Facilitator Guide

The 3 Principles: Participatory, Accessible, Inclusive

MozFest attendees in session with raised hands

At Mozilla Festival, we celebrate the diversity of our global audience, embracing everyone's unique experiences and perspectives. Our goal is to help you craft sessions that encourage open dialogue and collaboration, welcoming contributions from all.

We uphold three core facilitation principles at Mozilla Festival: Participation, Accessibility, and Inclusivity. These principles uplift our dedication to offering interactive and engaging sessions, distinguishing us from traditional conferences. Here, facilitation revolves around collective creativity, with facilitators actively engaging their audience to co-create, reflect shared values, and pursue common goals.

As an open and welcoming event, Mozilla Festival offers the following advice to ensure sessions are participatory, inclusive, and accessible:


To make your session more engaging, consider the following:

  • Is my session designed to be engaging, interactive, and interesting for participants?
  • Can people contribute in various ways to the conversation?
  • What insights do I want to gain/learn from participants?
  • How can I facilitate interaction between participants?

4 Tips to Boost Participation:

  • Extend a warm welcome and get to know participants by planning time for introductions and encouraging them to interact from the beginning of the session.
  • Introduce your expertise mid-session to maintain interest, aiming for short, impactful presentations. Try to speak for fewer than 15 minutes in a 60 minute session.
  • Offer different ways to participate to make it easy for everyone for people to get involved.
  • Conclude with clear next steps and share how participants can learn more about the session topic and where they can find additional resources.

To make your session more accessible, consider the following:

  • Is my session easy to find, attend, and understand?
  • Can individuals with disabilities and neurodiverse participants fully engage?
  • How can I accommodate different learning styles into my session?
  • Are there clear instructions or support I can provide for using any session technology, especially for first-time users?

4 Tips for Accessibility:

  • Use a short, clear title and description that shares what your session is about.
  • Share materials in advance in an accessible format such as, high-contrast black white text files instead of PDF’s.
  • Make resources available post-session for those who could not attend or want to read in their own time.
  • Consider the diverse needs of potential participants to ensure different people who might participate in your session are accommodated.

To make your session more inclusive, consider the following:

  • Is my session welcoming to a diverse audience?
  • Can people participate and express themselves safely without fear?
  • Have I avoided biases or activities that could exclude certain people and groups?

4 Tips for Inclusivity:

  • Opt for universal or cross-cultural references to ensure broad understanding.
  • Provide content warnings and safe space guidelines at the beginning of your session. This helps prepare participants for sensitive content and reinforces the session as a safe space for all.
  • Encourage varied forms of expression by allowing participants to share their thoughts through different mediums (e.g., writing, speaking, visual art). By acknowledging different comfort levels and communication styles, you will enrich the experience and output of people attending your session.
  • Strive for inclusive language by choosing terms like “folks”, “everyone”, or “all” instead of gendered greetings like, “guys”, “ladies and gentlemen” or “global majority” instead of “minority groups” or “the global south”).

Language Inclusivity

Effective communication and collaboration often depend on language. Some ideas are more easily expressed in certain languages so it's vital to embrace multilingualism with empathy and flexibility.

Mozilla Festival is committed to language inclusivity, offering specialised support and encouraging facilitators to explore how you can facilitate language inclusivity beyond translation. Whether through visual aids or interactive methods, please aim to make your session accessible to speakers of various languages whenever possible.

I love that the MozFest community connects me to like-minded people all over the world! It’s so empowering to meet people who live a dozen timezones away, who share my passion for making things better for everyone, and who become my friends and colleagues.

Nate Angell

MozFest 2024 Facilitator, MozFest Virtual Gathering Facilitator