About Us


America’s only expressly progressive lecture series, The Progressive Forum premiered in 2005 in Houston, Texas, and has grown into one of the largest of any type with both in-person and online audiences. 

Our history includes national book launches for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World, and James Hansen’s Storms of My Grandchildren. The Forum provided the film premiere for Robert Redford, who introduced his documentary Fighting Goliath: Texas Coal Wars. Past speakers have included Ken Burns, Jane Goodall, Brian Greene, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Nancy Pelosi, Michael Pollan, Robert Reich, Gloria Steinem, John Paul Stevens, Edward O. Wilson, and many others. More on our past speaker page.


The Progressive Forum is dedicated to enriching our democracy and culture by presenting the great minds it believes are advancing the success of the individual, our species, and life itself—great minds from all the fields of human endeavor and the sciences and humanities, as well as business, politics, the environment, and more. Our progressive viewpoint is rooted in mainstream constitutional and egalitarian values that need continual affirmation.

Founder's Biographical Sketch

Randall Morton founded The Progressive Forum in 2005. A Houston resident, he also co-founded The Oilfield Breakfast Forum, the largest speaker series in the petroleum industry, which he hosted for nine years. He operated Randall Morton International for 32 years, an agency providing market communication, advertising, and public relations to leading oil service companies in the US, Japan, Mexico, and Europe. He earned a degree in government from Georgetown University, and at the same time, served the Democratic National Committee as an issue writer. At Georgetown, he was ranked third nationally as a pass receiver on a football team that ranked sixth in the nation among nonscholarship leagues. He was also a starter on Georgetown’s rugby team. He returned to his native Tulsa, where he earned a second degree from Tulsa University in communications, where, a year later, he served as an adjunct professor teaching advertising design and copy. He is a member of a working group at Rice University’s Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies, supporting the nonprofit company BCarbon, a registry enabling the storage of carbon with nature-based solutions. He is an enrolled member of the Osage Indian tribe of Oklahoma, the proud father of two grown children, and a pretty good cook.       

The Progressive Forum


Randall R. Morton, president, founder
Merrisa Milliner, marketing
Ben Doyle, BEND Productions, videographer
Karen Mata, event manager
Sonia Hamer, assistant event manager

Board of Directors

Mike Blocher
Robin L. Bullington, PhD
Randall Morton
Stefania Tomaskovic, PhD
David Sterling, of counsel

Advisory Board 

Ann Hamilton