI for free in order to promote community-wide discussions about preprints and increase their use in the biological sciences.

Get involved here:

Project: Brain Networks in Python

Lead: Isla Staden (GitHub: @islast)
Institution: Alan Turing Institute

The brain is made up of many regions that communicate millions of messages every second. Traditional neuroimaging analyses have considered each region separately and therefore failed to capture many aspects of brain structure and function. The Brain Networks in Python project provides open source, documented, tested and modular code to investigate the brain as a network. These analyses are reproducible, transparent and accessible to new and expert brain imaging researchers and network neuroscientists.

Get involved here:

Project: Immersed in Embryogenesis

Lead: Paul Villoutreix (Twitter: @paulvilloutreix)
Institutions: Princeton University; The New School, Center for Data Arts; Weizmann Institute of Science

Datasets of embryogenesis are 3D+time image datasets with multiple modalities. These datasets are notoriously complex to visualize and can be challenging to understand without a good spatial understanding of the multiple dimensions involved. There is a need to improve the ways in which researchers and the public interact with these datasets. This project will extend The Embryo Digital Atlas, an open-source web-based platform for the visualization of complex experimental datasets related to embryogenesis, through development of an open-source library in javascript to interface microscopy images of embryonic development with a Virtual Reality headset.

Get involved here:

Please feel free to reach out to any of these fine innovators to provide support! And if you happen to see them in your neighborhood, give them a high five for their work to advance open science!

10 Toronto projects helping Mozilla shape a healthy Internet

Hive Toronto is excited to announce 10 projects that will support Mozilla’s mission in their work towards a healthy and accessible internet. With the release of the Mozilla’s Internet Health Report, communities around the world are rallying to make a difference in 5 key issue areas that will contribute to a healthier internet: 1) privacy and security, 2) decentralization, 3) web literacy, 4) digital inclusion and 5) open innovation. Hive Toronto members and community allies are committed to supporting a global movement that addresses theses issue in a number of ways. To help support the work of Hive Toronto network members in their efforts for a healthy internet, we launched the Internet Health Mini-grant.

What is Internet Health?

The strength of the open Internet is the ability of its users to shape the Web itself and thereby shape society. Like society, the Internet grows stronger with every new voice. But there are many barriers that prevent the full diversity of the world from being reflected online. More than half of the world is still without Internet, and even people who do have access may be limited by factors like high cost, unreliable connections or censorship. Our everyday actions the shape the vitality and health of the internet. When we start recognizing where the system is healthy and functioning well can we understand how to make it stronger. When we realize its weak point can we repair and avoid actions that further weaken it.

Learn more about the threats to a healthy and accessible internet here

How do we measure success?

There could be a million different things Mozilla could measure to track progress towards a healthier internet. There a variety of different touch points that will help us track progress and any setbacks in our work such including technical infrastructure, privacy laws, online harassment, disinformation, activism, and education.

Learn more on how Mozilla is working to measure success in their mission for a healthy internet.

Hive Toronto Internet Health Mini-grant

Hive Toronto members and community allies are committed to supporting a global movement that focuses on an accessible and healthy internet. To help support the work of Hive Toronto network members, we announced the Internet Health Mini-grant. This fund supports local programming to help engage communities in web-literacy and open practice opportunities, build capacity within organizations to continue to deliver this type of programming and engage youth looking to lead in their communities with the support of a network member.

Hive Toronto has worked with its 72 network partners and allies over the last year to co-design a small-grant program that would support capacity-building and programming projects across the Greater Toronto Area. Network members helped shape the three categories of funding: 1) program-focused funding; 2) capacity-building funding and 3) youth-led, member supported funding.

This year we funded the following projects:

Program Focused Funding:

Sky’s the Limit (STL)

Project Name: Summer Tech Camp Series

Project Overview:

Sky’s the Limit is working to end the digital divide by providing hardware and access to the digital universe for at-risk youth in Toronto communities. STL will be hosting series of summer tech camps in partnership with various youth organizations to a group of 175 participants. Hosted in various communities in the Greater Toronto Area, each camp provides participants with various session focused on coding, internet navigation, online safety, program development and much more. In their pilot year, Sky’s the Limit has worked with STEM clubs and local refugee youth groups to bring laptops and tech learning to 75 youth and are looking to grow this number with the Hive Toronto Internet Health mini-grant.

How will this project contribute to a healthier internet?

At STL they understand the importance of raising youth to understand the power of the world wide web and how to harness it. At each camp internet safety, social media presence, privacy, and internet navigation are taught to all participants. They also provide information about the web’s best free applications to create and edit content, or to further learning and contribution in specific areas of technology.

CoderDojo Toronto

Project Name: CoderDojo Toronto @ Toronto Public Library

Project Overview:

The goal of this project is to expand the coverage of locations offering free computer education workshops to youth in Toronto. CoderDojo Toronto and their ultimate goal is to create an on-boarding system for library staff to become familiar with youth-focused coding resources so that they are able to sustain coding workshops within their own branches.

