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).

From  2005 to 2008, Mark served as the first Director of, a  $26M initiative to connect 1000s of community technology centres around  the world supported by Microsoft, Canada’s International Development  Research Centre, and the Swiss Development Corporation. While at,  Mark spoke at the first World Summit on the Information Society,  provided the keynote at the Global Knowledge Partnership Summit, and  built a global network of community technical centres that spanned over 25 countries.

As a consultant and social entrepreneur, Mark has designed and implemented community-driven technology projects for dozens of organizations including the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the Association for Progressive Communications, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and the Canadian Labour Congress. He has raised more than $30M, authored two  books, presented at 100+ conferences, written dozens of papers, and  traveled to more than 40 countries. Despite his travels, his favorite  place remains the armchair next to the fireplace in his living room.

Mark  lives in Toronto, Canada with with wife Tonya, founding Executive  Director of the Centre for Social Innovation, and his sons Tristan and  Ethan. Mark holds a BA in the History of Community Media from the  University of Toronto.

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