Examining Consolidation in Progressive Tech

Examining Consolidation in Progressive Tech

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Thursday, Aug. 18 2:30 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Thursday, Aug. 18 3:30 PM (Eastern)

After a wave of consolidation in recent years, many of the most utilized tech and data tools in progressive organizing are now owned by a limited number of corporate and private equity entities. Many have criticized these moves, but an informed public debate has been absent. This diverse panel will examine consolidation in progressive tech and data, understanding why it has come to pass and discussing what the impact on our organizing work is—and might be. This will be a nuanced debate, featuring panelists with deep understandings of these issues from their respective roles across the organizing and tech spaces.


Ron Knox

Ron Knox is a Senior Researcher and Writer for ILSR’s Independent Business Initiative. A combined storyteller and antitrust expert, Ron reports on the ways extreme corporate concentration has come to dominate and damage industries throughout the economy. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Wired, The American Prospect and elsewhere. He is based in Kansas City.

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Kate Gage


Kate has spent her career working to build technology and innovation infrastructure for social good. After eight years at the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, Kate moved into political organizing, first with Democratic State Parties, The March for Our Lives, and then at The Movement Cooperative.
Kate is now the Executive Director of the Cooperative Impact Lab, working to build new infrastructure solutions for movement organizing.

Hillary Lehr

Hillary Lehr

Hillary specializes in rapid scale at civic tech startups, political tech investment firms, nonprofits and top campaigns.

At Higher Ground Labs, Hillary manages the firm’s portfolio and accelerator programs: coaching startup founders, convening high profile strategic roundtables, and co-launching innovative first-time programs including AllHands, a technical talent recruitment partnership, and Uptime 2020, an important security, bug bounty, & technology reliability program.

Prior to Higher Ground Labs, Hillary led Client Success at Hustle from 2016-2018. Previously, Hillary managed client partnerships and user research initiatives at Brigade and Causes.com. Hillary’s career began in environmental and human rights organizations where she got her start digitalizing nonprofit campaign work during the rise of CRMs, viral petitions, and early social media platforms at Global Exchange and Rainforest Action Network.

Other sessions: Building Your Tech Stack 101: Getting Started with Digital Campaign Tools

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