Thank you to those who attended the event! You can read the event description below and view pictures in the gallery on the right.

Atlas Network and The Lion Rock Institute of Hong Kong will co-host a one-day conference at the Shangri-La Hong Kong on Saturday, September 6, directly following the Mont Pelerin Society General Meeting.

The Atlas Network Experience will bring together key policy experts and liberty advocates of the worldwide freedom movement to give key updates and discuss the latest trends on the global economic freedom movement, with a focus on Asia.

A few highlights include:

  • A strategy session on “How We Will Win” led by Atlas Network Senior FellowRainer Heufers, leader of Atlas’s flagship training program Think Tank MBA.
  • A featured talk on how Samriddhi: The Prosperity Foundation of Nepal went from enduring a communist government to advising its new government on market-oriented reforms.
  • A live taping of The Casey Lartigue and Yeonmi Park Show, an online TV program starring a North Korean refugee, who is now becoming a charismatic spokesperson for free society principles.


9:00 am Continental Breakfast Buffet - Magnolia/Camomile Room

9:30 am  Updates from the Worldwide Freedom Movement - Magnolia/Camomile Room
In the spirit and style of one of Grover Norquist’s “Coalition Meetings,” we will welcome short updates from Atlas Network partners represented at our meeting, so we’re all better informed on what is new and exciting and being accomplished by free market think tanks connected to the Atlas Network.
Moderator:  Alex Chafuen (Atlas Network)

10:30 am  Prospects for Freedom in Asia - Rose/Peony Room
A look at trends in key Asian countries, and analysis of how those in the freedom movement can best foster positive change.
Speakers:  Parth Shah (Centre for Civil Society, India),
Xia Yeliang (Cato Institute, originally from China),
Moderator:  Tom Palmer (Atlas Network)

11:30 am Communicating our Message So It Resonates in Asian Countries ​ - Rose/Peony Room
Atlas Network has helped Asian think tanks conduct focus groups to reveal how better to sell the message of liberty.  This sessions will uncover results of these findings.
Speakers:  Tricia Yeoh (Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, Malaysia),
Cong Minh Nguyen (DoiMoi, Vietnam),
Casey Lartigue (Atlas Network),
Moderator:  Brad Lips (Atlas Network)

12:30 pm Buffet Lunch - Magnolia/Camomile Room
Participants will carry on discussions of our program topics over lunch, following short remarks from Peter Wong, a graduate of the Atlas Think Tank MBA program and executive director of the Lion Rock Institute.     

1:30 pm A Victory for Liberty: How Samriddhi Changed Public Policy Debate in Nepal ​ - Rose/Peony Room
Robin Situola (Samriddhi: The Prosperity Foundation, Nepal) will discuss how his team endured and outlasted the Communist government, and educated the people about the benefits of free enterprise.  Following last year’s elections, they are now advising a newly elected non-Communist government about rational free-market reforms.

2:00 pm How We Will Win ​ - Rose/Peony Room
A discussion involving successful executives from our industry about what we need to do better as a movement.
Speakers:  Barbara Kolm (Friedrich A. v. Hayek Institute),
Fred Smith (Competitive Enterprise Institute),
Mark Klugmann (LEAP Zones, Honduras),
Moderator:  Rainer Heufers (Atlas Network)

3:45 pm Live Taping of The Casey Lartigue and Yeonmi Park Show ​ - Rose/Peony Room
Atlas Outreach Fellow Casey Lartigue broadcasts an online TV program with Yeonmi Park, a refugee from North Korea who learned English from Casey and who is interested in fostering market development in North Korea.  The duo will tape a thirty-minute episode of their program live in front of our Atlas audience.

7:00 pm Dinner Program (with a VIP ticket only) - The Kowloon Room
Our featured presentation will be given by Andrew Shuen, co-founder of Lion Rock Institute, on “The Future of Hong Kong.”


Dr. Alex Chafuen serves as President of Atlas and has previously served as President and CEO from 1991-2009, and was elected to its Board in 2009. He is also the president and founder of the Hispanic American Center of Economic Research and is the author of Faith and Liberty. He serves on the boards of the Chase Foundation, the Acton Institute, and the Fraser Institute. A graduate of the Argentina Catholic University, he was Associate Professor at the Argentine Catholic University, University of Buenos Aires, and The Hispanic American University, CA. He is a Trustee for Grove City College, PA.

