Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner Program

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Program is subject to change.

Wednesday November 13

8:00 AM

Registration Opens

10:00 AM

Welcome Remarks & Speed Networking
Meet the finalists in the competition for Atlas’s $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award, as well as other freedom champions from across the country and around the world. Engage in high-energy networking done in a “speed dating” format, and leave with new friends in the freedom movement!

11:00 AM

Recruiting the Next Generation of Freedom Champions

Location: Central Park
Learn about successful strategies for mobilizing students behind the principles of a free society. Armando Regil will discuss his organization’s One Million Youths for Mexico initiative. Richard Lorenc will share how the Foundation of Economic Education is working to introduce college and high school students to the ideas of liberty. Juliano Torres provides an update on the expansion of Students for Liberty chapters in Brazil.

Moderator: Linda Whetstone, Atlas Network, United Kingdom

Speakers: Armando Regil, Instituto de Pensamiento Estrategico Agora A.C. (IPEA), Mexico
Richard Lorenc, Foundation for Economic Education, United States
Juliano Torres, Estudantes pela Liberdade, Brazil

Liberty & the Law
Location: Union Square
Free societies depend on the rule of law – the absence of which has long plagued developing and transitional economies, and which now seems under attack by crony capitalist regimes in the West. The speakers will share their views on the threat and the strategies for fighting back.

Moderator: Mario Rizzo, Classical Liberal Institute at New York University, United States

Speakers: Alan Meltzer, Mont Pelerin Society, United States
Leszek Balcerowicz, Civil Development Forum Foundation, Poland
Serena Sileoni, Instituto Bruno Leoni, Italy

What Ayn Rand Can Teach Us About Selling Capitalism
Location: Riverside
Few thinkers have done more to promote free markets than Ayn Rand, whose books have sold more than 25 million copies. What made her so successful? And what can we learn from her example? Best-selling author Don Watkins will examine Rand’s persuasive legacy, and lay out the four critical steps every defender of capitalism must follow in order to successfully fight for free markets. Ample time will be made for questions about Rand’s ideas and legacy.

Speakers: Don Watkins, Ayn Rand Institute, United States

12:30 PM

Luncheon: Think Tank Shark Tank Competition
Sponsored by Rising Tide Foundation
The stakes have been raised in Atlas’s popular “Think Tank Shark Tank” competition. Live on-stage, four candidates will pitch a new think tank project and field questions from our all-star panel of judges – the winner will receive $25,000 to launch their project.

Think Tank Shark Tank Contestants
Ernesto Selman, Centro Regional de Estrategias Economicas Sostenibles (CREES), Dominican Republic
Matt Bufton & Janet Neilson, Institute for Liberal Studies, Canada
Jacek Spendel, Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation, Poland
Erik Makrush, Idaho Freedom Foundation, United States

Think Tank Shark Tank Judges
Terry Kibbe, Rising Tide Foundation, United States
Ron Manners, Atlas Network, Australia
Dan Peters, Lovett & Ruth Peters Foundation, United States
Donald Smith, Smith Family Foundation, United States
Kathryn Washburn, The Washburn Fund, United States

Master of Ceremonies: Fred Young, Independent Investor

2:15 PM

New Strategies for Marketing our Message
Location: Union Square
Sponsored by The Krieble Foundation

The freedom movement will always need the strong policy research and educational efforts that are the bread-and-butter of think tanks. But in an age of information overload, we also need disruptive strategies to gain attention, coordinate our allies, and persuade new audiences. This session will showcase exciting new efforts: James O’Keefe on how guerilla journalism can expose government corruption, Matt Kibbe on creating a grassroots movement for liberty, and Emmanuel Martin on a project to syndicate free-market commentary throughout the world via Atlas Network partners.

Moderator: Matt Welch, Reason, United States

Speakers: James O’Keefe, Project Veritas, United States
Emmanuel Martin, Institute for Economic Studies Europe, France
Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks, United States

There will be an opportunity to meet James O’Keefe after this panel during a book signing for his new book Breakthrough.

Public Health and Public Liberty
Location: Riverside
Under the banner of public health, governments increasingly are dictating lifestyle choices. Bureaucrats believe they know what is good for us. But don’t their policies come with costs – to our pocketbooks, to our liberties, to our lives? This panel will explore how think tanks can contribute to public health debates by going beyond ideological broadsides against the nanny-state, and using research to expose the weaknesses and dangers of heavy-handed regulation. Attendees will be invited to participate in a global campaign to raise awareness of the negative effects of misguided public health policies.

