In 2020, Mozilla is launching a Data Futures Lab focused on data stewardship. We are currently recruiting a Lab lead who can drive the initiative from launch. This job description will provide an overview of the rationale and design of the Lab as it is currently conceived, define success for the Lab, outline responsibilities for the Lab Lead and outline characteristics we believe would indicate a good fit for the role.
The Data Futures Lab
The Data Futures Lab supports people and communities leading the way to new power dynamics in digital and data landscapes!
The Lab will: nurture a network of diverse leaders and specialists; fund and otherwise support projects that either prototype stewardship models (data trusts, coops and commons, etc) or serve to build infrastructure these models require; and foster collaboration and knowledge sharing to power innovation and mainstreaming of varied data stewardship approaches.
What if data were stewarded in ways that would unlock value in the public interest without violating rights, compromising on values, or exacerbating existing inequalities and inequities?
To break the path dependency of terms of service, we must craft a new way and reimagine new models of managing data in the public interest; reconstitute the communities building and deploying new methods of data stewardship; and ultimately we must rebalance the power dynamics of our digitised worlds with counterweights.
The Lab is designed as three interconnected streams of work -- a prototype fund, an infrastructure fund, and a network of people building, running and conceiving data stewardship projects -- that are supported by a core Lab team housed at Mozilla. The prototype fund will identify and effectively support experimental, early-stage data projects that deploy new stewardship practices to solve real-world problems. The infrastructure fund will support initiatives and teams building the foundational components, including technical and legal instruments, that will help other people quickly roll out data stewardship projects. The network will cultivate advances in data stewardship thinking and multidisciplinarity and will focus on facilitating field success and distilling impactful learning while doing.
Success of the Lab would mean:
- Demonstrable success of prototypes that shape norms and solve real world problems
- Investment in reliable and enabling infrastructure that leads to effective data stewardship experimentation and prototyping outside of Lab activities
- A growing and highly collaborative network of specialists and practitioners identifies and collectively tackles problems in ways that the Lab can successfully resource
- High quality initiatives get the resources they need to set new norms and encourage more pragmatic and equitable data stewardship
- Larger, well established actors begin adopting data stewardship practices that were previously seen as nascent or unrealistic
The Lab Lead
The Lab Lead will be responsible for the direction and efficiency of the Lab team to design and drive the Lab’s three streams of work. This would include:
- Leading and facilitating engagement with key collaborators to set strategy and priorities
- Clearly synthesising trends and emerging practices in the data stewardship space and powerfully articulating the political and technical dimensions of the Lab’s work
- Managing a core team sitting across the organization to deliver on Lab priorities across the three streams of work
- Recruiting for key positions within the Lab
- Collaborating with integral members of the larger Mozilla team contributing to Lab deliverables.
- Ensuring high quality and vetted outputs in each of the three streams
- Supporting activities and approaches that are sensitive to the needs and dynamics of the various fields of data stewardship
- Effective and creative resourcing of projects in the right ways and at the right time
- Inspiring the participation and engagement of diverse constituents.
- Representing the Lab to an external network of practitioners and the public.
- Engaging the field and actively seeking new talent and projects.
We are seeking candidates with:
- Exceptional technical intuition and ability to translate technical concepts and details within and between communities
- Entrepreneurial energy and capacity to support dynamic strategy development and team growth that meets the needs of the Lab and can attract resources.
- Community-forward approach and capacity to develop rich relationships and partnerships with various sectors, fields, and approaches.
- Actively engaged in existing data stewardship work and have a keen interest in emerging practices and possibilities that address data stewardship challenges.
- Discerning and able to sift through many ideas and chart a path that is effective and impactful.
- Demonstrable experience as a highly effective strategic leader who can lead teams who may be dispersed both geographically and drawn from across the organization; emergent collaborations; and intensive, cross-organizational partnerships to execute in complex conditions
- Skills and experience to thrive in multicultural and neurodiverse environments and are comfortable operating in more than one language
The Mozilla Foundation can hire in the jurisdiction of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. We are able to engage with workers in other locations through the use of a third-party employer of record organization.
If you are deeply interested in the role, please don’t hesitate to apply even if your experience or skills don’t perfectly match our ideal credentials. We seek to hire a person who will become an integral member of our team. We all love to expand our skills through our work. We are also open to hiring two co-leads in the event that we find multiple candidates who offer valuable skill sets and/or might be better suited to coordinated leadership for the Lab.
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.