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What we do beyond our products

Our broader engagement with the world

We partner and collaborate with organizations, leaders, scholars, technologists, and activists who share our values and vision for building a better and more inclusive internet and world. Through these partnerships, we seek to amplify a diverse array of experiences and causes.

Applying a global lens

Africa Mradi

The Africa Mradi is a program that leverages Mozilla’s role as stewards of the open web to promote innovation grounded in the unique needs of users in African countries. Our approach is driven by local needs: to support local voices and entrepreneurs and to solve on-the-ground problems. In 2021, we expanded our presence on the continent and connected with African leaders and influencers in technology through participation in various events, and secured critical funds to scale our efforts.

Teaching and learning

In 2021, we examined the rise of tech hubs and innovation in Africa and created learning opportunities for college students to explore ethical computing practices, ran experiments, and hosted discussions on Trustworthy AI.

Responsible computing

Through the Responsible Computer Science Challenge, Mozilla has been able to support the conceptualization, development, and piloting of curricula that integrate ethics with undergraduate computer science training, educating a new wave of engineers who bring holistic thinking to the design of technology products.

History Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Mozilla launched efforts to build relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) recognizing the critical role HBCUs play in diversifying tech and producing Black technical talent. Through these partnerships, we aimed to influence the next generation of computer science and engineering professionals and create pathways to careers at Mozilla and across the industry.

Mozilla Common Voice

Over the next decade, speech is expected to become the primary way people interact with devices — from phones and laptops to digital assistants. Today’s voice-enabled devices, however, are inaccessible to vast swaths of the planet’s languages, accents, and speech patterns. Mozilla Common Voice launched in 2017 to bridge this gap and is now the world’s largest multi-language public domain voice data set, with over 18,000 hours of voice recordings in over 100 global languages and dialects. Common Voice enables anyone to donate their voices to a free publicly available database that startups, researchers, and developers can use to train voice-enabled apps, products, and services. In 2021, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Development Cooperation), and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) announced an investment of $3.4 million in Mozilla Common Voice. This funding will support the collection of voice data sets in Kiswahili, an East African language spoken by an estimated 100 million people in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan.

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Artificial intelligence for humanity - World Economic Forum

Mozilla joined the Global Future Council on Artificial Intelligence for Humanity. The council will develop policy and governance solutions to promote greater inclusion of under-served communities in the AI development and governance ecosystem.

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African tech festivals, conferences, and events

As a means of engaging with tech professionals and innovators across Africa, the Africa Mradi team has cultivated a broad network of connections participating in several African conferences and events. Mozilla representatives provided insights and expertise as speakers and facilitators across several events including designing and facilitating a workshop at AfriLabs 10th Annual Gathering on Common Voice and Lean data Practices and speaking on panels such “Affordability Matters: African connectivity is a necessity, not a luxury.” at the Africa Tech Festival and “Innovate or Die'' at the East Africa Storytelling Festival.

MozFest 2021

The Mozilla Festival, affectionately known as MozFest and hosted by the Mozilla Foundation, harnesses the collective power of unexpected partnerships — connecting from analog artists, and public interest technologists, to policymakers, and neurodiverse activists — to creatively disrupt the status quo and reframe and re-imagine our online world. In 2021, MozFest was held virtually for the very first time. Despite this shift to a virtual setting, We were joined by 8000 participants and held 580 sessions over 12 days that featured inspiring conversations and collaborations. Despite not being able to meet face-to-face, we were able to bring the spirit of the festival to life in virtual sessions, social hangouts in Spatial Chat, and through Slack, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Dialogues & debates

Dialogues & Debates – our speaker series portion of MozFest – is a chance to continue the important conversations about online privacy, trustworthy AI, bias, Big Tech, and similar topics. Past speakers have hailed from Kenya, France, India, Bahrain, the U.S., the UK, and beyond. They are influential activists, hackers, engineers, journalists, and lawyers. The programming aims to educate and inspire the audience, so they leave with fresh ideas for advocacy campaigns, policies, and software. In 2021, we hosted 15 Dialogues & Debates panels (during and after MozFest) diving into a range of topics including what bias means and how to combat it online.

  • AI & labor
    • Sprawling internet platforms and their sophisticated algorithms have created a new ecosystem of on-demand, app-facilitated services — but also a new labor class, stripped of traditional labor rights.
  • AI & power
    • The AI in our daily lives reinforces historical power imbalances — across gender, across race, and across class. Is it possible to make more just AI systems mainstream?
  • Hunting biased algorithm
    • Can bias bounties become as mainstream as bug bounties?

