Progressive organizers, activists and communicators from across Canada are gathered in Ottawa for the third annual Broadbent Institute Progress Summit. Some of Canada’s most experienced hands at organizing and communicating for political change have come, loaded with plenty of innovative ideas to share.
The Summit comes at a pivotal time for Canadians who support values like strong public services, environmental responsibility, equality and social justice. Big recent wins and promising opportunities go hand in hand with challenges and some worrying trends.
We’re still celebrating Rachel Notley’s victory in Alberta and Stephen Harper’s defeat nationwide. We’re also still smarting from the federal NDP’s disappointing results. And we’re looking south of the border at Donald Trump’s campaign with growing alarm.
And it’s not like the Canadian right has retreated into a corner to lick its wounds. Nor will the business lobby be vanishing in a cloud of pinstriped smoke any time soon. They’re hammering away at the NDP governments in Alberta and Manitoba, and buttressing right-wing governments, parties and policies everywhere else. They’re building their lists, sharpening their messages, and readying for the next big fight.
No rest for the righteous, then. Progressive Canadians have to keep building our skills and strategies, and deepening our understanding of our changing political and social landscape. Which is what the Progress Summit is all about.
And the agenda is the kind of thing you’d dream up in a best-case-scenario brainstorming exercise before sighing and saying “If only.”
Like welcoming remarks from Ed Broadbent himself, following a day-long training with Sara El-Amine, who leads President Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action movement.
And an opening presentation from Gloria Steinem, followed by a Q&A with Desmond Cole and closing reflections by Michele Landsberg.
And a speakers roster with names like Shannon Phillips, Christiane Taubira, Jeet Heer, Owen Jones, James Galbraith, Chi Onwurah, Cindy Blackstock, John Horgan, Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet and Andrea Horwath, and many more.
And our own Marie Della Mattia interviewing John Del Cecato, Obama’s ad-maker and the creator of Bill de Blasio’s now-legendary “Dante” spot.
The Summit is sold out, but you can catch several key sessions via webcast.
We’re proud that The NOW Group is the Progress Summit Partner. Building the Canadian progressive left’s ability to conduct effective, winning campaigns is why we go to work every day. So it’s thrilling to see an event like this take flight. (It’s also exciting to gather in Heather’s neck of the woods for the first time since she joined us!)
We’re here in force. Say hi if you see one of us — we’d love to catch up. And we’d love to hear about the campaigns you’re waging, and the victories you’d like to win.