Speaker Series

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Contents

Overview

Mozilla hosts speakers from tech, non-profit and other related industries to address topics tied to our mission, our strategy and to our nearer-term business objectives.

Topic Areas

In 2017, we'll seek topics supporting our 2017 Strategy, working with Mozillians to refine these areas into specific topics:

Speaker Criteria

We prefer speakers who:

  • Have practical hands-on experience in their area of expertise (vs. just academic or consulting)
  • Have significant experience public speaking and/or teaching, as well as in their domain of expertise
  • Are willing to customize their material to Mozilla’s specific needs
  • Motivate audiences to both learn and act (as distinguished from purely inspirational “TED”-like talks)
  • Encompass diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, perspectives and geographies
  • Are recommended by other Mozillians
  • Do not promote a commercial or personal agenda

The speaker(s) share live from a Mozilla office and are publicly streamed to Mozilla's other offices via Air Mozilla and archived for subsequent viewing. We encourage speakers to allot at least 15-20 minutes for Q&A. Typical in-person attendance at each office is 20-30; additionally roughly 100-200 other attendees tune in live remotely. Follow-on views are available to our thousands of community members and the public.

Program Objectives

The objectives of the Mozilla Speaker Series are to:

  • Expose Mozilla staff to outside ideas, practices and technologies
  • Facilitate learning, skill-building and professional development
  • Connect Mozilla to outside influencers

Testimonials

  • "I loved hearing Gry's perspective on how being privacy compliant/having high digital security products are now being used as a business development tool." --October 2017
  • "I learned a lot about the GDPR and this talk clarified the law in a way I hadn't heard before." --October 2017
  • "It's counterintuitive but "non-visual" metrics can be just as useful, if not more so, than visual ones." --September 2017
  • "From a docs standpoint, being able to help people figure out the best way to implement stuff is amazing." --September 2017
  • "Jennifer showed how extraversion/introversion is not a determinant for being a good leader/worker. This is important because a different communication/energy style should not limit your opportunities or what you are considered for." --July 2017
  • "I now understand more about introversion and extraversion and learned very useful tips. I am a manager and this is very helpful for me to have more effective meetings." --July 2017
  • "Tim drove home the history of advertising and how newspapers altered content for financial gain! It's crazy!" --May 2017
  • "In the same way that we've long hit the point of no return with global warming, it is still imperative that we intervene on behalf of the web; we need to mitigate the damage." --May 2017
  • "Adrian's vision of the future and the presentation of the incentives that would cause people to buy these devices was pretty insightful." --May 2017
  • "The talk was entertaining because of the way that it was presented, where a garden path of wonder, highlighting the myriad of useful things with a very subtle undercurrent of what the implications were." --May 2017
  • "These events add real value to me as an employee, and as a citizen of the net." --April 2017
  • "I now have a much better understanding of the controversy surrounding the Snowden leaks and have an idea of what I can do as a private citizen to combat the government's use of mass surveillance." --April 2017
  • "The topic was compelling and the level of expertise of the speaker made the information received very credible and thus easy to find relevant to my work." --April 2017
  • "Today's speaker challenged my expectations of the internet and of corporate behavior and stimulated good office discussion." --March 2017
  • "I dislike most presentations. This was among the best I have ever watched." --March 2017
  • "SUPER INTERESTING talk!!! Glad I had the opportunity to hear Nir speak!" --March 2017
  • "Today's panel helped me focus on the core problem, which is NOT technology but rather what technology is enabling -- people being jerks and why the technology makes it seem to be OK." --February 2017
  • "Diversification of inputs makes design more inclusive and helps avoid problems like being wrongly bucketed in a certain demographic. Interesting modes of UX design include the unintuitive slowing down of user interactions, to prevent hasty life decisions based on a heightened emotional response. This is valuable because it is a well thought out piece of a design process - something that I feel like I can take away!" --February 2017
  • "Laszlo's points were made with enthusiasm, rigor and data. He didn't shy away from the fact the some of the problems are difficult." --January 2017
  • "AWESOME TOPIC AND ELEGANT SPEAKER, well done!!" --January 2017
  • "It's rare for companies to be really good at learning from that failure and being diligent in discussing it. Hearing that part of the talk was really valuable to me. I'll try to make a conscious effort to learn from failure." --November 2016
  • "The concept of reframing failure so others can learn and de-personalizing the sense of responsibility we feel was helpful." --November 2016
  • "Before Harlo's talk, I also hadn't thought much about the role of freelance journalists and the complexities of protecting people and data who don't necessarily have the shelter of large news organizations. I think there are some implications for Mozilla community there." --October 2016
  • "Genevieve showed us how designing data-rich experiences for humans often ignores important nuances and dualities that are present in life." --September 2016
  • "There are human choices built in to the design of our technology systems, and Genevieve provided some examples of this (e.g. turning off mail servers) that I will use." --September 2016
  • "The opportunity to reflect on the unchanging constants of human behaviour and contrast them with the technology-driven product decisions we often make was illuminating." --September 2016
  • "When building the next technologies of services, data sets, etc we need to ask ourselves if it plays into what is meaningful to the human race of family/friends, secrets/lies, community. Or we need to solve the challenges that have plagued us, time/reputation/forgetfulness. This is a great basis for Mozilla to start from when "prototyping the future." --September 2016
  • "The most important thing I learned from Tina was about framing the question, because I often assume that solving the 'function' is solving the problem, when it is not. Zoom out to fall in love with the problem." --July 2016
  • "Kevin was my favorite speaker yet! Thank you! It was very apropos to the direction we're going with Firefox being the 'personal browser.'" --May 2016
  • "Please keep it running as long as possible - it's an excellent forum!" --May 2016
  • "Kirsten was GREAT. I don't think the lessons folks learned as mid-level managers in explosively growing social companies apply to Mozilla. But I do think Wohlberg's lessons apply to us." --April 2016
  • "This series is really great. Focus on Product seems to be the theme and is a much necessary one for us now. Thanks for bringing them. It really helps." --March 2016
  • "April addressed some questions that were particularly apropos to a project I'm working on. It was interesting to see how Slack faced the same problem!" --February 2016
  • "Jocelyn's talk was brilliant. She presented a very insightful and productive way to reframe the conversation about release management. Just what we needed right now. Great choice!" --January 2016
  • "The speaker was very good, had thought-provoking ideas, yet delivered those ideas in a tasteful and relaxed way. I am likely to share and recommend my friends to go watch the video recording later." --December 2015
  • "This speaker was especially relevant and valuable because she provided tangible and actionable information in addition to being thought-provoking." -- October 2015
  • "Seeing speakers like this are really heartening to see at Mozilla. I think it will drive some really impactful change." -- September 2015
  • "Bringing in subject matter experts from the outside help us push our sometimes-bubble-like thinking. It's very easy to get caught up in our own 'laws' and constraints but hearing best practices such as Hitten will help us open our eyes a bit more. I'm excited because his presentation was spot on and hopefully expanded our horizons a bit." -- August 2015
  • "Really learned to think differently about a lot of things and also 'argument' differently when discussing new features or ideas. Always think about the user value, and how what you are working on will hinder or improve the user experience." -- July 2015
  • "This felt like the most interesting speaker so far, perhaps because it was directly relevant to our day-to-day work. He was also quite a good speaker, which helps. Getting people to talk about areas where we think we could do better or use a different perspective seems like a good general strategy." -- July 2015
  • "I love getting an outside perspective from an expert in an area. We spend a lot of time talking to ourselves so that outside perspective is awesome." -- May 2015
  • "The talk was engaging and the Paris employees loved the 'Brantina' idea and felt more a part of the conversation." -- May 2015

Upcoming Speakers

Friday, December 1, 2017: The Power of Virtual Reality and Storytelling with Nonny de la Peña

  • Location: Mozilla Mountain View + Air Mozilla
  • Time: 12:30pm PT / 3:30pm ET
  • Topic:

From the comforts of our couches, we hear about natural disasters, wars and genocides. This discordance between actual events and our own personal experience leads to an empathy gap.

