Register now for Europe Liberty Forum, September 21-22, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary.

The Europe Liberty Forum brings together friends of the freedom movement across Europe to discuss challenges facing the region and to learn from one another how to most effectively advance free-market reforms.

You will learn from distinguished speakers and participate in interactive sessions to strengthen civil society efforts to move public policy in the direction of greater freedom. At the closing dinner, Atlas Network will announce the winners of its Regional Liberty Awards, which celebrate the most successful projects by Atlas Network partners.    

If you are interested in displaying materials at Europe Liberty Forum and would like to reserve 6 feet of table space, contact Sherry Romello at

On Thursday, September 21 and Friday, September 22, Europe Liberty Forum will take place at The Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge Hotel. 

Join the conversation online using #EuropeLF17, and follow @AtlasNetwork on Twitter for live updates!


We are delighted to inform participants at Europe Liberty Forum of a remarkable opportunity to cruise the Danube River and explore the history and principles of Austrian Economics.  Hosted by Mark & Jo Ann Skousen, the producers of FreedomFest, the Global Financial Summit Cruise will sail from Budapest to Passau, Germany, just following our Europe Liberty Forum, during September 24 to October 1, 2017. 
To learn more and plan your trip on this separately-run Danube River Cruise, visit the Global Financial Summit Cruise website here.


Wednesday, Sept. 20 - Budapest Day Tour (tickets purchased separately)

Join Atlas Network for a day tour of Budapest on Wednesday, September 20 – the day before the official start of Europe Liberty Forum.

Our tour begins in the lobby of the Hotel Sofitel at 9:30 a.m.  We’ll board a bus toward Heroes’ Square.  On our way, we will stop at the House of Terror Museum for a tour through some of Hungary’s political past.  After the tour, we will make our way down to Heroes Square where we will take in the largest and most impressive square in the city.  We’ll then make our way to a gastronomical lunch at Gundel’s.  After lunch, we will take a peek inside of the Hungarian Parliament and learn about Hungary’s current politics and then finish our day at the Buda Castle where we will take in the fantastic vistas and enjoy the grounds before heading back to the hotel. We will arrive back at the hotel by 5:30 p.m.

Cost per person: $70

Tour includes:  Bus transport to and from hotel, museum fees, lunch and all tax and gratuities.

To learn more click here. 


Thursday, September 21 - Europe Liberty Forum Day 1

8:00 am - Registration Opens

9:00 am - Welcome Coffee Break

10:00 am - Speed Networking
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.      

11:00 am - Breakout Sessions

A) The Impact of Reforms Big and Small
It may not feel like the Berlin Wall coming down, but incremental changes can add up to have a real impact on the lives of Europeans. Learn how think tanks have contributed to positive reforms.
Moderator: Matt Warner, Atlas Network (United States)
Speakers: Maryan Zablotskyy, Ukrainian Economic Freedoms Foundation (Ukraine) • Cecile Philippe, Molinari Economic Institute (Belgium) • John O’Connell, Taxpayers' Alliance (United Kingdom) • Žilvinas Šilėnas, Lithuanian Free Market Institute (Lithuania)  

B) Brain Science & the Economics of Emotion
Changing the climate of ideas requires more than ideas. Learn how think tanks can up their game in marketing and communications and stop simply preaching to the converted.
Speakers: Glynn Brailsford, Instiute of Economic Affairs (United Kingdom) • Daniel Anthony, Atlas Network (USA)

12:30 - Lunch featuring Zoltán Kész and Introduction to Crowdsource Liberty    

2:00 pm - Crowdsource Liberty
Too often, conferences ask you to sit down and stay quiet. Not here! You are invited to speak up and exchange ideas in the Foyer where graduates of Atlas Network’s recent regional think tank training are ready to discuss projects under development to advance liberty. Play an active role in sharpening their plans to make a difference!

2:00 pm - Plenary Session: How to Defend European Liberty from Hybrid Warfare
One of the most insidious threats to liberal democracy today arrives in the form of information warfare, a significant portion of which is organized and financed by the Kremlin. Learn how to counter the challenges faced by liberty in the new media landscape. 
Moderator: Tom Palmer, Atlas Network (United States)
Speakers: Peter Kreko, Political Capital (Hungary) • Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius (Lithuania) 

3:15 pm - Break

3:45 pm - Breakout Sessions

A) Europe Liberty Award Winner
This session will feature the winner of the 2017 Europe Liberty Award.  Learn about the impact of their project and how their success might be replicated by other partners in other environments.
Speaker: Maryan Zablotskyy, UEFF (Ukraine)
Moderator: Casey Pifer, Atlas Network (United States)

