If you’re new to Netroots Nation, you can get a sense of what the event looks like by checking out our schedule overview. Below you can view panels, training sessions, keynotes and other content as sessions and speakers are confirmed.

Highlights for Netroots Nation 2015 include:

  • 80 panels and 40+ hands-on training sessions
  • Local activism
  • A progressive film Screening Series
  • An Ignite themed keynote, featuring fast-paced talks from movement leaders
  • Annual events including our pub quiz, comedy show and candidate reception and much more to be announced!

Order by:

Daring to Internet While Female 2.0

Last year’s successful Daring to Internet While Female panel addressed being a woman online and in public spaces. Now, we’re following it up with a sequel! We’ve all had experiences being bullied, harassed and silenced online—but where do we go from there? How can we be more supportive in spaces that aren’t our own? How can we listen better, act more strategically and ensure that people are comfortable telling their stories publicly?

Acquisition 102: So You Want to Grow Your List? Now What?

Maybe your boss has agreed to spend money on adding users to your list. Or maybe they haven’t agreed yet, but you want to present decision makers at your organization with a real plan to grow your community. Either way, this session is for you. We’ll explore what steps you need to take to begin running an acquisition campaign, what paid and unpaid options are available to you to acquire new users, how you can handle all of the new users that you have acquired, and how you can track the performance of those users to demonstrate a return on your investment. We will move you through the process of making a plan and share case studies of successful acquisition campaigns.

Trainers: J.D. Bryant, Tracy Rohrbach

How to Not Ruin Your Website

If your campaign or non-profit is thinking about building or rebuilding a website this year, it’s tough to know what will deliver results, and what will be the next <blink>. DON’T spend an arm and a leg; DON’T take all year for a mediocre site design; DON’T stress yourself out; and DO deliver a great website that will get the job done. Come to this session and learn the latest best practices including how to optimize for mobile.

Trainers: Laura Packard, Isaac Salazar

Metrics for Online Organizers: Is Your Sh*t Working?

Are you posting, Tweeting, emailing and wondering if what you’re doing is working? This workshop will provide tools and tactics for getting the kind of information you need to focus your limited resources where they can get the biggest bang. We’ll highlight quick and dirty ways to get the data you need to shape strategy and discuss quick ways to use things like Google Analytics and Twitter Analytics. How can you set up your campaign to track which allies are coming through and which aren’t? What email metrics should you track to ensure your email isn’t going to spam? We’ll provide sample worksheets for tracking metrics, as well as a priority list if you have to choose just one or two things to track.

Trainers: Hannah Roditi

Small-scale Facebook Campaigns for Better Email Performance

Email remains the medium of choice for digital organizers to communicate with their list. But your members only spend a fraction of their day in their inboxes. We have multiple studies showing that users who see Facebook ads are more likely to donate to a fundraising email. By communicating with your email list with Facebook ads, you can improve email performance—even on a small budget. In this session, we’ll present a step-by-step guide to building and analyzing a campaign around this cost-effective tactic.

Trainers: Kirin Jessel, Brian O'Grady

Turbo-charging Your Campaigns via Online Influencers

Kanye and the Kardashians are not the only online influencers with the power to change the world. The most powerful communications come not from nonprofits themselves, but from everyday supporters with passionate voices who have the ability to reach broad audiences to drive powerful action. These supporters, known as influencers, are passionate, have the ability to mobilize an audience that trusts them. In fact, our research has found that the top 5% of your database, on average, has a reach 200 times larger than your entire email lists. Join this dynamic workshop if you’re ready to learn why leveraging the true power of your network is a game changer and exactly how you can do this. We’ll share actionable ideas of how you can identify and target your own influencers so you can launch promotions that drive engagement across your marketing channels.

Trainers: Cheryl Contee

Using Powerful Tools to Ramp up Your Organizing Game on Twitter

Want to significantly expand your Twitter followers strategically to help win your campaigns? This training is for online organizers and activists at an intermediate to advanced level in their use of Twitter. We’ll discuss one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools for building and managing Twitter strategically, and how to use mass direct messaging as part of a campaign plan. We’ll also touch on other tools and what you need to spend money on versus what you can get for free. The training will integrate a wide range of best practices, including how to evaluate results. We’ll do live demos and there will be plenty of time for Q&A.

