Conference Agenda


17:00-20:00: Arrival Happy Hour

  • The Saloon, 1205 U St., NW, Washington DC (upstairs private room)


** Note: We will go directly from the conference to the group dinner, with provided bus transportation. Be prepared with everything you will need (or won’t need!) for the entire day.

8:30-9:00 Registration Open

  • 1250 I St, NW, Washington DC 20005

    • 5th floor, offices of the Truman National Security Project

9:00-9:30 Welcome Remarks

  • Jim Arkedis, Chair of Board

Module 1 - The Emerging Progressive Coalition

9:30-10:30 Session 1: The Biggest Umbrella and how to build a coalition of voters

  • How have progressive campaigns balanced shifting base of support?

  • What are the challenges of speaking with traditional bases of support?

  • How do progressives appeal to both blue collar workers and higher-income suburbanites? 

  • Speakers:

Emilia Van Gilse, Foodworkers Union, Denmark

Walter Ludwig, Indigo Strategies, USA/EU

John Del Cecato, AKPD, USA

Anna Greenberg, GQR, USA (tentative)

Moderator: Sune Hansen, RudPedersen, Denmark

10:30-11:00 Session 2: Political message I: Expert Talk - Preparing the Happy Warrior for Public Debate

  • Speaker: John Neffinger, Democracy Partners, USA

11:00-11:10 Coffee Break

11:10-12:10 Session 3: Political message II - Arguments that work

  • Have progressives forgotten the importance of making an argument?

  • What formula holds together the progressive coalition and attack right-wing populism?

  • Why has the right-wing populists’ message worked?

  • Speakers:

Kevin McTigue, Independent consultant, USA

Eric Sundstrom, LO, Sweden

Stefano Origlia, Momentum, Italy

Ankica Lamesic, faket, Croatia

Moderator: Kristina Wilfore, USA

12:15 Lunch served

12:30-13:30 Session 4: Lunch keynote address with Rufus Gifford, former US Ambassador to Denmark, former Congressional candidate, former Finance Director for Obama’s 2012 campaign

13:30-13:45 Break


Module 2 - Campaign Mechanics and Tactical Communication

13:45-14:45 Session 5: Online campaigning

  • What are the best ways to reach voters online?

  • What’s the latest with Facebook? What is programmatic advertising?

  • What are GDPR challenges?

  • Speakers:

Melissa Cressey, DSPolitical, USA/SWE

Eva Guidarini, Facebook, USA

Alan Rosenblatt, LRP, USA

Moderator: Jim Arkedis, USA

14:45-15:30 Session 6: Campaigning tools

  • How do you communicate with your base and compel them to action?

  • How do you monitor the internet for the opposition says?

  • What are the latest and most effective platforms to do so?  

  • Speakers:

Max Kamin-Cross, Factsquared, Canada

Sonia Van Meter, Stanford Campaigns, USA

Anton Levein, 6F, Sweden

Valerio Riavez, LMP, Italy

Moderator: Chris Massicotte, DSPolitical, USA

15:30-15:45 Coffee break

15:45-16:15 Session 7: Expert Talk - Flooding the Zone: Empowering Opposition Candidates Against Authoritarians

  • Speaker: Vitali Shkrliarov, Indepdendent consultant, Belarus

16:15-17:15 Session 8: Polling and surveys

  • What are the best practice strategies in the last few years?

  • What techniques have proved most effective at finding the “shy” populist supporter?

  • Speakers:

Vuk Vukovich, Oraclum Intelligence Systems, UK/Croatia

Pia Nargundkar, ALG, USA

Celinda Lake, LRP, USA

Moderator: Bob Penner, Stratcom, Canada

18:00 - 20:00 GROUP DINNER, DCity Smokehouse

  • 203 Florida Ave, NW, Washington DC.

  • Group transportation by bus from conference site to restaurant.

  • BBQ buffet (with vegetarian options) + open bar


Module 3 - Case studies

8:30-9:00 Open Arrival & Welcome

  • Again at 1250 I St, NW, Washington DC 20005

    • 5th floor, offices of the Truman National Security Project

9:00-9:30 Session 9: Expert Talk - The Affects of Social Strain and Stress in the White Working Class of America

·      Speaker: Laurie Watkins, author & campaigner, USA

9:30-10:00 Session 10: Expert Talk - European Failure… Brexit Lessons?

  • Speaker: Quintin Oliver, Strategem International, UK

10:00-10:30 Session 11: Expert Talk - Combatting Disinformation

  • Speaker: Kristina Wilfore, Karakoyun Strategies, USA

10:30-10:45 Coffee break

10:45-11:15 Session 12: From the 2016 disaster to the 2018 Blue Wave and 2020 prospects

  • Speakers: Gloria Totten, Public Leadership Institute, USA and Kevin Mack, USA (unconfirmed)

Module 4 - Working Session

11:15-12:30 Session 13: Small group workshops

  • What are best practices for progressives to beat right-wing extremism on the campaign trail?
    11:15-12:00 working session
    12:00 presentations and discussion.

13:00 Closing