For the past two years, MIT Media Lab has collaborated with Mozilla — a company whose mission is to ensure the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all —  with a collective goal to offer professional development for senior leaders of nonprofit and public sector organizations.

MIT's Open Leadership Camp

The Media Lab's professional development takes place in the form of a week-long “Open Leadership Camp” (OLC) spearheaded by director Joi Ito and Mitchell Baker, executive chairwoman of Mozilla. During the span of the week, CEOs of leading not-for-profit organizations are invited to come, connect, and collaborate over the core concepts of open source Internet applications.

This year, EXPLO’s executive director and president, Moira Kelly, along with Creative Director Dave Hamilton, were among the selected leaders invited to attend OLC where they worked alongside teams from ACLU of Massachusetts, Facing History and Ourselves, Campaign for Female Education International (Camfed), and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) to reimagine key questions of open source projects.

The Power of Open Source Projects

Together, OLC’s room of thought leaders spent the week brainstorming ways to design, develop, and pursue the concept of unenclosed creation. This included a series of unique events, such as Harvard Business School’s case study about the rise of the collaborative viral t-shirt company, Threadless; a keynote presentation on the Media Lab's work with bitcoin and the future of finance; and an exploration of the word "open" through song with Anthony Trecek-King, director of Boston's Children's Chorus.

EXPLO left OLC eager to pursue projects guided by open source, open innovation, and the decentralized nature of the web. So eager in fact, that Kelly and Hamilton have already begun developing a top secret “open” project for EXPLO’s own organization. Mozilla will be coaching EXPLO for the remainder of the year to build out the project. We are excited to formally share this project with schools and educational organizations in the year to come!