Trainers: Hannah Roditi

Email Campaigns that Engage Activists, Raise Money and Move Your Mission

Email programs often have conflicting priorities: budgets need to be met, activists are waiting to be engaged and you have to keep working to meet your organization’s mission goals. This training will help you develop strategies and tools to achieve all these goals with a cohesive email program. You’ll learn how to set the goals of your program, analyze data and develop a robust messaging calendar—including rapid response!—that helps you succeed.

Trainers: Allyson Goldsmith, Colleen Hutchings

Face It: Design to Hack Peoples' Minds

Ever wonder why certain ads, mailers and other creative designs attract you more than others? It’s a question that designers ask themselves every day. Learn about how artists have been focusing on human faces since the dawn of “political ads,” why it works and how you can use this to improve your own design. Delve into the psychology of how humans recognize visual information and learn how to utilize the way we react with our world to attract more people to your message. This training will cover the basics of photo-based design and help you improve the visuals of your cause, campaign or business.

Trainers: Candice Dayoan

Making it Rain: Donor Research and Baller Asks

Improving your fundraising is critical, whether you’re running a small grassroots campaign or running for office. Our exercise-based curriculum will help you learn hands-on how to research donors and ask for money more effectively. And when progressives can raise more grassroots dollars, we win more. It’s that simple.

Trainers: Sarah Badawi, Lacey Connelly

This is What Happens in a Congressional Office When You Write Your Rep

Former and current Congressional staffers give an inside look at how Congressional offices receive, process and respond to emails and constituent mail, plus share advice about effective online advocacy.

Trainers: Yuri Beckelman, Travis Moore

7 Legal Rules for Online Advocacy That Everyone Should Know

Can a c3 lose its tax status over a careless tweet? What happens when a politician “likes” your organization’s Facebook page? Social media can help an organization shape public policy, but it comes with its own set of rules and regulations. Many nonprofits are hesitant about engaging in online advocacy, but knowing these rules can strengthen your work! Join us for a training that will clarify the rules for using social media, blogs and email as part of your advocacy toolkit. Trainers will give concrete examples and invite the audience to discuss hypothetical situations to develop a deeper understanding of the rules that apply to online advocacy.

Trainers: Isaiah Castilla, Shanelle Matthews

Problem, Platform, Program: Developing a Successful Campaign Strategy for Issue Advocacy

So you want to make a difference. Now what? This training will help you develop a common vocabulary and methodology to put together a winning campaign strategy. We’ll help you define the problem you’re working to solve, develop a long-term vision for “how the world should work” and figure out the specific social change you’re working to create. We’ll share real world examples of this framework in action from our successful campaign to ban fracking in New York state and our ongoing work to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Then, we’ll apply our framework to your ongoing campaigns to deepen your understanding. We’ll work through these examples together from top to bottom and bottom to top to double-check that your campaign strategy hangs together.

Trainers: Mario Salazar, Lucy Sedgwick

We’re Not Upworthy: Social Media for Organizations With No Money, Time or Resources

Social media can be a fickle and frustrating beast, especially for organizations that don’t have a lot (or any) money, staff or time to put into mastering its constantly changing best practices. And yet, when it works, it can be one of the most cost-effective ways for small organizations to reach new audiences and expand their base. We’ll teach you how to optimize the time you spend on your organization’s Facebook page and Twitter account so your reach is growing and your content is designed to get in front of as many of your followers as possible.

Trainers: Beth Becker, Hilary Woodward

Creating Successful Bilingual Campaigns

All successful campaigns share some basic elements that help you win, but if you are running a bilingual campaign, there are important steps to take to help you engage Spanish-speakers more effectively. Latinos are one of the fastest growing demographics in the country, and campaigns are becoming bilingual from coast to coast. Join us to learn how to set up a successful bilingual campaign, learn about some case studies and ask questions, in English or Spanish!

Trainers: Luis Avila, Adria Marquez

How to Get Coverage in Spanish Language Media

Spanish language media outlets are springing up throughout the country, and if your issue or candidate is not appearing in these outlets, you’re not communicating with a significant and important constituency. Don’t miss reaching out to valuable allies because you don’t speak Spanish or don’t know where to start. Learn the basics of finding reporters, building relationships with Spanish language media outlets and getting your issues or candidates some coverage.

