Are daily political events leaving you reeling? Are you concerned about the rise of hateful acts around the world and right here at home? Are you asking what you can do to build the Canada we know is possible?

APRIL 5-7, 2017
Delta Ottawa City Centre

Generations of progressives have imagined a better country and fought hard to make it so. But our work is far from done. To ensure Canada achieves its true potential for justice, prosperity, democracy and sustainability we need to kick-start the next round of transformations.

We need to change the game.


We start by coming together as leaders – the gamechangers – from across the country and around the world to learn, connect, and to build power. At this pivotal moment in history, join us at Progress Summit 2017- Change the Game.

Progress Summit 2017 features two full days of engaging programming, April 6 and April 7, 2017.  The Summit opens with a welcome reception on April 5, from 5 to 7 pm.

Tickets Level

  • Organizational : Regular: $485/ Early Bird: $400
  • Special Package for teams: 4x $1300
  • Individual : Regular: $395/ Early Bird: $300
  • Underwaged : $195
Select the number of tickets you wish to purchase:

X $1,300.00 Special GRIC Package for Teams (includes 4 tickets)
X $485.00 Organizational
X $395.00 Individual
X $195.00 Underwaged

Hotel & travel discounts are available for registered participants. Check your confirmation email for details.

Themes at this year's Summit

  • Movement activists on their fights to change the game
  • The future of Canadian social democracy
  • Countering the global rise of the right
  • Economics for sustainable and inclusive growth
  • Lessons from progressive wins at the municipal level
  • Big ideas to improve healthcare for all Canadians
  • Leadership and movement building
  • Lessons from cutting edge campaigns

Program Schedule

Wednesday, April 5

2:00 pm - 9:00 pm


5:00 pm - 7:00 pm | Lift Lounge

Welcome Reception

DJ Jas Nasty

8:00 pm - 9:00 pm | Penthouse

Networking Session

Summit Meet Up: Join us for a fun hour of participatory networking in advance of the Summit

9:00 pm - 11:30 pm | Penthouse

After Party

Thursday, April 6

8:00 am - 8:00 pm


7:30 am - 9:00 am | Grand Salon Foyer

Coffee & Continental Breakfast

9:00 am - 9:45 am | Main Ballroom

Welcome remarks and opening with Broadbent Chair,
Ed Broadbent

Max FineDay

Broadbent Institute Director

Andréanne Pâquet

Broadbent Institute Fellow

9:45 am - 11:00 am | Main Ballroom


Game Changers: From the Personal to the Political

This session features six dynamic speakers sharing their individual narratives and BIG ideas for how to transform the country. They draw on their personal stories to explain their inspired visions for transformative change.

Diego Cardona

Fresh Voices from the Vancouver Foundation | Sanctuary Cities

Rim Mohsen

Communications Officer, Regroupement des maisons de jeunes du Québec and co-founder of Québec Inclusif | Fighting Exclusion

Jean-Pierre Kingsley

Former Chief Electoral Officer of Canada | Democratic Renewal and Electoral Reform

Lei Eigo

Leader, Unite Here Local 75 | Organizing Precarious Workers

Natan Obed

President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami | Indigenous Justice

Sarah Jama

Community Organizer | Disability Rights

Moderator: Jocelyn Macdougall

Convener, Event strategist, Musician

11:00 am - 11:30 am

Coffee Break

11:30 am - 12:30 pm | Main Ballroom

Featured Speaker

Rewriting the rules: Liberal Democracy and
the Future of the Democratic Party

The election of Donald Trump raises difficult questions about the very meaning of America. We cannot ignore that a candidate ran and won on a platform of outright hatred and misogyny. But Trump's win is also rooted in a rejection of the economic policies that have left so many Americans behind. Felicia Wong, CEO and President of the Roosevelt Institute, discusses the best way forward for progressives — an agenda that rewrites the economic rules by reclaiming and embracing American liberalism.

Felicia Wong

President & CEO Roosevelt Institute

Followed by a conversation with Broadbent Institute Executive Director, Rick Smith

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Lunch with Partner Programming

12:45 pm - 1:45 pm | Grand Salon

Partner Programming

Engaging the Public on Food Policy

Food Secure

Come share your ideas and delicious local foods with Food Secure Canada.