B) A Viennese Waltz: Why Austrian Economics Matters in Your Business, Investments, and Politics
Celebrated economist, author, investment expert and founder of FreedomFest will entertain and educate during this special lecture on the implications of Austrian economics. 
Speaker: Mark Skousen, FreedomFest (United States)

6:00 pm - Europe Liberty Awards Dinner Reception

6:30 pm - Europe Liberty Awards Dinner, sponsored by Friedrich Naumann Foundation
At our gala dinner, Atlas Network will recognize excellence among the European think tank community by announcing the winners of the 2017 Europe Liberty Awards. The evening will feature a keynote presentation on the damage inflicted over 100 years of Marxist-Leninism and how the lessons of the past can inform our approach to the challenges Europe confronts today.  
Keynote Speaker: Leszek Balcerowicz
Master of Ceremonies: Brad Lips
Sponsored By: Friedrich Naumann Foundation


Friday, September 22 - Europe Liberty Forum Day 2

8:00 am - Registration Open and Welcome Coffee break

9:00 am - Plenary Session: Winning New Audiences for Liberty
Winning the battle of ideas requires going beyond preaching to the converted. Learn from Atlas Network partners who are engaging non-traditional audiences for think tank work.
Moderator: János Széky, Free Market Foundation (Hungary)
Speakers: Admir Cavalic, Multi (Udruzenje Gradana) (Bosnia and Herzegovina) • Matt Kibbe, Free the People (United States) • Christiana Stewart-Lockhart, Institute of Economic Affairs (United Kingdom) • Pavol Lupták, Nethemba (Slovakia)

10:15 am - Break

10:45 am - Breakout Sessions

A) Fighting Back Against Illiberalism
Liberty is now threatened not just by the progressive left, but by a reactionary populist right.  Learn how think tanks are working to counter illiberalism in all its forms.
Moderator: Federico N. Fernández, Austrian Economics Center / Fundación Internacional Bases (Argentina)
Speakers: Karin Svanborg-Sjövall, Timbro (Sweden) • Richard Durana, Institute of Economic and Social Studies, Slovakia

B) Beyond Efficiency: Making the Moral Case for Reform
Championing liberty is not just about what works. It’s about what’s just and fair. Learn how think tanks are strengthening their research findings with powerful and persuasive messages that speak to the heart. 
Moderator: Žilvinas Šilėnas, Lithuanian Free Market Institute (Lithuania)
Speakers: Tom Palmer, Atlas Network (United States) • Vytautas Žukauskas, Lithuanian Free Market Institute (Lithuania)

12:00 pm - Lunch & Think Tank Shark Tank
Atlas Network’s Think Tank Shark Tank Competition adapts the model of the TV programs, Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank, so that think tank entrepreneurs pitch new projects to a panel of judges for funding.
Master of Ceremonies: Brad Lips, Atlas Network (United States)
Special Announcement: Gabriel Calzada (Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Guatemala)

2:00 pm - Breakout Sessions

A) Cultivating a Philanthropic Constituency for Liberty
Fundraising success often requires innovative thinking. Learn how these think tank leaders are working to nurture and sustain a philanthropic community that invests in the principles of the free society. 
Active Moderator: Mark Littlewood, Institute of Economic Affairs (United Kingdom) 
Speakers: Lawson Bader, DonorsTrust (United States) • Michael Carnuccio, E Foundation for Oklahoma (United States) • Alexander Skouras, Center for Liberal Studies (Greece)

B) Hungary's Place in Europe
Hungary is on the boarder of East and West. There is an eternal debate of where to lean. The panel will discuss actualities, the future and Hungary's image. Is Hungary helping or hindering Atlanticist values?
Moderator:  Máté Hajba, Free Market Foundation (Hungary) 
Speakers:  János Széky, Free Market Foundation (Hungary) • István Gyarmati, International Centre for Democratic Transition (Hungary) • David J. Kostelancik, Chargé d'Affaires at the US Embassy (Hungary)

3:30 pm - Europe Liberty Forum Ends

September 24 - October 1Global Financial Summit Cruise
We are delighted to inform participants at Europe Liberty Forum of a remarkable opportunity to cruise the Danube River and explore the history and principles of Austrian Economics.  Hosted by Mark & Jo Ann Skousen, the producers of FreedomFest, the Global Financial Summit Cruise will sail from Budapest to Passau, Germany, just following our Europe Liberty Forum, during September 24 to October 1, 2017. 
To learn more and plan your trip on this separately-run Danube River Cruise, visit the Global Financial Summit Cruise website here.