Trainers: Jocelyn Torres

How to Get Media and Breakthrough on Your Issue

The media landscape is changing dramatically and getting more crowded by the minute. How do we breakout, breakthrough and win in this competitive landscape? Creative integrated (earned, paid, social) campaigns can influence decision makers, persuade the public, provide legitimacy and be the difference between a winning campaign and a losing one. In this session you’ll hear from media and PR professionals about best practices and tips on how to make the most impact.

Trainers: Doug Gordon

Saving Millions with Earned Media: How to Organize Kick-Ass Press Events and Get Your Campaign Covered

Earned media can be one of the most important (free) resources on your campaign, especially when you are strapped for cash. Our exercise-based curriculum will help you learn hands-on how to plan and execute a great press event—and generate thousands of dollars in media for your campaign.

Trainers: Lacey Connelly, Laura Friedenbach

Presence and Authenticity: The Key to Being a Media Star

Media appearances are performances. To be a good performer, one needs tools and techniques. This session will teach the tools and techniques used by professional actors to create star presence. It will be an interactive master class as taught by Joel Silberman, New York theatrical director and media trainer to performers and successful progressive candidates.

Trainers: Joel Silberman

Video Shorts: Picking the Story that's Right for Your Cause

Using media is a must for activists. But how do you select the best story to catalyze action? Do you want to bring people of different perspectives together, or drive home a particular policy solution? And how will you measure impact? This workshop will help activists who use and/or produce short videos and other story-based media to employ a practical framework for assessing a video’s strengths against the social, cultural and policy change goals they seek. We’ll use Active Voice’s 2015 ONWARD campaign, which draws on a curated platform of immigration focused stories, as a real-time example and feature local case-studies of Arizona-based activists who have used impactful short videos to advance their work.

Trainers: Sahar Driver, Ellen Schneider

No Jedi Mind Tricks Needed: Harnessing the Power of Narrative

Progressives too often lead campaign messages with facts, policy abstractions or the problem itself, losing the public’s attention and failing to move anyone to action. The solution is to ground our campaign communications in the heroic stories of real people taking action to defend our shared values. We must begin engaging our base through storytelling if we want to change hearts and minds and increase civic participation. This training goes a couple steps beyond the “story of self, us, now” training that you may have received and explores how a collection of stories can create a lasting narrative and shape public opinions beyond one campaign.

Trainers: Marissa Luna, Spencer Olson

12 Ways to Get Field Organizers to Love Digital

Sick of trying to explain what hashtags are and why they matter to your organizing staff? Do you want to live out what’s happening online in the streets? Wanna stop sharing stock photos for your organization’s work on Facebook? When organizers understand the power in digital enough to start integrating it into their work, we can take advantage of digital opportunities that can only be seized out in the field—and most of all, smaller organizations can exponentially grow their capacity. At this training you’ll learn how to shift your organization or campaign’s culture so digital is an integral part of field organizers’ work, how organizers can use digital to make it more real for marginalized communities to be a part of your work, and more.

Trainers: Jane Booth-Tobin, Kandace Montgomery

Guerillarized Grassroots Advocacy

Tired of elected officials ignoring your press conferences, rallies and email blasts? Learn new disruptive and asymmetric strategies and tactics to effectively overcome better financed and entrenched special interests to change public policy in the legislative arena. These strategies and tactics were developed over the course of passing landmark environmental legislation in California to protect sharks, condors, and elephants. This training will help you find your opposition’s weak spots and provide you with the new media, messaging and legislative strategy skills necessary to win when the odds are heavily against you.

Trainers: Bill Wong

How a Gender Lens Can Help You Win

Many multi-issue organizing groups, even some with impressive scale, work on issues that deeply impact women but don’t use an explicit gender lens in determining their strategies, messaging or policy asks. As a result, the unique needs, experiences and perspectives of women, especially women of color, often remain out of view and an enormous amount of potential is left on the table. Make It Work has developed an engaging and accessible set of tools and a training curriculum to help progressive organizations close this gap. We know that organizing with an intersectional gender lens is a powerful tool for change, and has the potential to significantly impact the reach and scale of organizing efforts. We’ll show you how.

Trainers: Jordan Fitzgerald, Alicia Jay

The Psychology of Voting

This workshop will explore the psychology behind a voter’s decision of whether to vote or not. We’ll cover a number of actionable insights into voters’ minds contained within publicly available political science research.