12:45 pm - 1:45 pm | Penthouse

Partner Programming

Innovation and Responsibility: A Pension Citizen’s Perspective on Climate Change


In this session, OPTrust CEO Hugh O'Reilly discusses the innovative “member-driven investing” strategy that focuses on preserving the funded status of the OPTrust Pension Plan, while navigating the complexities of climate change and responsible investing.

2:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Special Video Presentation

Rethinking Capitalism for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth

Western capitalism is in crisis. For decades investment has been falling, living standards have stagnated, and inequality has dramatically increased. Economic policy has neither reformed the financial system nor restored stable growth. Renowned innovation economist Mariana Mazzucato challenges us to rethink capitalism, offering a powerful challenge to mainstream economic debate and new ideas about how to transform it.

Mariana Mazzucato

Professor, Founder and Director of University College London’s New Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

With response:

Carmen Rojas

CEO of The Workers Lab

How do we rethink capitalism and build alternatives for workers? Five innovative ways to change the rules, unite workers, and transform low-wage industries in North America.

2:15 pm - 3:25 pm | Main Ballroom


Social Democracy: The Only Path Forward in a Moment of Upheaval?

Since the 1980s, inequality and exclusion have deepened as policies inspired by social democracy have come under attack. Ed Broadbent joins leading thinkers as they explore the challenges facing social democracy in Canada and abroad, and ask whether it can be reinvigorated to meet the rise of the right and tackle the pressing challenges of economic, environmental and racial justice.

Ed Broadbent

Chair of the Broadbent Institute

Desmond Cole

Toronto Star columnist

Frédérick Guillaume Dufour

Professor, Department of Sociology UQAM

Ania Skrzypek

Senior Research Fellow, Foundation for European Progressive Studies

Moderator: Tom Parkin

National Politics Columnist, Postmedia

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm | Grand Salon

Partner Programming

Political capture and stubborn inequality


In 2017, eight men own the same amount of wealth as half the planet. The inequality gap, including the one between men and women, has been widening for years. Why haven’t we been able to stop it? Join Oxfam policy staff, Ottawa insiders, and women’s rights activists in this interactive session on the truth about rising inequality, political power and how it can be addressed.

3:25 pm - 3:45 pm

Coffee Break

3:45 pm - 4:00 pm

Dispatches From the Frontlines

Building resistance and progressive power

Today, Los Angeles and California are on the frontline of resistance to Donald Trump’s regressive agenda. Labour leader Maria Elena Durazo speaks about her leadership in the alliance between the labour movement and local communities that transformed Los Angeles, leading to a series of hard-fought victories and building power to secure further progressive change.

Maria Elena Durazo

General Vice President for Immigration, Civil Rights and Diversity at UniteHere

4:00 pm - 5:10 pm | Main Ballroom


Municipal Victories: Rebuilding Canada’s Progressive Future

How can municipal organizing contribute to rebuilding the Canadian left? Across Canada, progressives are winning historic victories and leading transformative change in their communities. Recently elected municipal leaders share their strategies for building Canada's progressive future, from the ground up.

Charlie Clark

Mayor of Saskatoon

Lindell Smith

Halifax City Councillor

Mohamed Salih

London City Councillor

Valérie Plante

Leader, Projet Montréal

Moderator: Michal Hay

Broadbent Institute Director

4:10 pm - 5:10 pm | Grand Salon

Partner Programming

Understanding Allyship and Reconciliation

Canadian Roots Exchange

Reconciliation has become somewhat of a buzzword of late. Join Youth Reconciliation Leaders Dani Lanouette and Isaiah Mckeown from Canadian Roots Exchange in this workshop that asks what reconciliation means and requires, and the responsibility we have in making it a reality.

Dani Lanouette

Youth Reconciliation Leader, Canadian Roots Exchange

Isaiah Mckeown-Phillip

Youth Reconciliation Leader, Canadian Roots Exchange

4:10 pm - 5:00 pm | Penthouse

Partner Programming

Going Beyond Your Membership: How to Leverage the Public to Win


More than ever before, unions are fighting for a fair and equal country for all Canadians. Reaching out beyond existing memberships to shape public opinion, drive policy and win campaigns is critical. Join Care2 for a conversation about where to find and recruit new supporters in this digital-first world, how to run advocacy-focused campaigns and how to leverage social networks of progressive Canadians who share labour's values.

