Keynotes

Architects behind some of the most successful progressive campaigns of 2020 will share key learning moments and insights you can bring to your work. These inspiring sessions will highlight progressive success, reconnect you with what’s possible when we win.

Bridget Todd

Hayden Munro

Hayden Munro

Denise Williams

Denise Williams

Plenary Speakers

Engaging plenary discussions put our keynote speakers’ work into context: How can you learn from their wins? What lessons can you apply to level up your work in advocacy, campaigns, unions, and electoral politics? Dig in with some of the brightest minds in digital today to get answers to these questions and more.

Dylan Cohen

Dylan Cohen

Aaron Brunmeier

Aaron Brunmeier

Madhuri Venkateswar

Tonye Aganaba

Tonye Aganaba

Amara Possian

Zain Velji

Zain Velji

Nadine Nakagawa

Nadine Nakagawa

Workshops

Preventing Digital Burnout

The pandemic has only dialed up the intensity and urgency of social and environmental change work. Everything feels urgent – but so many of the systems and structures we work in demand an unsustainable pace, and recreate the harms of the systems we’re working to dismantle. If you want to find ways to do the important work over the long term, and take care of yourself and your community while you do, you need to take a hard look at burnout culture.

In this presentation you’ll learn to:

  • Recognize, explore and unpack sources of digital burnout;
  • Understand the signs and signals of high stress, and;
  • Consider ways to manage your energy and time.
Leah Bae

Leah Bae
Bloom; The Burnout Project

Three Metrics to Grow your Membership and Boost your Organizing

Labor unions and other membership-based organizations rely on consistent revenue to grow and thrive.

In this presentation you’ll learn:

  • The three most important metrics to track if you want to grow your membership strategically.
  • How to calculate your Lifetime Member Value and Member Recruitment Cost, using our easy calculator.
  • How to evaluate your membership growth and organizing campaigns, and identify the best-performing parts of your unions based on data.
Jack Milroy

Jack Milroy
Defiance Digital

Power Mapping for Digital Campaigning

This is a 201-level training on power mapping with a digital lens and how to effectively choose digital tactics to reach your targets. Ideal for somewhat experienced campaigners newer to digital.

We will cover:

  • strategic goal setting
  • power mapping to find your ideal targets
  • examining relationships that influence targets
  • choosing tactics & digital tool (with references to cool New/Mode examples) to achieve your campaign goals
Abbey Piazza

Abbey Piazza
New/Mode

Nikki Koutsochilis

Nikki Koutsochilis
New/Mode

The Art and Science of Text-Based Engagement

Learn the keys to productive engagement with your audience through simple, text-led experiences. Supercharge your fundraising, member engagement, volunteer coordination, advocacy and get out the vote efforts through text.

This workshop is for you if you use digital communications, and want to level up your understanding of how to use texts to engage your supporters.

Farz Sokhansanj

Farz Sokhansanj
Prompt.io

Organizing to Mobilize: Fighting Back against Conservative Forces in a post-COVID Context

Join Point Blank’s Andrew Burns and Natasha Madison as they explore strategies and tactics to fight against regressive forces, with a focus on re-engaging supporters after this period of sustained and rolling crises. We’ll explore strategies that are working, developing a fightback plan, adapting to change in the uncertain future and how to bring supporters back on board after an intense 18 months of COVID and crisis, where many supporters were focused on other issues.

pointblanknatasha

Natasha Madison
Point Blank Creative

pointblankandrew

Andrew Burns
Point Blank Creative

Finding Breakthrough Messaging

Too often we create messaging that feels exciting for those closest to the issue, but fails to resonate and activate a broader coalition. In this workshop, we’ll share the simple framework that underpins much of the work that Avalanche Insights does supporting the development of breakthrough messaging. 

  • Explore case studies from our work developing breakthrough messaging in the 2020 electoral cycle and on some of the most polarizing issues
  • Share a framework you can apply in your day to day message development to persuade and activate winning coalitions
  • Demonstrate the power of qualitative data at scale
wasayrasool

Wasay Rasool
Avalanche Insights

tovah-paglaro-headshot

Tovah Paglaro
Avalanche Insights

Bridget Todd

Bridget Todd (she/her) got her start teaching courses on writing and social change at Howard University. Since then, she's trained human rights activists in Australia, led digital strategy for organizations like Planned Parenthood, the Women's March, and MSNBC, and run a training program for political operatives the Washington Post called “the Hogwarts of the Democratic Party.” Bridget's tech podcast, There are No Girls on the Internet, has received critical acclaim from the AV Club, Mashable, and PopSugar. She also serves as the communications director for UltraViolet, a national gender justice organization.

Hayden Munro

Hayden MunroHayden Munro was the Campaign Manager for the New Zealand Labour Party’s 2020 election campaign, which saw Jacinda Ardern re-elected as Prime Minister with the best result for the party since 1938 and the only majority government under MMP. He has spent a decade working on various campaigns for corporate clients, NGOs, and the New Zealand Labour Party. He worked as Press Secretary to a Labour Minister and was Campaign Manager and then principal advisor for the former Mayor of Wellington, New Zealand's capital city.