Leszek Balcerowicz - Civil Development Forum (Poland)

Professor of Economics at the Warsaw School of Economics (WSE), former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance (1989-1991 and 1997-200) former President of the National Bank of Poland (2001-2007). Recipient of over thirty honours from universities and awards worldwide: (among many) Ludwig Erhard Prize, Transatlantic Leadership Award, Central European Award for the Finance Minister of the Year 1998 in Central and Eastern Europe, Friedrich Augusta von Hayek Prize, Carl Bertelsmann Prize, Fasel Foundation Prize, Leontief Prize, Jegor Gajdar Prize, Milton Friedman Prize. Awarded with Poland's highest decoration - Order of the White Eagle - for his contribution to the reforms in Poland (2005). Leszek Balcerowicz is the author of more than 100 publications on economic issues in Poland and abroad. He is a member of the Group of Thirty, founded by Paul Volcker. In 2008-2012 Leszek Balcerowicz has been appointed as the chairman of Bruegel, since then he is appointed Honorary Chairman. He was a member of the High Level Expert Group on EU Financial Supervision chaired by Jacques de Larosiére. In 2009 he has been elected the President of International Atlantic Economic Society. In 2007 Leszek Balcerowicz created FOR - the Civil Development Forum, a free-market think tank in Poland.

Daniel Anthony - Atlas Network (USA)

Daniel Anthony is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the Atlas Network. He joined the team in 2014. He received his MBA in International Business from The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School and his BA in Foreign Languages from Illinois State University. Prior to joining the Atlas Network, Daniel worked with one of the U.S.’s leading state-based, free-market think tanks, the Illinois Policy Institute. During his time there he oversaw all marketing and communications, playing a key role in winning a Templeton Freedom Award and an SPNovation Award. Prior to that, he worked as manager of client strategy and brand activation for Saatchi & Saatchi S, the sustainability division of the global ideas firm Saatchi & Saatchi. While with Saatchi, he worked with Walmart, General Mills, Procter & Gamble and NBCUniversal. Daniel has appeared on various media outlets, including Univision, FOX Chicago News, NBC Chicago and WGN Radio, focusing on topics such as government transparency and marketing and communications analysis. Daniel grew up living in Mexico and Singapore. He currently resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife Denise, and they spend their free time enjoying all things film, brunch, and southern Italian cuisine.

Lawson Bader - DonorsTrust (United States)

Lawson Bader is president and CEO of DonorsTrust, a donor-advised fund/community foundation that works with donors and charities to promote limited government, free enterprise, and personal responsibility. Since its founding in 2000, DonorsTrust has granted more than $700 million to liberty-minded groups in academia and public policy. In addition to his foundation work, Lawson has more than 20 years of experience leading free-market research and advocacy groups, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He holds an undergraduate degree in political science from Wheaton College in Illinois, and a master’s in public policy from the Johns Hopkins University. Lawson is an avid reader of U.S. Civil War history, and will teach anybody about the joys of single malt whisky or wearing a kilt.

Glynn Brailsford - Institute of Economic Affairs (United Kingdom)

Glynn Brailsford is Managing Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London. Glynn was formerly CEO of Los Angeles-based PROMAX&BDA, a not-for-profit association for marketing and design executives in television. Before that, he was a multi-award winning Creative Director in the UK – working for Channel 5, Discovery, Nickelodeon and ITV, where he launched some of Britain’s most successful TV shows. He started out in print journalism before moving into radio and then TV, where he produced programs in news, sport, entertainment and politics. His ieaTV film Sin Taxes won the 2015 Reason Video Prize in New York.

Admir Čavalić - Multi (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Admir Čavalić is the founder and director of "Multi," the pioneer and biggest libertarian association in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a young student of economics, he began reading the works of Milton Friedman, which motivated him to make a documentary called "Economy," which was the first Bosnian documentary expressing liberal economic solutions. Čavalić gathered respectable university professors from around the country and in 60 minutes presented the liberal economic agenda for the prosperity of the domestic economy. The movie had several live premieres, with the presence of thousands of viewers and more than 11,000 views on YouTube. Čavalić is the author of numerous projects and has organized dozens of events (with more than 10,000 participants) that promote the ideas of ​​liberty. The most famous events are related to the "Catallaxy" seminars that aim to present the importance of a market economy in every corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other events include the "Night of Ideas" debate competition, Idea Plus entrepreneurial education, European Students for Liberty (ESFL) conference, and the Free Market Road Show in Bosnia. Čavalić is a graduate of Atlas Network’s Think Tank MBA program, a national ESFL coordinator for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fellow of the British Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a member of the Swiss Embassy Alumni Network, and an active partner of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation from Germany.

