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. You also view a PDF of our printed program here.

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:

Breaking Through with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner

Breaking Through with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner (Powered by MomsRising) covers the topics currently facing our nation from a perspective that corporate media too often ignores: the perspective of real people and real experts. We take an in-depth look at how the issues that matter impact you, your neighborhood, and your community–along with what you can do to make a difference.  Listen, learn, grow, change the world.


With guests live from Netroots Nation 2015:

– Teresa Younger, CEO & President of Ms. Foundation

– Andrea Cristina Mercado, Co-Chair of We Belong Together & Campaign Director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance

– Liz Shuler, Secretary-Tresurer of the AFL-CIO

– Jessica Gonzalez Rojas, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

–  Jessica Byrd, Founder and Principal of Three Point Strategies


Panelists: Jessica Byrd, Jessica González-Rojas, Andrea Cristina Mercado, Liz Shuler, Theresa Younger

Netroots Nation 2015 Summer Pool Party Kick Off--Welcome to Phoenix - AT CAPACITY

Arizona Wins and Progress Now are excited to welcome Netroots Nation to Phoenix with a pool party at Downtown Phoenix’s Hotel Palomar (2 East Jefferson St, Phoenix) Escape the notorious Arizona heat on the rooftop pool while enjoying city views and meeting fellow progressive activists.

Currently at capacity.

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?

Led by: Jess McIntosh

Panelists: Krystal Ball, Kimberly 'Dr. Goddess' Ellis, Jaclyn Friedman, Zerlina Maxwell

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

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

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

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

Last year, University of Oregon psychology professor Paul Slovic 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?

Led by: Ginny Simmons

Panelists: Garth Moore, Andrew Rothman, Toby Thompkins

State Battlegrounds: The Real Fight for Voting Rights

Nearly two dozen states have passed new voting restrictions since the 2010 election. At the same time, several states have moved to improve access to the ballot. Congressional and court fights often receive wide attention, but the highest-stakes battles are still happening in state capitals across the country. This panel will examine those battles and draw important lessons—from the voting world and others—for how to craft a successful strategy. Join advocates and experts for a discussion about the best organizing, communications and policy strategies to create a winning campaign in your state.

Led by: DeNora Getachew

Panelists: Sue Hyde, Henry Kraemer, Leora Olivas, Maggie Toulouse Oliver

People's Climate March: Music and Art in service of social movements

People’s Climate March core-organizers will discuss the importance of music and art in support of the Peoples Climate Movement.

Led by: Whit Jones

Panelists: Daphne Carr, Charlie Furman, Jetsonorama

The Fight to Save Dodd-Frank

The GOP majority in Congress have made no secret of their hostility toward financial reform and their desire to dismantle the key reforms implemented by Dodd-Frank. With a GOP Senate majority and big margins in the House there is a very real chance the safeguards passed after the financial crisis of 2008 will be destroyed altogether. To prevent another financial meltdown, and the possibility of needing another taxpayer bailout of the banking system, progressives should be fighting loudly and boldly to protect Dodd-Frank.

Panelists: Lisa Cody, Lisa Donner, Wallace Turbeville

Student Debt Crisis: How We Can Help Stop the Next Economic Bubble from Bursting

Rising tuition costs and mounting debt have put higher education beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest of students. This challenge threatens to lock generations out of living wage jobs and widen the wealth gap in America. President Obama’s bold plan to offer two years of free community college is a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough to reverse the disturbing trends in higher education. Even if we made higher education free tomorrow, we would still need policy solutions to help alleviate the existing $1.2 trillion in student debt. This panel will explore big ideas to reform higher education and discuss what you can do to ensure that this cornerstone of our society remains accessible.

Led by: Robert Cruickshank

Panelists: Natalia Abrams, Melissa Byrne, Angela Peoples, Kayla Wingbermuehle

Love is a Revolutionary Act: Using Culture to Shift Narratives in Communities of Color

Shifting hearts and minds is one of the core principles of community organizing. But how do you do it well? Art and storytelling can be fantastic tools for culture shifting and moving the political paradigm, especially in communities of color. This panel will look at a radical walking tour, essays at the intersection of race and love, photo series, visual art at protests and sci fi POC stories that can all create an empowering political space.