Denise Williams

Denise WilliamsAt the intersection of Indigenous sovereignty, technological advancement and a rapidly expanding technology and innovation economy, Denise has the privilege of working with Indigenous peoples, governments, academics, technology futurists and social change makers to map an ecosystem that will result in fair and equitable access to the tools and education required to lead digital transformation in the 21st century. Denise leads a theory of change that aims to ensure Indigenous peoples are leading in Canada’s technology and innovation sector and in building new connected economies. Her purpose is to create space for Indigenous peoples to access the knowledge they carry from their ancestors and bring back community, balance and humanity to the design, integration and evolution of digital technologies and online spaces. The legacy of which is meant to advance Truth and Reconciliation both in physical and virtual worlds.

With a passion for contributing and volunteering in initiatives and organizations that influence real change and the advancement of Truth and Reconciliation, Denise proudly serves as a governor with the Urban Native Youth Association, MakeWay, Vancouver Foundation, Hollyhock Learning Institute, Innovate BC and Simon Fraser University as the Chair of university relations, and where she earned her MBA in 2015. Denise is an advisor on innovation to the Governor General of Canada, a member of Status of Women Canada’s Indigenous Women’s Circle, BC’s Indigenous Business and Investment Council, and a mentor with the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

Denise has been awarded Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 under 40 in 2018, Motherboards Human of Year in 2017, BC’s Most Influential Women STEM Stars in 2017, and Women in Technology’s Community Champion in 2016.

Dylan Cohen

Dylan CohenDylan Cohen, Manager, Community Initiatives & Engagement @ United Way of the Lower Mainland; past Campaign Organizer for Fostering Change; Organize BC Core Team member

Dylan Cohen is a former foster kid, an engagement leader, and someone who thinks a lot about connecting systems to people. His work in child welfare advocacy brought hundreds of young people with lived experience directly to decision makers and brought online allies along through digital campaigning. At Fostering Change, he transformed a heavily funded, foundation led and funder-driven campaign to a grassroots youth organizing initiative, centring the training, process, and experiences of young people from care as talented organizers in the struggle. Dylan is an incoming MCP candidate at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and a leader in justice-seeking, organizing, and community development work. Today, he manages UWLM’s Hi Neighbour initiative, a place-based resident leadership and social change project dedicated to activating residents to be better neighbours.

Aaron Brunmeier, New/Mode

Aaron BrunmeierAaron has spent the last several election cycles working to get progressives elected to office up and down the ticket. Aaron got his start in politics by managing a local state's attorney's race in St. Louis in 2016. He was then the Operations Director for a gubernatorial campaign in Illinois, and Director of Operations and Production for a political media firm that specializes in political TV advertising. He's proud to have played a small role in helping Congressional Democrats take back the House in 2018 and notch more wins in 2019. As Campaign Advisor at New/Mode he helps progressive organizations and campaigns achieve their goals and build movements across the US and Canada.

Madhuri Venkateswar, Avalanche Insights

Madhuri VenkateswarMadhuri joined Avalanche Insights in Washington D.C. in May 2020, where she has worked on a breadth of projects in electoral strategy and gender equity. Madhuri is a passionate gender equity advocate, with experience in activism, policy research, and politics. Prior to joining Avalanche, she worked at Deloitte where she gained deep operational expertise on a series of Fortune 500 engagements. In 2017, Madhuri was awarded the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship through which she traveled to over 20 countries over the course of one year to explore women's autonomy. She holds degrees in both Chemical Engineering and Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities from Rice University and is an avid Indian classical musician, hiker, reader, and cook in her free time.

Tonye Aganaba, Defund604

Tonye Aganaba(Bio to come)

Amara Possian, 350.org

Amara is a campaigner, educator, and facilitator with 10+ years of experience helping groups run winning campaigns and build thriving organizations. She has led some of Canada’s most impactful people-powered campaigns, using digital tools to engage and mobilize hundreds of thousands of people to win on issues and change governments. An experienced meeting designer and facilitator, Amara has trained and coached thousands of campaigners and activists around the world. She currently manages Canada campaigns at 350.org and teaches Digital Campaigning at Seneca College in Toronto.

Zain Velji

Zain VeljiAs Partner and VP Strategy for Northweather, Zain brings a decade of experience in political, business, and non-profit communications, as well as marketing and engagement.

Zain is a frequent public speaker and regular political commentator who appears weekly on CBC radio and television and co-hosting the 2019 federal election for CTV. In addition, Zain chairs the board of The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, serves on the board of the YMCA Calgary, and the Education and Lifelong learning committee of the Calgary Foundation. He is also the city co-chair of the Banff Forum.

Zain’s consulting and political experience has allowed him to work for companies and non-profits as well as notable political campaigns, serving as campaign manager for Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi in 2017 and working on the campaigns for US Senator Elizabeth Warren and US President Barack Obama.

Zain is also the host of the award-winning podcast The Strategists, where he dissects political strategy and public affairs issues of the day and the host of the Zain Velji show on Newstalk 1010. Zain’s writing has been published by the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and The National Post. Zain was named one of Calgary’s Top 40 under 40 by Avenue and was awarded the Horizon Alumni Award by the University of Alberta. Zain has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Alberta.

Nadine Nakagawa, City Councillor; The Feminist Campaign School

Nadine NakagawaNadine Nakagawa is an organizer, activist, intersectional feminist, social justice fairy, and city councillor. She co-owns a consulting business called Ablaze Services and is the co-founder of the Feminist Campaign School. She is an active community member in New Westminster who has championed causes such as a rent bank, creative solutions to the housing crisis, community gardens, reconciliation, and public art. She was named Citizen of the Year in 2017 and was elected to City Council in 2018.