MozFest 2014: Spotlight on “Policy & Advocacy”

Hannah Kane

This is the seventh post in a series featuring interviews with the 2014 Mozilla Festival “Space Wranglers,” the curators of the many exciting programmatic tracks slated for this year’s Festival.

For this edition, we chatted with Dave Steer, Alina Hua, and Stacy Martin, the Space Wranglers for the Policy & Advocacy track. Participants in this track will help build the web we want by protecting and advancing the free and open web for everyone.

What excites you most about your track?
This is a critical time for the Internet. On one hand, it has become an integral part in the lives of billions of people. On the other hand, it is a fragile resource that is being undermined by interests that want to make it less free and open. We are excited to bring together the heroes of the Internet — the policy and advocacy community of developers, activists, and everyone fighting for a free and open Internet — to work together, share ideas, and celebrate the web we want. We’re excited for everyone to be together in a physical space that is interactive and inspiring, and that enables us to learn from each other.

We envision a space that invites all attendees to share questions and ideas for the web they want, and to feature sessions that invite people to work together to solve problems. Just imagine walls covered with thought provoking, challenging questions and a mass of people working together to answer some of the most vital issues of our times. That will be the Policy & Advocacy track.

We’ll also be running ‘fireside chats’ with leading thinkers about the current state of the web. Our track will aim to bring together the policy and advocacy community, discussing issues and topic areas that are important to the health of the Internet.

Who are you working with to make this track happen?
We’ve seen a ton of participation and collaboration among the community to make the Policy & Advocacy track happen. This participation has been widespread: from advocates in Europe to cyptographers and technologists in North America to Mozilla Reps in virtually every corner of the world. It’s wonderful to see the community come to life. In all, the community pulled together more than 60 submissions for MozFest sessions. It was great to see so many community members actively proposing sessions, and to see the participation of new members, such as the Web We Want campaign, a global effort celebrating the 25th birthday of the Web. As a result, we will have sessions that will teach everything from advocacy skills to anti-surveillance techniques.  We’ll explore the Web We Want, and we’ll see sessions devoted to enabling it for the youngest of people online.

How can someone who isn’t able to attend MozFest learn more or get involved in this topic?
We’re cooking up ideas of how to enable the community to participate in MozFest, even if they can’t physically be there. We have a few exciting ideas planned — stay tuned.

In the meantime, there are lots of things you can do to be an advocate for the open web. Here are a few things to get you started:

Inspired?

Head on over to the MozFest site to register!

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