But advances in technology - specifically, immersive technology like Virtual and Augmented Reality - makes it possible to learn of these types of events in unprecedented ways: we can actually experience them.

Inspired by World War II investigative journalist Martha Gellhorn’s desire to present an authentic, “on the ground” view of world events, Nonny de la Peña founded Emblematic Group ten years ago to develop socially impactful virtual reality content with an emphasis on linear storytelling. The poignant social topics she’s addressed include hunger, incarceration, sexuality and immigration (partial list).

As the world becomes increasingly global and our online and offline lives increasingly integrated, it’s critical to convey stories that create empathy and preserve our humanity, and we’ll hear how Nonny is doing this, and what opportunities this technology offers to tell better stories.

Nonny de la Peña was selected by Wired Magazine as a #MakeTechHuman Agent of Change and has been called “The Godmother of Virtual Reality” by Engadget and The Guardian. Additionally, Fast Company named her “One of the People Who Made the World More Creative.” for her pioneering work in immersive storytelling.

As CEO of Emblematic Group, a digital reality media company, Nonny uses cutting edge technologies to tell stories that create intense, empathic engagement on the part of viewers. Emblematic is also pushing the envelope with branded content, and an experiential volumetric search platform. From positional goggles to hand controllers, Emblematic has constantly innovated in this field.

A Yale Poynter Media Fellow and a former correspondent for Newsweek, de la Peña is widely credited with creating the genre of immersive journalism and her virtual reality work has been featured by the New York Times, BBC, Mashable, Vice, Wired and many others. Showcases around the globe include the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals, The World Economic Forum in Davos, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and Games For Change. She has more than 20 years of award-winning experience in print, film and TV and has used her broad knowledge to innovate in this burgeoning field, and her spatial narratives are regularly met with critical acclaim.

  • Questions:
    • During the event join us on IRC #AirMozilla Slack #speaker-series
  • Hashtag: #MozillaSpeakers

Tuesday, 5 December, 2017: When an Online Community Hits the Big Time, with Col Needham

  • Location: Mozilla London + Air Mozilla
  • Time: 10am PT / 1pm ET / 5pm UT / 6pm BST
  • Topic:

Col Needham loves movies. So much so that he wanted others to be able to learn about movies, so in 1990 he published a series of scripts to search a lists of credits collected by a USENET group. Moonlighting while working for Hewlett-Packard during the day, Needham assembled a community from around the world to build what grew into one the most popular movie sites, IMDb.

Popular enough that, in 1998, Amazon purchased IMDb and the site now attracts over 250 million unique visitors each month on the web and its mobile app.

In December, Col will come to Mozilla’s London office to share how he built up a part-time hobby with several unknown volunteers around the world into being one of the foremost expert movie sites. What worked well? What did he change along the way?

Col will also talk about how working on a community site in 1990 was different from how IMDb operates today, and will share lessons for those of us working with global communities to build consumer products today.

Col Needham is the founder and CEO of IMDb, one of the world’s top movie websites. Born and living in the UK, Col has had a lifelong interest in both technology and movies. After starting a computer games software business at the age of 14, he went on to complete a computer science degree at Leeds University before commencing a career in technology research in Bristol, England.

IMDb grew out of a personal database of movie information (which Col created as a teenager) combined with similar data collected on the Internet in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Col published the first version of IMDb online in October 1990 and co-ordinated IMDb as a worldwide volunteer effort from 1990-1996. IMDb incorporated in January 1996 with the volunteers as shareholders and IMDb became a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon.com in April 1998. Col continues in his original role to this day, working from an office in Bristol with IMDb staff members in countries around the world.

  • Questions:
    • During the event join us on IRC #AirMozilla Slack #speaker-series
  • Hashtag: #MozillaSpeakers

Thursday, 25 January, 2018: Net Neutrality in Europe: What’s Next? With Thomas Lohninger

  • Location: Mozilla Berlin + Air Mozilla
  • Time: 10:00am PT / 19:00pm CET
  • Topic:

Net neutrality: the notion that all data on the Internet should be treated the same, without discrimination or differential pricing -- is at risk in the United States but protected by law in Europe. But is it really being enforced?

Our January speaker Thomas Lohninger calls for citizens and technologists to join forces to make sure regulators enforce net neutrality as telcos and cable providers are not doing it on their own.

Thomas will share what the EU is doing: who are the decisionmakers, what is their process, what influences them, what has happened to date and what can we expect in the near future.

He’ll also share key differences among the EU and the U.S. - not only legally, but culturally, politically and institutionally - and how these will impact the future of the Web, for all of us.

Thomas Lohninger is a digital rights advocate in Europe mainly focused on net neutrality and surveillance. Together with the SaveTheInternet.eu campaign, he coordinated the civil society efforts to push pro net neutrality safeguards within the European telecom single market regulation. He is an expert in the field of net neutrality and worked as Policy Analyst for European Digital Rights. His current employment as executive director is with the Austrian privacy NGO Working Group on Data Retention where he fights state surveillance and develops scientific concepts for surveillance footprint evaluation to asses the danger or surveillance to fundamental rights.

He has a degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology, used to work as a system administrator and programmer for eight years, works since 2012 as a trainer for cyber security and has done several podcasts and radio shows in the past.

  • Questions:
    • During the event join us on IRC #AirMozilla Slack #speaker-series
  • Hashtag: #MozillaSpeakers

Wednesday, January 31, 2018: Open by Design: How NASA Innovates to Take on the Universe, with Steven Rader

  • Location: Mozilla San Francisco + Air Mozilla
  • Time: 10am PT / 1pm ET / 5pm UT / 6pm BST
  • Topic:

In 2007, the Space Life Sciences group at U.S.-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) crafted a strategy: it would go “outside” its own walls to build a balanced research & development portfolio.

Or put another way: NASA adopted an open innovation strategy for human space flights, refining its research and technology problems into challenge statements open to a variety of disciplines and technical backgrounds beyond NASA. They’re working with their staff to better define (and own) business and technology problems and connect with various communities (some commercial, some not) to improve solutions.

As Mozilla rethinks how we do open, thinking strategically about how we work with contributors and others throughout the product lifecycle (and sharing some of our approaches, well, openly), we thought it would be good to take a look at how NASA engineers use open innovation as an valuable tool.

On January 31, we’ll hear from Steve Rader, the Deputy Manager for NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI). We’ll learn how a large, bureaucratic organization tasked with the wildest innovation goals became more nimble and innovative by identifying and effectively working with outside collaborators, and what lessons might apply to us as we innovate in the open at Mozilla.

Steve Rader currently serves as the Deputy Manager of NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI), which is working to infuse challenge and crowdsourcing innovation approaches at NASA and across the federal government. CoECI focuses on the study and use of curated, crowd-sourcing communities that utilize prize and challenge based methods to deliver innovative solutions for NASA and the US government.

