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Tech for Campaigns & Advocacy: Here's 8 Must-Attend Sessions at #NN17

Kyle Tharp

It's that time of year again! Our team is excited to be joining hundreds of progressive activists and techies in Atlanta, Georgia 🍑  for Netroots Nation 2017!

We'll be at the NGP VAN + EveryAction booth in the Netroots Town Square showing off live demos of our new tools, chatting about campaign tech, and giving away free swag! Make sure you stop by and say hello! 

Like every year, there's some all-star panels and trainings featuring new innovations and trends in digital advocacy and campaign tech...here's a few that you absolutely can't miss:

1. [PANEL] Cracking the Code of the 2018 Midterms

CRACKING CODE .pngSpeakers: Amanda Coulombe, Mark Jablonowski, Danielle Winterhalter, Max Kamin-Cross

This all-star panel, moderated by NGP VAN's GM of Organizing Amanda Coulombe includes DSPolitical's Mark Jablonowski, SpeakEasy Political's Danielle Winterhalter, and Max Kamin-Cross from Hustle

The 2018 midterm elections will be here before you know it. In such a pivotal moment for the progressive movement, down-ballot candidates should be well equipped to run sophisticated, multi-channel campaigns. What role will data and technology play in the 2018 elections? What tools are organizations using now to prepare for 2018? How will Democrats and progressives match up to their GOP opponents when it comes to data-driven campaigning? (Friday, 1pm, Hanover C)

 

2. [TRAINING] Democratizing Digital Ad Tech: Empowering Campaigns Up and Down the Ballot with DemocraticAds.com

Dspolitical training.pngSpeakers: Amanda Coulombe, Jesse Juntura

DemocraticAds.com brings the targeting technology from the presidential and federal level down to the most local of races. Down-ballot candidates and issue campaigns should be empowered to utilize the same cutting-edge technology available larger campaigns in order to reach registered voters wherever they go online—and DemocraticAds.com makes it easier than ever. In this training we will talk about how to create, place, and evaluate your digital advertising campaign. This training will show you the DemAds integration with NGP VAN’s Votebuilder, allowing you to choose a targeting option that is best for your campaign’s needs and budget. (Friday, 9am, Embassy G)

 

3. [TRAINING] Coding as Activism: How to Write Apps with NGP and VAN

coding as activism.pngSpeakers: Sandy Gani, Shai Sachs

NGP and VAN are widely used by tens of thousands of Democratic candidates, progressive organizations, and labor unions. Both apps have robust APIs, making it easy to develop new apps to engage voters and raise money. Whether you’re writing an entire application; you have a website and would like to integrate your form; or you just want to automate some repetitive task, these APIs help you write code with impact. Join this training for a quick summary of available APIs; learn how to build a simple, three-form application; and a look at the API roadmap. We’ll wrap up with a quick Q&A session.

This session is targeted at activists with some degree of technical knowledge. It’s best suited to software developers or front-end developers who know what an API or a Javascript app is, although detailed knowledge of these topics is not necessary. (Thursday, 1pm, Embassy G)

 

4. [TRAINING] Protecting the Movement Online: Digital Security 101

SECURITY 101.pngSpeakers: Shauna Daly, Mike Sager 

Progressive organizations can’t make change happen if they’re breached, and right now too many are at high risk. Although cyber threats are not unique to the political space, cyber security is a threat we face as a community and one we need to address together. Come learn how to think about your threat model, how to identify phishing (the primary method of intrusions), how to add two-factor authentication on various services, and how to use password managers. In the process, you’ll hopefully become vigilant not only about your own security, but the security of those with whom you interact. (Thursday, 1pm, Embassy C)

 

5. [PANEL] Digital Sanctuary: Combatting Bias & Racism in Tech Tools and Policies

Digital sanctuary.pngSpeakers: Mariana Ruiz Firmat, Brandi Collins, Malkia Cyril, B Loewe, Cayden Mak

The 2016 election cycle brought critical challenges with technology into sharp focus. While these fights have been brewing for years across the web, 2016 made it clear that inequality online leads to injustice offline. We need a different set of tech tools policies that disrupt structural exclusion and implicit bias. Systemic racism gets embedded in our technology and tech-driven tactics, allowing for technology to be used in ways that further marginalizes people of color, queer and trans folks, people with disabilities, and women. During this panel we’ll talk about who profits, whose labor is exploited, and what we’re doing to build tools and models that can lead to systemic change and digital sanctuaries. (Friday, 9am, Hanover A-B)

 

6. [PANEL] Game of Phones: Rapid Response Calling in the Age of Trump

game of phones.pngSpeakers: Carla Aronsohn, Mark Crain, Zave Martohardjono, Laura Moser

Calling has proven to be one of the most effective ways to lobby your elected officials. Join us for a conversation on the successes (and failures) of using calling tools, with a particular focus on the influx of legislative hotlines leading up to and after Trump’s inauguration. We’ll share best practices on creating and promoting hotlines and other methods of driving call actions. (Saturday, 3pm, Hanover C)

 

7. [EVENT] New Tools Showcase

The annual New Tools Showcase is back this year, and includes some exciting new tools and features! During the event, presenters will have 3 minutes to make a live pitch.

Attendees will then vote on their favorite new feature/product and favorite startup technology. The New Tools Showcase is a great way to get the inside stories on how these tools are being designed and built, the impact they’re already having on campaigns and organizations, and what they can do to help you become a more powerful and more effective activist and leader. (Saturday, 12pm)

 

8. [PANEL] Rebellions are Built on Hope: How Organizations Are Using Digital Activism and Grassroots Power to Lead the Resistance

CRACKING CODE Copy 5.pngSpeakers: Rebecca Wall, Jayne Fagan, Arisha Hatch, Alyssa Klein, Diana Scholl

In the wake of Trump’s election, Americans took to the streets to make it clear that they would stand for our shared American values of inclusion, diversity, and tolerance, and would not simply accept his extreme agenda. Major grassroots organizations have worked to organize this energy to form an intersectional and united resistance to Trump—one that has marched in the streets, called members of Congress, stood up for our values, and stopped destructive legislation in its path. This panel will explore how organizations—including NARAL Pro-Choice America, ACLU, Women’s March, Color of Change and MoveOn—are working together to resist what’s next in building the resistance. (Thursday, 9am, Regency VI)

 

Topics: Netroots