Atlas Network is partnering with think tanks across the globe to host regional liberty forums, allowing friends of liberty from across one continent or region to come together for professional development training, competitions for funding, strategy discussions, networking, and much more.

Atlas Network is delighted to again partner with the Centre for Civil Society to host the 2017 Asia Liberty Forum, a public celebration aimed at advancing liberty and free markets in Asia, by bringing together 250 champions of freedom: intellectuals, think tank leaders, policy makers, business leaders, and change makers who will present their work and views on various facets of modern Asia. Champions of free people and free markets from across Asia and the world are invited to Mumbai for two days of leadership development, sharing of best practices, and discussion of the policy battles that lie ahead.

The conference will include keynote addresses and breakout sessions, superior networking opportunities, and friendly competition among think tanks. The forum provides a unique opportunity to interact closely with distinguished experts across various fields; some who are tackling Asia's unique development challenges, and others who bring international experience and perspectives towards charting our future course. The Asia Liberty Forum Gala Dinner on the evening of the 11th will feature Atlas Network’s announcement of 2017 Asia Liberty Award winner. To apply, click here.

Other highlights include:

  • Speed Networking, designed to help attendees expand their contacts 
  • Elevator Pitch Competition, where participants will present their 60-second pitch with the chance to win a prize

Join the conversation online using #AsiaLF17 and connect with other attendees on the Facebook event page.

John Templeton FoundationMajor sponsorship for Atlas Network's Regional Liberty Forums generously provided by the John Templeton Foundation.


Day 0: Thursday, 9 February

16:00-19:00 - Registration (Venue – O59)

Day 1: Friday, 10 February

08:00 - Registration (Venue – Grand Ballroom)

08:45 - Speed Networking (Venue – Grand Ballroom)
A great Liberty Forum tradition! In a “speed dating” format, you will quickly meet new freedom champions and hear new perspectives. A great way to expand your contacts and experience the diversity of Atlas Network’s worldwide partners.
Hosted by Daphne Vallado, Times Group, India

09:45 - Liberty in 2017 – Opening & Welcome (Venue – Grand Ballroom)
An overview on what’s happening in the liberal movement around the world and especially in Asia--our successes, challenges, and roadmap for the future. Welcome & introduction of hosting partners by Baishali Bomjan, Centre for Civil Society, India

10:00 - Winning the Battle of Ideas (Venue – Grand Ballroom)
Throughout the world, the philosophy of liberty is under attack. By the failure to march with a growing sense of justice, people and governments are blindly wounding, even destroying, those fundamental human liberties which have been the foundation and the inspiration of progress. How do we win the battle of ideas in a changing world around us? What is the scope for liberal ideas in the contemporary global context? This panel will set the tone of the conversation during the conference.
Chaired by Rainer Heufers, Centre for Indonesian Policy Studies
Panelists: Tom Palmer, Atlas Network, USA | Linda Whetstone, Network for a Free Society, UK | Ma Jun Jie, Unirule Institute of Economics, China | Raghav Bahl, The Quint, India

11:30 - Break

11:45 - Concurrent Breakout Sessions

How do we persuade people to embrace liberalism? Panel (Venue – Grand Ballroom)
Mainstream dialogue in popular culture, amongst students, and political groups is largely non-liberal across the world and in Asia in particular. What can we do to bring ourselves from the periphery of the debate to the centre, and have our ideas heard by the people who need to hear them the most? Recalling a quote from Frederic Bastiat which captures the challenge, ‘The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be skillfully attacked, but ineptly defended.’
This panel will feature individuals that have successfully conveyed the liberal message to important target groups, making ideas based work relevant, easy to access and understand. They will share examples of liberal projects and efforts that have recently been popular, and insights from these that we can learn from.
Chaired by Charu Chadha, Media 9, Nepal
Panelists: Ken Schoolland, International Society for Individual Liberty, USA | JP Narayan, Lok Satta Party, India | Glenn Cripe, Language of Liberty Institute, USA | Barun Mitra, Liberty Institute, India


Property Rights as a Human Right
Track A: Big Ideas (Venue – O59)
Chaired by Baladevan Rangaraju, India Institute
Panelists: Ambrish Mehta, Action Research in Community Health and Development, India | Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Azim Premji University | Rainer Heufers, Centre for Indonesian Policy Studies | Akash Shrestha, Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal

13:15 - Lunch (Venue – Grand Ballroom)