Steve has a Mechanical Engineering degree from Rice University and has worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX for 25 years. He started his career as an environmental control and life support systems flight controller for Space Station Operations. He moved into flight software engineering where he developed delay tolerant communications software for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station as wells as ground and flight command & control systems for the X-38 emergency crew return vehicle.

Steve led the development of NASA’s Constellation Program’s interoperable Command, Control, Communications & Information (C3I) architecture. After the Constellation program, Mr. Rader supported the Mars design reference mission definition and a number of analog missions studying space mission operations and design.

Steve began studying crowdsourcing communities in 2011 and joined the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation as the deputy manager in 2013.

  • Questions:
    • During the event join us on IRC #AirMozilla Slack #speaker-series
  • Hashtag: #MozillaSpeakers

Previous Speakers

Wednesday, 18 October 2017: Privacy as a Competitive Advantage with Gry Hasselbalch

  • Location: Mozilla Paris + Air Mozilla
  • Time: Noon GMT / 2pm CET
  • Topic:

Discussions of privacy are often framed in terms of struggling against those who threaten it: governments, corporations or other authorities. But it’s not just an ‘activist’ fight to make the case for privacy: it’s just better business.

Today it’s a competitive edge for companies to respect user privacy and their right to control their own data. The organizations who view data ethics as a social responsibility - who place similar importance on data as they do environmental awareness and respect for human rights - will win in the market.

Data ethics expert Gry Hasselbalch will share both broad industry trends as well as specific case studies of companies employing data ethics. She’ll also show how citizens and consumers are no longer just concerned about lack of control over their data, but are starting to act - demonstrating the importance of digital trust to growth and prosperity. She’ll also explore how new business models, advances in technology and a new European data protection regulation support a growing market for data-ethical products and services.

Gry is an expert on data ethics and the social implications of technologies. She is co-founder of the ThinkDoTank DataEthics and co-author of the book Data Ethics – The New Competitive Advantage (Hasselbalch, Tranberg, 2016).

Gry serves as independent expert for the European Commission’s Horizon2020 and the European Research Council ERC and previously worked in the pan-EU network Insafe raising awareness on youth and tech. She started the ’privacy as innovation’ series of debates and network at the UN Internet Governance Forum and has authored several studies, articles and reports on digital challenges and citizen awareness.

She is a contributor to TechCrunch, Dailydot and OpenDemocracy and is a long term member of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems. Her work is hosted at Mediamocracy and gryhasselbalch.com.

  • Questions:
    • During the event join us on IRC #AirMozilla Slack #speaker-series
  • Hashtag: #MozillaSpeakers

Thursday, 14 September 2017: Measuring the Subjective: The Performance Dashboard with Estelle Weyl

Firefox 57: a new look, a new engine. And fast. Because performance is critical.

But what does that mean? While performance is often seen a table stakes for software - it must be the best, and must continually improve - amazingly, no objective universal metric for performance exists.

In fact, performance varies quite a bit depending on the site, the environment and yes, the user. And users don’t check your performance metrics. Instead, they perceive how fast your site or app is. So what metrics currently exist that best reflect human perception?

Drawing on results from a speed perception study and years of teaching & following web development best practices, Estelle Weyl will help us craft a useful definition of performance, unpack the difference between Speed Performance and Perceived Speed Performance, and show how we can leverage available performance tools to improve the user experience, ultimately getting the best ROI of our performance efforts.

Estelle Weyl is an Open Web and performance evangelist, most recently at Instart Logic. A web developer, trainer, author, blogger and speaker, she has consulted for Kodak Gallery, SurveyMonkey, Samsung, Yahoo, Visa, and Apple, among others. While not coding, Estelle works in construction, dehippifying her 1960s throwback abode.

  • Questions:
    • During the event join us in the #speaker-series Slack & on IRC #AirMozilla; direct questions to @diane
  • Hashtag: #MozillaSpeakers

Thursday, 20 July 2017: Working Across Personality Types: The Introvert-Extravert Survival Guide with Jennifer Selby-Long

If I attend that event, I'll have to talk to people. All. Day.

Over the past year nearly half of Mozilla staff have used the Insights Discovery tool to better learn about their individual personality temperaments, and to be more effective on their teams.

But can these tests really help us? What’s the real science behind them? Can they be abused? Or are there ways they can help us work together better?

On July 20, Jennifer Selby Long, an expert in the ethical use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), will lead us in an interactive session on this material. She’ll help us explore these frameworks and the science behind them, with a focus specifically on their Introversion / Extraversion dimensions and workplace collaboration.

Importantly, we’ll make it personal, rolling up our sleeves with some exercises to help us explore how our (and our team’s) MBTI preferences can help us work together better, regardless of job description, culture, or demographics.

Jennifer Selby Long is an executive coach, management consultant, and MBTI® expert who helps technology leaders navigate the challenges of seismic change to achieve their highest potential. She also advises on the impact of personality and gender on financial behavior.

Jennifer is the past president of the Association for Psychological Type. She has been quoted by business and technology writers in the Fast Company, Information World, Dice.com, Univision, and the Bulletin of Psychological Type.

She is an award-winning business writer and the author of Traveling Light, a blog helping leaders skyrocket their impact and lighten the load in their lives.

  • Questions:
    • During the event join us on IRC #AirMozilla and direct questions to @diane
  • Hashtag: #MozillaSpeakers

Tuesday, 13 June 2017: Selling Your Attention: The Web and Advertising with Tim Wu

You don’t need cash to search Google or to use Facebook, but they’re not free. We pay for these services with our attention and with our data.

While advertising-supported media was once confined to a small part of our lives like newspapers and radio, our work and lives are increasingly online and ads take the front row in our daily lives. This business model can have a democratizing effect: it makes products and information accessible to many more people, who might otherwise be priced out. But it also means that the main audience for these companies is not you - the person using their services - but rather, advertisers who keep the lights on.

History is punctuated by acts of refusal and outright revolt against this model, from the invention of the remote control, to the more recent rise of cord-cutting and ad-blocking software. Yet, whenever the attention merchants have seemed to lose their charm, they’ve always found a way to reinvent themselves and to recapture us.

What does this mean for the future of the open Internet? What can we, as Mozillians who ourselves live largely off of advertising revenues today, do? This is especially relevant to Mozilla, as we consider different ways we could shift ourselves and the web industry from being overwhelmingly advertising-supported.

Join us for a conversation with Tim Wu, historian, policy advocate and professor who coined the term “net neutrality," as he traces the history of the dynamics between advertisers, media and audiences, and calls on us to reevaluate what we are getting (or giving up) in exchange for our attention, especially in today’s always-on Internet.

Tim Wu is an author, policy advocate, and professor at Columbia Law School who coined the term "net neutrality." Wu's best known work is the development of Net Neutrality theory, but he also writes about private power, free speech, copyright, and antitrust. His books The Master Switch and The Attention Merchants have won wide recognition and awards.

Wu has worked in academia, federal and state governments. He worked at the White House for the National Economic Council; at the Federal Trade Commission, for the New York Attorney General’ as a fellow at Google, and for Riverstone Networks in the telecommunications industry. He was a law clerk for Judge Richard Posner and Justice Stephen Breyer. He graduated from McGill University (B.Sc.), and Harvard Law School.