Led by: Tanzila Ahmed

Panelists: Orlando Arenas, Sabiha Basrai, Gregory Cendana

New Models for Digital Organizing in 2016 and Beyond

As 2016 approaches, digital organizing is now a critical component of political and advocacy campaigning. At the same time, resources for digital operations have become more scarce, especially for smaller groups and down-ballot races. This has led many digital programs to find new and innovative ways to provide services to their constituent organizations. Come hear from community leaders from the DNC, DCCC, EMILY’s List and the AFL-CIO about how they’re creatively bridging the digital gap and bringing digital organizing resources to those who need them the most.

Led by: Jenna Lowenstein

Panelists: Nicole Aro, Matt Compton, Brandon English, Dave Leichtman, Caitlin Mitchell

Arizona's Latino Civic Engagement from SB 1070 to Now

Since the passage of SB1070, groups around the state — and country — have prioritized innovative and collaborative civic engagement campaigns with Latinos. Join us for a conversation on how grassroots organizing, Spanish media partnerships and technology has maximized efforts and resources around the state to build political power.

Led by: Francisco Heredia

Panelists: John Loredo, Tomas Robles, Raquel Teran, Brendan Walsh

Master Class: BSD Tools

The Master Class program is focused on the specific tools that organizers use every day, and helping intermediate users become efficient, effective power users. Feel free to bring tool-specific questions to the session.

Dozens of the most important and successful digital campaigns, from Senate campaigns to Presidentials, utilize the BSD Tools to help run their digital campaigns. Attendees will hear from a BSD staff member about the powerful features they might not know about that will maximize their ability to target, personalize, and execute the digital programs they want. This session will provide helpful tips on how to use BSD Tools like BSD employees use the BSD Tools. Guests will learn about powerful features such as personalization datasets, Twig, APIs, the Graph API, and more.

Trainers: Seth Reznik

Best Practices in Digital Analytics: Using Website and Social Media Testing to Optimize for Virality

In recent years, using A/B testing to drive more actions from email campaigns has become a common best practice amongst digital campaigners. But most people haven’t yet cracked the nut on how to use A/B testing to increase a campaign’s virality and reach a wider audience beyond their existing email list.

In this training, we’ll explain what virality actually is, show you how you can use website and social media A/B testing to increase it, and go over some real examples of how organizations have done this. We’ll conclude with a workshop where you’ll have a chance to optimize your own simulated campaign and make it go viral.

Trainers: Angelica Morales, Jim Pugh

Yoga with Rev. angel Kyodo Williams

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

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: Lacey Connelly, Michelle Martinez

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

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

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, Lisa Hoyos, Elsa Johnson, Lauren Kuby

Can Big Data Keep Us Safe?

Police departments from New York to Chicago are using “big data” to try to predict everything from where the next crime wave will be to who is going to commit the crimes. On the federal level, big data is being used to improve health outcomes, reduce waste, and more. But can big data be used to predict terrorism? And if so, what impact will increasingly invasive technologies have on communities law enforcement may be targeting? On our civil liberties? Experts will discuss developing technologies, the role of using big data in counterterrorism and law enforcement, and their impact on local communities. We’ll also talk about what advocates and bloggers can do to protect their privacy and and ensure law enforcement is not racially profiling communities.

Led by: Matt Stroud

Panelists: Sean Bair, Rachel Levinson-Waldman, State Senator Martín Quezada

Corporate Takeover Goes Local: Communities Fight Back

For proponents, privatization is simply a transfer of ownership of a property or business from the government to the private sector. But for public education, it means the replacement of high-quality staff dedicated to students and the surrounding community with workers from outside the communities with little accountability or oversight. In public education, schools and staff functions (custodial, clerical, food service, transportation, etc) are contracted out at what companies claim is a lower cost. What they don’t say is that those estimates are usually bid low to get in the door, so quality is often the casualty. All students deserve a high quality education—one that puts quality before profit. We’ll discuss the impact of privatization in education, who’s pushing for it, and how to fight against it.