14:00 - Think Tank Shark Tank (Venue – Grand Ballroom)
Open only to Atlas Leadership Academy graduates, three contestants from Asia will be chosen to pitch their innovative project before a panel of philanthropists and the regional network of free-market think tanks for the chance to win $5,000.
Hosted by Lawson Bader, Donors Trust, USA
Judges: Dan Grossman, Atlas Network, USA | Daniel Green, John Templeton Foundation, USA | Luis Miranda, Centre for Civil Society, India | Rajesh Jain, Free A Billion, India| Terry Kibbe, Free the People, USA
Adinda Muchtar,, Indonesia | Akash Shrestha, Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal | Tricia Yeoh, Institute for Democracy & Economic Affairs, Malaysia

15:30 - Break

16:00 - Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Regulations for a Prosperous and Innovative Market Economy
Track A: Big Ideas (Venue – Grand Ballroom)
Economic freedom leads to a more dynamic market and prosperous economy. Yet reforms which increase economic freedom are often subject to significant political opposition from interest groups and even the general public. Asian examples of pro-market reform that have been both political and economic policy triumphs include privatizing of State-owned Enterprises, liberalizing a  sector (Telecom in India), administrative and process reform by easing processes and strengthening institutions, all the way to large scale policy reform to liberalise the entire economy. Panelists will share insights of successes from a variety of countries to show how these reforms were pushed through, and the challenges that were overcome.
Chaired by Seetha, Columnist & Public Intellectual, India
Panelists: Vivek Dehejia, IDFC Institute, India | Alex Tabarrok, George Mason University, USA | Syed Mizanur Rahman, Daffodil International University, Bangladesh | Nonoy Oplas, Minimal Government Thinkers Inc, Philippines

You Plant the Seeds, but Do You Watch them Grow?
Track B: Think Tank Management (Venue – Meeting Room)
The young generations of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, and it is essential that they be introduced to the ideas of freedom so that the nature of discourse in the future is in a more liberal direction. Partners from across Asia have worked tirelessly toward this goal, by engaging and training youth both on and off college campuses.
From the many thousands of minds that have been reached, only a few have shown signs of growing into champions of liberty. How do we engage, identify and nurture upcoming generations, such that they become the next liberal champions in Asia? Panellists will discuss their strategies, successes and challenges in creating a sustained engagement with promising youth.
Chaired by Amy Proulx, Templeton Foundation, USA
Panelists: Li Schooland, Acton Institute, USA | Mohammad Abul Ahrar Ramizpoor, Afghanistan Economic and Legal Studies Organisation | Kyle Walker, Students for Liberty, USA | Samta Arora, Centre for Civil Society, India

State, Private Sector and Liberty in a Digital World – Challenges for Liberals
Track A: Big Ideas (Venue – 059)
While advancing digitalisation in general is a blessing for the (developing) world it also creates new situations which are challenging personal freedoms. Nowadays it is much easier for states to put their citizens under surveillance and there is increasing desire to know many more details about citizens’ behavior. In addition, freedom of speech can be curbed when powerful online platforms censor postings and declare opinions of their users as objectionable. The data which is created by individuals online is used by companies while the user has no clue how the data is processed and has no possibility to object the usage by other companies. As more and more communication and commerce move online it becomes much easier for states to cut off their citizens from the rest of the world.
While simply de-digitising won’t be a solution this panel will look at strategies and ideas how citizens can safeguard their rights in the digital age and what especially liberals should do to create a world in which digital means create more freedom for everybody.
Chaired by: Ruben Dieckhoff, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, South Asia
Panelists: Anja Kovacs, Internet Democracy Project, India | Julian Morris, Reason Foundation, USA | Ajay Shah, National Institute of Public Finance & Policy, India | Saikat Datta, Centre for Internet and Society, India


17:30 - Break

19:00 - Dinner sponsored by Friedrich Naumann Foundation (Venue – Grand Ballroom)
Remembering the lost heroes of Liberty - A tribute to the great champions of Liberty we’ve lost this past year and a toast to continuing their legacy.
Launch of ‘What does it mean to be liberal in India?’
Address by Ronald Meinardus, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, South Asia
Toast to freedom by Sreyoshi Guha,
author from What does it mean to be liberal in India?
Keynote Address on Economic Freedom for human rights by Chandra Bhan Prasad, Public intellectual and commentator, India