Wu is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and was formerly a contributing writer at NewYorker.com and contributing editor at the New Republic. He has been named to the Politico 50 twice, to America’s 100 most influential lawyers, and also won awards from Scientific American magazine, National Law Journal, 02138 Magazine. He has twice won the Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing and in 2017 he was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

  • Questions:
    • During the event join us live on (1) IRC #AirMozilla and (2) Slack #speaker-series - be sure to direct questions to @samb
    • Hashtag: #MozillaSpeakers

Wednesday, 10 May 2017: When Surveillance Goes Private: A 2027 Retrospective from Adrian Hon

It’s 2027. In the UK, 8 out of 10 homes host a range of microphones, cameras and motion detectors. They help users secure their homes, find lost items, assist with cleaning, keep an eye out for accidents and falls, and a hundred other everyday tasks. They're integrated so seamlessly into daily life that they're considered indispensable – and they're cheap.

Of course, consumption habits ranging from entertainment, clothing and food are not only known, but anticipated by intelligent systems. These habits are also owned, captured, analyzed and used by the corporations that run them.

Interestingly, just a few decades ago in the 1990s, the UK’s introduction of Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) met with significant public outcry over concerns of privacy abuses. Yet now, less than half a century later, we’ve not only abandoned such talks: we’ve opted in to 24/7 surveillance of our homes.

In our May 10 “future retrospective,” we’ll look at how we - in 2027 - became so collectively compliant to others owning data about our personal habits and lives. What factors led to us to give so much of our lives to corporations, with so little transparency or accountability? Why were we more open to private surveillance than public surveillance? And when we return to 2017, what can we learn from this evolution to map a different future?

Adrian Hon is CEO and founder at Six to Start, co-creators of the most successful smartphone fitness game in the world, Zombies, Run!. The game has won awards for its stories and storylike games, and the team’s work has been displayed at the MOMA and Design Museum in London.

He’s the author of A History of the Future in 100 Objects, and he used to write about technology for The Telegraph.

Previously, Adrian was Executive Producer and Director of Play at Mind Candy from 2004 to 2007, where he designed and produced the Perplex City alternate reality game (ARG). Adrian’s interest in ARGs began with the genre itself in 2001, when as a moderator for the Cloudmakers community for ‘The Beast’ (an ARG for Steven Spielberg’s A.I.), he wrote a detailed walkthrough for the game, called ‘The Guide.'

During that time, Adrian studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge, specialising in experimental psychology and neuroscience. In 2003, he began a neuroscience DPhil at Oxford, but left after a year to join Mind Candy.

Adrian has also spoken at the main TED conference in Monterey in 2001 (about the human colonisation of Mars), as well as various SXSW, GDC, Economist, and other such tech and gaming conferences.

  • Questions:
    • During the event join us on IRC #AirMozilla and direct questions to @diane
  • Hashtag: #MozillaSpeakers

Wednesday, April 26, 2017: American Spies: Jennifer Granick on U.S. Surveillance and its Global Implications

  • Location: Mozilla San Francisco + Air Mozilla
  • Presentation
  • Transcript
  • Time: 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm UT
  • Topic: American Spies: U.S. Surveillance and its Global Implications

Intelligence agencies in the U.S. (aka the American Spies) are exceedingly aggressive, pushing and sometimes bursting through the technological, legal and political boundaries of lawful surveillance.

Because surveillance law has fallen behind surveillance technology, the U.S. government has unprecedented new powers. At our April Speaker Series, Jennifer Granick will address how Cold War programs led by J. Edgar Hoover and initiatives sparked by the September 11, 2001 tragedy have led us to today’s fusion centers and mosque infiltrators. She will also show how our current state of mass surveillance is fundamentally incompatible with a healthy democracy.

A teacher, practitioner and expert in surveillance and security law, Granick will share how the reality of modern surveillance in the U.S. differs from popular understanding, and what U.S. - and global - citizens can do to minimize its negative impact both for Americans and non-Americans around the world.

Jennifer Stisa Granick is the Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society (CIS) and author of American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What To Do About It (2017).

From 2001 to 2007, Granick was Executive Director of CIS and taught Cyberlaw, Computer Crime Law, Internet intermediary liability, and Internet law and policy. From 2007 to 2010 she served as the Civil Liberties Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Granick practices, speaks, and writes about computer crime and security, electronic surveillance, security vulnerability disclosure, encryption policy, and the Fourth Amendment. In March of 2016, she received Duo Security’s Women in Security Academic Award for her expertise in the field as well as her direction and guidance for young women in the security industry. Before teaching at Stanford, Granick spent almost a decade practicing criminal defense law in California.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017: Building Habit-Forming Products with Nir Eyal

  • Location: Mozilla San Francisco + Air Mozilla
  • Time: 10am PT / 1pm ET / 5pm UT
  • Topic: Building Habit-Forming Products

Hundreds of millions of people use Firefox every day. But they don’t have to. They can - very easily - switch to another browser. But we know Firefox rocks and we want them to use it.

Enter habits. Those human behaviors that become regular, ongoing actions that don’t require thought or intention. Or, per Merriam-Webster, “an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.”

Creating software that is habit-forming entails tapping into key human psychological drivers such as rewards, social validation and personal fulfillment. These drivers are at the foundation of developing experiences that drive product growth. Perhaps the biggest benefit is to software makers is significantly lower costs to acquire and maintain active users.

But what about the user? Is it manipulative to create habits for people so they can use your products without giving it a conscious thought? To “get in their heads” to ensure they use our software? Do we want people to use our products involuntarily?

Nir Eyal has built and invested in products reaching hundreds of millions of users including AdNectar, Product Hunt and EventBrite. He’ll draw on core psychological tenets to show how we can create products for users that are habit-forming. And he’ll show us how we can do this in a way that we feel good about - to “build the change we see.”

For most of his career Nir worked in the video gaming and advertising industries where he learned, applied (and at times rejected) the techniques used to motivate and manipulate users. He writes to help companies create behaviors that benefit their users, while educating people on how to build healthful habits in their own lives.

As an active angel investor Nir makes it personal, investing his own funds in habit-forming products he believes improves lives. His past investments include Eventbrite, Product Hunt, Refresh.io (acquired by LinkedIn), Worklife (acquired by Cisco), Marco Polo, Presence Learning, 7 Cups, Pana, and Symphony Commerce.

Nir is the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Design School. He’s sold two technology companies since 2003 and now helps teams design more engaging products.

Nir talks of his advanced degree from the The School of Hard Knocks, but also received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

  • Host: Chris More
  • Questions:
    • During the event join us on IRC #AirMozilla and direct questions to @diane
  • Hashtag: #MozillaSpeakers

Wednesday, February 22, 2017: Inclusive Design: The Intersection of Product and Behavior (Panel Discussion)

  • Location: Mozilla San Francisco + Air Mozilla
  • Time: 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm UT
  • Topic: Inclusive Design: The Intersection of Product and Behavior (Panel Discussion)

The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible. Its effectiveness as a public resource depends upon decentralized participation worldwide. — Excerpt, Mozilla Manifesto

Mozilla cares not only about a functioning web, but a healthy one; a web where all people can both access and participate, resulting in an Internet that reflects the broad the diversity of its users.

But the Internet isn’t always like this.

Sometimes it's a place where groups of people are excluded. When Airbnb hosts deny service to guests based on their race, the web is no longer accessible. When neighbors make destructive assumptions based on race on local community site Nextdoor, or Twitter conversations devolve into trolling, the web is no longer a place of constructive participation.

These companies want to make the web better too. Approaches include hashtag viewing controls on Twitter & filters for abusive comments on Instagram; Airbnb’s Instant Book that prevents harmful stereotyping; and Nextdoor’s reporting system designed to create more thoughtfulness around neighborhood conversations.

