Introduction to Wrangling

While Mozilla provides a basic structure, resources, and support, the festival is essentially designed and produced by volunteers — teams of educators, activists, engineers, artists, and researchers who care about the open web and a healthy internet.

Welcome! We’re thrilled you’re interested in becoming a “Wrangler” for the 2023 Mozilla Festival.

Read on for an introduction to Mozilla Festival (aka MozFest) and the Wrangler Role....

MozFest is part art, tech, and society convening, and part maker festival.

It’s the premiere gathering for activists in diverse, global movements fighting for an open, free, and healthier internet, and more trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI). The festival amplifies the positive. We build empowered, inclusive communities; we collaborate to bring agency and accountability to the internet.

For 2023, we continue our focus on Trustworthy AI: how AI technologies can be more private, fair, unbiased, and transparent.

MozFest sessions are community-led, participatory, and action-oriented.

Unlike a typical tech conference, MozFest’s program of sessions is a uniquely welcoming, hands-on, collaborative experience. In workshops, dialogues, and interactive art installations, participants from around the world share diverse perspectives, skills, and knowledge... all with the aim of making the internet a better place to live, love, debate, work, and play.

MozFest is a global virtual convening, welcoming participants from across time zones, cultures, languages, and disciplines.

MozFest went virtual in 2021 and 2022. We made hundreds of workshops, discussions, learning sessions, social events, art and media experiences, and more available to participants from around the world. We’ll continue to deepen our online engagement and expand our reach with another virtual MozFest schedule for Spring 2023 (exact dates TBA).

The only reason this works is because we validate experience and invite people to share. When your aim is to create empathy and understanding, when you’re designing for collective meaning and shared experience, loving outcomes are hard to avoid.

-Gunner, longtime festival co-designer & supporter

people collaborating at mozfest 2018
people collaborating at mozfest 2018

Wranglers are a large, diverse group of contributors who collaborate with a small group of Mozilla staff and others to produce a truly unique event.

Wranglers dedicate time to this project on a weekly basis over a 7 month co-design experience. They are responsible for a number of key, high value deliverables that reflect their vision for MozFest, and the perspectives and priorities of their communities.

I am continuously grateful for the sense of belonging that Wrangler Spaces create at MozFest. You never need to be an expert and it’s okay to learn out loud. If you want a crash course in self-organizing, storytelling, and coalition building, Wrangling is for you.

Meag, Wrangler

At the start of the co-design process, Wranglers brainstorm a set of themes: issues or topics-- or modes of participation--that are most relevant and pressing for them, and their communities. These themes create a structure for the Festival as well as the work. Each wrangler joins a team of three to four other Wranglers to work on their selected theme, curate proposals or experiences for that theme, and assist with their delivery at the festival.

Wranglers are essential movement builders, reaching out to communities far and wide, and learning, sharing, and amplifying open practices.

Wranglers connect and collaborate with each other, and with three groups of other contributors during the co-design experience and the festival itself:

  • Mozilla staff, who help frame and support the Wranglers’ work
  • Facilitators, who respond to and expand on the themes that Wranglers put forward, in submitting to the call for proposals (or CFP)
  • Participants, who bring varied and unexpected ideas, insights, and skills to the event

The co-design process is rooted in Mozilla’s commitment to movement-building and our “open” ethos. As movement builders, we seek to forge new partnerships, invite diverse collaboration, and create structures for mutual support and action.“Open” means sharing decision-making with our communities, and co-creating projects, resources, and convenings that are inviting, accessible, and easily reusable. While the festival takes place just once a year, we see projects evolve, communities grow, and relationships deepen year round.

This “Introduction to Wrangling” resource is designed to help you decide if you’d like to join us on this journey. Read on to learn about the festival itself, our collaborative approach, the work we’ll do together, and the benefits and requirements of Wrangling.

Please note that MozFest Wrangling, and the Festival itself, falls under the MozFest Participation Guidelines.