Day 2: Saturday, 11 February

07:00 - Yoga Class
Yoga is known to be an internal journey of freedom. Start your day with experiencing freedom in movement, the Indian/yogic way, to expand your energy and clear any physical and mental blocks that limit you!
Hosted by Ritika Shah, Centre for Civil Society

08:00 - Registration (Venue – Grand Ballroom)

09:00 - Concurrent Breakout Sessions

What’s a winning political strategy?
Track A: Big Ideas (Venue – Grand Ballroom)
There have been several attempts to advance liberty through a variety of political strategies: creating a liberal political party, influencing members of parliament, shifting the voter base on a specific issue, placing our own Trojan horses within the government. In this panel, we ask panelists to share their strategy and discuss their successes and challenges. Besides campaign approaches, we also ask them to highlight tactics and day to day best practices in engaging with governments for impactful dissemination of our ideas.
Chaired by: Praveen Chakraverty, IDFC Institute, India
Panelists: Rajesh Jain, Free a Billion, India | Matt Kibbe, Free the People, USA | Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, Malaysia


New strategies on advancing Economic Liberty
Track B: Think Tank Management (Venue – Meeting Room)
In many countries, the productivity of enterprise and entrepreneurship is limited by bad economic policies. We believe think tanks can be catalysts for policy reforms that create freer competition, enabling enterprise and innovation that benefit consumers, producers, and the greater society. Panellists will share their strategies in identifying and tackling worthwhile reforms that represent local priorities and local vision for change, and successes and challenges in how to optimize and execute research, marketing, and advocacy plans for demonstrable change.
Chair: Daniel Anthony, Atlas Network, USA
Panelists: Anthea Haryoko, Centre for Indonesian Policy Studies |
Sarwagya Raj Pandey, Bikalpa, Nepal | Dhanuraj D, Centre for Public Policy Studies, India | Deana Jayamanne, Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka

10:30 - Break

10:45 - Concurrent Launch of Publications

The Private School Revolution in India Keynote (Grand Ballroom)
Address on the role of budget private schools in providing access and choice to India’s poorest families. The keynote will culminate in the launch of Centre for Civil Society’s Annual Report on Budget Private Schools in India. This report provides a repository of credible information collected through research, and by collating perspectives and information from practitioners, policymakers and scholars engaged with the sector. 
Introduction to report by Rohan Joshi, Centre for Civil Society, India

Self-Control or State Control? You Decide Keynote (Venue – O59)
Who should determine the course of our lives? There is no shortage of people who aim to control others, imposing their will and restricting choice through the force of government. A new book edited by Dr. Tom G. Palmer, Atlas Network’s executive vice president for international programs, explains how choosing personal responsibility allows us to regain control over our own lives. Self-Control or State Control? You Decide features essays by experts who delve into the relationship between freedom and responsibility, their philosophical and scientific underpinnings, and the practical value of self-control.
Introduction by John Humphries, PRIME Institute, Cambodia
Address by Tom Palmer, Atlas Network, USA

11:15 - Break

11:30 - Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Education of Choice for all: The role of Budget Private Schools
Track A: Big Ideas (Venue – Grand Ballroom)
Over the past decade there has been a surge of research and policy interest in the role of private schools educating disadvantaged children in developing countries. There is now a growing body of research into the working and impact of budget private schools on education outcomes globally. An increasing number of investors and service providers are working with these schools to understand them and improve quality, efficiency and sustainability. The emergence of various school chains globally, both in partnership and independent of the state, is of particular interest as a means to scale best practices. The sector is however marred by polarised debates on the morality of private provision of education, and a reluctance of government and civil society groups to engage constructively with BPS to improve education quality, access and equity. Within this context, this session will discuss the role of BPS in meeting the goal of providing education of choice for all children.
Chaired by Gopal Jain, Gaja Capital, India
Panelists: Brajesh Mishra, Varthana, India | Neil D’Souza, Zaya Learning Labs, India | Parth J Shah, Centre for Civil Society, India

Running a successful think-tank
Track B: Think Tank Management (Venue – Meeting Room)
Think tanks are in the business of changing the world. But they are also businesses that have to deal with practical management issues such as human resource management, recruitment of interns and volunteers, taking care of finance and admin, managing incoming funds and monitoring project budgets, setting office procedures and policies. In this session, we ask panelists to share their experiences and lessons from managing a think tank start-up.
Chaired by Manali Shah, Meaningful Meetings & Participatory Strategy, India
Panelists: Sara Sihaloho, Centre for Indonesian Policy Studies | Deependra Chaulagain, Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal

Creating & using impactful datasets for effective advocacy
Track B: Think Tank Management (Venue – 059)
Among the different techniques for bringing liberal reform, using impactful datasets has been a consistently successful means. There are several examples from different contexts, be it global (Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World Index, the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings), national (PRIME’s Pakistan Economic Policy Scorecard), local (Praja’s report cards on local government in Mumbai & Delhi) or sectoral (Janaagraha’s Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems). Panelists share insights, and how they have used these datasets for effective advocacy.
Chaired by Hindol Sengupta, Centre for Civil Society, India
Panelists: Manish Jha, FACTS, Nepal | Anil Nair, Janaagraha, India | Christian Zaens, Institute for Solidarity in Asia, Philippines | Laveesh Bhandari, Indicus Analytics, India

13:00 - Lunch (Venue – Grand Ballroom)

13:45 - Introduction of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Theme & Presentations by Asia Liberty Award Finalists (Venue – Grand Ballroom)
The 2017 Asia Liberty Awards recognize think tanks within the Atlas Network that have made important contributions to improving the landscape for enterprise and entrepreneurship in the region.

14:45 - Concurrent Breakout Sessions

The Compatibility of Islam and Freedom
Track A: Big ideas (Venue - Grand Ballroom)
Muslim majority lands were once the most advanced regions on earth in the areas of tolerance, freedom, science and medicine. Today they are shown as laggards in most international indices covering economic freedom, human development, and human rights. The economic failure of Muslim countries is not caused by incompatibility between the tenets of Islam and the principles of a free economy, but the deviations from the liberal tradition of early Islam. Islam not only wants freedom of the individual from theocracy, but also from control by the state. Islam emphasizes the role and responsibility of the individual; freedom of faith is fundamental principle. (Islamic Foundations of a free society, IEA 2016)
Asia provides 62% of the global Islamic population, with the four most populous Islamic nations being Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Islam is also the dominant religion on the continent. Panelists will discuss the compatibility between Islam and Freedom in their local contexts, and look at trends from across the region.
Chaired by Ronald Meinardus, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, South Asia
Panelists: Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, Malaysia | Mohammad Abul Ahrar Ramizpoor, Afghanistan Economic and Legal Studies Organisation | Bican Sahin, Freedom Research Association, Turkey

Fundraising: Getting Active and Getting Creative
Track B: Think Tank Management (Venue – Meeting Room)
The challenge of winning the battle of ideas requires us to continue finding new champions all over the globe. As the freedom movement in Asia grows, the need for building and sustaining robust organisations to maintain this burgeoning network becomes ever more important. What is it that donors look for when supporting our work? How do we maximise our local connections and networks and build relationships to ensure that we get our message across to the right individuals? This Think Tank Management session provides an opportunity to learn directly from those who invest in the worldwide freedom movement. Panelists share what they look for in funding opportunities, and what groups could do better to earn lasting support. No pitches allowed, but bring your questions to refine how you can successfully present your work to win support for your work!
Chaired by Luis Miranda, Centre for Civil Society, India
Panelists: Tom Palmer, Atlas Network, USA | Terry Kibbe, Free the People, USA | Harpreet Singh, Dasra, India


Open Spaces
Workshop  (Venue – 059)
This brainstorming space will be open from 2:45 pm to 6:15 pm for selected network members to receive ideas and feedback on innovative projects.

16:15 - Break

16:30 - Concurrent Breakout Sessions

What makes a robust financial policy?
Track A: Big Ideas (Venue – Grand Ballroom)
Developing and adopting a written financial policy is a valuable practice for any country. It clarifies the government’s role, authority, and responsibilities for essential financial management activities and decisions, and has tremendous repercussions not just for key stakeholders in the sector but for the general public at large. The absence of an adopted policy or the presence of an obsolete one has grave consequences of a nation functioning with a set of assumptions that may or may not be accurate or productive.
What makes a robust financial sector that enhances a nation’s long-term growth, and what type of regulatory environments need to be put in place to ensure this? What are the current challenges in Asia and globally? What lessons can get draw from successful countries and why? Our panelists representing academia, policy and the financial services sector will address these critical questions.
Chaired by Niranjan Rajadhyaksha, Live Mint, India
Panelists: Christopher Lingle, Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Guatemala | Susan Thomas, Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research, India | Sudeepto Deb, Minerva Consulting, India