Mozilla builds products and platforms directly for developers, communities and publishers worldwide. How can we create and sustain experiences that are open, accessible and participatory? And what measures of success can we advocate to support positive experiences for users, communities and publishers?

At our Speaker Series panel, we’ll address these questions with product leaders representing consumer, developer, business and gaming audiences as part of a conversation around "ethical design” with community, product and engineering professionals charting new territory in this area.

  • Panelists:
    • Angel Steger (Product Design Lead, Pinterest) is an entrepreneur and product designer developing award-winning products that empower people to get things done. Passionate about complex problems and human behavior, she’s worked in spaces as varied as genetic research, relationship management, and language learning. She currently leads the User State Machine team at Pinterest. On the side, you’ll find her practicing yoga, exploring food in SF, and gardening.
    • Randi Lee Harper (Founder, Online Abuse Prevention Initiative). Randi is founded the Online Abuse Prevention Initiative to fight harassment with technical solutions. This includes the Good Game Auto Blocker tool, built after a long career in tech (KIXEYE, Amazon, IronPort Systems). While Randi believes long term solutions involves cultural changes, but until that happens we can work develop shorter-term solutions to help targets of harassment. Current interests include tracking the way that certain communities interact, and helping define predictive behavior for outbreaks of online abuse.
    • Moderator & Host: Andrew Losowsky, Lead, Mozilla Coral Project. Andrew has turned a street into a museum, a volcano into a magazine, and academic research into a life-sized board game. A John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 2013, he now runs Mozilla’s Coral Project, which helps news organizations build better communities around their work. Because journalism needs everyone.
  • Questions:
    • During the event join us on IRC #AirMozilla and direct questions to @diane
  • Hashtag: #InclusiveDesign + #MozillaSpeakers

Wednesday, January 18, 2017: Data and People: A Discussion with Laszlo Bock, Sr Advisor and former SVP of People Operations, Google

  • Location: Mozilla Mountain View + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Wednesday, January 18 @ 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET / 6:00pm UTC
  • Topic: Data and People: A Discussion with Google’s former SVP of People Operations Laszlo Bock

When Google’s head of People came out with the bestselling book Work Rules! last year, he debunked many myths. Adopting an experiments-based approach with their people, his team was able to gather data challenging commonly accepted assumptions about hiring, compensation, performance evaluations, training and more.

For example, in 2010 Google's research showed that junior, female software engineers were not getting promoted at the same rate as their male counterparts. Digging deeper, the team discovered differing self-nomination rates. Men, who in many cultures are typically more comfortable self-promoting, were nominating themselves at higher rates than their equally qualified but, on average, less self-promoting female peers.

To address this, a senior leader shared the data with Googlers and encouraged all engineers to self-nominate when ready, and told managers to keep their eyes open for promo-ready Googlers. Eventually, promotion rates equaled out.

Of course, Google isn’t Mozilla. For one thing, Google has over 60,000 staff in over 70 offices in 40 countries around the world. But the work and findings from Google - whose staff typically provide statistically-significant and rich data sets - can be useful references as we strive to create a Mozilla that is diverse, innovative and, at our core, puts people first.

On January 18, Mozilla's Larissa Shapiro will interview Laszlo. She’ll dig deeper into the approaches and learnings Google has taken with people and data, and help us uncover how these types of approaches apply to the science and art of people management at mozilla.

  • Speaker:

From 2006 to 2016, Laszlo Bock served as SVP of People Operations, leading Google's people function responsible for attracting, developing, retaining, and delighting "Googlers.” He believes that giving people freedom and supplementing our instincts with hard science are steps on the path to making work meaningful and people happy.

During Bock's tenure, Google was named the Best Company to Work more than 30 times around the world and received over 100 awards as an employer of choice. In 2010, Laszlo was named "Human Resources Executive of the Year" by HR Executive Magazine.

He is the author of "WORK RULES! Insights from Inside Google to Transform How You Live and Lead," which has been named one of the top 15 business books of 2015. He has testified before Congress on immigration reform and labor issues and been featured in The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the PBS Newshour and on the Today Show.

Bock's earlier experience spans executive roles at the General Electric Company, management consulting at McKinsey & Company, start-ups, non-profits, and acting. He (briefly) held the world record for Greek Syrtaki dance (along with 1,620 others).

* Note: Laszlo dedicates all proceeds of his book to charities relating to education and veterans, the former mainly focused on giving disadvantaged kids better access e.g. Peninsula Bridge.
  • Host: Larissa Shapiro
  • Questions:
    • In advance submit questions here
    • During the event join us on IRC #AirMozilla and direct questions to @diane
  • Hashtag: #mozSS
  • Transcript

November 16: Failure: The Hard Part about Innovation, with Ashley Good, Fail Forward

  • Location: Mozilla SF + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Wednesday, November 16 @ 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET / 5:00pm UTC
  • Topic: Failure: The Hard Part about Innovation

When you start a new job or project, you envision exciting things you and your team will accomplish together. When you do your planning, you state what you'll achieve and measure those achievements. And when you are rewarded, it's typically for a job "well done.”

Why even set goals, objectives or KPIs if you aren’t planning on succeeding?

Because the best, most innovative organizations do more than set and achieve goals. They also fail. Failure is actually a by-product of innovation. It's the "risk" element of the "risk - reward” equation. Cue the emergence of global failure events and meet ups.

As humans conditioned to win and succeed since birth, navigating how to “fail well" is hardly intuitive. What constitutes a "good failure"? And at what point do you decide you’ve failed, rather than persevere? Or change your direction e.g. the notorious ‘pivot’? In a world where success is rewarded and everyone is in the game to “win,” what does it mean to “fail well”?

At our November speaker series, we will explore how Mozilla can be a place where failure is not minimized, denied, or shunned, but instead treated as a valuable source of learning and insight to set us up for future successes.

Specifically, Ashley Good of Fail Forward will get us started with very practical insights into how we can:

  • Craft a language of failure
  • Communicate failure for learning
  • Develop the gift of feedback

  • Speaker:

Working in Cairo with the United Nations Environment Programme and as a management consultant in Vancouver, Ashley Good saw how fear of failure inhibits innovation, adaptation, and performance. In response, she launched Fail Forward to spark a shift in how we perceive and talk about failure, and to help organizations learn, innovate and build resilience.

Since 2010 Ashley has worked with organizations – from grantmakers and nonprofits to government and private sector companies – to use failure as a learning tool and culture driver to support and foster innovation. She is well known for building the Organizational Learning Team at Engineers Without Borders Canada, and she continues to lead their annual Failure Report.

Ashley is a contributor to the Globe and Mail Leadership Lab, Public Sector Digest, and World Economic Forum Agenda. Her work has received coverage in a wide range of media and news outlets, including National Post, The Globe and Mail, CBC Radio and Television, The New York Times, and Fast Company.

She is recognized by Harvard Business Review and McKinsey as the recipient of the Innovating Innovation Award, hosted Canada’s first ever conference dedicated to intelligent failure, and is a half-ironman triathlete. She earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia with honours.