How will this project contribute to a healthier internet?

This project acknowledges that not every child has equal opportunities to learn code. Girls and young women represent less than 1/3 of computer science positions. Limited access to computers impacts under-represented groups’ and their ability to benefit from a job-market hungry for coders and developers. CoderDojo Toronto is teaching code skills to help people to tell stories, understand their interactions with different technologies, solve problems, build businesses and have a seat at the table in the digital future. Students are moved by the volunteerism of mentors, and in turn, show interest in providing mentorship to their peers.

Right to Play

Project Name: Y2Y Youth Council

Project Overview:

The objective of this project is to create Youth To Youth’s (Y2Y) first ever Youth Council that allows exceptional Youth Leaders from the program to engage with both Right To Play and Mozilla and their goal of a healthy internet on an advanced level.  By mobilizing some of the city’s best youth leaders, there is the opportunity to open a dialogue for them to identify some of the biggest web issues facing youth and children like internet safety and privacy.

How will this project contribute to a healthier internet?

Part of Right To Play’s core belief is that “play” is one of the most effective tools for teaching. They use play to teach lessons by using reflective discussions to capture the learning opportunities throughout the process. Right To Play games can be adapted to focus on a range of subjects. RTP activities can focus on anything from literacy and numeracy, to creating healthier relationships between students. By creating a Youth Council, we intend to leverage youth voices in order to create a new stream of educational content, that focuses on internet safety and web literacy.


Project Name: STEAM After School

Project Overview:

Since beginning their programs at 192 Spadina in the summer of 2015, STEAMLabs has helped thousands of kids become creators of technology such as robotics, web development, digital design and digital fabrication. Their programs are about more than technology skills, they are about agency – having the confidence and capabilities to make a change in your world. The objective with this program is to create a low cost after school program to engage more low income kids from the surrounding area.

How will this project contribute to a healthier internet?

STEAMLabs believes everyone needs to be able to contribute to building the Internet and other technology. Income inequality leads to technology education inequality. They want to help low income kids jump the gap and become confident creators of their online worlds.

Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre

Project Name: Indie Game Development Catalyst Club

Project Overview:

This program opportunity will provide dedicated space for a creative catalyst club, a place for youth to get the support they need to develop their own indie games. To support the youth as they create, the program will deliver a series of basic skill development tutorials on the subjects of game design, digital arts, coding, audio, and more. After equipping the youth with a variety of basic game development skill sets, the program challenges them to incubate their creativity and begin making their own games, where diversity and inclusion themes are encouraged.

How will this project contribute to a healthier internet?

The Indie Game Development Catalyst Club, a 2017 Summer Pilot Expansion Program at Regent Park Focus will enhance locally-accessible programmatic offerings that specifically address digital inclusion, web literacy, and openness goals through engaging traditionally disenfranchised and low-income young people in the production of their own video games.

Capacity-Building Funding:

License 2 Learn

Project Overview :

License 2 Learn (L2L) will be moving their tutor training curriculum to an interactive digital platform that would allow open access for program participants, tutors and groups looking to bring the program to their communities. Funding will also impact core monitoring and evaluation practices by bringing them online.

How will this project contribute to a healthier internet?

This process will push people to web based platforms for their learning experience and develop fluency negotiating the web as a resource for learning. With the online curriculum, anyone with internet will be able to access the training manual that L2L has spent 15 years developing. This will equip more people with learning and teaching tools to better acquire and share knowledge online.

Visions of Science Network for Learning (VOSNL)

Project Overview:

VOSNL Community STEM Clubs program brings these learning opportunities to youth (grades 3 to 8) directly within in their communities on a weekly basis. From the success and needs that emerged from this program they have recently extended engagement to support the STEM learning of older aged youth in grades 9 to 12 and to help build their leadership capacity. However, their space lacks the necessary technology and infrastructure to implement this. Implementing technology and space upgrades, they will be better equipped engage their communities in building web literacy skills and developing tech-based programming. These upgrades will also empower young leaders who access their space and contribute to programs by providing them with tools that are often inaccessible.

How will this project contribute to a healthier internet?

Keeping the web in the hands of many by allowing VOSNL to increase capacity to the wide catchment of communities that they serve. Making room for everyone by removing initial barriers to access of technology experienced by volunteers and participants. These tools (literacy and tech) will also enable more individuals to responsibly contribute and develop web content. They will be able to engage their youth with skills beyond coding with an emphasis on web literacy skills.

Vibe Arts

Project Overview:

Youth artists use program laptops within the Vibe Arts office and across the city to access the internet, web-based software, and applications that advance their practice and ensure high-quality programming. The goal is to have updated equipment that will better serve, connect, and engage their roster of youth artists. They believe that their organizational capacity and programming capabilities can be enhanced through efficient and updated technology.