Trainers: Daniel Gonzales

The Revolutionary Conversation: Changing the World One Voter at a Time

On a campaign, you talk to someone. And then the next person. And then the next person. Thousands and thousands of conversations are the molecules of a successful campaign. So don’t you want you and your volunteers to have the most effective conversations possible? Our exercise-based training will use best practices from labor and electoral organizing to break down the conversation, piece by piece—and turn our persuasive skills into art.

Trainers: Lacey Connelly, Kayla Wingbermuehle

Beating Back Burnout Culture in the Progressive Movement

While committing one’s life to the service of others is valiant, doing so at the cost of one’s personal sustainability is counter-productive. The path to a sustainable progressive movement begins with investing in our own personal health, happiness and long-term vision for our careers. In this training, Emilie Aries, founder of personal and professional development training organization, Bossed Up, will review the latest research on burnout, its root causes, and how we all can do more to foster a climate of sustainable success—for ourselves and our movement.

Trainers: Emilie Aries

Nonprofit Productivity: How to Get Sh*t Done While Wearing Many Hats

Chances are you wear a lot of hats. Many of us have to manage competing responsibilities on a daily basis, while continuing to move our missions forward. How can you measure the impact you make when you need to be making an impact in so many places? This training session will teach you how to prioritize your goals so you make real progress, instead of checking off things on a to-do list that doesn’t get you anywhere. You’ll learn how to clarify and prioritize what you need to get done so you can feel awesome about the work you do, make a bigger impact in your field, and make time for important things like rest and play.

Trainers: Bridgett Colling

Start-up Bootcamp: How to Get Your Big Idea Funded

Have a world-changing idea but need a bit of funding to get it off the ground? This session is for you. In this training, we will take you behind the curtain and shed light on what investors look for in entrepreneurs. We will use these practical lessons to help you develop the right proof points and hone your pitch. We will also discuss how to find and reach the right investors. The training will include a short presentation and lots of time for practice and questions.

Trainers: Julie Menter

Training for Trainers: Principles of Adult Learning

Think of every training you’ve ever attended. What’s the difference between the ones that make you yawn and the ones that make you feel motivated and confident about applying new knowledge and skills to your work? Join this session to learn the science behind effective trainings, so you can apply it the next time you need to teach anything to anyone.

Trainers: Ashley Pinedo, Victoria Zyp

Field Testing 101: Even the Smallest Campaigns Can Benefit

The Analyst Institute’s work with randomized controlled experiments during electoral and advocacy programs is helping the progressive movement build a wealth of shared knowledge about best practices and cost effectiveness. But often it’s only larger campaigns and organizations who make use of these revolutionary tools. Hear findings from some of the latest experiments and find out what are the next big research questions. Discuss when you should test and when you should skip it, and learn how even the smallest campaigns and organizations can use this technology effectively. Takeaways include an understanding of field-testing practices in a political context, knowledge about what kinds of research have been done and research priorities moving forward.

Trainers: Daniel Gonzales

The Online Lab: Perfecting Your Outreach Through Email Testing

Every email list is different, so how do you know what messaging will motivate your supporters the most? What subject lines will grab their attention? Which email layout will get them to click through? Here’s the good news: the answers to those questions—and more—are a simple email test away. In this session, attendees will learn the basics of email testing, including what defines effective testing, what tools they need to get started, testing best practices, how to determine if a test was statistically significant and how to apply testing results to refine successful email practices.

Trainers: Allyson Goldsmith, Damien Shirley

Facebook-Powered Growth: Turning Likes into Email Supporters and Donors

There are over 1 billion Facebook users, but how do you motivate them to go beyond ‘like’ and ‘share’ and support your organization in bigger, more meaningful ways? This session will discuss proven methods to grow and inspire your Facebook audience to move up the ladder to email engagement. We will explore tools—such as ActionSprout, Crowdtangle and advanced Facebook advertising—to build a low cost, high performance email list. And we’ll delve into the best practices for how to onboard and cultivate that email list, moving them to take higher level actions such as signing petitions, volunteering and donating to your cause.

Trainers: Michael Grenetz, Damien Shirley

Creative for All: The Keys to Creating Compelling Content

Come learn the basics for getting creative ideas up and running efficiently and in-house. We’ll cover everything from breaking down key messaging into a strong and sharable graphic image, to basic design principles to cheap creative tools that are available for anyone to use.