Moderator: Tom Palmer, Atlas Network, United States

Speakers:  Pierre Lemieux, Montreal Economic Institute, Canada
Sloane Frost, Students for Liberty, United States

New Hope for Africa
Location: Central Park
Atlas senior fellow, George Ayittey, has been a consistent advocate for entrepreneurship in Africa, not foreign aid, and his message is increasingly gaining traction. Listen to him, and members of the “Cheetah Generation” who are promoting liberty in Nigeria and Namibia and beyond, and discover reasons to be hopeful about the future of Africa.

Moderator: Magatte Wade, Tiossan, Senegal

Speakers: George Ayittey, Free Africa Foundation, Ghana
Olumayowa Okediran, Students for Liberty, Nigeria
Nathan Desmond Tjirimuje, Chevauchee Foundation, Namibia

3:45 PM

Atlas Film Festival – Lights, Camera, Liberty!
Location: Ballroom
Showing off the best video work by think tank partners who have participated in Atlas’s “Lights Camera Liberty!” – a program offering grants and training to improve the quality and effectiveness of video communications. Three finalists will screen their videos and share the stories behind their success after which Atlas will announce this year’s winner and recipient of $1,000 cash prize.

Moderator: Patrick Reasonover, Taliesin Nexus, United States
Erin Wildermuth, Atlas Network, United States

Speakers: Steve Patterson, Foundation for Economic Education, United States
Colin Craig, Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation, Canada
Daniel Anthony, Illinois Policy Institute, United States

Think Tank Governance Roundtable
Location: Union Square
Do’s and Don’t’s for assembling and contributing to a high-performing Board of Directors. This session was a hit at Liberty Forum 2012, so we’re going to continue this critical conversation on how to build a board of directors that takes your think tank to the next level of professionalism and impact.

Moderator: Debbi Gibbs, Atlas Network, United States

Speakers: Roger Ream, The Fund for American Studies, United States
Dan Peters, Philanthropy Roundtable, United States
Rafael Alfonzo, CEDICE, Venezuela

Innovative and Effective Campaigns
Location: Riverside
Learn about some of the think tank movement’s more ambitious and successful campaigns. Templeton Freedom Award finalist CIDAC assembled a diverse coalition to challenge the Mexican government’s policy of fuel subsidies. The Illinois Policy Institute changed the debate about the public pension crisis in that state (and others). Michael Strong will report on the prospects for “free cities” that operate immune from big government.

Moderator: Rainer Heufers, Siap Solutions Pte Ltd, Singapore

Speakers: Michael Strong, Haven, United States
John Tillman, Illinois Policy Institute, United States
Veronica Baz, Centro de Investigacion para el Desarrollo, A. C. (CIDAC), Mexico

6:00 PM

Fisher Award Reception and Elevator Pitch Competition
Location: Ballroom
co-hosted with National Review Institute, and sponsored by a long-time anonymous Atlas supporter

including a Toast to Margaret Thatcher & Atlas’s annual Elevator Pitch Competition
Meet the 2013 winner of Atlas’s longest running prize program, the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award, which recognizes the think tank publishing the best book on liberty.
Master of Ceremonies: Deroy Murdock

Meet the 2013 winner of Atlas’s longest running prize program, the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Awards, which recognizes the think tank with the best new book on liberty.

One of the most popular features of the Atlas Liberty Forum is the annual Elevator Pitch competition, where you are the judge in selecting a winner among 20 participants from our Think Tank MBA program. Each participant is given one minute to make a compelling case for their organization.

A Toast in Honor of Margaret Thatcher: Atlas trustee and Thatcher biographer, John Blundell

Recognition of the Winner of the 2013 Fisher Award: In addition to announcing the winner of the $1,000 Elevator Pitch competition prize, before the close of our Fisher Award Reception we will announce the winner of the Think Tank Shark Tank competition from our opening lunch, and recognize the winners of our Smith Student Prize and the Lights, Camera, Liberty film festival.

