April is usually a pretty exciting month for us at That’s because it’s our birthday. It’s our 19th birthday on April 18, 2020.

We usually have a special event to mark the day, but this year it’s not much of a party because of self-distancing and COVID-19. But we’re still celebrating, and also saving up our energy for the party to beat all parties next year when we’ll celebrate the big 2-0.

To mark the day this year, we’re replaying a panel discussion done in 2011 to mark’s 10th birthday. We gathered four speakers on the stage at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel to answer questions posed by rabble’s founder Judy Rebick. There was a lot of discussion about the early days of and how we came to be. And some projections into the future … looking ahead to where we could be going.

There were four speakers on the panel:

  • Mark Surman, a rabble co-founder who is now executive director of the Mozilla Foundation,
  • Olivia Nuamah, who, at the time, was with the Atkinson Foundation, which provided startup money for;
  • Ben Powless, an Indigenous rights activist and contributor;
  • Cathryn Atkinson, who was‘s news and features editor at the time.

Thanks to Edward St. Moritz for singing us “Happy Birthday.”


Editor’s note, April 16, 2020: An earlier version of this story misspelled the last name of the one of the panel speakers. She is Olivia Nuamah, not Nouyama.

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