After 10 incredible years, 9 of which were in London, MozFest is asking Where to next?
As a community, we have so much to celebrate for this 10th festival. As we reflect on all we have learnt and built together, we invite you to join us in imagining what the next 10 years of growth and experiences for the MozFest community could be — in a new location.
Our current vision is for MozFest to move to a new city every three years, connecting with people and projects along the way, in order to fuel a movement for a healthier internet worldwide.
For practical and organisational reasons, and because it’s a central location among our existing partners and friends: We will stay in Europe for this first cycle. But where?
The MozFest community already includes people and projects from around the world. Our intention was always to move the festival from city to city, but our relationship with Ravensbourne University and the truly unique venue and partnership kept us coming back. We got comfy! There are other reasons to explore new options.
Accessibility and cost. London is an exciting, creative, multilingual and innovative city that has been our home for the last 9 years, but also is an expensive city where getting visas for our participants has been increasingly hard.
Growth and space. Ravensbourne University supports and nurtures the festival in a perfect exemplification of an open, creative program. Today, we are bursting at the seams. We have been at maximum capacity for some time. Each year we found new ways to use the space, but have struggled to fit as many sessions or people as we’d like without the program getting to complicated or the space too noisy!
We are deeply grateful to our UK volunteers, Ravensbourne University and local partners, and plan to honor past contributions by creating new paths for participation to continue. We’ll be asking you what we can do to support and develop these relationships. We’ll miss being in London!
What we hope to achieve
By bringing MozFest to different communities around the world, our goals are to:
- Have a positive social and economic impact in the local community, in terms of learning
- Create a cycle of invitations to our events and partnerships, building, collaborating on and sustaining the work, the community, and the movement
- Create a 3-year location cycle: Move somewhere, stay for 3 years, then move to another city
- Keep nurturing our existing relationships of the last ten years, and ensure we have ways for them to continue to participate.
To help guide our decision on a potential new location for MozFest 2020, we mapped out three core criteria to help decide where to relocate to:
- Digital Rights and Policies
- Community Inclusion
- Production Practicality.
As a community-run festival, these criteria are critical for the practical functionality of the festival as well as involving both new and existing communities in co-creation and co-ownership of the festival over time.
1. Digital Rights and Policies
- The city, town or neighborhood that will host MozFest should be a champion of digital rights, human rights and equality
- There are publicly stated principles around data and privacy for citizens and openness around the city’s contracts and agreements with technology companies
- There should be an open line of communication between local government and the civic tech community around decision-making and understanding of risks and opportunities
2. Community Inclusion
- The community of the city, town or neighborhood hosting MozFest should be welcomed and visible as participants of the festival.
- We will have a positive impact on local communities, such as grassroots initiatives, community groups and across disciplines: youth, women, artists, activists, or local businesses who may be eager to collaborate.
- We will approach our host community with a spirit of curiosity and partnership, and an expectation to learn from their experiences, innovations, and challenges.
3. Production Practicality
- The city, town or neighborhood that hosts MozFest must be suitable in terms of hotels and infrastructure to host an event of approximately 4,000 people.
- It should be a place that is reasonably affordable, considering the cost of the event as well as the purchasing power of diverse attendees from abroad.
- Personal safety and ease of movement for attendees of diverse backgrounds and, in some cases, limited travel experience is important.
This is the criteria with which we will start to look for a new home for MozFest in 2020.
Our ask to you.
Over the next weeks, we will be connecting with allies and refining our criteria and plans. We have created a survey with 5 questions related to our core criteria and want to know what you think about the criteria and what we can improve. We want to know:
- What do you love about MozFest? What should we definitely keep?
- What should we consider in looking for a new MozFest city?
- Are there cities you would like to recommend already? Perhaps your own!
We will also host and record three open calls where we will talk about the criteria and ask those same questions for group discussion. Below you will find timings and links to the meeting rooms on each date.
- Call 1: 14 August 2019, 11:00 UTC.
- Call 2: 20 August 2019, 17:30 PM UTC.
- Call 3: 10 September 2019, 12:00 UTC.
We hope to announce the new location on stage at MozFest 2019.