How will this project contribute to a healthier internet?

This capacity-building grant will support digital inclusion and web literacy in Toronto’s community arts/arts education sector. Increased technological capacity will support their efforts to provide youth artists from under-served Toronto neighbourhoods with access to the internet, to web based applications, software, and digital literacy workshops.

Urban Arts

Project Overview:

UrbanArts will be using funding to develop introductory level courses in design and 3D printing to youth in the communities they serve. The short term goal of this project is to help change the way youth look at everyday objects and instill the idea of sustainability, and repair. The long term goals for this project is to keep using and exploring the software in order to eventually teach an array of participants on how to use the software in order to create their own products from scratch whether that be in wearable art, jewellery, household items, sculptures, or even for prototyping for proposals.

How will this project contribute to a healthier internet?

Urban Arts strongly believe in Mozilla’s missions which addresses access to the internet, promote web literacy, and to contribute to a healthier internet. UrbanArts provides the community with free services such as culinary programs, music, dance, visual art and digital education and digital art. They also provide a free space for community members to come in and use our equipment, access the internet as well as access to Adobe and Microsoft software at their leisure. Urban Arts believes strongly in providing the community with a free space to learn various skills such digital education, and various software education programs.

Youth-Led, Member-Supported Funding:

Youth Empowering Parents (YEP)

Project Overview:

Funding will be used to purchase tablets and operate a program for seniors in various communities. YEP will engage local youth (recruited from neighbourhood schools) to teach seniors how to use a tablet, how to access the web with the tablet, and various internet skills to help them become regular users of the web. In total, the program will engage 24 youth to teach 24 seniors. Focus will be placed on under-represented communities in Toronto – specifically seniors living in low-income areas. Target communities for the pilot are: Regent Park, Lawrence Heights, and Weston-Mt Dennis.

How will this project contribute to a healthier internet?

This project builds digital literacy skills in seniors. Among Canadians, StatsCan highlights that seniors still account for a significant portion of the population who are lacking the skills to read, write and participate in the digital world. This project will prioritize seniors lacking English language skills. This project pairs seniors with youth who speak the same language, and youth will teach website translation tools like Google Translate to help them not only access more of the web, but to go beyond consuming and start exploring ways to contribute with it as well.

To learn more about these projects and how to get involved in Mozilla’s mission for a healthier internet, contact us at



Announcing the 2017 Mozilla Fellows for Science!

In April 2017, the Mozilla Science Lab closed its third-annual call for fellows. Since that time we processed an impressive number of applications — from a record of 1090 impressive submissions. As in previous years, we conducted de-biased blind reviews, scheduled two- rounds of interviews and follow-ups, and evaluated a solid crew of top candidates according to their commitment to open science, their enthusiasm for learning by teaching, their project ideas for 2017-2018, and their engagement with a free and open web.

With generous support from the Siegel Family Endowment, we were able to select two fellows to further foster our support for open science, open access and open source initiatives throughout our network of leaders. For the next 10 months, we’ll provide benefits, project mentorship, and travel support to these fellows and they’ll engage actively with our community, develop new materials, curriculum, and tools to champion open science across the global Mozilla Network. After an intense several months of months of deliberation, we’re delighted to introduce the 2017 Mozilla Fellows for Science!
You can read their bios below to learn more about their passions and projects, and check them out on our 2017 Fellows’ page.

Amel Ghouila

A computer scientist by background, Amel earned her PhD in Bioinformatics and is currently a bioinformatician at Institut Pasteur de Tunis, where she works on the frame of the pan-African bioinformatics network H3ABionet supporting researchers and their projects while developing bioinformatics capacity throughout Africa. Amel is passionate about knowledge transfer and working open to foster collaborations and innovation in the biomedical research field. She is also passionate about empowering and educating young girls, she launched the Technovation Challenge Tunisian chapter to help Tunisian girls learn how to address community challenges by designing mobile applications.
Follow her on Twitter @amelghouila and Github @amelgh.

Chris Hartgerink

Chris is an applied statistics PhD-candidate at Tilburg University, as part of the Metaresearch group. He has contributed to open science projects such as the Reproducibility Project: Psychology, tries to develop open-source software for scientists, and does research on detecting data fabrication in science. He is particularly interested in how the scholarly system can be adapted to become sustainable, healthy scholarly environment with permissive use of content, which also aligns the needs of science and scientists instead of creating a perverse system that promotes unreliable science. He initiated Liberate Science to work towards such a system.
Follow him on Twitter @chartgerink or Github @chartgerink.

We’re excited to welcome these fellows from a mixture of social and computational sciences and from new global communities, and we hope you’ll have the opportunity to engage with their work in the year to come. As with our 2015 and 2016 cohorts, we look forward to nurturing these studies in the context of open science and the open web!