Gabriel Calzada - Universidad Francisco Marroquín (Guatemala)

Gabriel is president of UFM, the pioneering free-market university founded in 1971 in Guatemala. He is current president of the Association of Private Enterprise Education and board member of the Mont Pelerin Society.  In his native Spain, he was founding president of Juan de Mariana Institute, a think-tank that has gained international relevance for the impact of its innovative research and, a two-time recipient of Atlas Network’s Templeton Freedom Award. His 2009 study on the negative impact of the Spanish government’s promotion of “green jobs” reverberated around the world. In Spain, subsidies in place since 1996 were reversed. The study—featured on Fox News, Glenn Beck, and John Stossel—along with Gabriel’s testimony before the U.S. Congress helped bury that initiative.  He holds a doctorate in economics from Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain, and has published over 1000 articles in national and international media. He has served as professor of economics at Rey Juan Carlos University and the Geneva Center for Security Policy. Gabriel also specializes in environmental and energy economics, the Austrian business cycle, and defense economics. He is passionate about cinematography and teaches a class in cinematographic language at UFM’s film school. He spends his weekends adventuring along the back roads of Guatemala with his wife Karen, three daughters, and two border collies.

Michael Carnuccio - E Foundation for Oklahoma (United States)

Michael Carnuccio serves as President and CEO of the E Foundation for Oklahoma, a multi-million dollar, vision-based, non-profit organization operating the donor-owner model of strategic planning and leveraged investment in public policy. In November of 2015, Michael launched the JTK Group, LLC, a strategic leadership firm that influences assets for strategic results, where he provides deliberate partnerships for capital generation and leadership coaching in the areas of fundraising, personal growth and team management.

In 2012, Michael founded the Liberty Foundation of America with two, matching $150,000 lead gifts and served in the capacity of President until 2016.  After creating and hosting a weekly, Sunday morning discussion program that aired in the Oklahoma City media market, Michael helped launch MiddleGround Media Group, a nonprofit journalism enterprise that includes radio broadcast, online and investigative journalism.  Previously, Michael served as President of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs from 2010 through 2015. When Carnuccio began, OCPA was a >$900,000 organization with five employees; when he stepped down, the enterprise exceeded $6,000,000, housing multiple organizations and a campus that included the 7,000 sq. ft. Advance Center for Free Enterprise multi-purpose, event facility.  

Michael is a member of Club 29 Rotary, the Downtown Club of Oklahoma City, SALLT Class IV and a RightOnCrime signatory. He currently serves on the national Board of Directors for both Operation Homefront and the Fairness Center; the Board of Directors for the E Foundation for Oklahoma, the Cavett Kids Foundation and the Oklahoma Scholarship Fund; and the Board of Trustees for SALLT.  Michael received both his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and M.A. in Political Science from Oklahoma State University, where he later served as adjunct faculty in the Department of Political Science.  He lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with his wife, Kayla, and their children, Joseph, Thomas and Kathryn.

Richard Durana is a co-founder of INESS – Institute of Economic and Social Studies, leading Slovak economic think tank. Since its inception in January 2006 he is Director of INESS.

He has published numerous articles published in Slovak and foreign newspapers, magazines and books and he has appeared frequently in broadcast media. He is a co-author of several books and studies and he is a frequent speaker at various domestic and international conferences and lecturer at international forums and local events. Fields of his professional interest include public finance, economic and social policy, and entrepreneurial environment, effects of regulation, labor market, and intellectual property rights.

Dr. Richard Durana holds M.Sc. in organic chemistry and Ph.D. in biochemistry. Prior working at INESS he was working as a research scientist at the Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences, where he was developing vaccines.

Federico N. Fernández - Austrian Economics Center / Fundación Internacional Bases (Argentina)

Federico N. Fernández is President of Fundación Internacional Bases (Rosario, Argentina) and a Senior Fellow with the Austrian Economics Center (Vienna, Austria). He is also the president of the Organizing Committee of the International Conference “The Austrian School of Economics in the 21st Century,” which has taken place every two years since 2006 in Rosario (Argentina). He has been actively engaged in work within the Liberty movement for more than a decade. 

