Esra’a Al Shafei is a Bahraini human rights activist, an outspoken defender of free speech, and founder of Majal.org, a network of online platforms that amplify under-reported and marginalized voices. Together with her team, they build web projects that creatively facilitate the struggle for social justice in the region, including platforms such as: CrowdVoice.org, an open source tool that curates and contextualizes data on social movements, Mideast Tunes, the largest platform for regional underground musicians who use music as a tool for advocacy, and Ahwaa.org, a bilingual tool for LGBTQ youth in the Arab world that leverages game mechanics to protect and engage its community.
Esra’a currently serves on the Global Future Council on the Future of Human Rights at the World Economic Forum and is a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab. Previously, she was a Senior TED Fellow, Echoing Green Fellow, and Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Esra’a is the recipient of the “Berkman Award” from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard for “outstanding contributions to the internet and its impact on society over the last decade”, the Monaco Media Prize, which acknowledges innovative uses of media for the betterment of humanity, and the “Most Courageous Media” award from Free Press Unlimited. She has been featured in Fast Company magazine as one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” and Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list of social entrepreneurs making an impact.