In late September, we’ll convene for a week-long onboarding at the Mozilla Toronto office with the Open Web Fellows, their partners in support of an open, accessible, secure, and healthy web. Follow the #mozfellows hashag to learn more about what we’re up to that week, listen for our fellows on the next Community Call (October 12th, 11:00 EST), and look for them at this year’s Mozfest (October 27-29th). We can’t wait to see what our new fellows do, and we’ll keep you posted!

Header Photo courtesy of Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Open Source for All

Open Source for All: A call to action for community needs.

The term “Open Source” is often used to only define software development — specifically the promotion, creation and distribution of free software and the ability for it to be used, changed and shared by anyone. When we examine what working in the open means, we unpack a call to action that is familiar – a movement rooted in community efforts in which success hinges on the need for everybody to be present, participating and proactive.

Our exploration in “Open Source for All” starts with Ca.pture. It is a youth-driven digital storytelling program designed to capture cyberbullying stories from our city and to develop open-source digital skill building activities that empower youth to prevent, navigate and intervene in electronic bullying. Through this program, we onboarded 12 youth as our Youth Council who, over the period of 8 months, collaboratively developed an open source curriculum for their peers and educators to share their stories of cyberbullying. It resulted in a community effort in advocating for safe spaces, creating better resources for countering online bullying and to empower youth to take leadership roles. Through the Ca.pture Youth Council, we realized there was a growing interest amongst the youth in furthering their knowledge and their desire to contribute to a safer, accessible and more inclusive online experience.

We identified and recognized the gap in youth voices when creating policies and structures within the spaces that youth inhabit, both offline and online. Mozilla and Hive Toronto staff designed a Open Leadership day for the interested youth that would allow them to identify an issue in their community and to create a solution with open source.

The morning kicked off with a presentation and discussion of what open source is and the role that Mozilla plays in its history of supporting open working and open leadership. Youth were asked to reflect upon their journey into the space — how they became interested in online spaces, their work with Ca.pture and what working open means to them. The room buzzed with excited chattering — one could hear the snippets of reflections overlapping with each other. Many affirmed the need for community efforts, education, visibility, multiple voices and the need for equality in their open source definition.

During the afternoon, youth had the opportunity to utilize information, resources and conversations gained from the earlier session. The idea was to first identify an issue in the community and then use Open Source culture to come up with a solution. We used the “Open Canvas” work sheet adapted from “Lean Canvas” as a guide to conceptualizing and plotting steps to execute the project. Each of the youth had the opportunity to share an issue they recognized in their community and propose an open source solution, taking us through their “Open Canvas” worksheet. As we soon discovered, there was plenty of information, resources and ideas that most of the youth had expanded out of the letter-sized printer paper.

As we’ve seen in the past, giving youth the opportunity to share their experiences results in projects that truly reflect and address the needs of that group. We moved to workshopping the youth’s proposals on a whiteboard, opening up the conversation to all participants. As is the root of open source, an idea is generated and improved upon with the assistance of the community.

Our first youth, Gwen, presented a need for an open source directory of LGBTQ+ youth safe spaces in the G.T.A. She identified that most of the available LGBTQ+ youth resources are largely in the city, specifically downtown Toronto area, and are inaccessible to young people living in the suburbs. Gwen noted that access to transit in Toronto is challenging and in addition, commuting is an issue for safety and a barrier to many youth facing systemic oppression. As Gwen lead us through her open canvas project, she cited public libraries, schools, community centres and other communal public meeting spaces as contributors who could help with not only building a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth, but also creating awareness, resources for education and information to LGBTQ+ youth and allies. Gwen also noted that this directory needed to be available both online and offline as access to the internet and web is still a challenge in many suburban areas — in particular, youth have limited facilities to go online. Additionally, queer and questioning youth find it difficult to enter spaces that are LGBTQ+ adult-run because of the insecurities that are more commonly felt in younger ages of questioning gender identity. Gwen emphasized the need for all these resources to be primarily open sourced by youth, placing the priority of “by youth for youth” in the forefront.


A picture of a youth, Gwen, standing in front of a white board after presenting her open soure project idea - -- an open source directory of LGBTQ+ youth safe spaces in the G.T.A., generated by youth for youth with assistance from adult allies.

Gwen presenting her open source project — an open source directory of LGBTQ+ youth safe spaces in the G.T.A., generated by youth for youth with assistance from adult allies.

