MozFest is Mozilla’s annual community-centered celebration of a healthy, innovative, inclusive internet. Poke your head into a random sampling of sessions on MozFest weekend, and you’ll likely be surprised to see who’s leading the experience: A young software developer and electronic music enthusiast from the UK. A Brazilian scientist and open data advocate who researches honeybees. An Egyptian tech educator with a passion for multimedia creation. A lawyer and digital rights activist from Colombia activist working on gender issues.
All are welcome! There are no special qualifications required for MozFest facilitators. You don’t need an advanced degree or years of teaching or presenting to lead a session. Facilitators come to MozFest at all different stages of their work: arriving with just a spark of a brilliant idea, or leading a fledgeling project, or bringing insights from an established, successful open source initiative.
What every facilitator does need is a great idea or project, and desire to share it with others. Facilitators should be open to collaboration, ready to create something new, and learn from other MozFest participants. A bit of playfulness can help, and the ability to welcome with the unexpected — those surprises and happy accidents that happen when lots of creative, smart people come together.
If you’ve been to MozFest, or read our post on the participatory nature of MozFest, you’ll know that as session leader, you won’t be expected to fill every minute of your session with your own thoughts and ideas. In fact, your participants should be active partners and collaborators: they can contribute to a discussion, ask questions or giving feedback, create content or code, test out a prototype, or build out circuit. For many facilitators, the participatory element takes a bit of the pressure (and the spotlight) off — relax, it’s not a lecture!
For other prospective facilitators, the interactive nature of a MozFest session can feel daunting. But don’t worry — there’s plenty of support!
We offer advice during the CFP process (check out this handy resource to start, or bring your questions to our Gitter chat channel), and training sessions and coaching in the run up to the festival for facilitators with accepted sessions.
Each session is a reflection of the unique perspective, skills, and insights of its Facilitator. We wouldn’t have it any other way! Each one of the 300+ sessions, in its own way, tells a unique story about the internet — the challenges, and the dreams and possibilities.
At MozFest, facilitators are the storytellers and catalysts of the internet health movement. And we want YOU — your project, your idea, your story — at MozFest.
If you’ve been hesitating, just go for it! Submit to the MozFest 2019 Call for Proposals now!