Trainers: Rohan Porteous

It’s the Creative, Stupid! Using Content to Drive Your Message from Facebook and Instagram

Join the political team from Facebook and Instagram to dive into the world of digital creative. What is creative content? How do you find a creative voice in the noisy social media landscape? How do you design content that actually connects with audiences? This training will explore themes of successful creative and how to get scrappy with your content creation. There will be Q&A around the creative challenges facing the political community and recommendations for how to align creative strategy with broader goals.

Trainers: Tass-Parker John, Kaiya Waddell

Multilingual Justice: Beyond Translation

With recent uprisings of low-wage workers fighting against poverty wages, many grassroots organizers have a need to organize in a way that transcends barriers of language. Creating multilingual spaces in a consistent and inviting way can drastically change the culture and dialogue of an organization. But translation is not enough. Adopting a multilingual justice model takes translation to the next level. It challenges the privileged of holding conversation in any one language, and it opens participants hearts to other lived experiences. This training session will explain what a multilingual justice model is (and how it is different from translation), demonstrate what it looks like in action, and recommend strategies for adopting the model in your organization.

Trainers: Jeannette Huezo, Tony Macias

Turning Young Activism into Policy

Millennials are inspiring and influencing public policy in a number of ways. The panel will look to inspire and encourage your emerging and future leadership. Through their grassroots efforts encompassing campaigns, protests, social media and press, young leaders are showing us ways to get millennials engaged and involved in politics. Even those who are ineligible to vote have influenced policy. This panel will explore how young activists got involved even at a young age and how their actions have resulted in real policy changes, plus we’ll discuss various ways to engage this demographic.

How to Move Your Data from Excel to SQL

Many analysts are able to force Excel into doing the things they need. But once the data gets big enough, their VLOOKUPs and pivot tables break Excel, or force you to wait minutes to get data that should get back to you within seconds. Though many people can teach themselves how to query a database with the help of rigorous Googling, learning how to utilize actually get your spreadsheet data into a database can be daunting. Attendees will get hands-on experience in learning how to import their data into a SQL database so they can stop wrestling with their software and spend more time extracting meaningful analysis.

Trainers: Yahel Carmon

To Change Everything, It Takes Everyone: Lessons from the People's Climate March

The People’s Climate March on September 21, 2014, was the largest and most diverse climate march in history. More than 400,000 people took to the streets of New York City for the mobilization, representing social justice, labor, environmental, youth, women’s groups and more. The march generated thousands of media hits, built lasting strategic coalitions and increased the momentum for international climate action. This panel will go behind the scenes of the effort with some of the march’s lead organizers to talk about lessons learned, next steps and how all of us in the progressive movement can get out of the conference halls and into the streets—bigger, louder and more effective than ever before.

Water, Drought and Climate Change in the Southwest and Beyond

Water is important everywhere, and nowhere is that more apparent than here in the deserts of the Southwest. Access to water, droughts and water policies affect everyone in the region. This panel will show how water—and growing water shortages in the West—has an impact on other progressive issue areas. We’ll discuss the drought’s impacts on immigration, and the plight of migrants who die as they cross the border. Climate change is bringing on droughts and associated disasters such as wildfires, so we’ll hear how firefighters protect their communities and work to keep fire agencies adequately funded to keep pace. Finally, we’ll explore the role of public education and advocacy in shaping policies that protect a sustainable water future.

People Power: Energy, Electricity and Climate Justice

Dirty fossil fuel utilities are opposing progressive change, raising rates and killing the planet, but people across the country, led by youth and First Nations activism, are taking back power. Learn how climate hawks and economic justice activists are working together to make our power grid and politics cleaner, and fighting for more affordable and equitable energy costs. National leaders and Arizona activists will share their stories of how to build coalitions and create a greener, brighter future across political, class and racial boundaries.

Led by: Brad Johnson

Panelists: Sandy Bahr, Matt Browner-Hamlin, Lisa Hoyos, Elsa Johnson, Lauren Kuby

Who's Got the Power? Moving a Women's Economic Empowerment Agenda Forward

A women’s economic empowerment policy agenda is a hot topic inside the Beltway this year, with leaders jumping on the bandwagon. So far, too few people are talking about these topics in the progressive community. With a presidential election looming, though, that’s about to change. After all, women are more than 50 percent of the electorate, the majority of social media users, make more than 70 percent of purchasing decisions and are 50 percent of the entire paid labor force for the first time in history. People (and leaders) are noting that our nation’s women’s economic empowerment policies, including on childcare, sick days, family leave and fair pay are seriously outdated. We’ll talk about how to focus the spotlight onto advancing effective policies that move our nation toward gender equality—and why it matters to everyone and to our national economy.