He is author of scholarly articles, he is member of the Editorial Board of the academic journal “Libertas Segunda Época,” editor of the book “De Viena a Rosario. Ensayos para una sociedad abierta”, and he is the co-editor of the books “La escuela austríaca de economía en el siglo XXI” and “An Austrian in Argentina: Essays in honor of Alberto Benegas Lynch (Jr).”

Fernández writes for the popular press and blogs on the “Free Market Diaries,” “Values4Europe,” and “La Opinión Incómoda.”

Dr. István Gyarmati is currently serving as the President of the International Centre for Democratic Transition. He is also the member of the Board of the Centre for Euro Atlantic Integration and Democracy in Budapest. Dr. Gyarmati is a member of the IISS and was member of its Council for two terms. Member and then for two years chair of the UN Secretary General’s Adisory Board on Disarmament matters, professor at the ELTE and the Eszterházy Károly Universities. and a visiting Professor at the Zrínyi Miklós National Defense University. In the past, he held numerous positions at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the Hungarian Ministry of Defense, including the position of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Chief Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Gyarmati holds an MBA, a doctor’s degree in Political Science and a PhD in Strategic Studies. 

Zoltán Kész - Hungarian Parliament

Zoltán Kész is one of the founders of the Free Market Foundation in Hungary.The mission of the Free Market Foundation is to represent, defend, and advance free market values, ideas, and policies in Hungary and among speakers of the Hungarian language. The foundation stands for personal liberty and responsibility, the rule of law, and tolerance, the strengthening of liberty rights, transparency, and constitutionalism.  In 2015, he won a by-election in Hungary in a crucial moment. His historic victory ended the two-thirds majority and absolute power of the governing party. Now he is a Member of Parliament as an independent. He has published many articles both in English and Hungarian. Kész has a weekly column in one of the country’s popular online papers.

Matt Kibbe - Free the People (USA)

Matt Kibbe is a leading advocate for personal, civil and economic liberties. An economist by training, Kibbe is a public policy expert, bestselling author and political commentator. He served as Senior Advisor to Concerned American Voters, a Rand Paul Super PAC. He is also Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Austrian Economic Center in Vienna, Austria. In 2004 Kibbe founded FreedomWorks, a national grassroots advocacy organization, and served as President until his departure in July 2015. Steve Forbes said “Kibbe has been to FreedomWorks what Steve Jobs was to Apple.” Newsweek pronounced Kibbe “one of the masterminds” of tea party politics. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann called Kibbe “the second worst person in the world.” Dubbed “the scribe” by the New York Daily News, Kibbe is the author of the #2 New York Times bestseller Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto (HarperCollins 2014), Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government's Stranglehold on America (HarperCollins 2012) and coauthor of Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto (HarperCollins 2010). Kibbe appears frequently on national television including FOX News, HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, The Blaze TV and CSPAN. Before joining FreedomWorks, Kibbe served as a congressional Chief of Staff and House Budget Committee Associate. He was also Budget Director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Senior Economist for the RNC under Lee Atwater. Kibbe did graduate work in economics at George Mason University and received his B.A. in Economics from Grove City College. He lives in Washington, DC with his unspeakably awesome wife of 29 years, Terry, and their three liberty-minded cats, Roark, Ragnar and Iko. A noted scholarly expert on The Big Lebowski, Kibbe is also an avid DeadHead, drinker of beer and whisky, and collector of obscure books on libertarian philosophy.

Peter Krekó, PhD. - Political Capital (Hungary)

Péter Krekó, PhD.  is a social psychologist and political scientist, and the director of Political Capital. He has been working as a Fulbright Visiting Professor in the United States, at the Central Eurasian Studies Department of Indiana University. In Budapest, his is an associate professor at ELTE University. His main research interests Russian 'soft power' policies and political populism and extremism in Europe. He is the member of the presidential board of the Hungarian Political Science Association. He was the co-chair of the PREVENT working group at the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), and is currently an expert member of the EU RAN Centre of Excellence. He is a member of the the International Consortium on Closing Civic Space (iCon) project of  the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He wrote his PhD thesis on the social psychology of conspiracy theories and defended it in 2014. He is a regular commentator in international media, and a regular contributor to the Atlantic Council UkraineAlert blog. 

Brad Lips Atlas Network (USA)

Brad Lips has served as Atlas Network's Chief Executive Officer since 2009, after previously acting as its Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Atlas Network in 1998, Lips conducted equity research for Smith Barney Inc. and policy research for the Progress & Freedom Foundation. He co-founded an Internet startup (subsequently sold to DoubleDutch), after spending his first years out of college at an online service provider while writing for music magazines. Lips is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and chaired the Organizing Committee of its 2016 General Meeting in Miami. He is a member of the John Templeton Foundation, Templeton World Charity Foundation, and Templeton Religion Trust. His articles have appeared in The Daily CallerNational Review OnlineForbesFox NewsAmerican SpectatorAmerican Thinker, and RealClearPolitics. Lips speaks widely on free enterprise as a solution to poverty, and on the international freedom champions connected by Atlas Network. 

