From April 5 to 7, members of the Provincial Executive and a number of OSSTF/FEESO staff attended the annual Progress Summit in Ottawa, presented by the Broadbent Institute. Each year the Progress Summit presents a wide range of speakers and panelists from across Canada and around the world to discuss and debate progressive social and political policy, strategy and tactics. The theme of this year’s Summit was “Change the Game.”
About two dozen speakers, debates and panel discussions—covering everything from the future of social democracy in Canada to honouring the rights of Indigenous peoples to the strategic use of Twitter in campaigns—were available to delegates over the course of the three-day conference.
Among the highlights:
Felicia Wong, a Democratic Party activist in the United States and President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, spoke about lessons that need to be learned from the victory of Donald Trump, and explained that while we cannot ignore the fact that Trump ran and won on a platform of outright hatred and misogyny, his win was also rooted in a rejection of the economic and trade policies that have ignored the welfare of millions of Americans. She proclaimed that the best way forward for progressives was to put forth an agenda that rewrites the economic rules by reclaiming and embracing American liberalism.
Mariana Mazzucato, an economist and founder of University College London’s New Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, presented a session on “Rethinking Capitalism for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth”. She submitted that Western capitalism is in crisis after decades of falling investment, falling or stagnant living standards, and a degree of inequality that has been increasing dramatically in recent years. She argued that economic policy has neither reformed the financial system nor restored stable growth, and that we need to rethink capitalism to create an economy focused on the goal of economic stability for all people.
Documentary film maker and former RCMP officer Will Prosper spoke about systemic racism and police brutality, and examined the various ways communities are organizing to create inclusive, safe and dynamic urban spaces.
OSSTF/FEESO has been a proud supporter of the Broadbent Institute since its inception in 2011. The Broadbent Institute is a progressive think-tank committed to the the promotion of democracy, equality, and sustainability.