MozFest Weekend 2018

The highlight of MozFest 2018 was the MozFest Weekend taking place at Ravensbourne University’s award-winning building next to the O2.

Despite some hiccups (e.g, journey delayed on Sunday due to the multiple signal problems on the Jubilee Line which led to a temporary suspension of Jubilee Line), I had lots of fun: physical games, data art installations, workshops, talks and conversations with those who shared the same concerns about internet health.

I had the pleasure of making acquaintance with Mozilla Fellows Sam Muirhead and Darius Kazemi, who both shared their insights into decentralised web with me.

It may be obvious to those savvy techno elites, but I did not know there are protocols other than http and https. Thanks to Sam Muirhead, I now have the Beaker Browser installed in my laptop and can access the dat protocol if I want to. I can also use patchwork to access a decent(ralised) secure gossip platform called ‘scuttlebutt‘.

Darius Kazemi wisely said in his lightning talk that ‘the decentralised web is becoming centralised’ and it’s worrying. Just because people don’t use decentralised social networking tools don’t mean that they are stupid. They may choose not to for various reasons. And decentralisation means more than just building yet-anther-Twitter to replace the current Twitter (or Facebook, you name it). It requires a change of mindset, a change of culture, a understanding of barriers.

Big organisations such as the BBC also engaged in this event, organising tech workshops for young people (e.g., the Micro:bit). For me, it’s particularly refreshing to learn about BBC CAPE, an initiative that aims to create a positive environment and to welcome neurodiversity at workplaces. Leena (@L1L_Hulk) and Sean from Project Cape (@S67Sean) gave a great workshop raising awareness of the importance of diverse talents and needs in the creative industry. You can learn more here.

The Mozilla Foundation has generously sponsored this first ever field trip for Roehampton’s BA (Hons) Digital Media programme. We received subsidized youth tickets and free educators tickets for our staff and students. There was a superb and free creche service on site. A big thank you to the Mozilla Foundation. We are looking forward to the MozFest 2019 already.

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