Call for Proposals closes on August 29.

Travel Stipends
Mozilla offers a limited number of travel stipends (which may include travel, hotel, and registration) for individuals who are contributing significantly to MozFest. Significant contributions include running a session or otherwise contributing to facilitate activities. Please note, limited scholarships are available.  Being accepted to run a session does not guarantee funding will be available.

Session Proposal Guidelines

These guidelines will help you propose a compelling session for MozFest.
At Mozfest, we believe that peer-to-peer sessions are the most powerful way to facilitate interaction, build networks and collaborate. We de-emphasize lectures and presentations, and instead encourage dialog and hacking in small groups. You can expect anywhere between 5 – 50 participants in your session. The bulk of time in a session will be spent in groups of 5 people or less. Be prepared for a range of group sizes. Sessions times can vary from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the work carried out. As a facilitator, you will frame the session goals, team up small groups, and ensure participants work productively and purposefully together.  
What makes a good session?
  • A clear purpose and desired outcome
  • A clear call for who can/should participate
  • A clear description of what will happen
A good session is:
  • Participatory:
    Engages participants from the beginning and gets them making and doing, rather than listening and watching.
  • Purposeful:
    Works on meaningful activities toward concrete outcomes.
  • Productive:
    Well-scoped so that concrete outcomes are achieved in the allotted time, and participants feel time was well spent.
  • Flexible:
    Adapts to the needs and interests of the participants and is informed by the above.
A good session is not:
  • Lectures or talking at people
  • Evangelizing a product or ideological point of view
  • Overly prescriptive in how it plays out

Examples of Successful Proposals

To guide you in proposing your session, take a look at two of last year’s successful submissions.

Example: Dip Your Toes Into Twine. Make Web Based Storytelling Games

What will your session or activity allow people to make, learn or do?
This session focuses on creating a simple game with Twine. We’ll brainstorm possible ideas for games for those who don’t already have a concept in mind. There will also be opportunities for those people who have always wanted to learn a little CSS or JavaScript to try that out, too.
How do you see that working?
We’ll do a quick tutorial on the basics of writing with Twine, then launch into a freeform workshop where folks work on their games and share with each other.
How will you deal with participants in your session?
The trickiest aspect of this will be getting Twine set up on participants’ laptops. People will be encouraged to set it up ahead of time, but there will also be a set of USB keys prepped with the software to pass around to those who decide to participate on the spur of the moment. If turnout is large, I’d encourage folks to form small groups to help each other out with any tech glitches and also provide some feedback to each other.
How long within your session before someone else can teach this?
I’d anticipate that people will be able to get the gist of Twine within the first fifteen to twenty minutes of the session, if not sooner.Everyone should be able to make a simple game in an hour, ready for posting to the Web.
What do you see as outcomes after the festival?
Any organization interested in fostering individual creativity and increasing the diversity of the game making population.
 

Example: Open source science: not just for scientists

What will your session or activity allow people to make, learn or do?
Imagine and flesh out what open science means for them in their daily lives, as well as what challenges we, as non-scientists, can tackle with it.
How do you see that working?
We’ll break the session up by time, starting with a brief intro and some suggestions and questions, then separating into groups (trying to get a technologist, a drawer, a people person, etc into each group) to tackle each idea. Then we’ll reconvene at the end and people will present their posters.
How will you deal with participants in your session?
We can do one group brainstorming, or break into teams of 3-5 if necessary.
How long within your session before someone else can teach this?
By the end? Or at least by the end of the first 10 minutes, once they see how we structure the activity.
What do you see as outcomes after the festival?
Posters describing new abilities everyday people will have with open science tools — like ‘measure heavy metals in our garden’ or ‘visualize car exhaust’ or ‘monitor my own cholesterol’ with illustrations if possible!