Workshop: The Power of Storytelling

From winning new recruits to getting press coverage, so much of what we do relies on our ability to tell a compelling story about our work and ourselves. In this workshop you’ll learn the narrative skills that power winning campaigns, from the people who organized some of our country’s best.

Frenemies with Benefits: How to Work Across the Aisle

Not sure how to talk to politicians or activists on the other side of the political spectrum? Don’t let your campaign suffer because you’re stuck in your political bubble. Learn what tactics have worked and what messaging appeals to decision makers on the right and the left, so you can build more effective coalitions.

Confirmed Panelists:

  • Meredith McGehee, Chief of Policy, Programs and Strategy, Issue One
  • Zach Wamp, Republican former U.S. Representative, Tennessee
  • Rob Schaaf, Republican in the Missouri State Senate
  • And more!

Iron Campaign: Iron Chef for Activists

Get off the sidelines and get your hands dirty! In this interactive training, you’ll join a team to create a campaign live at the summit. Starting with the same ingredients, you and your crew will be guided through a campaign planning simulation. Walk away victorious with the recipe for success.


  • Ben Simon, Director of Strategic Services at The Mobilisation Lab

Democracy Across America “Science Fair”

Come learn about the campaigns and initiatives forming across the country for 2018 and beyond in this interactive open format exhibit. Meet the people who will be leading campaigns in your area, ask questions, and find points of collaboration with the most promising campaigns to Unrig the System.


  • Sean Nicholson, Clean Missouri
  • Marcus Bass, Democracy NC
  • And campaigners from North Dakota, South Dakota and more

Take It To The Voters: Lessons for Winning Ballot Propositions

With DC in gridlock, the states are one of our most potent avenues for unrigging the system. Hear first-hand lessons from campaign operatives who’ve fought for reforms by going directly to the voters, and learn tactics for protecting successful measures from establishment counter-attacks.

Confirmed Panelists:

  • Rob Booth, Organizing Director, Represent.Us
  • Sean Nicholson, Campaign Director, Clean Missouri
  • And more!

Workshop: Citizen Lobbying 101

You don’t have to wait for election season to move the people’s agenda forward – you can do it by working directly with politicians through citizen lobbying. In this workshop you’ll learn how citizen lobbying works and what pitfalls to avoid. Join Issue One’s Meredith McGehee – named a “Top Grassroots Lobbyist” by The Hill ten years running – for a savvy outsider’s guide to the inside world of lobbying.

Facilitated By:

  • Meredith McGehee, Chief of Policy, Programs and Strategy, Issue One

At Our Whit(ford)’s End With Gerrymandering?

The Supreme Court just heard oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford, the potential blockbuster case addressing the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering — and we expect a decision soon after the Unrig Summit. Panelists will discuss the potential outcomes in Gill so that anti-gerrymandering activists are well prepared to take the best next steps in each likely scenario.

Confirmed panelists:

  • Paul Smith, Vice President, Litigation and Strategy, Campaign Legal Center
  • Anita Earls, Executive Director, Southern Coalition for Social Justice
  • Professor Justin Levitt, Loyola Law School
  • Kathay Feng, Executive Director, Common Cause California
  • Michael Li, Senior Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice

From Russia, with Facebook: Foreign and Out of State Influence in American Elections

The 2016 presidential cycle showed how vulnerable our elections are to foreign influence, and out-of-state money continues to flood our most high-profile state elections. How can we limit the influence of non-constituents and those who are beyond the reach of our laws, and should we?

Confirmed panelists:

  • Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, Federal Election Commission
  • Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Stetson University College of Law
  • Eric Wang, Fellow, Institute for Free Speech
  • Professor David Fontana, George Washington University Law School
  • Professor Richard Painter, University of Minnesota Law School

Fierce, Independent, and Fighting for You: Anti-Corruption Watchdogs

Government watchdogs exist across the country to serve citizens by strengthening government ethics, oversight, and engagement while rooting out fraud, corruption, and abuse. Come hear from ethics commissioners, inspectors general, and public advocates about how tough, independent watchdogs can boost accountability and transparency in your government – and often pay for themselves – and how you can effectively fight to set one up in your city or state.

Confirmed panelists:

  • Ann Ravel, Former Chair, Federal Election Commission and California Fair Political Practices Commission
  • Judge Charles Price, Commissioner, Alabama Ethics Commission
  • Jennifer Rodgers, Executive Director, Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School
  • Stephen Street, Louisiana Inspector General; National President, Association of Inspectors General

The Business Perspective: Why U.S. Politics is Failing America

Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter and Katherine Gehl’s groundbreaking new research forcefully argues that the US political system, with all its gridlock, dysfunction, and favoring of special interests, isn’t broken – it’s doing exactly what it is designed to do. Join us for a conversation with Porter and Gehl about how they used business competition analysis to dig into our broken political system, what they found, and how to change it through proven reforms that matter.

Confirmed panelists:

  • Professor Michael Porter, Harvard Business School; Co-Chair, U.S. Competitiveness Project
  • Katherine Gehl, Former President and CEO, Gehl Foods
  • Alan Schwartz, Executive Chairman, Guggenheim Partners; Former President and CEO, Bear Stearns

Revolutionizing Tuesday: The New Front in Voter Education, Engagement, and Service

Today’s technology is bringing countless opportunities for us to fulfill the promise of American elections from the top to the bottom of the ballot. Our panelists are pushing the boundaries from inside and outside government to make our elections what voters deserve: engaging, efficient, accessible, and secure. Come learn how your advocacy can bring the election revolution to your city and state.

Confirmed panelists:

  • Amber McReynolds, Director of Elections, City and County of Denver
  • Natalie Tennant, Manager of State Advocacy, Brennan Center for Justice; Former West Virginia Secretary of State
  • Seth Flaxman, Founder & Executive Director, Democracy Works, TurboVote

What to do about Citizens United?

The problem of money in politics continues to grow, as billionaire donors, secret spending, and foreign threats plague our political system. Hear from the best legal minds on how reformers can – and are – working to challenge Citizens United, super PACs, dark money, and more.

Confirmed panelists:

  • Richard Painter, Professor, University of Minnesota Law School; Former White House Ethics Counsel for President George W. Bush
  • Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, Federal Election Commission
  • David Kolker, Counsel for New Jurisprudence, Campaign Legal Center
  • Jeff Clements, President, American Promise; Former Assistant Attorney General, Massachusetts