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Why we debrief

The 2020 election feels like a lifetime ago. Today, we are preparing for the Inauguration, building a new administration, and dealing with the final, desperate days of the Trump era. We are no longer in the throes of the Election season – and yet this week, Higher Ground Labs, the Movement Cooperative, and Digidems, together with our Steering Committee and Partners from the Democratic National Committee, OneOne Ventures, and Biden for President are pulling together over 700 progressive leaders for three days to talk about the role of technology in Democratic politics this past cycle. 

After last week, the value of this conference is even more clear. From the momentary relief of Georgia on Tuesday night to the attacks at the Capitol on Wednesday, we saw again the impact technology can have on our political process and dialogue. We are more committed than ever to using technology for good and supporting innovation that broadens access and engagement. 

Higher Ground Labs launched in 2017 after a devastating loss in the 2016 cycle. The narrative at that time was that Democrats had lost our edge re: technology. Republicans were beating us. Their systems and processes were better. They had invested more money, more strategically. And it paid off. They had won. We started HGL to ensure that would never happen again. Democrats have the talent, experience, and resources to build infrastructure at the core of our campaigns that can and will make us stronger than our opponents – technology that empowers voters and makes our democratic process more accessible. 

Innovation requires constant investment in new ideas and new leaders but it also requires introspection and iteration. Politics is cyclical. Every 2 years we see a spike in usage and influx of capital – a brief moment where political technology becomes the most critical technology in the world. Our industry is built on reliable peaks. And while that has some disadvantages, we can use it to make us stronger. 

This conference is about becoming stronger. Our goal is to provide space for leaders to come together and talk candidly about what worked and what didn’t. The topics we cover this week will shape how we invest, coach and build in the months to come. The ideas we exchange will make us stronger investors, operators, and innovators.

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