One of the aspects I enjoy the most about working for And Also Too is the fact that our projects often lead us into meeting new and inspiring allies in cities all across the globe. In April, our studio was invited to participate in MozRetreat, a planning meeting for the annual MozFest conference. Each year, web developers, designers, journalists, artists and community organizers from all over the world gather to discuss the current state of the Internet.
Organized by the Mozilla Foundation, this year’s MozRetreat took place in Tallinn, Estonia, and brought together over 40 participants to tackle on issues of Open Innovation, Digital Inclusion, Decentralization, Web Literacy and Privacy and Security—the leading themes identified on the Internet Health Report as the pillar stones for measuring global successes and lacks towards a more open, diverse and safer Internet.
Against the backdrop of Tallinn’s charming, medieval architecture (and with some delicious Estonian chocolate in my belly!), I joined in the discussion by presenting the Ripple Mapping Tool—a storytelling platform, already five years in the making, aimed at mapping the impact of social justice initiatives through time, and guided by the values and principles of an online culture of consent.
I joined conversations on Privacy & Security, and learned about up to date measures being taken to protect one’s data in online spaces. In turn, I offered up ways to think about these issues in terms of community, and not just about individual protections available to the most tech-savvy users. How can online communities advocate for and help co-design safer spaces for their interactions online?
While these challenges remain, participating in MozRetreat confirmed that it is only when communities have challenging conversations—and in the intercrossing of people’s different expertises and experiences—that answers can be begin to be devised. Undoubtedly, the further we foster spaces for honest, safe and diverse exchanges, the more the ripple effects of our encounters will be felt on our radical imaginations.