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.

Advisory: International progressive leaders to gather in Montreal

Canada 2020-hosted Global Progress Summit to focus on work, society and democracy in the digital age

22 September 2018 (Montreal) – The Global Progress 2018 Summit, hosted by Canada 2020, will take place in Montreal this coming weekend, gathering progressive leaders from around the world for high-level discussions on the future of work, society and democracy in the digital age.
The Global Progress Summit is the network’s annual gathering, taking place in major economic and cultural capitals around the world. The 2018 summit will gather progressive think-tanks, initiatives, institutions, movements and leaders from over 20 countries.
Participants include:

  • Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
  • Rt. Hon. Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain
  • Hon. Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government
  • Frans Timmermans, First Vice President, European Commission
  • Francisco De Paula Polo Llavata, Minister for Digital Affairs, Spain
  • Tiago Antunes, Secretary of State of the Presidency, Portugal
  • Astrid Panosyan, Co-Founder, En Marche, France
  • Marije Laffeber, Deputy Secretary General, Party of European Socialists
  • John Podesta, Founder, the Centre for American Progress
  • Neera Tanden, President, the Centre for American Progress
  • Chuka Umunna MP, Labour Party, United Kingdom
  • Wael Ghonim, Political Activist and Technologist
  • Jessica Post, Executive Director, Democratic Legislative Campaign Comittee,USA
  • June Sarpong, Author of Diversify
  • Emily Bell, Tow School of Digital Journalism, University of Columbia
  • Caro Loutfi, Executive Director, Apathy is Boring

Logistical details:

  • When: Sunday, September 23rd, 2018
  • Timing: 8:45 – 18:00 Eastern
  • Where: Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Montreal, Quebec

All sessions on Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 are open to accredited media. Accreditation will be granted to outlets with official credentials from their publisher, network or press gallery. For advance accreditation requests, please email [email protected].
The Summit agenda is below in the appendix.
For outlets wishing to cover the armchair discussion between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, media are required to report to the Green Room on the Mezzanine Level for security sweeps at 4:00 PM Eastern.

Appendix: Summit Agenda

Global Progress Summit 2018, Sunday, September 23rd, 2018, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Gold Room, unless otherwise stated
Welcome, Matt Browne, Founder, Global Progress / Tom Pitfield, Chairman, Canada 2020
Progress Under Threat: Authoritarianism and Populism in Global Perspective
With populist groups and authoritarian regimes on the rise, are progressive ideals now under threat? How should we respond?

  • Lia Quartapelle MP, International Secretary, Democratic Party, Italy (Chair)
  • Gordon Bajnai, Former Prime Minister, Hungary
  • Wael Ghonim, Political Activist and Technologist, Egypt
  • Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, Leader of Future Forward, Thailand
  • Christian Kern, Former Chancellor, Austria
  • John Podesta, Founder, Centre for American Progress

Civic Renewal: Protecting Democracy and Rebuilding the Public Square
Confronted by fake news, electoral fraud, and misinformation campaigns, progressives urgently need to think about how to protect democracy and rebuild the public square in the digital age.

  • Dawn Nakagawa, Executive Vice President, Berggruen Institute (Chair)
  • Ben Scott, Investment Partner, Omidyar Network (Presenter)
  • Emily Bell, Director, Tow School of Digital Journalism, University of Columbia
  • Francisco De Paula Polo Llavata, Spanish Minister for Digital Affairs
  • Tiago Antunes, Secretary of State of the Presidency, Portugal


  • Networking & Coffee, Grey Room

A Message from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand

  • [via Video]

Future of Work: Diversity and Innovation in the Digital Age
How will innovation, technological change, and diversity drive the new economy, and how can progressives ensure it remains inclusive and fair?

  • Mike Moffatt, Research Director, Canada 2020 (Chair)
  • Lodewijk Asscher MP, Leader, Dutch Labour Party
  • June Sarpong, Author of Diversity
  • Amit Singh, Head of Policy and Research, Uber

Networking Lunch

  • Grey Room

Inclusive Prosperity: Towards a Global New Deal
How can we reform economic globalization and multilateral systems to ensure they promote inclusive prosperity in domestic economies?

  • Rocio Martinez- Sampere, Director, Fundacion Felipe Gonzalez (Chair)
  • Scott Brison MP, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, Canada
  • Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress
  • Frans Timmermans, First Vice President, European Commission

Climate Change and Global Health: A Conversation with James Orbinski and Robert Greenhill
How is climate change impacting our health around the globe and how can progressives best understand and overcome this challenge?
Break and Transition to Plenary

  • Oval Ballroom

Progress in the Digital Age
The future has always been an advantage for progressives but for many the idea of progress is now a broken promise. How can we restore optimism and faith going forward? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada in conversation with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain, moderated by June Sarpong.
Closing Remarks