Mark Littlewood - Institute of Economic Affairs (United Kingdom)

Mark Littlewood is the Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs and the IEA’s Ralph Harris Fellow. Under his leadership, the IEA has continued to communicate the benefits of free markets to an even wider audience around the world. In 2014, Mark was ranked 38th on The Times’ ‘Right-wing Power List’, and in 2011 was named ‘Liberal Voice of the Year’ by the Liberal Democrat Voice. 

Mark frequently comments on political and economic issues on television and radio including BBC Question Time, Any Questions, Newsnight, Channel 4 News, Sky News, Radio 4’s Today Programme and LBC. Prior to the IEA, Mark was Head of Media for the Liberal Democrats before going on to found Progressive Vision, a classical liberal think tank. Mark was educated at Balliol College, Oxford.

Pavol Luptak

He gained his BSc. at the FEI-STU in Bratislava and MSc in Computer Science at the Czech Technical University with master thesis focused on ultra-secure systems. He holds many prestigious security certifications including CISSP and CEH, he is Slovak OWASP chapter leader, co-founder of Progressbar and SOIT organizations where he is responsible for IT security.

Pavol uses to have regular presentations at various worldwide security conferences (in Netherlands, Luxembourg, Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow, Prague). In the past, he demonstrated vulnerabilities in the public transport SMS tickets in all major cities in Europe, together with his colleague Norbert Szetei he practically demonstrated vulnerabilities in Mifare Classic RFID cards. He has 14 years experience in IT security, penetration testing and security auditing including social engineering and digital forensic analysis.

He is co-author of the OWASP Testing Guide v3, has a deep knowledge of the OSSTMM, ISO17799/27001 and many years experience in seeking vulnerabilities. He has a knowledge of many programming languages (ASM, C, C++, XSLT, Perl, Java, PLSQL, Lisp, Prolog, scripting languages) and operating systems. He is also focused on VoIP and interesting IT security research.

John O'Connell - TaxPayers' Alliance (United Kingdom)

John O'Connell joined the TPA as an intern in 2009. Since then he has worked at every level of the organisation which made him uniquely qualified to become Chief Executive beginning August 2016. As a researcher, and later Research Director, he wrote major reports for the TPA on quangos, government capital procurement, regional business policy and local government pensions. He co-authored the influential paper How to Save £50 Billion: reducing spending for sustainable public finances, released in conjunction with the Institute of Directors. He also uncovered how local councils were spending Preventing Violent Extremism grants, finding more detailed information than could be gathered by Parliamentary Questions. John oversaw the work of the 2020 Tax Commission. He also wrote and edited several sections of its final report, The Single Income Tax, which won the Templeton Freedom Award from the Atlas Network. John frequently represents the TPA on television and radio, including prominent appearances on flagship broadcast programmes and documentaries. He also regularly speaks for the TPA at events, delivering speeches on the TPA’s campaigns and research. In April 2012 John completed the Think Tank MBA in America, an intensive training course offered by the Atlas Network. He has a BA from Nottingham Trent University and an MSc from University College London.

Tom G. 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 frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, as well as 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 TimesDie 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), Peace, Love & Liberty (2014), and Self-Control or State Control? You Decide (2016). 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.

Cécile PhilippeInstitut économique Molinari (Belgium)

Cécile Philippe holds a doctorate in economics from Paris-IX Dauphine University and a Diploma in Advanced Studies in business management in developing countries. At a think tank in the United States, she completed her thesis on information theories and the emergence of a market for information on the Internet. Back in Europe, she created the Institut économique Molinari in 2003 and has headed the Institute since then. She is the author of numerous newspaper articles published in French as well as in English. In 2007, her first book, titled C’est trop tard pour la terre (It’s too late for the Earth), was published by Éditions JC Lattès. The book deals with environmental matters and seeks to put an end to various myths, including the notion that regulation and taxation go hand in hand with environmental improvement. Her second book, titled Trop tard pour la France? Osons remettre l’État à sa place (Too late for France? Let us dare to put the state back in its place) and published by Éditions Manitoba/Les Belles Lettres, deals with the financial crisis and the role the state plays in our lives. Cécile Philippe has been interviewed many times on public policy matters on the radio and on television. The Institut économique Molinari is well known for its indexes such as The Tax Freedom Day of Typical Worker in the EU and The Day when Governments Start Living on Credit.