  • Mozilla Host: George Roter
  • Deck
  • Questions: Submit questions during the event on IRC #AirMozilla.
  • Hashtag: #mozSS

October 12: Metadata is the new data... and why that (really) matters, with Harlo Holmes, Freedom of the Press Foundation

  • Location: Mozilla Toronto + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Wednesday, October 12 @ 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET / 5:00pm UTC
  • Topic: Metadata is the new data ... and why that (really) matters

Maybe it’s when the person you had a bad date with on Tinder shows up in your “people you may know” feed in Facebook. Or when you accept the default settings on your Android phone and share all of your transit habits with Google. Those moments might lead you to suspect considerable information about you and your behavior (aka “metadata”) is being harvested, shared and saved.

But you had no reason to predict that. Nobody told you what was being gathered, or who it was being shared with. Or maybe they did, in a long, detailed unread terms of service. Today’s proliferation of mobile devices and platforms such as Google and Facebook has exacerbated this extensive, prolific sharing about users and their behaviors in ways most do not understand.

Announcements about Facebook encrypting Messenger and WhatsApp appear to be encouraging ways of protecting your data... but they belie a different story of splintered approaches to metadata collection and silos among major platform providers. Similar disparities exist among how browsers treat metadata. So while the actual content of our messages may be encrypted, dangerous legal, financial, political and even medical implications to metadata remain. The impact of information about what you do (and when you do it) has yet to be explored or defined, let alone systematized.

Fortunately mozilla is in a position to advocate for practices and policies that serve users first. We’ll hear specifically how from Harlo Holmes, Director of Newsroom Digital Security for the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

  • Speaker: Harlo is the Director of Newsroom Digital Security at the Freedom of the Press Foundation. She strives to help individual journalists in various media organizations become confident and effective in securing their communications within their newsrooms, with their sources, and with the public at large. She is a media scholar, software programmer, and activist; and contributes to the open source mobile security collective The Guardian Project. She has helped journalists use tools to preserve their privacy and do their jobs better; is a member of Deep Lab, a collaborative group of cyberfeminist researchers, artists, writers, engineers, and more addressing issues such as privacy, surveillance, code and art; and was a Mozilla Knight Open News Fellow in 2014.

September 1: Being Human in a Data-Filled World with Genevieve Bell, Intel

  • Location: Mozilla Portland + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Thursday, September 1 @ 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET / 5:00pm UTC
  • Topic: Being Human in a Data-Filled World

In May, Kevin Kelly shared the possibilities that technology will offer us over the next 30 years. Not addressed were some of the unintended consequences of this progress. Facebook Live, Snapchat and Pokemon Go provide a few examples of how tech is outpacing our ability to socially (and legally) master it. Innovation unchecked can pose serious challenges to our very humanity. Best practices for user research and focusing on specific use cases have limited impact on our ability to shape the future we want.

Dr. Genevieve Bell is responsible for corporate sensing and insights at Intel. She leads a cross-discipline foresights community that delivers insights into significant societal, technical and global trends. At Mozilla she’ll deliver what she terms “more of a meditation and conversation than a talk” on what it means to proactively preserve our humanity in a world that is increasingly digital.

This sounds high level but it's also practical: we’ll learn about five things that don’t change and five things that do, and how paying close attention to them will help us be successful.

  • Speaker:

An accomplished anthropologist and researcher, Genevieve Bell joined Intel in 1998. During that time, she has helped drive Intel’s focus on user experiences and led various teams of social scientists and designers. She has been granted a number of patents for consumer electronics innovations throughout her career, with additional patents in the user experience space. She is the author of numerous journal papers and articles. She was named an Intel Fellow in 2008, a vice president in 2013 and a Senior Fellow in 2016.

In addition to her position at Intel, Bell is a highly regarded industry expert and frequent commentator on the intersection of culture and technology. She has been featured in publications such as Wired, Forbes, The Atlantic, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. She is also a sought-after public speaker and panelist at technology conferences worldwide for the insights she has gained from extensive international field work and research.

  • Mozillian Host: Dietrich Ayala
  • Deck
  • Questions: Submit questions during the event on IRC #AirMozilla.
  • Hashtag: #mozSS

July 20, 2016: The Invention Cycle with Tina Seelig, Stanford University

  • Location: Mozilla MV + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Wednesday, July 20 @ 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET / 6:00pm UTC
  • Topic: The Invention Cycle: Going From Inspiration to Implementation

Are you stuck on where to go with your product and need an infusion of creativity? Do you struggle with brainstorming new ideas? Coming up with new solutions?

Bringing fresh ideas to life and ultimately to market is not a well charted course. In July, our guest Tina Seelig will share a new model, the Invention Cycle, that taps into our innate capabilities of imagination and creativity to help us innovate better. Tina’s framework captures the attitudes and actions necessary to foster innovation and to bring breakthrough ideas to the world.

We’ll learn:

    - Crisp definitions for imagination, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship
    - Clear roadmap for progressing from the seed of an idea through implementation
    - Concrete attitudes and actions needed to bring ideas to fruition

We’ll also be joined by a group of mozillians(1) who recently spent a half day working with Tina; they'll share how these learnings have translated directly into their roles at mozilla.

(1) David Bialer, David Bryant, Greg Jost, Jean Gong, Jet Villegas, Martin Best, Rosana Ardila, Tim Murray, Jen Bertsch and Rina Jensen

  • Speaker:

Tina Seelig is passionate about creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. As Professor of the Practice in the department of Management Science and Engineering, faculty director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, and a founding member of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) at Stanford's School of Engineering, she works with others who embrace the idea that entrepreneurs do much more than imaginable with much less than seems possible.

After earning her Ph.D. from Stanford University Medical School in Neuroscience, Tina has worked as a management consultant, multimedia producer, and was the founder of a multimedia company. She’s also written 17 books and educational games, including The Epicurean Laboratory and Incredible Edible Science, published by Scientific American; and a series of card games, called Games for Your Brain, published by Chronicle Books. Her newest books, published by HarperCollins are What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 (2009), inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity (2012), and Insight Out (2015).

She’s been honored to receive significant recognition of her work, including the Gordon Prize from the National Academy of Engineering, the National Olympus Innovation Award, the SVForum Visionary Award, and several university teaching awards.

  • Host: Rina Jensen
  • Questions: Submit questions during the event on IRC #AirMozilla.
  • Hashtag: #mozSS
  • Deck materials also in this post

May 26, 2016: Twelve Technology Forces Shaping the Next 30 Years with Kevin Kelly, Wired

  • Location: Mozilla SF + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Thursday, May 26 @ Mozilla SF - 10:30am PT / 1:30pm ET / 6:30pm UTC
  • Topic: Twelve Technology Forces Shaping the Next 30 Years

Much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends already in motion. Wired founder Kevin Kelly has an optimistic roadmap for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives—from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to artificial intelligence embedded in everything we manufacture—can be understood as the result of a few long-term, accelerating forces.

These deep trends—flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking, and questioning—overlap and are codependent on one another. And they will completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate. By understanding and embracing them, it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits.

Join us as mozilla's John Jensen interviews Kevin on these trends: what exactly are they, how are they playing out in our world, and what can we do as technologists ourselves to ensure they contribute to the future we want.

  • Speaker:

Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor for its first seven years. His new book for Viking/Penguin The Inevitable will be released in early June 2016. He is also founding editor and co-publisher of the popular Cool Tools website, which has been reviewing tools daily since 2003.

From 1984-1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers’ Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. His books include the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy; the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control; a graphic novel about robots and angels, The Silver Cord; an oversize catalog of the best of Cool Tools; and his summary theory of technology in What Technology Wants (2010).