The next youth, Linda*, identified a problem in Toronto schools that stemmed from her personal narrative. Linda entered a school on a default selection, as many young people are subjected to, but she soon realized how unhappy she was. She didn’t fit in and wasn’t getting the education she was looking for. Linda approached counsellors and teachers in the school for more information and solutions, but wasn’t presented with any answers that addressed her needs. She recognized that adults did not understand her experience or have the resources and capabilities of addressing her concerns, so she took it in her own hands. Linda researched and talked to students at other schools, finally she found what she was looking for: alternative schools. She read up on the various choices and what an alternative school education looked like. She visited the schools, talked to teachers and students there, quickly realizing that this was the right fit for her. She transitioned into her choice of alternative school and is much happier. She now looks forward to going to school and being involved in the community. Linda wants to share her experience with other young people and encourage others to do the same. She proposes an open source platform for youth across Toronto to add their stories about their school experience. She hopes to have a list of different schools complete with student reviews available to all. One would be able to organize it by district, or types and/or program offerings. This project would partner with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and individual schools, teachers and counsellors to promote youth voices in education and as a way to inform their decision-making.

Our last youth, Carol*, also focused on her school experience. She identified the overwhelmingly large student body that was unhappy and how youth expressed their desire to be involved in decision making and policy informing within their school. She added that youth voices are often dismissed as unimportant and irrelevant. Carol proposed an open source website that would allow students to share their stories, review their school experience and have educators access this information. This would amplify youth voices and truly reflect the youth experience in school. Carol cited a few of her resources — from a safe space for students to meet to coding skills to build the open source website. She envisions the contributors to be both students in school and adults helping to bring awareness of this resource. This website would be youth run by a youth council and would capture experiences that the council could take to teacher meetings and forums. Their goal is to have policy makers in education involve the youth council, drawing from these youth experiences, to inform decision making and policy structures in schools across Toronto.

There were many interesting findings from the Open Leadership day. All youth reported originally thinking that open source just referred to software development and that unless you knew how to code, working open wasn’t for them. Once the youth council understood the foundation for open source, they realized it was a tool they could utilise in their community. The open projects proposed by the youth are all rooted in recognizing a gap in service and using open to address and create a solution. Working open and leading open is in essence advocating for people to come together, learn from each other and collaborate. It is bringing forward all voices to inform a bigger picture. Open source culture is not just for software development, coding and online initiatives. As leaders in web literacy, digital inclusion and decentralization, it’s important to acknowledge the role the internet plays in community access and needs. Our youth council demonstrate and advocate for open source to truly reflect inclusivity, diversity and accessibility.

*First names of youth have been changed for privacy reasons.

Many thanks to our Hive Toronto youth council members. Host your own Open Leadership training in your community, read more here.


Community Call: Open Project Management 8/10, 11ET

This next week, we’re hosting a community call on issues of open project management in science, and we want you there! For background, the Science Lab community call takes place every other month, highlighting recent developments and work of the community relevant to science and the web. Join us to hear more about current projects, find out how you can get involved, and listen to others (or yourself!) discuss work in and around open research.

Our upcoming community call is this Thursday, August 10th.

The call is open to the public, starts at 11:00 am ET.

Call in details can be found on the call etherpad (where you can also find notes and the agenda). As with our June call, we’ll feature speakers on Air Mozilla, a video live-streaming platform which will be a departure from our typical dial in, and hopefully more accessible!

We have video for the call this month!

For August’s call, we’ll be talking about project management specifically, featuring speakers who build scientific projects and programs that solicit contributors and feedback from a broader open science community than their local lab. We’ll feature some speakers providing updates on their projects post-Global Sprint, and others sharing techniques in project maintenance and sustainable community development. You can look forward to hearing from the following group of speakers across research, industry, and institutional domains:

  • Jo Pauls – developing Open Heart, a data repo + message forum for biomedical research share, Postdoc, Prince Charles Hospital Northside Clinical Unit, Faculty of Medicine
  • Daniela Saderi – developing a “Starter Kit” for preprint journal clubs, Neurosci PhD @Neurosarda, OHSU-SOM
  • Holly Murray – developing immediate + transparent publishing for science @f1000research, F1000 Research
  • Ilyass Tabiai – developing a bi-weekly podcast for open science @Joydisee, Colper Science

We’ll also hear our closing updates from our 2016 Mozilla Fellows for Science, and our 2017 Global Sprint participants, as well as more updates on our 2017 Fellowship awards, our Mini-grants + Mozfest CFPs, and our WOW – Boston! Should be a great call!

The Mozilla Festival Call for Proposals just closed, stay tuned here for updates on accepted sessions!

Have an update, blog post or event you’d like to share relevant to open science? Add it to the etherpad (see ‘Non Verbal Updates’). It’s a great way to share what you’re working on and/or interested in with the community. Don’t be shy. Have a look at last month’s notes on trust in open science for an idea of what others contributed to the conversation.

Join via this link:

Mark your calendars, tune in and help us spread the word – everyone is welcome. For call-in details and links to the etherpad, visit our wiki page. We hope you’ll join us!

MozFellows on the Road in Cape Town, South Africa!