Zilvinas Silenas - Lithuanian Free Market Institute (Lithuania)

Zilvinas has been in the think-tank business for 10 years. His main fields of research are energy, competition and inequality. Žilvinas appears regularly major media outlets, runs a weekly radio show, and has been recently named the 4th most quoted opinion leader in Lithuania. Žilvinas a co-authored of an award-winning economics textbook “Economics in 31 Hours” for upper secondary schools. He holds a Master’s degree in financial economics from the ISM University of Management and Economics, Lithuania and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Wesleyan University, USA.

Remigijus Šimašius - Mayor of Vilnius (Lithuania)

Born in 1974, Remigijus is a lawyer by background, with a Master’s degree gained at Vilnius University and a PhD from Vilnius Law University. An active member of the Liberal Party since his student days, he has quickly ascended its ranks, spurred on by a desire to create a more transparent business and political environment for his native country. This was also a driving factor in the work he conducted for the Lithuanian Free Market Institute of which he was appointed President in 2006. During his tenure, he was able to push through liberalisation of the Labor Code which stimulated Lithuania’s now burgeoning SSC sector. His truly cosmopolitan perspective has been informed by his programs of study at the Central European University in Budapest, Mises Institute in Alabama, and his internship at the Heritage Foundation in the US.

In 2008, his commitment to fairness and transparency found its full expression when he was appointed Minister of Justice for The Republic of Lithuania and later a Member of Parliament in 2012. It was in these positions that he was able to actively pursue and implement a number of strategies aimed at simplifying and modernizing bureaucratic procedures. It is this zest for openness, engagement and decisions driven by real data that led to him being elected to his current position as Mayor of Vilnius in 2015. 

Alexander Skouras - Center for Liberal Studies - Markos Dragoumis (Greece)
Alexander Skouras is the new president of the Greek free-market think tank "Center for Liberal Studies - Markos Dragoumis." (KEFiM). Prior to joining KEFiM, Alexander strengthened the global freedom movement by engaging, training, and supporting think tanks from around the world as Atlas Network's director of external relations. He received his bachelor degree from the American College of Greece in business and marketing, and studied political management at the George Washington University. Prior to joining Atlas Network, Alexander held executive positions in political campaigns in Greece and the US. He currently lives in Athens with his wife Stella.  

Joanna Stefanska - Rising Tide Foundation (Switzerland)

Joanna Stefanska joined the Rising Tide Foundation as its Foundations Director in July 2017. Previously Joanna was the Founder and Managing Director of MyImpact GmbH,, advising a number of leading organizations in the philanthropic as well as business sectors. Her customers included the Jacobs Foundation, Swiss Sustainable Finance, Ashoka and the Roger Federer Foundation, as well as a number of global corporations. Until 2012 she was a member of the management team at Microsoft, focusing on Innovation and Corporate Citizenship in and beyond Switzerland.

As a thought leader, Joanna initiated a number of impactful initiatives: She founded RECOL Forum (the Responsible Leadership Forum), and co-authored the book The Future Makers – A Journey to People who are Changing the World – and what we can learn from them, which shaped the notion of meaningful careers. As an exceptional business innovator, Joanna was also awarded a First Mover Fellowship by the Aspen Institute and was a member of the board of Öbu, the Swiss Business Association for Sustainability.

Christiana Stewart-Lockhart is Director of Programmes at the Institute of Economic Affairs, where she oversees all educational and international outreach. She is also Founder and Chief Executive of EPICENTER, a Brussels based network of free market think tanks (including the IEA) from across Europe. Prior to joining the IEA in 2012, Christiana worked as the Events Manager at a foreign policy think tank and Development Manager at a campaign organisation. In addition, she has worked to establish an extensive student network across the UK. She has a BA in Politics from the University of York, where she was Vice Chair of the student Freedom Society.

Karin Svanborg-Sjövall  - Timbro (Sweden)

Karin Svanborg-Sjövall has been President/CEO of Timbro since autumn 2014. Karin has a BA in political science and European studies and is one of Sweden’s foremost experts on welfare issues. In 2010 she published the book Private Choice in the Public Sector – The New Swedish Model which was about the increase of private actors in the Swedish welfare sector. The book was presented in English at the Guardian Public Leaders’ Summit in 2012. Karin is a frequent commentator in Swedish and international media, including The Economist, The Guardian, the BBC and Le Figaro. Prior to joining Timbro Karin worked as Head of Office for Folkpartiet (The Liberal Party) at the European Parliament in Brussels and as a political advisor to the center-right government’s Minister for Research and Higher Education. She has also been acting political editor for Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s leading daily newspaper as well as a contributor to the opinion pages for a number of other daily and evening newspapers, including Kvällsposten and Dagens Samhälle.