8:00 PM

Atlas After Dark with music performance by Lindy Vopnfjörð
Atlas friends will gather across the street from our conference hotel at Social where our liberty-loving friend Lindy Vopnfjörð will perform intoxicating tunes from his new record, Young Waverer, which has dented the charts in Canada

Social Bar: 795 8th Avenue (between West 48th and west 49th Streets), New York, NY 10019

Thursday November 14

8:30 AM

Why Liberty Wake Up Call
Location: Ballroom
Atlas’s latest publication, Why Liberty, edited by our own Tom G. Palmer and co-published by Students for Liberty, had an initial print run of 300,000+ copies. The first 100 attendees down to enjoy breakfast will receive a free signed copy.

Tom will discuss his book, and introduce a special presentation by Magatte Wade on the promise of entrepreneurial freedom to unlock the enormous potential of Africa. A TED Global Africa Fellow, Magette was born in Senegal and became a successful entrepreneur in the Bay Area, most recently founding Tiossan, a lifestyle products brand.

10:00 AM

Anatomy of a Policy Victory
Location: Riverside
How can intellectual entrepreneurs and policy entrepreneurs work together to roll back big government and expand individual freedom? Wayne Leighton runs the Antigua Forum to discuss this process, and during this session he will be joined by Joe Lehman to discuss Templeton Freedom Award finalist Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s contributions to a Right to Work victory and Parth Shah from the Centre for Civil Society in India.

Moderator:  Wayne Leighton, Antigua Forum, Guatemala

Speakers:  Joe Lehman, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, United States
Parth Shah, Centre for Civil Society, India

Products You Can Replicate #1
Location: Union Square
Ideas successfully implemented by one Atlas partner can be adapted by others. This is the power of the Atlas Network. Keri Hunter will discuss how your think tank can collaborate in celebrating the legacy of Milton Friedman. Noah El Harmouzi will share how he collaborated with Fraser Institute to run Economic Freedom Audits in Lebanon and Morocco. Tarren Bragdon will explain new strategies for getting policy-makers to discuss, and become advocates for, think tanks’ solutions.

Moderator: TBD

Speakers: Tarren Bragdon, Foundation for Government Accountability, United States
Nouh El Harmouzi, Arab Center for Scientific Research and Humane Studies, Morocco
Keri Hunter, Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, United States

In The End, You Don’t Regulate Things, You Regulate People: How New Regulation of Payment Cards Is Growing Government, Hurting Consumers, and Proving The Law of Unintended Consequences
Location: Central Park
The financial crisis inspired new regulatory schemes in the U.S. and abroad. It also emboldened some special interests, from Australia to Europe, to pursue special favors, in the form of new legislation, and under the guise of consumer protection. But just how beneficial have financial regulations been for consumers? This panel will review some of the new regulations and highlight the role think tanks can play in educating the public about the consequences of overregulation.

Moderator: Chris Butler, Americans for Tax Reform, USA

Speakers:Zilvinas Silenas, Lithuania Free Market Institute, Lithuania
Iain Murray, Competitive Enterprise Institute, USA
Ron Manners, Atlas Network, Australia
Mikael Svenson, MasterCard, Belgium

11:15 AM

The Enterprise of Liberty
Location: Riverside
Risking one’s business by standing in opposition to a dictator, becoming an activist to reclaim your religion from those who murder in its name, promoting private philanthropy where it has been drowned out by the state – these are the stories of our inspiring panelists. Join an important discussion on how to encourage more liberty-oriented philanthropy and outreach in societies facing severe challenges.

Moderator: Ingrid Gregg, Earhart Foundation, United States

Speakers: Luis Ball, CEDICE, Venezuela
Azhar Aslam, Istanbul Network for Liberty, United Kingdom
Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville, Tocqueville Foundation, France

Empowering the Poor
Location: Central Park
Free-market principles are the secret to raising living standards and expanding opportunities for the poor. Omidyar has made recognition of property rights a central part of its philanthropic focus. The Liberty Institute in India has trained individuals in poor communities to use GPS devices to streamline the recognition of property titles. Atlas fellow Laura Liu will present an Atlas initiative to equip think tanks with tools to make a difference for free trade.

Moderator: Peter Goettler, Atlas Network , United States

Speakers: Karol Boudreaux, Omidyar, United States
Barun Mitra, Liberty Institute, India
Laura Liu, Atlas Network, United States

Products You Can Replicate #2
Location: Union Square
We have more great ideas to share! Learn what’s working in different states and countries, and strategize about how to replicate that success elsewhere. The Hayek Institut in Austria is collaborating with partners on its Free Market Roadshow and Dictionary of Economic Terms. Templeton Freedom Award finalists, Taxpayers Alliance and Texas Public Policy Foundation also have remarkable success stories to share. Learn about the 2020 Tax Commission that has changed the debate over tax policy in the UK, and also the TPPF’s work on criminal justice which has inspired reformers far beyond the Lone Star State.