Led by: Lisa Graves

Panelists: Marla Lipkin, Jonathan Parker, Julian Vasquez Heilig

Out-innovating Silicon Valley: How Nonprofits and B-corps are Using Innovative Business Models to Keep Progressive Technology Progressive

To build the next generation of technology to power progressives, a handful of innovators are thinking differently about how to fund and build a tech startup on sustainable progressive values. Utilizing non-profit and alternative corporate structures, building creative funding streams and partnering with progressive institutions and financiers, these innovators are building all new business models for the progressive movement. Come see how nonprofits and alternative corporations in partnership with progressive institutions are in some cases out-innovating Silicon Valley, finding new ways of financing their start-up and growth and building technology that stays progressive for the long haul.

Led by: Brian Young

Panelists: Nicole Aro, Jessica Hyejin Lee, Julie Menter, Jason Rosenbaum, Nathan Woodhull

We are One: Overcoming the Shared Opposition of the LGBT and Reproductive Rights Movements

Domestically, they brought you DOMA and abortion bans; abroad, they instigated the passage of Uganda’s “anti-homosexuality” bill and are thwarting reproductive justice in Latin America. Often, these actors’ actions abroad go unnoticed in the U.S. Join us for a hands-on strategy session that aims to expose‚Äîand challenge‚Äîthe right-wing forces behind LGBT oppression and anti-reproductive rights campaigns, from Focus on the Family to Rick Warren and Rep. Chris Smith. We’ll discuss shared adversaries in the fight for sexual and reproductive rights. Learn from activists on the front lines what you can do to defend LGBT and reproductive rights worldwide. We’ll break into small groups to talk communications campaigns, how to be an effective global partner, and how to engage in campaigns to uncover here at home what the oppositions’ actions are abroad.

Led by: Lori Adelman

Panelists: Brittany Alston Caballero, Gillian Kane, Kapya Kaoma, Kat Sabine

Who Leads Us? Tackling Structural Barriers to a Reflective Democracy

At WhoLeads.Us, we can now see for the first time the race and gender makeup of our elected officials, from the county level all the way up to President. It’s not a pretty picture: of 42,000 elected officials, this groundbreaking study found that 90 percent are white, 71 percent are men and 65 percent are white men. In a country that is increasingly diverse, this imbalance is not sustainable. So how do we change it? We cannot continue to do it one candidate at a time, but rather need to address the structural barriers that keep this dynamic stuck where it is. In this session, we’ll showcase emerging leaders who are engaging in innovative pilot projects to tackle structural barriers preventing us from having a reflective democracy‚Äîone where our leaders reflect the people they serve and tap into the full range of talent America has to offer.

Led by: Jenifer Fernandez Ancona

Panelists: Jessica Byrd, Chrissie Castro, Shanthi Gonzales, State Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs

Master Class: Facebook Ads

The Master Class program is focused on the specific tools that organizers use every day, and helping intermediate users become efficient, effective power users. Feel free to bring tool-specific questions to the session.

You’ve boosted a post here or there, dabbled in the Ads Manager, maybe even taken a peek into Power Editor once or twice, but now you’re looking to take your Facebook campaigns to the next level. Join Facebook Client Solutions Manager Chase Mohney to learn tips and tricks to help you streamline your campaigns and better achieve your organizational goals with Facebook advertising. Topics covered will include: Objective-based campaign structure, creative, and bidding; Facebook ad interfaces (Ads Manager and Power Editor); basics of Facebook ads reporting; and leveraging the Facebook Conversion Pixel.