Attracting Successful Board Leaders
Track B: Think Tank Management (Venue – Meeting Room)
A key element of a successful think tank is a well-functioning board. A strong board increases the organisation’s ability to create and sustain a sphere of influence across sectors in politics, business, government, academics, media, business etc, along with the more traditional fiduciary and strategic responsibilities of a board. Our panelists, all of whom have tremendous experience serving on boards of think tanks and other non-profits, will provide insights on how to effectively attract and manage successful board leaders to improve the impact of your organisation.
Chaired by Lawson Bader, Donors Trust, USA
Panelists: Kris Mauren, Acton Institute, USA | Robin Sitoula, Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal | Simon Lee, Lion Rock Institute, Hong Kong

Open Spaces
Workshop  (Venue – 059)
This brainstorming space will be open from 2:45 pm to 6:15 pm for selected network members to receive ideas and feedback on innovative projects.

18:00 - Break

18:30 - Registration for Freedom Dinner (Venue – Grand Ballroom)

19:30 - Freedom Dinner & Asia Liberty Awards (Venue – Grand Ballroom)
The gala Freedom Dinner is an exclusive event closing what has been two incredible days of making new friends, learning new ideas and sharing your work with those who are equally passionate about being in this movement.
Remembering the lost heroes of Liberty - A tribute to the great champions of Liberty we’ve lost this past year and a toast to continuing their legacy.
Freedom Toast by Lyudmila Melnikova, Kazakhstan
Keynote Address by Amit Varma, India Uncut
Awards Ceremony for Asia Liberty Awards & Shark Tank


Tom Palmer, Atlas Network, USA

Dr. Tom G. Palmer is the executive vice president for international programs at Atlas Network and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. On Nov. 10, 2016, Dr. Tom G. Palmer was named the George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty at Atlas Network. He is also a senior fellow at Cato Institute and director of Cato University. Before joining Cato, he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Ethics, Critical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Die Welt, Caixing, Al Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice. Palmer received his B.A. in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, his M.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and his doctorate in politics from Oxford University.

Baishali Bomjan, Centre for Civil Society, India

Baishali leads the Centre for Civil Society's development and strategy planning. She has previously led the Centre’s Academy and Communication and PR efforts and has designed and managed international and national conferences, training programs, certificate courses for journalists and edited several publications of the Centre. She also leads Atlas Network’s annual conference of market liberals, the Asia Liberty Forum which brings together over 250 think tank leaders, scholars, activists and students who are advancing liberty in their home country or region. Having worked in the development sector and the print media in Nepal and India, her work profile includes serving as the Director of Nuns Welfare Foundation of Nepal, and Associate Editor of Nepal's leading business and women's magazines. She holds an MSc in Ecology and Ethology from the University of North Bengal, India, Think Tank MBA from Atlas Leadership Academy and is especially interested in project incubation and strategic planning.

Luis Miranda, Centre for Civil Society, India

Luis is Chairman of CORO and Centre for Civil Society. He is Advisor to the Nadathur Group. Luis has been involved in setting up 2 companies - HDFC Bank and IDFC Private Equity. Luis spends his time these days connecting the dots, using his network to help the organisations he is connected with. He is a member of the Global Advisory Board of Chicago Booth and writes a blog for Forbes India. Luis received an MBA from the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Parth J Shah, Centre for Civil Society, India

Parth is founder president of the Centre for Civil Society. His research and advocacy work have focused on the themes of economic freedom (law, liberty and livelihood campaign), choice and competition in education (fund students, not schools), property rights approach for the environment (terracotta vision of stewardship), and good governance (new public management and the duty to publish). He has published extensively in international and Indian journals, on various topics from currency regulation to education policy. Parth holds a PhD in Economics from Auburn University and taught economics at the University of Michigan before returning to India to start CCS. He has edited several publications including Morality of Markets, Friedman on India, Profiles in Courage: Dissent on Indian Socialism, Do Corporations have Social Responsibility?, and co-edited Law, Liberty, and Livelihood, The Terracotta Reader, and Agenda for Change.