  • Host Interviewer: John Jensen
  • Questions: Submit questions for Kevin & John during the event on IRC #AirMozilla.
  • Hashtag: #mozSS #theinevitable

April 27, 2016: When Change is the Only Constant, with Kirsten Wolberg, PayPal

  • Location: Mozilla SF + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Wednesday, April 27 @ Mozilla SF - 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET / 6:00pm UTC
  • Topic: When Change is the Only Constant, Org Structure Doesn’t Matter

While it may be true in tech that “change is the only constant,” some changes are bigger than others.

Things like…deciding to develop an OS as well as a browser. And an app. Focusing on devices beyond phones. Changing our approach to advertising and content. Instilling an entire culture of experimentation and measurement across functions.

These types of shifts can impact job roles, titles, tools - in short, they impact all the stuff of our daily work. Whether an organization is decentralized or command & control, these kinds of changes are never simple nor straightforward. There’s no silver bullets. And yet, when done thoughtfully and holistically, significant change management can make the difference between life and death of a product, an organization and its community.

As a leader of major change efforts at PayPal, Salesforce and Charles Schwab, Kirsten Wolberg has moved a global organization to agile development and helped change the overall ownership of her organization. She'll draw off these experiences and share we might manage the changes happening at Mozilla.

  • Speaker:

Kirsten Wolberg currently serves as Vice President, Talent at PayPal, leading the talent acquisition, performance and learning teams. She also holds the role as Separation Executive for PayPal leading the PayPal separation program as part of the eBay/PayPal tax-free split. Kirsten was selected to lead the newly created Talent organization for PayPal to bring her deep background in technology, operations and transformational change leadership to the talent function. She is leading the innovation to reimagine Talent for the newly independent PayPal.

Prior to her current roles she led the chief operating functions for PayPal Technology including technology strategy, planning, M&A, quality, transformation, employee engagement and the PayPal Open Source Office. Previously, she was Chief Information Officer (CIO) at salesforce.com and divisional CIO for Corporate Technology at Charles Schwab. Kirsten is on the Board of Silicon Graphics International. She is also Trustees for. Additionally she is a Board Member of the Greater Bay Area chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Year Up Bay Area, and Jewish Vocational Services. Kirsten holds a BS degree in Finance from USC and an MBA from J.L. Kellogg School of Management.

  • Host: David Slater
  • Questions: Submit questions for Kirsten during the event on IRC #AirMozilla.
  • Hashtag: #mozSS

March 24, 2016: The Role of a Product Manager with Josh Elman, Greylock Partners

  • Location: Mozilla Mountain View + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Thursday, March 24 @ Mozilla MV - 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET / 5:00pm UTC
  • Topic: The Role of a Product Manager - and Everyone Else

"The job of a product manager is to help your team (and company) ship the right product to your users.” Seems simple - but anyone who has worked on a product knows it’s not. At what point are you ready to ship? What is the right product? How do you know when you’ve built it? And often more complicated than it sounds: who are your users?

The best PMs are less product thought leaders and visionaries (though they certainly may be), but moreso shepherds of stakeholders and builders of processes to sort through these critical challenges. While they typically don’t produce tangible artifacts such as code or mockups, the ultimate success of the team and product can hinge on the effectiveness of the product manager. In short, product management done well helps make companies and products much better. But when done badly, it can significantly hurt a company and team.

  • Speaker:

As an investment partner at Greylock, Josh Elman invests in entrepreneurs building social networks and platforms, mobile apps, new media, and connected devices. Josh specializes in designing, building, and scaling consumer products, having been part of multiple companies that have grown to more than 100 million users.

Before joining Greylock, Josh spent 15 years in product and engineering roles at leading companies in social, commerce, and media. Josh was the product lead for growth and relevance at Twitter, growing Twitter’s active user base by nearly 10x. Prior to Twitter, Josh worked on the platform at Facebook and led the launch of Facebook Connect. Josh was an early employee at LinkedIn and helped establish early models for user growth and launched v1 of LinkedIn Jobs. Josh also held roles leading product management for Zazzle, and product and engineering for RealJukebox and RealPlayer at RealNetworks.

Josh currently serves on the boards of Medium, Meerkat, Operator, and Super. Josh also works closely with our investments in Nextdoor and Whosay. Josh led Greylock’s investment in SmartThings, which was acquired by Samsung in 2014. Josh holds a BS in Symbolic Systems with a focus on Human Computer Interaction from Stanford University.

  • Deck
  • Host: Justin Crawford
  • Questions: Submit questions for Josh during the event on IRC #AirMozilla.
  • Hashtag: #brantina, #mozSS

February 25, 2016: Building Product with Partners - Interview with April Underwood, Slack

  • Location: Mozilla SF + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Thursday, February 25 @ Mozilla SF - 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET / 6:00pm UTC
  • Topic: Building Products with Partners: Interview with Slack's April Underwood

Building products is complex. Building products with partners, considerably moreso. Varying resources, goals, strategies and cultures pose challenges. But partnering well on products is often worth the effort. This month April Underwood, head of all product & partnerships at Slack, will draw from her experiences at Google, Twitter, Travelocity and more to help us navigate the complexities of marrying products and partnerships. She'll be interviewed by our very own Bertrand Neveux, who has built products with partners for most of his career at and leading up to Mozilla.

  • Speaker: April Underwood is head of Platform at Slack, a messaging platform that has evolved into a diverse ecosystem of partners. There, she drives key growth initiatives and oversees platform products, partnerships, API integrations and developer relations. She previously worked on products for Travelocity, Apple, Google, Climate Corp (Weatherbill). Just before joining Slack, April led teams of Product Managers as Director of Product on Twitter’s fast-growing Advertising (Ads API, ads.twitter.com) and Data (Firehose, Gnip) products. She was also a PM for the Tweet Button and Twitter API, and built Twitter's Business Development team from the ground up to strike strategic partnerships with firms including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, EA, Salesforce and Adobe. And while she used to write code (and sometimes writes term sheets as an angel investor), her first love is building and leading product teams and working with engineers and designers to build and launch great products that people want to use.
  • Host: Bertrand Neveux
  • Questions: Submit questions for April during the event on IRC #AirMozilla.
  • Hashtags: #mozSS #brantina

January 27, 2016: The Right Way to Build Software with Jocelyn Goldfein, ex-Facebook

  • Location: Mozilla Mountain View + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Wednesday, January 27 @ Mozilla MV - 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET / 6:00pm UTC
  • Topic: The Right Way to Build Software: Ideals Over Ideology

Add-ons. Advertising. Dogfooding. Email clients. Mozillians form strong opinions on all sides of these (and other) topics, often for legitimate reasons.

We’re not alone. Leading software firms such as VMWare and Facebook also grapple with contentious technology and process issues, and Jocelyn Goldfein has firsthand experience of this. She's led engineering teams building software for both consumers and the enterprise; apps and the web; and for license fees and for free. These teams are like us: they debate how to best release software - and a host of other issues. Drawing from these experiences, Jocelyn will provide frameworks for how Mozilla can navigate these discussions effectively to drive better outcomes.

