Insurgents: Inside a New Generation of Progressive Leadership

A note about the collection

Insurgents: Inside a New Generation of Progressive Leadership is a brand new collection of essays featuring contributions from progressive policy thinkers from Canada, New Zealand, the United States, Italy, France, Hungary and the UK.

Adeptly curated by Global Progress founder Matt BrowneInsurgents presents a unique look at our recent shared political history and profiles the progressive campaigns that found success in their commitment to a more inclusive, democratic and open world. Across the essays featured, Browne seeks out the common traits that propelled the rise of a new generation of progressive political leadership – a generation defined in large part by its opposition to growing authorianism and destructive far-right nationalism.

What I find particularly compelling about this volume is its insights beyond the sloganeering of recent progressive political victories. In passing the pen to the architects of Justin Trudeau’s, Jacinda Ardern’s or Emmanuel Macron’s campaigns, we are given a rare opportunity to observe the comparative and connective tissue that binds and defines progressive politics in the 21st century.

As Browne outlines, “purpose-driven insurgencies” are driven by authentic leadership, a commitment to unity and inclusion, and an openness to organizational innovation. This set of shared attributes is not only a helpful framework for navigating the political moment we are in, but also – and perhaps more importantly – instructional for the next generation of progressive leaders seeking to keep up the momentum.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

– Alex Paterson, Executive Director, Canada 2020

Table of Contents

04 PREFACE by Neera Tanden

05 INSURGENCY WITH PURPOSE: Towards a new progressive politics by Matt Browne

06 ROTTAMATORE: The rise and fall of Matteo Renzi by Giuliano da Empoli 

07 REAL CHANGE: How an openness to new supporters built a foundation for progressive politics by Anna Gainey & Braeden Caley

08 ONWARDS: How En Marche! was set into motion by Ismael Emelien 

09 LET’S DO THIS: Purpose, Optimism and the revival of New Zealand Labour by David Talbot 

10 UNITY IN OPPOSITION: Gergely Karácsony and the Budapest model by David Dorosz 

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Matt Browne, is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he leads the organisation’s work on populism and transatlantic relations, and is the founder of Global Progress, a network of leaders, think
tanks and strategists. Recently, Matt was co-director of the Berggruen Institute task force on the Renewal of Democracy in the Digital Age.

Giuliano da Empoli, is an Italian writer and journalist. He is the founding chairman of Volta, a think tank based in Milan. He served as Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Renzi.

Anna Gainey, served as President of the Liberal Party of Canada from 2014 to 2018, after being an active member of the party for over 15 years. She also served as a special assistant to Minister John McCallum and as NATO Policy Advisor to Minister Bill Graham – two former Canadian Defence Ministers. She is the Executive Director of the Gainey Foundation.

Braeden Caley, is Senior Director for Communications for the Liberal Party of Canada. He worked on the 2015 and 2019 elections and was elected B.C. President of the Liberal Party in 2013. He has advised a variety of Canadian progressive political leaders for 15 years, having also worked as Director of Policy and Communications to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and with a number of Liberal MPs.

Ismael Emelien, is a French political advisor and is the co-founder of En Marche!. He served as President Emmanuel Macron’s special advisor for strategy, communication, and speeches from 2017-2019. He also served as Head of Strategy for his presidential campaign, and previously worked in the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance.

David Talbot, serves as a special advisor to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. He previously served as Managing Director of the polling company UMR New Zealand and led its policy section. In 2014, he was the campaign manager for the NZ Labour Party.

Neera Tanden, is the president and CEO of the Center for American Progress and the CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, where she focuses on how both organizations can fulfill their missions to expand opportunity for all Americans. Tanden has also served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, and was the director of domestic policy for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign.

David Dorosz, is a Hungarian jurist, author, political strategist, campaign manager, and politician. He has served as Deputy Mayor of Budapest for Climate and Development since November 2019. Previously, he was a member of the National Assembly of Hungary from 2010 to 2014. He is a member and former COO of the Dialogue for Hungary party, and served as chairman of Gergely Karácsony’s winning campaign for Mayor of Budapest.

Adam Fiscor, is the CEO of Datadat – a software and data company that specialises in supporting political and social organisations. He previously served as chief of staff in the Prime Minister’s Office and as a cabinet minister in different Hungarian governments until 2010.

About Global Progress

Global Progress is an international network of progressive foundations, think tanks and leaders committed to the exchange of ideas, research, and best practices that help promote an economic vision for shared prosperity and an inclusive approach to politics. Over the last decade, Global Progress has convened workshops and seminars in over twenty countries across four continents — from Santiago to Sydney, Montreal and New York to Madrid and Berlin — and hosted an annual summit that brings together progressive leaders from across the globe.