The web is one of our most valuable public resources — it’s Mark Surman’s job to protect it. He is Executive Director of Mozilla, a global community that keeps the web open and free.

Mark also believes web literacy is just as important as reading, writing and math — and that we all need the right tools to be citizens of the web. In 2012 he launched Mozilla’s Maker Party, a yearly web literacy campaign across 80 countries, and he is now bringing Mozilla Learning Networks to 500 cities around the world.

Prior to joining Mozilla, Mark was awarded a Shuttleworth Foundation fellowship; served as Managing Director of telecentre.org; and was co-founder and president of the Commons Group. Mark is a prolific blogger, writer and speaker, and serves on the boards of the World Bank Solutions for Youth Employment Consortium, the Toronto Arts Foundation and Peer-to-Peer University. More

Leader & Advisor

Mark unites a global team of professionals — engineers and designers, teachers and advocates — under one banner: ensuring the web is a force for good. With his leadership, Mozilla has established itself as a driving force in the effort to create and protect the open web. Mark also leads a global community of 10,000+ active Mozillians. As an advisor, Mark has lent his expertise to a range of public, nonprofit and educational organizations — helping them make smart and inclusive strategy and technology decisions.

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Entrepreneur & Innovator

Mark is a social entrepreneur and digital innovator — he thinks big, takes risks and galvanizes others to develop ideas that improve the web and digital education. In addition to creating innovative learning networks and tools at Mozilla, Mark co-founded the Commons Group — a Toronto-based consulting firm recognized globally as a leading source of advice and insight on networks, technology and social change. He has also written and spoken extensively about his vision and approaches.

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Photograph of Mark Surman

Speaker

Mark has presented at 100+ conferences, speaking on topics ranging from innovating education to the infrastructure of the web.

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Photograph of Mark Surman

Author

In addition to blogging regularly, Mark has written two books, dozens of papers, and several case studies and practical guides.

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Twitter Bio

Building communities, tools and partnerships to protect the open web. Executive Director @Mozilla.

Short Bio

It’s Mark Surman’s job to protect the open web. He is Executive Director of Mozilla — the global community that keeps the web open and free — and a loud proponent of universal web literacy. Mark launched Maker Party and Mozilla Learning Networks — major initiatives that help people teach and learn the web. He is also a prolific blogger, writer and speaker, as well as an advisor to several nonprofits. Prior to joining Mozilla, Mark was a Shuttleworth Foundation fellow, led telecentre.org, and co-founded the Commons Group. He holds a BA in the History of Community Media from the University of Toronto.

Extended Bio

The web is one of our most valuable public resources — it’s Mark Surman’s job to protect it. Mark is Executive Director of Mozilla, a global community that keeps the web open and free. He is also a loud proponent of universal web literacy.

Mark believes the world needs open technologies like Firefox and FirefoxOS. He also believes that web literacy is just as important as reading, writing and math — and that we all need the right tools and know-how to be citizens of the web. Mark is committed to making sure the Mozilla community has the strength, diversity and resilience to champion these ideas over the long haul.

As part of this work, Mark has established Mozilla as a leading force in teaching the most important skills of our era — how to read, write and participate on the web. This includes the creation of Maker Party, a yearly web literacy campaign that included 3000 volunteer-led pop-up workshops in 80 countries in 2014. Mark is currently leading the expansion of this work by establishing Mozilla Learning Networks in 500 cities around the world. These networks will design, deliver and spread world-class web literacy curriculum and teaching tools.

Prior to joining Mozilla, Mark was awarded a Shuttleworth Foundation fellowship, where he helped advance thinking about how to apply open source approaches to philanthropy; served as Managing Director of telecentre.org, a $26M initiative connecting community technology centers in 30+ countries; and was co-founder and president of the Commons Group, a leading source of advice and insight on networks, technology and social change.

Mark is a prolific blogger, writer and speaker. He is the author of Commonspace: Beyond Virtual Community, published by the Financial Times, contributor to dozens of publications and speaker at 100+ conferences — including major global events like Mobile World Congress, TEDx Kids and World Innovation Summit on Education. Mark serves as a trusted advisor on the boards of the World Bank Solutions for Youth Employment Consortium, the Toronto Arts Foundation and Peer-to-Peer University. He is a past board member of the Connected Learning Alliance, Telefonica’s Think Big, the Association for Progressive Communications, Wild Canada and rabble.ca.

Mark lives in Toronto with his wife Tonya, founding Executive Director of the Centre for Social Innovation, and his sons Tristan and Ethan. He holds a BA in the History of Community Media from the University of Toronto.