Cover of Dr. George Lakoff's book Don't Think of an Elephant

Reframe the Debate: How to sell the truth in the age of disinformation February 15th 10:00-16:00 Brighthelm Centre

Cover of Dr. George Lakoff's book Don't Think of an Elephant. Engage the hearts and minds of people with a common set of progressive values.
Antonia Scatton offers you guidance on how to operationalise the strategies of Dr. George Lakoff.

Reframe the Debate: How to effectively sell the truth in the age of disinformation

Professional development workshop for political communications professionals and other stakeholders in the progressive community (center-Left through far-Left). The conservative movement has spent fifty years working to take over our public debate and they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They effectively communicate a common set of values and beliefs and they are willing to use any psychological tactic that works, up to and including gaslighting.

Those tactics do work. We need to understand what conservatives are doing in order to defend ourselves, and we need to learn and use some of those tactics ourselves to promote the truth. Veteran political consultant Antonia Scatton has spent years gathering the help we need from experts across disciplines, from cognitive science, linguistics and behavioral psychology to marketing and advertising, political history and moral philosophy, including renowned cognitive linguistics expert and progressive messaging guru George Lakoff, with whom Antonia worked full-time for more than a year.

For the first time, Antonia has distilled all of this information into a transformative one-day workshop that, rather than just telling you what to say, changes how you think. She gives you the tools you need to figure out for yourself what to say, every day, to wrestle control of the public debate back from your opposition. This intense and engaging full-day workshop will involve experiments and group discussion throughout (as opposed to just Q&A at the end of each session).

Session 1. Language and the Brain (10:00 – 12:00)

Crash course on how language influences thinking, emotional reactions and decision making. Includes framing, agenda setting, and manipulation of “tribal” instincts and subconscious emotions via neurochemicals and hormones. How to motivate behavioral change and influence both short-term decision making and long-term political and moral worldviews and identities.

LUNCH BREAK 12:00-1:00 (not catered)

Session 2: Verbalizing our Belief System (13:00 – 14:30)

How to articulate what we believe. Everyone knows conservatives are for free markets, gun rights and personal responsibility, and against taxes, abortion and using government to solve social problems. We look at the values that form the common foundation of our policies and draw from them a set of broader themes like those just listed for conservatives.

Session 3: Practical Application: Analyze and Reframe (14:30-16:00)

Combine and apply the content from sessions one and two. Using a sample issue, Antonia will guide participants through a step-by-step method for developing a strategy to change the debate. In small groups, participants will use the method to develop reframing strategies for additional issues, and the results will be discussed by the whole group.


Antonia Scatton has worked with, advised and trained many campaigns, political party committees and advocacy organizations including the Center for American Progress and the Democratic Parties of Arizona, Minnesota, Virginia, Idaho and Florida.

For more about Antonia, see:

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