Trainers: Chase Mohney

The Arizona Sound Strike: 5 years later

Five years ago, as one of the nation’s most restrictive immigration laws was set to go into affect in Arizona, Zach Dela Rocha of Rage Against the Machine organized the “Sound Strike”boycott of the state. Over 100 nationally touring musicians joined the Sound Strike, with a few canceling gigs and others scheduling free appearances at protest events in the state. But the music community wasn’t in complete agreement when it came to tactics. Some local promoters and performers argued that music fans were a key progressive audience in the state who needed to be engaged, and the best way to do that was to keep the music playing in the state and rally fans to vote and engage around the issue. Now, with the benefit of five years of hindsight, we gather organizers and musicians with various perspectives, taking a look back at what lessons we learned and how they can be applied to other progressive issues.

Led by: Andy Bernstein

Panelists: Yolanda Bejarano, Henri Benard, Charlie Levy, Salvador Reza

A Streetcar Named Deception (sponsored panel)

Streetcars are enjoying a renaissance as a funky, classic mode of transportation through historic and commercial areas of cities. From Milwaukee to Kansas City to Tucson, cities are building or proposing streetcars to attract high-end developers, condo-dwellers and shoppers to “trendy” areas. However, these “boutique” streetcars aren’t what they seem. They have no real use for people who actually depend on public transit to get to work, to the doctor or to church. These streetcars actually divert taxpayer money away real transit—buses and light rail—resulting in routes being cut and fares going up. Furthermore, new streetcars are often operated by private companies with a history of mistreating workers and rarely reinvest profits in the community they serve. They donate funds to elected officials, receive tax breaks and reap millions of taxpayer dollars in contracts and then take their profits elsewhere. Learn why today’s streetcars are making transit options and communities worse.

This panel is sponsored by the Amalgamated Transit Union

Led by: David Roscow

Panelists: Bennett Foster, Jeff Rosenberg, Germaine Wells

Latino Caucus

Mind/Body Practice with Kerri Kelly

Led by: Kerri Kelly

Morning Star Leaders

This group of shining stars represent an inter-tribal group of young people who will perform a traditional flute song, among others. Enjoy learning about the local O’otham, Diné and other tribes from the area through a beautiful cultural performance.

Womens Caucus

Arab, Middle-Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian Caucus

Led by: Kalia Abiade

Labor and Worker Organizing Caucus

Connect with like-minded folks and talk with others from your community in our identity caucuses.

Led by: Carmen Berkley

Queer People of Color Caucus

This caucus is to provide a conversation space for folks who identify as Queer People of Color. We will network and create concrete campaigns around issues including: police brutality and militarization,immigration, and anti-racism work. Together we’ll seek common ground as people of color in the LGBTQ struggle for equality while challenging the racism in our own communities as well.

This caucus has a facebook event, so join the conversation there before we get to Phoenix.

Led by: Eyad Alkurabi, Daniel Villarreal

State Caucus: Arizona

Come to one of our state and regional caucuses to meet folks from your home area and hear what others are working on.

State Caucus: California

Come to one of our state and regional caucuses to meet folks from your home area and hear what others are working on.

State Caucus: Colorado

Come to one of our state and regional caucuses to meet folks from your home area and hear what others are working on.

State Caucus: Michigan

Come to one of our state and regional caucuses to meet folks from your home area and hear what others are working on.

State Caucus: Minnesota

Come to one of our state and regional caucuses to meet folks from your home area and hear what others are working on.

State Caucus: Missouri

Come to one of our state and regional caucuses to meet folks from your home area and hear what others are working on.

State Caucus: New Mexico

Come to one of our state and regional caucuses to meet folks from your home area and hear what others are working on.

State Caucus: Nevada

Come to one of our state and regional caucuses to meet folks from your home area and hear what others are working on.

State Caucus: Ohio

Come to one of our state and regional caucuses to meet folks from your home area and hear what others are working on.

State Caucus: Pennsylvania

Come to one of our state and regional caucuses to meet folks from your home area and hear what others are working on.

State Caucus: Texas

Come to one of our state and regional caucuses to meet folks from your home area and hear what others are working on.

State Caucus: District of Columbia

Come to one of our state and regional caucuses to meet folks from your home area and hear what others are working on.

Regional Caucus: Pacific Northwest

Come to one of our state and regional caucuses to meet folks from your home area and hear what others are working on.

Netroots Nation 2016