Rajesh Jain, Free a Billion, India

Rajesh Jain is a serial tech and political entrepreneur. He is the Founder- Managing Director of Mumbai-based Netcore Solutions, India’s leading provider of digital real-time communications and marketing solutions for enterprises via email and mobile. He is the founder of Niti (New Initiatives to Transform India), a key organization that had worked in the 2014 elections campaign of the present Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIT-Bombay and Columbia University (electrical engineering).). Rajesh has also founded Free A Billion (FAB), a not-for-profit that aims to mobilize popular demand for policy reforms that foster individual freedom, freer markets, effective rule of law, and growing prosperity for all.

Cindy Cerquitella, Atlas Leadership Academy, USA

Cindy Cerquitella is Director of Atlas Leadership Academy at Atlas Network. She develops training programs, both online and in person to serve the needs of the Atlas Network. Prior to joining the Atlas Network in 2006, she worked part-time as the Director of Programs, planning events for Americas Future Foundation. She graduated from Hillsdale College, where she received a BA in Political Economy. Prior to attending Hillsdale, Cindy spent four years in Budapest, Hungary where her parents ran an International Christian School.

Li Zhao Schoolland, Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, USA

Li Zhao Schoolland is the Founder of TFT Events which has organized successful Austrian Economics Conferences and Summer Camps since 2010 in China, Slovakia, Romania, Indonesia, and Morocco. She is a columnist writing a weekly column in China on Child-rearing and has given talks about individual liberty at numerous international conferences and summer camps in Mongolia, China, USA, Ukraine, Japan, Malaysia, India, and the Republic of Georgia. Through TFT Events, Li has arranged for the Chinese translation and publication of works by Jesus Huerta de Soto, Michael Oliver, Doug Casey, Ken Schoolland, The Acton Institute, and Jeffrey Tucker. She has obtained Masters degrees from the University of Minnesota (Japanese Literature) and Chaminade University of Honolulu (Japanese Business Studies) and currently teaches in Hawaii.

Kris Mauren, Acton Institute, USA

Kris Mauren is co-founder and executive director of Acton Institute, an international educational and public policy organization headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The Institute publishes scholarship and film and organizes educational seminars around the world for current and future religious leaders promoting an understanding of the ethical dimensions of the free market economy. The Institute also works with business leaders to encourage their positive moral defense of a free society characterized by individual liberty and personal moral responsibility. Kris was presented with the Charles G. Koch Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Institute for Humane Studies in 2010, and was the 1999 recipient of the Liberty Executive Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Management.

Praveen Chakravarty, IDFC Institute, India

Praveen Chakravarty is a Visiting Senior Fellow in Political Economy at IDFC Institute.He has spent two decades in the corporate world, largely in financial services across India and the US, retiring as CEO of an Indian investment bank in 2013. Praveen is currently a member of the Primary Markets committee of the Securities & Exchange Board of India, an independent Director in the TVS Group of companies and BSE Institute. He has also co-founded Mumbai Angels, India’s largest angel investing group. He has been an investor and mentor to several successful, innovative startups, and has worked with the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI). Praveen is the Founding Trustee of IndiaSpend, India’s first non-profit data journalism initiative that heralded the data journalism culture in mainstream media.

Sara Sihaloho, Center for Indonesian Policy Studies, Indonesia

Sara Sihaloho is General Manager at the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies. She has supported training and dialogue programs for public policy decision-makers in Indonesia and has extensive experience in promoting international trade during her work as a Trade Officer in a diplomatic mission in Jakarta. She is a foreign language enthusiast and manages her own German language school called Sonne Sprachhaus in southern Jakarta.

Mirsuljan Namazaliev, Central Asian Free Market Institute, Kyrgyzstan

Mirsulzhan is the Co-founder and Managing Director of the Central Asian Free Market Institute, and is a political economist, a media consultant, as well as a civil society activist. He has extensive experience in media, youth, human rights and business spheres. He travels frequently throughout Kyrgyzstan and neighbouring countries to instruct youth on the use of blogs. He is a regular contributor to a popular Central Asian blog, and leading economic program "Bay Bol" (Get Rich) on the first national channel. Moreover, he has made guest appearances on BBC, RFE/RL, CNN, Al-Jazeera, National Kyrgyz Radio, and the newspaper Nazar. His comments have been published on the pages of international newspapers such as Le Monde. He is a youth expert for the Soros-Kyrgyzstan Foundation. Mirsulzhan was educated at the Bishkek Humanities University.

