It came, it went, and it left us all exhausted. MozFlu, if you will.
This year's Mozilla Festival was my first, and hopefully not my last. Rather than explain the details of the event itself (check out the event website for more info) – here are a couple of my quick highlights:
Engagement: Participants were incredibly engaged, and far beyond the usual level of standing up to introduce yourself when prompted. There was maybe only one session I went to where involved group work wasn't the norm, and it was almost impossible to go to a session as a passive listener. (Yes, this made for being pretty tired by the end of the day, but there was a much appreciated chill out zone provided too!)
Cross sector overlap: there was so much that I heard and saw that was designed for certain audiences, but that was/is relevant in other areas of the open world. My favourite example – 'Inclusivity in gaming' by Sarah Schoemann. Confession time; I'm not into gaming, I'm into inclusivity and diversity, and I learned a lot about encouraging diversity in communities, for example, with the Inclusivity Statement created by the community at Different Games, an idea which I'm keen to explore further.
Other sessions, especially in the journalism track, such as A Journalist's toolbox, or the Psychology of sharing on social media contained lots of information very relevant for community management for example, or for researchers looking to use the open web to make their work easier.
Documentation: this was done excellently! Each session had a designated etherpad, there were photos a-plenty, students walking around with video cameras, a radio stream, a live video stream, and probably more. Now, post-event, there's plenty of ways to catch up on the sessions I didn't catch, as well as find links that I didn't quite catch while I was there.
Genuinely open: there was lots of collaboration between different organisations and initiatives in this space, which was great to see. Not just in the session we ran on Building collaboration in the open space, but also in terms of organisation. For example, they welcomed my colleague Beatrice Martini, the Events Coordinator of the Open Knowledge Foundation, to help them on the organisational side of things, experiment with participatory formats prepping for our upcoming OKFestival, as well as contribute to the event in a more involved way.
Interesting people! And so many of them. Bringing together such a group of people for 2 days remains for me, chatterbox that I am, one of the biggest highlights.
Big thanks to the team at Mozilla, the lovely people I met, and the most wonderful coffee-providers I've ever seen at an event before! Open invitation to Berlin for all of you. Especially the baristas.