Rainer Heufers is a senior fellow with Atlas Network’s Think Tank MBA program and the founder and Managing Director of Siap Solutions Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based consulting firm that provides strategic counseling, public policy consulting, leadership training, and other services to international think tanks, political parties, corporations, and government agencies. After more than a decade of research on the social and economic transformation of the People’s Republic of China, Rainer Heufers represented the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty from 1999 to 2011 in several Asian nations, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia. He also supported the development of a network of free market think tanks from around Asia: the Economic Freedom Network Asia (EFN Asia).

Mark Klugmann served in the White House as speechwriter to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Outside the U.S. he has advised seven presidents and helped governments to design and win approval of multiple financial, regulatory and infrastructure reforms. He served as a presidential commissioner for the Honduran "ZEDE" development zones and he is co-chairman of the governing board's Permanent Commission. In 1999-2000 he originated the LEAP Zones policy framework ( for special Legal, Economic, Administrative, Political jurisdictions using "Institutional Leapfrogging," and first proposed this reform to Porfirio Lobo in Honduras six years before helping him to be elected president. He is the creator of a successful methodology for achieving complex reforms, helped launch the International Center for Pension Reform and the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, and has given expert testimony before legislative committees of four countries, including the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. He has appeared in many international media, including the BBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Time magazine, and CNN en Espanol. Visiting Professor at Universidad Francisco Marroquin and a former television producer and editorial writer, he has been invited to join as an opinion columnist.

Barbara Kolm is president of the Friedrich A. v. Hayek Institute in Vienna, Austria and Director of the Austrian Economics Center. She is a frequent speaker at international conferences on public policy-related issues, especially on deregulation and competition topics, the Future of Europe and Austrian Economics. Barbara is an Associate Professor of Austrian Economics at the University of Donja Gorica, Montenegro and a member of the Board of Business Consultants of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and a member of the Mont Pélerin Society. She is president of the European Center for Economic Growth.

Casey Lartigue, Jr., joined the Atlas Network as a Fellow in December 2013. He lives in South Korea where he is the Director for International Relations for the newly established Freedom Factory Co. Ltd. In addition, he is the International Adviser to the Mulmangcho School (for adolescent North Korean refugees) in Yeoju, South Korea. He is the co-director of the Teach North Korean Refugees project at the Mulmangcho Human Rights Center and a columnist with the Korea Times. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association in Washington, D.C.He was previously a policy analyst with the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom in Washington, D.C. and hosted the Casey Lartigue Show on XM Radio 169 The Power. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Black Alliance for Educational Options and a former member of the Young Executive Network of the Washington Scholarship Fund. He is co-editor of the book Educational Freedom in Urban America. Lartigue received a bachelor’s degree from the Harvard University Extension School and a master’s degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Brad Lips is the CEO of the Atlas Network, a non-profit that strengthens the freedom movement by connecting and providing services to more than 400 free-market think tanks in 90 countries. He joined Atlas in 1998 believing sound policy ideas are best spread by organizations using sound business practices. Brad received his MBA from Emory University and his BA from Princeton University. Prior to joining Atlas in 1998, he worked on Wall Street at Smith Barney Inc. Earlier in his career, he worked with online businesses and dabbled in music journalism. Brad is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and the John Templeton Foundation. He coauthored The Reagan Vision, published by the Goldwater Institute in 2004, and contributed toFreedom Champions, published by Atlas in 2011. More recently, his articles have appeared in American Thinker, RealClearPolitics, National Review Online, Forbes, Fox News, American Spectator and The Daily Caller. He speaks widely on the morality of free enterprise and the international freedom champions connected by the Atlas Network.

Cong Minh Nguyen joined Atlas Network in October, 2009 as editor of, the Vietnamese website to promote libertarian ideas. He received his MS in Economics and Finance from the Vietnam Banking Academy. Throughout his career as an economic journalist, he has published numerous articles in economic journals and is currently translating free market books into Vietnamese.

Dr. Tom G. Palmer is the executive vice president for international programs at the Atlas Network, and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. 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 frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, and the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights. 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 (expanded edition 2014), and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism (2011), After the Welfare State (2012), Why Liberty (2013), and Peace, Love & Liberty (2014). 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.

Yeonmi Park is focused on raising awareness about North Korean human rights issues and telling the world about the real North Korea. She escaped from North Korea in 2007, lived in China for less than two years, and has been living in South Korea since 2009. She is a media fellow at Freedom Factory Co. Ltd. in South Korea.

Parth J. Shah is founder president of the Centre for Civil Society, an independent, nonprofit think tank in New Delhi. Parth taught economics at the University of Michigan before returning to India to start CCS. He has published academic articles in the areas of development economics, welfare economics, business-cycle theory, free or laissez-faire banking, and currency-board systems. He has edited 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. He writes regularly in newspapers and magazines. He is also the youngest Indian member of the Mont Pelerin Society, the premier international association of classical liberals.