5:10 pm - 5:25 pm | Main Ballroom

Dispatches From the Frontlines

Bold ideas for health care reform

A passionate believer in the value of fairness that underpins the Canadian health care system, Dr. Danielle Martin – author of the new book “Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Health Care for All" -- offers progressive proposals for how to improve healthcare and truly tackle the social determinants of health.

Dr. Danielle Martin

Family physician in the Family Practice Health Centre at Women's College Hospital, Toronto

7:30 pm – 9:30 pm | Main Ballroom

Beer and Politics

Global Response to the Rise of the Right

Trump, UKIP, the National Front — what can be done to counter the global rise of the nationalist right? Speakers from Germany, the UK, the US and Canada discuss how the progressive left can and must respond.

Ginny Goldman

Former Executive Director, Texas Organizing Project

Martin Edobor

Associate Director at the New Century Institute and Former Chair of the Young Fabians

Dagmar Freitag

Member of the German Parliament and Chair of the German-US Parliamentary Friendship Group

Duncan Kinney

Executive Director of Progress Alberta

Moderator: Michael Coren

Author and broadcaster

9:30 pm - 11:30 pm | Penthouse

Books and Boardgames

Meet the Authors - Book Signing

9:30 pm - 11:30 pm | Penthouse

After Party

Friday, April 7

8:00 am - 1:00 pm


7:30 am - 9:00 am | Grand Salon Foyer

Coffee & Continental Breakfast

9:00 am - 9:10 am | Main Ballroom

Morning remarks

9:10 am - 9:30 am | Main Ballroom

Broadbent Institute public polling release

Presentation of exclusive new polling by Stratcom for the Broadbent Institute looking at Canadian opinion on economic security and levels of support for progressive policy measures.

Dawn Hoffman

Senior Associate, Research & Engagement at Strategic Communications

Bob Penner

President and CEO of Strategic Communications

9:30 am - 9:45 am | Main Ballroom

Dispatches From the Frontlines

Tackling systemic racism and building strong, inclusive communities

Documentary film maker and former RCMP officer Will Prosper speaks about the heavy cost of systemic racism and police brutality and looks at how communities are organizing to push back and create inclusive, safe and dynamic urban spaces.

Will Prosper

Documentary filmmaker and civil rights activist

9:45 am - 10:45 am | Main Ballroom

Featured Speaker

Tax Haven and the Pitfalls of the Extreme Centre

For decades, the progressive state in Quebec and Canada have been rolled back fuelling economic inequality. Renowned author and activist Alain Deneault looks at the dangers of a politics of the extreme centre and how right-wing policies have undermined state capacities to build and support a fair society.

Alain Deneault

Canadian Author

Followed by a conversation with Francine Pelletier, journalist, author and documentary filmmaker.

9:55 am - 10:55 am | Grand Salon

Partner Programming

Realizing a more accessible Canada

Council of Canadians with Disabilities

It’s 2017 and the Canadian disability community is at a crossroads in its quest for an accessible and inclusive Canada. In this workshop, disability rights activists share their visions for change.

9:55 am - 10:55 am | Penthouse

Partner Programming

Master Class: Drill down, Identify and engage your best people, Move them to action


Does your organization need more supporters or do you need to better engage the people you already have? Come and join Peter Wrinch (Director of Politics and Advocacy) and Dana Saydak (Senior Community Strategist) from NationBuilder to talk through acquiring new supporters, engaging the people you already have, and moving all of these people to action. This will be a participatory session that will feature a case study from Vision Vancouver, Director of Engagement Jack Milroy.

10:45 am - 11:15 am

Coffee Break

11:15 am - 11:30 am | Main Ballroom

Dispatches From the Frontlines

Embracing Uncomfortable Truths as a Means of Healing, Reclamation and Strength

The new Manitoba MLA reflects on her personal journey, the continuing fight for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and the values and hopes that drive her political activism working as an elected official.