Last week, the 2016 Mozilla Fellows for Science and Mozilla Science lab joined Mozilla Science staff and special guests Chicago Hive’s Kenyatta Forbes and new Kent State faculty and 2015 fellowship alum Christie Bahlai!  We are scientists, data specialists, open source developers, community management experts, advocates for open scholarly practices, and open scientists. Together, we see open practices as a way to move our communities forward.  We gathered for a week of discussion, workshops, and exploration in Cape Town, South Africa where we were graciously hosted by Spin Street House, an inspiring co-working space in downtown Cape Town.

Travel: Cape Town is about as far from the West Coast of the USA as you can possibly get. Teon and Danielle arrived a little early and prioritized finding the best coffee in Cape Town.


Monday: We started the week with coffee and an introduction to Kenyatta Forbes. Kenyatta is the Community Manager at Hive Chicago and so so much more… more here, here, and here. She joined us in South Africa to learn about our curriculum and process, and we were excited to have her there to learn from her and gain her perspective on our challenges. Although we need community buy-in to accomplish anything in academia – whether it’s launching a new course, changing a policy, challenging the status-quo, or getting a collaboration off the ground – we don’t often learn the management and communication skills that can help get things done. One spectacular thing about this fellowship has been the emphasis on community. Working with Kenyatta for a week, I learned tools and exercises from her that’ll help me better document what’s happening and be constructively critical of my vision for community in open science.

Tuesday: Funding is on everyone’s mind. There have been eight Mozilla fellows so far, and of them three have stayed (or will stay) in academia. However, the five that are no longer in traditional academia still apply for grants. On Tuesday we devoted time to discussing the funding landscape for nonprofits, the pros and cons of becoming and nonprofit, and where our projects might fit into the current landscape. Well truthfully, as the fellowship as almost over, this conversation started on Sunday as soon as we’d had coffee and continued for the entire week. Looking for funding is like dating? Or is it like applying for a job? How do you network, when you’re a little bit desperate, without appearing desperate? We tossed around a lot of metaphors and ideas, but my fellow-fellow Kirstie said it best when she commented “The most important principle is to look for connections you can build between people, rather than looking for stuff for yourself.”

Candid shot of the Science Fellows deep in the work week zone!

Wednesday: This was a ten month fellowship. At the beginning of a ten month fellowship, it seems long enough to accomplish almost anything. At the end, it seems like it was barely enough time to start. On Wednesday we worked on our talks for Thursday evening’s event, spent time to document our fellowship projects, and discussed ways of communicating our work. To this end, we worked on resumes of all our fellowship projects and events – check out Danielle’s fellowship resume (she is inordinately proud of the emojis – full credit to Kirstie for starting this cool resume trend).

Thursday: We took a half a day off to visit Robben Island, but the ferry was not running due to rough weather. We opted to tour around Cape Town instead!

Tourist time!

#mozfamily <3

We then returned to Spin Street House to prep for the Working Open Workshop (WOW). The workshop sessions on Friday are designed to help participants learn more about our curriculum, run through how to teach the material, and discuss their communities needs. Thursday evening was reserved for lightning talks and mingling!

Steph getting the party started at our Working Open Workshop kick-off party.

Lightning talks from fellows and participants kept the energy high on Thursday night. Christie talked about using other people’s data to teach research data management and analysis.

Christie Bahlai, PhD discusses the skills that scientists need!

Teon talked about democratizing access to science through open source, open hardware, and the Do it Yourself or DIY ethos.

Teon Brooks, PhD rocking the DIY cog-sci ethos.

Danielle shared her perspective on playing the long game in my local community.

Danielle’s story of local movement building.

Bruno enlightened us all about the volume of genomic data in the world today and discussed growing his online open source community.

Bruno Vieira’s take on open source community development.

Kirstie described her thought process throughout establishing her new lab at the Turing institute and assured us all that while she sounds very fancy, she is just faking it until she makes it – and so should we.

Kirstie keeps it real.

And Jeremiah Pieterson of SPARC Africa told us about how libraries are advocating for greater access to scholarly resources and knowledge across Africa.

Jeremiah Pieterson, a librarian at University of Cape Town, OpenCon Alum, and an advocate for open access to scholarly work with SPARC Africa spoke about the progress SPARC Africa has made.

SPARC Africa’s objectives!

Friday: Our attendees represented universities from all over South Africa, including University of Venda, North-West University’s Mafikeng campus, University of the Western Cape, and University of Cape Town. Our participants are leaders in South African higher education and in the sciences.  Mmaki Jantjies, scholar, advocate for women and girls, writer, and Head of the Department of Information Systems at the University of the Western Cape. Jeremiah Pieterson, a librarian at University of Cape Town, OpenCon Alum, and an advocate with SPARC Africa. Ivo Arrey, a PhD student and Software Carpentry Instructor who studies application of information technology to problems of subsurface hydrology and water resources management. Caroline F. Ajilogba, PhD is a rhizosphere biologist and runs the Rstudio study group on her campus. Peter van Heusden runs a software development team at a bioinformatics institute where he works to make computing systems less labor intensive to manage and computing more accessible to researchers. Martin Canaan Mafunda is an MSc student interested in infectious diseases modelling in open source languages. Jean-Baka Domelevo Entfellner, PhD studies mixtures of statistical models to model highly divergent homologous sequences.

