We recently announced a terrific line-up of speakers and panelists for the Dialogues & Debates (D&D) series at MozFest 2019. The series is a relatively recent addition to MozFest’s rich program of community-led discussion sessions, workshops, and art experiences. Added in 2016, the D&D series aims to give participants insight into some of the most topical, critical issues and advances in the internet health space, from the perspective of key players from around the globe.
Crossing continents and oceans to join us at MozFest, D&D speakers have hailed from Kenya, France, India, Bahrain, the U.S., the UK, and beyond. They are influential activists, hackers, engineers, journalists, and lawyers. We aim for a broad diversity of voices and disciplines: we’ve booked internet pioneer Tim Berners Lee and comedienne Ashley Black.
We asked Mozilla’s Editorial Lead Kevin Zawacki, who organizes the series, to highlight a few of his favorite D&D offerings.
In 2018 the MozFest theme was Data Done Right, and the D&D line-up featured a fantastic panel linking this theme to emerging Artificial Intelligence technology. Zawacki says: “In ‘AI’s Collateral Damage,’ we had AI experts from a range of sectors — civil society, industry, law enforcement — discuss that biggest societal threats that AI can pose, like radicalization and automated discrimination. It was both enlightening and frightening.”
Under the banner of Web For All, the 2017 D&D series included a talk by investigative journalist Julia Angwin, who elaborated on her groundbreaking reporting on biased algorithms. “Angwin revealed how automated decision making systems, when fed bad data, can wreak havoc on a national scale,” says Zawacki.
At the inaugural D&D series in 2016, the Festival theme was One Web. Zawacki highlights a talk by Turkish socio-technologist Zeynep Tufekci. “She kickstarted a conversation at the festival about how social media doesn’t just host the conversation — it actively shapes it.”
Zawacki collaborates to curate each year’s line-up. “Speakers are selected a number of ways. Some are recommended by festival attendees; others are Mozilla collaborators, like fellows; and others still are like-minded thinkers that we run into on Twitter and at other events.” Got a great idea for a panel or speaker for an upcoming MozFest? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.