Feminist Future: How Folks of Color, Queer Activists and Young People are Transforming the Movement

You’ve probably heard about first, second and third-wave feminism. You know that movements change and evolve over time. This panel is about expanding what’s possible in the feminist movement by highlighting young leaders and activists and creating a space to envision the future of feminism. The millennial generation is the most diverse generation our country has seen. This panel will share data on millennial attitudes on a number of social issues that will impact 2016 and highlight voices of young activists doing the work and asserting the future of feminism. What will be the impact of feminism and the youth movement on the 2016 election?

Beyond "Diversity": A New Model for Solidarity Across Causes and Identities

“Allyship” and “diversity” have become progressive buzzwords, yet we still face an unbearable whiteness in liberal media and great racial and gender-based schisms within our movement. This panel will focus on modeling solidarity in the progressive movement by centering and elevating historically marginalized voices, and learning key lessons for the progressive movement along the way. Come learn from activists on the digital front lines who are identifying common adversaries to the progressive movement and banding together to face them.

Women Leading the Labor Movement

This panel will explore the unique opportunities and challenges women face while leading the labor movement. Some of the most innovative worker organizing strategies of the 21st century labor movement are being led by women. From the building trades and taxi worker organizing to domestic worker organizing , the labor movement is under attack. These women are re-inventing and growing the labor movement by building worker power in sectors and industries that have been deeply dominated by men. How do they do it? How do they balance their aspirations and commitment to visions of collective worker power and their personal lives? Who are their mentors?

Campus Sexual Assault: Fighting Violence is a Feminist Issue

One in 4 college aged women will experience sexual assault on campus. The majority of these assaults are not reported, and when they are the process rarely results in anything resembling justice. Victims/survivors are fighting back and a movement is happening now that can and will end this epidemic. This panel will feature change makers working across media and film, to education and culture, to policy and advocacy fighting for folks to live free from sexual violence and embrace healthy, positive sexuality.

Using Psychology to Understand Why and When People Donate (and Why and When they Don't)

Last year, University of Oregon psychology professor Paul Slovak released a study showing that when you introduce facts about how big a problem is, people are demotivated to help. For example, people will donate to help feed a starving girl, but if you tell them there are millions of starving children just like her, they are less likely to donate. This is not just a “heart vs. head” situation. It is instead feelings negating other feelings. Even if you use a powerful personal story that in-and-of-itself motivates people to help, the mere introduction of facts about the big picture causes people to lose the “warm glow” feeling of helping, feel overwhelmed and choose to disengage. What does this mean for online organizing, the media and even progressive funding, and how can we better understand this phenomenon to become more effective agents for change?

Is This Thing On? How to Know If Your Online Ads are Working

For years, digital has been billed as inherently more accountable than traditional paid media. But how do you know whether clicks and impressions are actually translating into dollars and votes? We’ll explore the many methodologies you can use to determine whether your online ad dollars are being well spent—and how you can use that data to get organizational buy-in (and bigger budgets).

Creative Disruption: Culture Jamming, Subversive Actions and Media Tactics for a 2.0 World

How can we use creative disruption to interrupt injustice, advance our campaigns and shift culture? We’ll explore the evolution of tactics in the age of social media, where our ability to capture the imagination of our audience determines the scale of our impact. Join us to discuss how to incorporate culture jamming, creative actions and media stunts into campaigns and to explore the broader concepts that make these tactics succeed or fail. Whether holding fake press conferences, creating spoof ads or glitterbombing presidential candidates is your thing, this panel is sure to have something to grab your attention.

Led by: Nick Espinosa

Mitigating Media Mansplaining

Opinion pages and Sunday political talk shows are notorious sausage fests. And trolling, personal attacks and threats abound for those outside that demographic who take to the Internet to share their perspectives. The result is a severe lack of diversity among columnists and commentators, creating an echo chamber that systematically invalidates the perspectives of women and other marginalized groups less likely to speak up (or to have opportunities to speak up) and be heard. This creates an impoverished democracy in which many ideas go unvoiced, unheard and undebated. Using opinion writing and television commentary as a starting point, we’ll explore whose ideas drive our public discourse—ultimately shaping the way our history is written—and how our understanding of the world suffers when a wide range of perspectives is missing from the media debate.

Netroots Nation 2015