Nahanni Fontaine

NDP MLA Manitoba

11:30 am - 12:45 pm | Main Ballroom


Networked Change: A New Winning Model for Canadian Advocacy Campaigning

2016 was a difficult and sobering year for many change makers and it feels that a radical rethink of our approaches will be needed to have an impact in 2017. Based on a groundbreaking report looking into the patterns behind today's most dynamic Canadian advocacy campaigns, this workshop will model how certain groups blend grassroots participation and organizing with disciplined central planning to win.

Tom Liacas

Senior Strategist at NetChange Consulting

Sandy Hudson

Co-founder, Black Lives Matter - Toronto

Logan McIntosh

Interim Campaigns Director, Lead Now

Gabrielle Brais-Harvey

Communications Officer at the IRIS and formerly active in the Quebec Student Movement

Moderator: Alejandra Bravo

Director of Leadership, Broadbent Institute

11:40 am - 12:40 pm | Grand Salon

Partner Programming

Upstream, The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and the Canadian Index of Wellbeing

Today's policy makers are expected to base their decisions on scientific evidence, an expectation that presents an opportunity for organizations interested in combining academic theory with policy action. How can these groups develop arguments that are true to the evidence while also practically useful in decision making? Come learn from three organizations at the centre of the evidence/action nexus.

11:40 am - 12:40 pm | Penthouse

Partner Programming Persuasion in a digitally focused, Millennial-dominated age

Abacus Data

David Coletto, CEO of research firm Abacus Data, and Perry Tsergas, President of Spark Advocacy, bring together their experience measuring and trying to shape public opinion over the past decade to offer insights into how to approach advocacy in the digital, Millennial-dominated age. Their talk will be of interest to anyone wanting tangible advice on how generational change is disrupting communications and advocacy. Kate Harrison, a consultant at Summa Strategies Canada will introduce the talk.

12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

Lunch with Partner Programming

1:00 pm - 1:40 pm | Main Ballroom

Partner Programming

Twitter: It's Not Just Tweeting


In this lunchtime presentation, Jennifer Hollett, the head of News and Government at Twitter Canada, will highlight how to use Twitter strategically in campaigns. From news to politics to activism, it's what's happening on Twitter. Find out how to leverage the platform in your work and break through.

1:00 pm - 1:50 pm | Penthouse

Partner Programming

Campaign FUBAR? Let's talk strategy

Point Blank Creative

Join us for an hour of straight talk with Point Blank's senior strategists. Come workshop your campaign woes and share ideas for how progressive campaigns can be more effective. Selected participants will be invited to take the hot seat and tackle their challenges live with insights from the crowd and Point Blank's team. Leave with practical tips you can put into action your first day back.

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Awards Ceremony

Presentation of the Charles Taylor Prize for Excellence in Policy Research and the Jack Layton Progress Prize.

2:30 pm - 3:45 pm | Main Ballroom

The Great Debate

Be it resolved: “Free Trade” deals failed because the rules were designed to put corporate interests before public interests

The widespread benefits of free trade deals are a pillar of today’s economic orthodoxy. Canadian public policy has taken these benefits as accepted wisdom for decades. In this year’s debate, leading thinkers square off on whether trade deals have actually been in the public interest.

Armine Yalnizyan

Public economist and media commentator

Angella MacEwen

Angella MacEwen is Senior Economist with the Canadian Labour Congress and is a Broadbent Policy Fellow.

Brett House

Deputy Chief Economist, VP Scotiabank

Christopher Ragan

Chair, Canada's Ecofiscal Commission

Moderator: Paul Wells

Journalist, Toronto Star

3:45 pm - 4:00 pm | Main Ballroom

Dispatches From the Frontlines

Honouring Indigenous Rights and Closing the Gap: the Path Forward

Canada has pledged to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. What does that mean for our shared future? Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, discusses the changes needed to achieve inclusive prosperity and honour Canada’s international obligations. This includes legislation to support Indigenous peoples in their efforts to revitalize Indigenous languages.

Perry Bellegarde

National Chief, Assembly of First Nations

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm | Main Ballroom

Closing remarks

Rick Smith

Executive Director, Broadbent Institute