Moderator: John Fund, Wall Street Journal, United States

Brooke Rollins, Texas Public Policy Foundation, United States
Matthew Sinclair, Taxpayers Alliance, United Kingdom
Barbara Kolm, F.A. v. Hayek Institut, Austria

12:30 PM

Liggio Luncheon and Lecture
Location: Ballroom
Sponsored by Liberty Fund, the Earhart Foundation, & more than 100 Friends of Leonard
On July 5, 2013, Atlas Executive VP Leonard Liggio turned 80 years old. Hundreds of friends of Leonard have participated in our Liggio Living Legacy Project this year to celebrate his vital role as a key builder of the freedom movement. Their testimonials are collected at, and we are now launching a new Liggio Lecture Series, as a lasting tribute to Leonard.

During the Liggio Luncheon, we will also recognize the 2013 graduates of our training curriculum, the Atlas Leadership Academy.
Master of Ceremonies: Alex Chafuen, Atlas Network
A Toast to Leonard: Marty Zupan, Institute for Humane Studies, United States
Introduction of James Otteson: Leonard Liggio, Atlas Network
2013 Liggio Lecture: James Otteson, BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism at Wake Forest, United States

Master of Ceremonies: Alex Chafuen, Atlas Network
A Toast to Leonard: Marty Zupan, Institute for Humane Studies, USA
Introduction of James Otteson: Leonard Liggio, Atlas Network
Keynote Lecture: James Ottesson, Wake Forest University, USA

2:00 PM

Q&A with Think Tank Luminaries
Location: Ballroom
Distinguished think tank leaders talk about the secrets of success, and the possible pitfalls that must be overcome, for having an impact on the world of ideas. Prepare your questions for our distinguished panel of think tank luminaries!

Moderator:  John Blundell, Atlas Network, United Kingdom

Speakers:  Arthur Brooks, American Enterprise Institute, USA
Parth Shah, Centre for Civil Society, India
Marty Zupan, Institute for Humane Studies, USA
Larry Mone, Manhattan Institute, USA
Eamonn Butler, Adam Smith Institute, UK

3:30 PM

Special Salon: Austrian Economics with Israel Kirzner
Location: Ballroom
A special opportunity to hear from living legend, Dr. Israel Kirzner, emeritus professor of economics at New York University. Kirzner will discuss how Austrian Economics offers a deep understanding of how free markets contribute toward the peaceful and prosperous society.

Introduction: Leonard Liggio, Atlas Network

Your Program Idea Here!
You are invited to choose your own Liberty Forum adventure! Whether you’re itching to discuss what comes after the Arab Spring, how to fundraise for free-market projects, or any other topic that comes to mind – this session will allow you (and the market) to decide the topics for the final two hours of our conference. All you have to do is come with an idea, and we’ll take it from there!

Freedom Dinner

5:30 PM

First buses leave for Capitale (Atlas Club members only)

6:00 PM

Additional buses leave for Capitale (everyone else)

6:00 PM

Atlas Club Briefing  (Atlas Club members only)
A special program on the Atlas Network’s efforts to combat rising neo-Nazi movements in Hungary and Greece. Atlas’s Tom Palmer will lead a discussion with Zoltan Kesz of the Free Market Foundation on the growing problem in Eastern Europe and the ways in which our partners are fighting back with a narrative that celebrates the dignity of the individual and promotes limited government and free enterprise.

6:30 PM

Freedom Dinner Reception

7:30 PM

Freedom Dinner
Sponsored by the Smith Family Foundation

Our gala Freedom Dinner will take place at Capitale, a gorgeous venue in lower Manhattan, built by Sanford White as the Bowery Savings Bank Building. There, more than 500 guests will celebrate how Atlas and its partners work to strengthen the freedom movement. Among the highlights you will enjoy:

  • The announcement of the $100,000 winner of the 2013 Templeton Freedom Award
  • Announcement of the incoming Templeton Leadership Fellow for 2014
  • Keynote Address by Johan Norberg
  • Live music & dancing with your Atlas friends!

This concludes the 2013 Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner. We hope you’ll join us next year, November 12-13, 2014 in New York City, with Freedom Dinner Keynote speaker Garry Kasparov.

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