Creative media awards

Mozilla Foundation’s Creative Media Awards support people and projects on the front lines of the internet health movement — from creative technologists in Japan, to tech policy analysts in Uganda, to privacy activists in the U.S. In 2021, these awards provided $260,000 in funding for Black artists who use art to spotlight how AI can reinforce — or disrupt — systems of oppression. Awardees included a stark visualization of the ways voice technology excludes Black voices; an animated film about Afrofuturism, and more. Awardees hail from the U.S., the UK, and the Netherlands.

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Investments with Precursor Ventures

In 2018, Mozilla participated in Round 2 funding with Precursor Ventures, which focuses on pre-seed and seed investments with under-served entrepreneurs. Due to their sound investing principles, commitment to early investments in women- and minority-led companies, their strong leadership team, and continued partnership with Mozilla, we have increased our engagement by participating in round four of funding.

Responsible computing playbook

As part of the Responsible Computer Science Challenge, Mozilla and participating schools released the Teaching Responsible Computing Playbook. An inaugural cohort of 22 colleges and universities came together to create the playbook featuring lessons learned on how schools can update computing curricula to help students bring ethics and a holistic view of society to the design of technology products. The playbook is divided into 20 sections, including Working Across Disciplines, Choosing Computing Courses; Learning Outcomes and Assessments, Accreditation and Ethics, Broadening Participation and Responsible Computing, Discussing Justice and Equity, and more.

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Teaching responsible computing summit 2021

Mozilla hosted the inaugural Teaching Responsible Computing Summit in 2021. The Summit welcomed 200+ registrants from more than 15 different countries. The goals of the Summit were to spark cross-disciplinary insight; collaborate and foster connections across a global cohort; and provide a platform for sharing and scaling teaching methods and ideas across geographies.

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HBCU Collaborative Curriculum program

Mozilla’s HBCU Collaborative Curriculum is a project-based course designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn modern software engineering practices that balance ethical considerations as they prepare to join the workforce. The course featured presentations on over 30 topics ranging from Accessibility and Prototyping, Ethical and Humane Software Design, the Software Development Lifecycle, Design Justice, and Insights from Mozilla’s Internet Health report. To support students' career and professional development, they had access to office hours with Mozilla Technical Recruiters and were invited to a Zoom side chat with Mozilla’s Chief of Core Products. After nearly 11 weeks and more than 30 hours of instruction, 14 students from Hampton University and Virginia State University demoed the projects they worked on over the course of the semester.

“The class provides lots of connections in Mozilla, and students can meet people who help and want to see them succeed. The class is very encouraging as well. My group received lots of positive feedback on our presentation and also great tips on how to present better in the future. Overall, I think the supportive nature of the instructors at Mozilla made the class a great experience” - Collaborative Curriculum Alum, Fall 2021

“Working as a team to develop an extension for a Mozilla browser was fun” - Collaborative Curriculum Alum, Fall 2021

“They [presentations] were informative, my favorite being the resume prep, Dave Camp, and the artificial intelligence presentations” - Collaborative Curriculum Alum, Fall 2021

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Centering the experiences of black women

In partnership with the Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM at Spelman College, we applied an intersectional lens to examine Black women’s experiences with technology. These efforts included a speaker series and a student-led research project that addressed how to use education and intersectionality to fight bias.

Spelman College presents: An intersectional exploration on AI mediated microaggressions

In partnership with Spelman College, Mozilla funded a student and faculty-led research team to develop a Black paper focused on Black women’s experiences with AI. The work of this group sought to identify and explore how automated biases create microaggressions that adversely impact the quality of the lives of Black women. The research team led by Dr. Jaye Nias, connected with Mozilla’s Trustworthy AI working group and Mozilla staff mentors for the duration of the project. The research team presented their findings at MozFest 2022.

Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative: Trustworthy AI design thinking challenge

Students from the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative and Mozilla Data Scientists worked together to design and host a design thinking session on Trustworthy AI at MozFest 2022. The session was designed to examine instances of algorithmic injustice and how to work towards operationalizing fairness, transparency, and accountability in machine learning. Participants were invited to explore some of the core tenets for what is considered to be trustworthy and use that knowledge to develop a trustworthy AI scorecard for data-powered products.