Talking Progress Podcast: The Transatlantic Conference on the “Geographies of Discontent”

Author: Rachel Stieb

In order to bring this transatlantic dialogue to life, we have kicked-off the project in November 2023 with a Conference on Transatlantic Work to Address the “Geographies of Discontent” hosted by Das Progressive Zentrum in cooperation with the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. 

At the conference in Brussels, we brought together leaders and economic change practitioners from across Europe, the UK and the US with a delegation of local US-Midwestern decision-makers touring European industrial heartlands. The focus of the conference was to discuss the challenges and to share experiences on the issues that industrial heartland regions are facing. 

The first podcast episode of the industrial heartlands series focuses on the keynote speech held by Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, an important voice on transatlantic relations and Member of the Sounding Board of our Transatlantic Dialogue, on “The Democratic Imperative to Deliver for the Heartlands”.

The second episode showcases best practices and proposals for action from the participants of the conference in Brussels, among others John Austin, Director of the Michigan Economic Center; Jamie Driscoll, Mayor of North of Tyne in the UK; Thomas Wobben, Director for Legislative Works at the European Committee of the Regions; and Bill Peduto, former Mayor of Pittsburgh, USA, and Member of the project’s Sounding Board.

Click on the button to load the content from

Load content

The podcast “Talking Progress” is produced in the context of the Transatlantic Dialogue on the Industrial Heartlands: Shaping the Future project. A project by Das Progressive Zentrum and distinguished partners at The Progressive Policy Institute, Georgetown University’s BMW Center for German and European Studies and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and with the support of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action.