#mozWOW South Africa!

In the past, WOWs have invited participants to bring projects to in-person workshops to progress through a series of sessions designed develop open science, open community, and open source initiatives. In South Africa, our goal was to work closely with a small group of community leaders to train and catalyze them to disseminate the Working Open Workshop modules (or the spirit of the WOW process) in their own communities. As the fellows and staff in attendance are all based in the global north, we have worked mainly in large well-funded Western universities. We can’t tell participants what will work in their local South African scientific and scholarly communities and were eager to get the perspective on what works and what doesn’t in South Africa. We worked to create welcoming spaces for our participants to connect with each other and talk about their communities, their priorities, and their visions. We worked together to create definitions of the terms we use, like “open”, that are meaningful for our participants.

Collaborative definitions of Open in South Africa:


Jean-Baka accessorized his motorcycle with our stickers – move over laptops!

Has the Mozilla Science Fox ever looked cooler?

At the end of the day, we made friends and learned from each other… and then had a fantastic dinner where bibs were required!


#mozvan 4 life!

La cyberintimidation ne disparaît pas à la fin des classes

[Pour diffusion immédiate]

La cyberintimidation ne disparaît pas à la fin des classes

Mozilla Hive Toronto et des ados font équipe dans la lutte contre la cyberintimidation.

Toronto, le 26 juin 2017. – La fin des classes est arrivée, mais il faut se souvenir que la cyberintimidation chez les jeunes ne prend pas de répit. Afin de s’y attaquer, Mozilla Hive Toronto, YWCA Toronto et Youth Empowering Parents (des jeunes habilitant des parents, YEP) ont fait équipe pour créer le projet Ca.pture. Il s’agit d’un programme numérique de narration dont le contenu provient des jeunes. Destiné aux éducatrices et aux éducateurs, il poursuit les objectifs de prévenir la cyberintimidation ainsi que d’expliquer comment y réagir et intervenir. Le produit, conçu par des adolescentes et des adolescents de 13 à 17 ans, est constitué d’un guide d’animation et d’un atelier à l’intention des gens jouant un rôle en matière d’éducation. Ca.pture est soutenu par une subvention accordée par le Programme d’investissement communautaire de l’Autorité canadienne pour les enregistrements Internet (ACEI).

Le projet a été conçu et mis en œuvre par le Ca.pture Youth Council (conseil jeunesse Ca.pture) constitué de 12 jeunes âgés de 13 à 17 ans vivant dans la région de Toronto. Au départ, le conseil a tenu plusieurs ateliers afin de discuter de la cyberintimidation et de mieux la comprendre, de savoir comment s’en protéger et où se trouvent les espaces sans danger. Ses membres ont aussi appris le codage pour être en mesure de diffuser leurs expériences en ligne. Pendant un camp de la semaine de relâche, les jeunes eux-mêmes ont animé des ateliers en compagnie d’autres jeunes, puis ont partagé leurs apprentissages avec des éducatrices et des éducateurs de leur communauté. Le guide d’animation (en anglais seulement) est consultable en ligne.

« Il était essentiel que des jeunes soient à l’avant-plan du projet, affirme Simona Ramkisson, stratège du portefeuille, Hive Toronto. Nous tenions à ce qu’ils aillent plus loin que la conception du projet en partenariat avec Hive Toronto, YWCA Toronto et YEP. Il fallait qu’ils aient la possibilité de diriger les échanges au sujet des incidences de la cyberintimidation dans leur communauté. »

« À l’ACEI, nous croyons que la population canadienne entière est en droit de profiter sans risques des avantages culturels, sociaux et économiques d’Internet, souligne David Fowler, vice-président du marketing et des communications à l’ACEI. Pour que ce principe se matérialise, le combat contre la cyberintimidation est un outil essentiel à la construction d’un meilleur Canada en ligne. »

À propos de Hive Toronto

En tant que programme établi de la fondation Mozilla, Hive Toronto (TO) entend mettre Internet au service de l’apprentissage. Hive TO est un réseau dynamique d’apprentissage entre pairs à l’intention des éducatrices et des éducateurs désireux d’innover. Il est constitué de plus de 70 organismes culturels et des médias sociaux parascolaires déterminés à explorer, à créer et à partager le savoir-faire numérique permettant aux communautés de façonner leur environnement. Sur un plan plus vaste, Hive Toronto est le programme phare des activités réalisées par le Leadership Network (réseau du leadership) de Mozzilla au Canada. Les objectifs actuels de Hive TO consistent à renforcer le réseau d’apprentissage et d’innovation ainsi qu’à propager des idées, des pratiques et des outils harmonisés avec le plan stratégique de Mozzilla.