D Dhauraj, Centre for Public Policy Research, India

D Dhanuraj serves as Chairman of Centre for Public Policy Research and also is the Managing Director of Civitas Consultancies Pvt. Ltd. He holds a PhD in Science and Humanities from Anna University, Chennai. He holds Post Graduate degrees in Physics, Political Science and a Post Graduate Executive diploma in International Business. A social entrepreneur by profession, Dhanuraj is also a seasoned policy researcher. He has worked with several national and international organisations and government bodies in the development sector. He has been trained by Friedrich Neumann Stiftung (FNSt) at the International Academy for Leadership (IAF), Theodore Heusse Akademie, Germany. He is also trained for Startup Think Tanks by Atlas USA and in Austrian Economics by Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), New York. His area of interest includes urbanization, retail market, education and health. He is a member in Global Urban Transport research team of SMART of Michigan University. He writes regular columns and findings on websites and blogs.

Anthea Haryoko, Center for Indonesian Policy Studies, Indonesia

Anthea is the manager for communications and fundraising at the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS). She joined CIPS when it was founded in 2015. Prior to CIPS, she worked as a communications consultant at a public relations agency, Maverick, and as a communications officer for the Bakrie Group, handling clients and projects in corporate and marketing communications. She graduated with a B.A. in communications from Monash University in Malaysia.

Ken Schoolland, International Society for Individual Liberty, USA

Ken Schoolland is currently an Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Entrepreneurship Center at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, Hawaii. Schoolland is President of the International Society for Individual Liberty, a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, a Sam Walton Fellow for Enactus, a member of the Board of Scholars for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, and a charter member of the Board of Directors of the Small Business Hawaii Entrepreneurial Education Foundation. He has authored two books: The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey, now published in more than 47 languages, and Shogun’s Ghost: The Dark Side of Japanese Education, in two languages.

Vivek Dehejia, Carleton University, Canada

Vivek Dehejia is Associate Professor of Economics at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada; Resident Fellow in Political Economy at IDFC Institute; and Columnist, Mint. He holds a PhD in Economics (1995) from Columbia University in New York, where his thesis supervisors included the Nobel laureate Robert Mundell and the noted international trade economist Jagdish Bhagwati. He is also co-author of Indianomix: Making Sense of Modern India (Random House India, 2012, republished in paperback 2015.

Christopher Lingle, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala

Christopher Lingle is Visiting Professor of Economics at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala, Adjunct Scholar at the Centre for Independent Studies (Sydney), Research Scholar at the Centre for Civil Society (New Delhi), and Member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Globalization Institute (Brussels). His research interests are in the areas of Political Economy and International Economics that focuses on emerging market economies and public policy reform in Europe, East Asia, Latin America and Southern Africa. His work has appeared as chapters in books, the international media, and scholarly journals, including the American Economic Review, Foreign Affairs, Journal for Studies in Economics and Econometrics, Kyklos, and Pacific Review. His book on the political economy of Singapore’s development was entitled, Singapore’s Authoritarian Capitalism: Asian Values, Free Market Illusions, and Political Dependency. He is widely credited with anticipating the turmoil in the East Asian economies that began in 1997 (The Rise and Decline of the ‘Asian Century’: False Starts on the Road to the ‘Global Millennium’). He earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Georgia in 1977.

Linda Whetstone, Chairman and CEO, Network for a Free Society, UK

Linda Whetstone is chairman of Network for a Free Society and serves on the boards of the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Istanbul Network for Liberty, and British Dressage, where she chairs the Judges Committee and is a team selector. Previously chairman of International Policy Network and a director of the Mont Pelerin Society, she runs a small business in England with her husband Francis and has written on agricultural and development issues. Her father was the late Sir Antony Fisher, Atlas Network’s founder.

Dan Grossman, Chairman of the Board, Atlas Network, USA

Dan Grossman served as chairman of the Atlas Network board of directors from 2008–2016. He spent his working career as the founder and owner of various private businesses. He was formerly chairman of the Foundation for Economic Education. He graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a degree in economics, and from Columbia University in New York with an MBA in finance. Grossman resides in Washington, D.C.

Amit Varma, India Uncut, India

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai, India. He has written for publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the Observer and all leading Indian newspapers. He won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007 and 2015, and was the first person to win it twice. He was a TED Fellow in 2009, and was named one of the 50 Most Powerful People in India by Business Week magazine that year. He is perhaps best known for his blog, India Uncut, which takes an uncompromising libertarian look at a country that desperately needs more freedom.