Andrew Shuen’s commitment to this city of Hong Kong led him to become the youngest Legislative Council candidate in 2000 promoting the most classical liberal policy platform. He received a degree in Economics from the University of Michigan (B.A. Econ 1999). He was formerly an equity analyst specializing in the energy and natural resource sector with a local investment bank. He now is a financial columnist with Apple Daily, and a radio show host at Digital Broadcast Corporation providing insights and analysis on the market and current events. In addition, Shuen is a co-founder and the research director at the Lion Rock Institute, established in 2004 and continues to educate policymakers on the benefits of free market values and the public to move the window of policy possibilities. 

Robin Sitoula is the founder and executive director of Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation in Nepal. He has more than twelve years of experience in policy advocacy for economic freedom and prosperity. Besides working at Samriddhi, he runs private enterprises namely in the sector of management consulting and research and analytics as a vocation. As Executive Director of Samriddhi, he has designed and implemented several research, educational and advocacy programs in areas of entrepreneurship, economic growth, business environment, and freedom & democracy and built a reliable team that resulted to an award-winning institute. He has worked with eight major political youth organizations of Nepal for several years and established one of the largest collaborative leadership programs amongst contesting parties in Nepal. In his prior work as secretary general and Director at Youth Initiative, he was able to expand the organization’s scope of work and out reach from the capital centric to ten strategic locations covering the whole country with programs on democracy, civic participation and leadership. During 2005 and 2006, he extensively traveled South Asia to identify and help build capacities of youth organizations in the region to be able to better promote democracy and freedom. He has been a fellow at Atlas Network since 2006. He graduated in Investments and Financial Management from the Tribhuwan University in Nepal.

Fred L. Smith, Jr. is the venerable founder of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.His expansive list of research areas covers topics as ranged as regulatory reform, free-market environmentalism, anti-trust, international finance and comparative economics, among many others.His many published works include chapters in Field Guide to Effective Communication, and Environmental Politics: Public Costs, Private Rewards. A prolific writer, Smith’s works have been published in leading newspapers and magazines such as the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Economic Affairs, and the Washington Times. His academic articles have appeared in journals such as Harvard Journal of Law and Economics. He has appeared on CNN’s “Crossfire,” PBS’s “News Hour with Jim Lehrer” and “Now with Bill Moyers,” ABC’s “20/20” and “This Week,” NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” and “The Diane Rehm Show,” and “The G. Gordon Liddy Show,” among many others.Before founding CEI, Mr. Smith served as Director of Government Relations for the Council for a Competitive Economy, as a senior economist for the Association of American Railroads, and for five years as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency. Currently, he sits on the Institute Turgot in Belgium.Smith graduated with top honors and holds a Bachelors of Science in Theoretical Mathematics and Political Science at Tulane University and attended the University of Pennsylvania’s research doctoral program. He has also done graduate work in mathematics and applied mathematical economics at Harvard, SUNY at Buffalo, and the University of Pennsylvania.

David Yeliang Xia is a visiting fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. His work focuses on the fundamental institutional change and policy reforms China needs to become a modern, free society with constitutional democracy and rule of law. His research interests include economic history, institutional economics, and macro-economic and other public policy. Prior to joining Cato, Xia was a professor in the Department of Economics at Peking University, where he had taught since 2000. He was dismissed from Peking University in October 2013 because of his outspoken criticism of China’s Communist Party, and his advocacy of constitutional democracy, individual liberty and human rights. He was a visiting scholar at Stanford University (September 2012 to August 2013), a visiting professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (July 2011 to July 2012) and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley (August 2005 to July 2006). Xia was among the original signatories of Charter 08, a 2008 manifesto calling for basic freedoms, constitutional democracy, and respect for human rights, and was a founder of the Cathay Institute of Public Affairs, a market-liberal think tank in China. Xia earned a BA from Anhui University in 1984, an MA and a Ph.D in economics from Fudan University in Shanghai in 1996 and 2000, respectively.

Tricia Yeoh is Chief Operating Officer of IDEAS (Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs). She was up to recently Research Director of Institut Rakyat, an independent think tank affiliated with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KEADILAN), a Malaysian opposition party. She was formerly Research Officer to the Selangor Menteri Besar at the Selangor State Government, and has previously served as Director of the ASLI Centre for Public Policy Studies. She is a regular columnist at theSun, the Penang Monthly magazine, and wrote for Selangor Times before it had to wrap up. She writes on national socio-economic policy and has delivered various presentations at national and international platforms.