Activate 2023

Building progressive digital leadership

Women relaxing in a sofa

Win campaigns. Raise money. Surpass your goals.

June 7-11, 2023

Cortes Island, British Columbia

Where progressive social change meets digital advocacy. 

The sharpest digital minds in politics and advocacy campaigns, nonprofit, labour unions and more, will gather from June 7-11th for five days of hard-skills training in digital leadership, strategy and tactics.


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Skill Building Workshops

Alex McGowan of Sword Fern Digital: Managing Discord about Discord: Community Technology and Change Management 

Oliver Paré of OPS: Progressive Politics in an Age of Affordability Crises

Vidyut Ghuwalewala of Social Currant: Influencer Marketing 101

Leah Bae of The Burnout Project: Preventing Burnout

Daniella Barreto of Amnesty International Canada: Podcasting for Social Impact

Amrita Ahuja of Groundwork: Breaking Cycles & Moving out of Survival Mode

Sara El-Amine of Lyft: The Neuroscience of Persuasion: Using Somatics to Identify Shared Values

Activate 2022 outside workshop


Be Inspired

Re-inspire your work, and be challenged by new ideas. World-class speakers share game-changing secrets from their winning campaigns across the continent.
Woman raising her fist during a leadership program at Hollyhock Retreat Centre


Build Community

Grow your network and forge genuine connections with like-minded campaigners and advocates who are dedicated to sharing their knowledge, and lifting one another up.



Jan Cruz, Point Blank Creative   
“Hollyhock's Activate Digital Leadership Conference is truly wonderful and magical. You'll meet people that you'd want to connect with for the rest of your life, and even learn a lot from each other. If you think that you've got nothing to offer, it will come out of you and even surprise yourself! It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you'll meet some of the progressive movement's brightest and most inspiring people.”

Amy Baldry, National Association of Federal Retirees
“Activate is an excellent program that rejuvenates, re-energizes and re-focuses participants”

Malcolm Lewis-Richmond, Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
“It was great! I'm inspired by the work of others and I will be more creative and effective as a result of this experience.”

Amy Grant, Origin Leadership Consulting  
“Activate is five days of wonderful people on a beautiful resort doing amazing things!”

Activate 2022 working group outside

Meet Your People

Activate 2023’s Steering Committee

Lead progressive social change with the sharpest minds in advocacy.

When progressive social change meets digital advocacy, real wins happen. Whether you are a digital director at an advocacy organization, a content writer at a political party, an organizer at a labour union, or a senior leader looking to expand into the digital space, Activate is for you.

Activate participants come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds with varying amounts of digital experience. We know that important, exciting, and innovative digital work is happening on the margins and encourage people from a variety of backgrounds to register.


Hollyhock´s Leadership Institute students and staff raising hands for the photo

Limited tickets available.
Register now to secure your spot.

Tuition: $895 CAD
Full and partial scholarships available.

Gardens at Hollyhock Retreat Centre on Cortes Island


Lush trees welcome you and you hear the sounds of the ocean and birdsong. Smiling staff make you feel like you have arrived… “home”. Hollyhock breathes relaxation from every sturdy tree, soft breeze and vivid sunset. The natural wisdom of Cortes Island beckons you to explore and we offer a number of activities to enrich your stay with us. Connection is at the center of Activate. When we are connected to nature, to ourselves and each other, we strengthen our movements and empower our work. You will leave feeling whole. We can’t wait to welcome you.

Our Partners

We are grateful to our Partners and Sponsors who provide critical support to ensure success and to increase accessibility by supporting the conference scholarship fund. If you are interested in partnering, please connect with us.

Community Amplifiers

Thank you to our community amplifiers for helping support, uplift, and work together to eliminate barriers to equity and economic access!