The Asia Liberty Forum 2017 takes place in Mumbai, India, at The Leela Mumbai hotel.

The Leela Mumbai, Sahar, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400 059

T: +91 22 6691 1234, E:

Nearest Airport: 2kms / 10 minutes

Airport Transfers

The conference venue and hotel is located 10 minutes from the Mumbai International Airport. Given its proximity, we encourage you to use a taxi service available at the airport. Do make sure to take an authorized pre-paid taxi (the pre-paid taxi counter is located within the airport premises, the end of the arrival terminal) or a cab service provider like Meru, Easy Cabs or Uber.

The charges of the pre-paid taxi service are fixed as per destination, with additional charges levied on each piece of luggage.

Should you prefer the hotel to arrange a pick-up for you, please get in touch with Farzana at

The hotel can provide airport pick-ups at INR 776 (approx. USD 12) from the Mumbai International Airport, and at INR 1613 (approx. USD 25) from the domestic airport.

Room Reservations

There is a discounted rate for rooms at the conference hotel, The Leela, Mumbai.

Premiere City View Room

Single Occupancy - INR 9,556 /night (approximately USD 144)

Double Occupancy - INR 10,751/ night (approximately USD  162)

Rate for the premiere city view room is inclusive of all taxes, buffet, breakfast, and Wi-Fi.

Royal Club Room

Single Occupancy - INR 14,334 /night (approximately USD 216)

Double Occupancy - INR 15,529/ night (approximately USD  234)

Rate for the royal club room is inclusive of all taxes, buffet breakfast, Wi-Fi, access to club lounge and two-way airport transfers

To make a reservation, please visit the hotel website. While making your booking through the site, please select the code as 'Group' and enter the code 'GCRALF9217' to access the discounted rates. Reservations can be made using this link till January 16, 2017.

Visa Information

e-Visas can be obtained by completing an online application for which no facilitation is required by any intermediary/ agents at the following link:

For delegates from countries that are not eligible for an e-Visa, please contact the appropriate local embassy for more information, or contact Srijan Bandyopadhyay at or +91-995-367-2130.

About Mumbai

Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is the capital of the Indian State of Maharashtra and the most populous city in India. It is home to a whopping 20.5 million people and is located on the west coast of India. The city produces about 5 percent of India's GDP and is the wealthiest city in South, West, and Central Asia. This fact is further enhanced by the deep natural harbor that makes the city a major shipping route for the enormous country.

Best known for embracing a cosmopolitan crowd, Mumbai is marked by stately skyscrapers towering over slums. Mushrooming nightclubs, swanky restaurants, and the hub of glamor and fashion coexist with grinding poverty in this fast-paced, lively city.

This is the financial capital of the country. Interspersed with crowded walkways, roads packed with the inimitable black and yellow taxis, and a mass of people rushing around purposefully, the city is a vibrant hub of activity. In the center of this organized chaos—amid the rich pool of art and entertainment—the intricate layers of life unfold.


The month of February is characterized by gradually rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs around 89°F (32°C) throughout the month.

The average probability that some form of precipitation will be observed in a given day is 1 percent, with little variation over the course of the month.

What to wear

The weather will be hot and muggy, so it is recommended to dress accordingly. 

In the city that loves bling, pick up a pair of flat open toed sandals, lay your hands on some soft textured shirts, tunic tops, or kurtas, and team them up with cotton skirts or jodhpuri or harem pants. A touch of gold in your slippers, evening bags, or clutches would definitely be a hit anywhere you visit.


Men can try matching a regular pair of cotton or linen trousers with light cotton shirts. These fabrics may support your stay in that warm environment. And yes, you can even wear a light waistcoat or jacket to formal meetings. In the evening outings, you can pair those trousers with a dark color allowing you to freely adapt to any ambiance. Jeans paired with a plain linen shirt works too for the younger lot traveling with you. 


Western women who work in Mumbai and Delhi wear jackets and trousers, with shirts/blouses. Alternatively, skirts and blouses/jackets. Modesty is advised.

Some trends that are advised against include more immodest clothing, halter necks, spaghetti straps, etc. 

Evening activities are more welcoming to a less formal dress code, especially within the hotel, although it may help having a shawl or coat to cover-up if you feel uncomfortable.