À propos du Programme d’investissement communautaire de l’ACEI

L’ACEI bâtit un meilleur Canada en ligne au moyen de son Programme d’investissement communautaire. Par l’entremise de ce dernier, elle finance des organismes sans but lucratif et de bienfaisance ainsi que des établissements du milieu universitaire qui travaillent à améliorer Internet au profit de toute la population canadienne. L’ACEI est avant tout connue pour le rôle qu’elle joue dans la gestion du domaine .CA au nom de toute la population canadienne. Bien qu’il s’agisse de notre mandat principal, à titre d’organisme sans but lucratif fondé sur ses membres, nous poursuivons un objectif bien plus vaste, celui de renforcer Internet au Canada. Le Programme d’investissement communautaire constitue l’un de nos apports les plus essentiels à l’atteinte de ce but. De fait, il permet le financement de projets qui améliorent la littératie numérique et donnent lieu au lancement de services en ligne tout en soutenant la recherche et l’infrastructure. Chaque nom de domaine .CA enregistré ou renouvelé contribue à ce programme. Jusqu’à présent, l’ACEI a soutenu 99 projets au moyen de plus de 4,2 millions de dollars.

Personnes-ressources pour les médias :

Simona Ramkisson
Stratège de portefeuille, Hive Toronto

Alison Gareau
Gestionnaire des communications, ACEI
613 237-5335, poste 234


Cyberbullying doesn’t end with the school year

The Ca.pture project is supported by a grant from CIRA’s Community Investment Program. CIRA’s Community Investment Program gives back by supporting initiatives and programs that help build a better online Canada.

Canadian Internet Registration Authority

Cyberbullying doesn’t end with the school year

Mozilla Hive Toronto teams up with teens to combat cyberbullying

(TORONTO, June 26, 2017) – With the school year coming to a close, it is a good reminder that cyberbullying among youth is a year-round concern. To combat it, Mozilla Hive Toronto partnered with YWCA Toronto and Youth Empowering Parents (YEP) to develop the Ca.pture project. Ca.pture is a youth-driven digital storytelling program for educators designed to prevent, navigate and intervene in electronic bullying. The end result includes a facilitation guide and workshop for educators designed by teens aged 13-17. Ca.pture is supported by a grant from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s (CIRA) Community Investment Program.

Ca.pture was designed and implemented by the Ca.pture Youth Council made up of 12 youth between the ages of 13-17 in Toronto. The council held several initial workshops to discuss and better understand cyberbullying, self-care and safe spaces, and they also learned coding skills in order to capture their experiences online. The youth themselves led workshops with their peers during a March break camp and later shared what they learned with educators from their community. The facilitation guide is now available online.

“It was integral that youth voices were at the forefront for this project,” says Simona Ramkisson, portfolio strategist, Hive Toronto. “We wanted to ensure that they were given the opportunity to not only design the project in partnership with Hive Toronto, YWCA Toronto and Youth Empowering Parents but also had the opportunity to lead conversations about the impacts of cyberbullying in their communities.”

“At CIRA we believe that all Canadians should be able to safely enjoy the cultural, social and economic benefits of the Internet,” says David Fowler, vice president of marketing and communications at CIRA. “In this regard, combatting cyberbullying is a key way we are helping build a better online Canada.”

About Hive Toronto

As an established program of the Mozilla foundation, we at Hive Toronto (TO) advance the promise of the Internet for learning. A dynamic peer learning network for educators who want to innovate, Hive TO is comprised of 70+ after-school, cultural and digital media organizations dedicated to exploring, creating and sharing the digital literacies necessary for communities to shape their world. More broadly, Hive Toronto is a flagship program for Mozilla’s Leadership Network activities across Canada. Current goals for Hive TO are to strengthen the network for learning and innovation, and to spread ideas, tools, and practices in line with Mozilla’s strategic plan.

About CIRA’s Community Investment Program

CIRA is building a better online Canada through the Community Investment Program by funding innovative projects led by charities, not-for-profits and academic institutions that are making the Internet better for all Canadians. CIRA is best known for our role managing the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians. While this remains our primary mandate, as a member-based not-for-profit ourselves, we have a much broader goal to strengthen Canada’s Internet. The Community Investment Program is one of our most valuable contributions toward this goal and funds projects in digital literacy, online services, research and infrastructure. Every .CA domain name registered or renewed contributes to this program. To date CIRA has supported 99 projects with over $4.2 million in contributions.

Media contacts:

Simona Ramkisson
Portfolio Strategist, Hive Toronto

Alison Gareau
Communications Manager, CIRA


For French translation of media release, please view here.