The web is one of our most valuable public resources – it’s Mark Surman’s job to protect it.
Mark is Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, a global community that does everything from making Firefox to taking stands on issues like privacy and net neutrality. Mark’s main job is to build the movement side of Mozilla, rallying the citizens of the web, building alliances with likeminded organizations and leaders, and growing the open internet movement. Mark’s goal is nothing short of making the health and accessibility of the internet a mainstream issue around the world.
Mark has been doing work like this for 20 years: standing up for open source and putting technology into the hands of everyday people. Mark was the founding Director of telecentre.org, a $26M initiative connecting community technology centers in more than 30 countries. He ran the Commons Group for 10 years, a boutique consulting firm that provided advice and insight on networks, technology and social enterprise to nonprofits and governments around the world. Mark was awarded the prestigious Shuttleworth Foundation fellowship, where he explored how to apply open source approaches to philanthropy in the year before he joined Mozilla.
Mark is a prominent thinker and thought leader – his analysis and opinions have been featured in The Washington Post, NPR, CNN, Fast Company and dozens of other publications. A seasoned and charismatic speaker, Mark has delivered keynotes on five continents at major global events as diverse as Mobile World Congress, Personal Democracy Forum, TEDx Kids, World Innovation Summit on Education and the O’Reilly Open Source Summit.
Mark is a past board member of Peer-to-Peer University, the World Bank Solutions for Youth Employment Consortium, the Toronto Arts Foundation, Connected Learning Alliance, Telefonica’s Think Big, the Association for Progressive Communications, Wild Canada and rabble.ca.
Mark lives in Toronto with his sons, Tristan and Ethan. He holds a BA in the History of Community Media from the University of Toronto.
Every time we search the web, read the news and ask for driving directions on our smartphone, we’re tapping into the world of AI and data. Most of us love these things. And, at the same time, many of us worry about the power that the companies that make them have over our lives, our economy and our society. This keynote, Same game, new rules, thinking differently about power and data, will explore our relationship to data in the past, the present and the future. And, it will explore how we got to where we are today and what a model of good data stewardship could look like in the future if we work together.