50 People Who Are Making the Internet a Better Place

Introducing the Network50, Mozilla’s new initiative to recognize individuals making a positive impact on Internet health

Mozilla’s mission is keeping the Internet healthy — ensuring the web is a global public resource, open and accessible to all.

It’s an ambitious mission, but also an essential one. Today, the Internet and our societies are deeply entwined. Inclusion and equality online unlock real freedoms and opportunities. Conversely, exclusion and insecurity online have real effects on our safety, our privacy and our offline lives.

Fighting for a healthy Internet requires a broad range of work, from education and advocacy to engineering and data science. This might look like teaching fundamental digital skills to first-time Internet users. Or, contributing open-source code and data to public interest projects. Important work like this takes place all over the world, from Nairobi to London to Bangalore.

Mozilla can’t do this work alone. So we’re committed to fueling the broader Internet health network: individuals and organizations around the globe working on topics like online privacy and security, open innovation, decentralization, digital inclusion and web literacy. (Learn more about these issues here.)

Working together, this network can have an outsized, positive impact on Internet health.

Today, Mozilla is announcing its first-ever Network50 award winners — an accolade for network members who have done outstanding Internet health work over the past 18 months. Winners represent the diversity of the network. They speak different languages, work in different fields, and belong to different organizations, from UNICEF to the EFF to GirlHype.

All 50 are committed to a better web. These are the people behind recent victories in the realms of public policy, open science, digital inclusion, ethical technology and other critical areas.

The Network50 includes people like Alex Wafula, a software professional and a community activist in the Kenyan and broader East African community. Alex has designed, developed, and facilitated digital skills workshops that teach first-time Internet users how to navigate the web. Alex has lent his expertise to the Digital Skills Observatory, Mozilla Reps and Wikimedia Kenya.

And Madeleine Bonsma-Fisher, an open science advocate and Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto. Madeleine has been an exceptional leader in the open science movement, launching and nurturing an open science study group, UofTCoders, at the University of Toronto. In her work as an open science mentor, Madeleine has helped unlock progress and innovation on campus and beyond.

And Kim Wilkens, an educator and founder of Tech-Girls, a volunteer-based, not-for-profit that works with parents, educators and partners to provide training, resources and relationships needed to spark girls interest in STEM. Kim created her own after-school program to teach digital skills to girls who have typically been considered outsiders in tech. She also organized the local SPARK hackathon for youth.

To meet the full Network50, click here. And join Mozilla in thanking these individuals for their outstanding work.

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