Netroots Nation is the biggest yearly gathering of progressives, so it can be as exciting as it is overwhelming. Matthew McGregor is BSD’s Political Director, an Obama for America alum, and (importantly) a multi-year Netroots veteran. His advice: plan ahead. Here, he suggests a few events to check out in addition to the full roster of BSD-sponsored panels and workshops.

Thursday, July 17

Bro-Choice? Where Do Men Fit In The Reproductive Justice Movement?
9:30 am
Room 140 E

“It’s time to rethink our frame and engage men—not as allies, but as stakeholders, whose sexual health, bodily autonomy, and ability to form and care for their families is deeply impacted by the same systems of reproductive oppression.”

BSD recently co-sponsored a great NARAL event along these same lines, “Men for Choice (and the Women who Love Them)” and the result was fantastic. Plus, our own BSD scholarship winner Renee Bracey Sherman is part of the panel (more on Renee later this week).

It’s Not Photoshop’s Fault That No One Liked Your Infographic
11:00 am
Room 330A

“Have you ever spent hours trying to craft the perfect Facebook graphic and then your mom is the only person who shares it?”

Confession: I’m not the best designer. Not everyone can make beautiful graphics on a dime and yet visuals are such a deal-maker in online engagement efforts. Excited to learn about the art behind “share-ier” graphics in this training session.

Keynote Featuring Vice President Joe Biden
3:30 pm
Grand Ballroom

“From his longtime support of labor unions to speaking out on important issues like LGBT equality, Vice President Biden has in many ways given heart and soul to this administration. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to Netroots Nation for the first time.”

Joe Biden is the best.

Changing The Meaning Of A Super PAC: Ready For Hillary
4:30 pm
Room 140 G

“Is a grassroots Super PAC an oxymoron? Learn how Ready for Hillary is utilizing the rules for Super PACs to engage grassroots support, expand digital engagement, and drive technology development to build a movement for a potential 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.”

Oxymoron or not, this event will prep us for 2016 (which isn’t as far away as we imagine). Featuring BSD alum Nickie Titus.

Friday, July 18

Morning Keynote, Featuring Senator Elizabeth Warren
10:00 am
Grand Ballroom

I mean, come on. Obviously.

Beyond Excel: How To Analyze Your Data In SQL
11:00 am
Room 330 B

“Many analysts are able to force Excel into doing the things they need. But once the data gets big enough, their VLOOKUPs and pivot tables break Excel, or force them to wait minutes to get data that should only take seconds.”

Learning SQL can be a daunting task, if this description is any indication. BSD’s Yahel Carmon walks participants through the basics and shows you how to analyze data.

Iran: Diplomacy Or War?
11:00 am
Room 141

“This panel will discuss the Obama administration’s effort to achieve a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, with attention to recent progressive grassroots successes in beating back efforts by Congressional hawks to foreclose non-military options.”

As a key issue among progressives, this discussion around Iran should spark an interesting discussion about why (and how) we need to mobilize against those who’d have us make the same mistakes as in the past.

Master Class On The BSD Tools
3:00 pm
Room 338

“The Master Class program is focused on the specific tools that organizers use every day, and helping intermediate users become efficient, effective power users.”

The Tools platform has served as the backbone for a lot of successful political campaigns and digital programs. BSD’s Yahel Carmon and Seth Reznik offer tips and tricks for using this platform like an insider.

Beyond Livable Wage: Creative Strategies To Get To The Root Of Wealth Inequality
3:00 pm
Room 140E

“Around the country, progressives are pushing for much-needed increases in the minimum wage toward a more realistic ‘livable wage.’ However, what else can we do to change the debate to focus on some of the root causes of inequality?”

For progressives who know their stuff, income inequality is the root of so many other social issues. A great panel and interesting panelists.

You Have 30 Minutes To Respond Online. Now What?
4:30 pm
Room 330B

“Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. That’s the news cycle in the digital age.”

Rapid response is pretty close to my heart for a lot of reasons, mainly because I’ve seen first hand what a powerful tool it really is. This training session covers everything from strategy to content creation.

Labor Of Love: How The American Labor Movement Is Securing LGBT Equality
4:30 pm
Room 140 G

“Even before the rise of large national LGBT organizations, the American labor movement worked to attain LGBT equality.”

I am going to wear my Freedom to Marry bright red “love is love” socks to this panel. In case you were wondering.

Chairman’s Pub Quiz 8: The Reckoning
6:15 pm
Room 330 A

A must. Every year.

Saturday, July 19

Organizing Edge: Online Predictions For The 2016 Elections
11:00 am
Room 140 G

“We can mock the GOP’s Parra Bellum efforts, but they’ll be better in 2016—so we must be too. This panel brings together experts in technology, development, communications, and fundraising to ask: What’s in store? What do we need to do before 2016? How can we do it?”

For me, this is a can’t miss event. Literally. I’ll be moderating this panel, featuring a few great people from the Obama campaigns, including Laura Olin, Dan Ryan, Melissa Ryan, and Evan Sutton.

Q&A With Howard Dean: Ten Years Since The Campaign
12:30 pm
Room 140 AB

“Ten years after the groundbreaking Dean campaign, one of the 22-year-old kids who showed up in Vermont to help the long-shot governor turn the primary race upside down and change the Democratic Party for good will interview the Governor about that race and the impact the campaign caused on organizing forever.”

That 22-year-old kid was none other than our own Joe Rospars, BSD Founder and CEO. A very promising Q&A: Dean is always a blast.

Closing Keynote: Ignite @ Netroots Nation
4:30 pm
Grand Ballroom

“One of the best parts about Netroots Nation is hearing the unique experiences and personal stories of fellow organizers, activists and thought leaders in the movement. […] Using the Ignite format, each speaker will be given 5 minutes to talk, while 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds are shown on the screen.”

A great format for any kind of presentation, but especially for the always-inspiring closing keynote, which features over a dozen organizers sharing quick, meaningful stories from the field.