  • Speaker: Jocelyn Goldfein has held senior engineering leadership roles spanning from high-growth companies like VMware and Facebook to small startups. She is a widely recognized industry spokesperson on scaling engineering operations, mobile engineering, and diversity in tech. Goldfein currently is an independent angel investor and advisor to startups. As Director of Engineering at Facebook she led Facebook’s push on mobile infrastructure and quality, initiating major new investments in architecture and tooling and helped guide Facebook’s transition to “mobile first.” She launched new product initiatives in search, news feed, and photos. She also drove strategic engineering operational initiatives, including overhauling Facebook’s approach to technical recruiting. More on Jocelyn at her website.
  • Deck
  • Host: Nick Nguyen
  • Questions: Submit questions for Jocelyn during the event on IRC #AirMozilla.
  • Hashtag: #brantina

December 3, 2015: Optimizing for Uncertainty with Mike Arauz, August

  • Location: Mozilla Mountain View + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Thursday, December 3 @ 9:00am PT / 12:00pm ET / 4:00pm UTC
  • Topic: Optimizing for Uncertainty: Deciding and Moving Quickly

The web is increasingly complex and dynamic. How can larger software organizations keep up with this rapid, perpetual change? In the natural realm, 'complex adaptive systems’ allow for flux and change in tumultuous environments. Our December speaker will draw on these models to illustrate how modern organizations can decide and move quickly.

Mike will share how leading tech and product organizations are not simply adapting to increased change, but innovating and thriving in these dynamic environments by:

  • operating around networks vs hierarchies
  • distributing authority
  • processing information effectively
  • embracing structured and facilitated methods for collecting feedback and gaining consent on group action.
  • Speaker: Mike Arauz is a Founding Member and Acting President at August, a New York based consulting firm that builds high-performing teams for the world’s most meaningful missions. Previously, Mike was a Partner at Undercurrent, where he worked with leaders of global companies to transform how their organizations work and thrive in the 21st century, including GE, Pearson, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Mike is also a co-author of the Responsive.org manifesto and a leading contributor to the global self-management and future of work movement.
  • Deck
  • Host: Jim Cook, CFO, Mozilla
  • Recommended pre-watch: Mitchell’s 2nd Portland Keynote on Decisionmaking

October 22, 2015: Data as Empathy with Frances Haugen, Yelp

  • Location: Mozilla Mountain View + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Thursday, October 22 @ 9:00am PT / 12:00pm ET / 4:00pm UTC
  • Topic: Data As Empathy

To build products people love, you must understand those people. User research and user-centered design help get us there, but once we have a sense of how our audiences think and behave, how can we go beyond the anecdotal to extrapolate to the macro? What ways can we better understand the needs of millions of users who think, act and operate differently than us?

Our October speaker Frances Haugen will share from her product management and software engineering experiences with products used by millions of Google and Yelp customers. She'll help us understand how data - done 'right' - connects us to millions of users we don't know personally. And she'll outline what doing data right means for product development, and how product owners can build things their users love.

  • Speaker: As both a Senior Product Manager, Software Engineer and Data Scientist for companies including Yelp and Google, Frances has worked at the intersection of data, design and humans throughout her career. An Electrical and Computer Engineering undergrad, Frances says she sees the world as comprised of hi and low cast filters.
  • Host: Matt Grimes, User Advocacy
  • Deck
  • Questions: Submit questions for Frances during the event on IRC #AirMozilla.

September 24, 2015: Should I Put it on Yammer? The Neuroscience of Online Communications with Deanna Zandt

  • Location: Mountain View + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Thursday, September 24 @ 9:00am PT / 12:00pm ET / 4:00pm UTC
  • Topic: “Should I put it on Yammer?”

How do you respond when people at Mozilla ask you this? Do you sigh, roll your eyes, let out a small resigned laugh? Most of us know that many seemingly-benign posts (this one now the stuff of legends) can sometimes devolve into a debate nobody expected, necessarily wanted or knows what to do with. Not always, but enough to cause some communications platforms to be feared by some and occasionally counterproductive.


This outcome, of course, is not confined to Yammer, nor is the behavior confined to Mozilla. Our September Brantina speaker, Deanna Zandt, has generously volunteered to speak with us about the neuroscientific dynamics of online communications. She’ll provide a deeper understanding of how our brains work when we’re engaged in online discussions which can help us communicate better, make better decisions, be more productive, and ultimately engage with more people driving richer, more dynamic outcomes.

  • Speaker: Deanna Zandt creates and implements web strategies supporting civic engagement and cultural agency, drawing off her background in linguistics, advertising, telecommunications and finance. She’s worked with The Ford Foundation, Deutsche Telekom, Planned Parenthood, and Jim Hightower’s Hightower Lowdown; and has also advised the White House on digital strategy and public engagement. Deanna has been a regular contributor to Forbes.com, as well as NPR’s flagship news program, “All Things Considered” and is a frequent guest on MSNBC, CNN International, BBC Radio and Fox News.
  • Host: Doug Turner
  • Deck
  • Questions: Submit questions for Deanna during the event on IRC #AirMozilla.

August 13, 2015: Build, Measure, Learn: Being a Growth Organization with Hiten Shah, KISSMetrics

  • Location: San Francisco + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Thursday, August 13 @ 9:00am PT / 12:00pm ET / 4:00pm UTC
  • Topic: Hiten Shah will share his ideas and experience with growth hacking, a scrappy marketing technique developed by technology startups, and how it specifically applies to Mozilla. Larger companies that embrace this approach (examples include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Airbnb and Dropbox) use creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to gain product exposure and grow their market share quickly.
  • Speaker: Hiten Shah is cofounder and president of analytics companies KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg; he also advises startups.
  • Host: Jascha Kaykas-Wolff
  • Deck
  • Questions: Submit your questions for Hiten in advance here, or during the event on IRC #AirMozilla.

July 23, 2015: Rapid Prototyping with Tom Chi, GoogleX

  • Location: San Francisco + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Thursday, July 23 @ 9:00am PT / 12:00pm ET / 4:00pm UTC
  • Speaker: Tom Chi has worked in disciplines ranging from astrophysical research to Fortune 500 consulting to developing new hardware and software (web & client) products and services. He’s worked on large projects of global scale (Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo! Search), and scaled new projects from conception to significance (Yahoo! Answers from 0 to 90 million users). He also co-founded GoogleX, the semi-secret group responsible for cutting edge projects including the autonomous driving vehicles, contact lenses that monitor glucose through tears and balloons in the stratosphere that provide Internet access.
  • Topic: Tom will talk about his approach to rapid prototyping using 'native' materials like paper and foam core to create and test experiences. Using this method, he has led teams to work more effectively and quickly, building state of the art (see above for examples) products as part of an ongoing innovation process.
  • Host: Josh Carpenter
  • Deck
  • Workshop adapted from Tom's talk, from Mozilla Learning Network
  • Questions: Submit your questions for Tom in advance here.

May 21, 2015: Onboarding and Team Debt with Kate Heddleston

  • Location: Mountain View + Air Mozilla
  • Day, Date & Time: Thursday, May 21 @ 9:00am PT / 12:00pm ET / 4:00pm UTC
  • Speaker: Kate Heddleston, a software engineer in San Francisco, does a lot of speaking on the people-dimensions of software development and engineering management best practices. Her focus is on how software gets made, as well as on what it does.
  • Topic: Kate shares her thoughts on the topic of onboarding new hires - what it takes to do that well, particularly in an engineering environment - and the 'team debt' that results when we do it poorly. Kate also shared some of the fairly immediate things individual teams can do to reduce the debt.
  • Deck.
  • Questions submitted to Kate in advance are here.

Submitting a Speaker Idea

We will give special consideration to speaker ideas submitted by Mozillians! Criteria for speakers is outlined above. Send Diane a note about why your speaker will appeal to a broad set of Mozillians based on the Topic and Speaker Criteria above.