János Széky (Hungary)

Journalist, editor, and literary translator. Graduated as M.A. in English and Hungarian from ELTE, Budapest. Foreign issues editor and regular commentator for Élet és Irodalom (weekly magazine), Budapest; also a columnist for, Dunajská Streda, Slovak Republic. In his journalistic work he is focusing on Central and Eastern European issues, especially the impact of Russian hybrid warfare. He was the editor-in-chief for Britannica Hungarica World Encyclopaedia. Translated several works of fiction and non-fiction from English, including books by Thomas Pynchon, Yu Hua, Alberto Manguel, and Christoph Wolff. Received the József Attila Literary Prize in 2011. His book Bárányvakság (Ovine Blindness) is a historical analysis of the social and political processes that resulted  in the illiberal takeover of the 2010s.

Maryan ZablotskyyUkrainian Economic Freedom Foundation (Ukraine)

Maryan Zablotskyy is the Director of the Ukrainian Economic Freedom Foundation where he works to advocate for greater economic freedom by achieving lower and simpler taxation, implementing deregulation and increasing property rights protection. Under his leadership the foundation has been able to advocate and develop 11 pieces of legislation that became laws which terminated 29 different licenses and permits, improved land rights, and eliminated hurdles to free trade. He received his Master’s degree in Finance with honors from The Institute of Economics and Finance of Lviv Academy of Commerce and a PhD in Economic Sciences from Institute for Regional Studies at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. In addition Maryan has attended courses in economics and econometrics at Vienna University of Economics and Ashridge Business School. Prior to his work at the foundation Maryan was the head of a CIS Sub-Department at AMC Optima-Capital (2007-2008), an Erste Bank Treasury Department Analyst (2008-2010), and the Head of the Economic Research Sub-Department at Erste Bank (2010-2012). As well as being the director of the foundation he is also currently the Deputy Director of the Ukrainian Agricultural Association (2013-present). He has been the Director of the Ukrainian Economic Freedom Foundation since 2015.


The Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge
Szechenyi Istvan Ter 2, Budapest 1051, Hungary
Next to the Danube River, this chic hotel is a 5-minute walk from the nearest subway stop, 0.5 km from the Chain Bridge, and 1.3 km from Buda Castle.

The Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge hotel has sold out. Contact Sherry Romello at to make your hotel reservation at our secondary hotel. 

Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is bisected by the River Danube. Its 19th-century Chain Bridge connects the hilly Buda district with flat Pest. A funicular runs up Castle Hill to Buda’s Old Town, where the Budapest History Museum traces city life from Roman times onward. Trinity Square is home to 13th-century Matthias Church and the turrets of the Fishermen’s Bastion, which offer sweeping views. Here are some travel tips for your convenience.

While Hungary is part of the European Union, it does not use the euro as its currency (although hotels and sightseeing tours often quote prices in euros). The Hungarian currency is the forint, which you will see abbreviated to "HUF" and "Ft" interchangeably. While HUF is the internationally recognized currency code, locals favor the abbreviation "Ft." Note: nobody calls it "HUF" in speech; just refer to forints when talking about money.

September weather will average around 70-degree highs, 50-degree lows, and about 40% chance of precipitation.

Service on Budapest's subways is cheap, fast, and frequent; stations are easily located on maps and streets by the big letter "M" (for metro). Tickets—valid on all forms of mass transportation—can be bought at hotels, metro stations, newsstands, and kiosks. They are valid for one ride only, including transfers to different trains within one line (i.e., M1 to M2) for one hour; you can't change direction or interrupt your trip at a station. Tickets must be validated in the time-clock machines in station entrances and should be kept until the end of the journey, as there are frequent checks by undercover inspectors; a fine for traveling without a ticket is 16,000 Ft, (or half that when paid in cash on the spot). All tourist tickets and passes are equally valid for the subway, too.

In 2013, the government imposed new regulations on taxis in Budapest. All taxi rates have been standardized so that there should be no difference in the cost of hailing a taxi on the street or ordering one by phone. Additionally, all taxi cars have to be yellow, and older cars are being phased out of service. All taxi companies here have English-speaking operators. The base fare is 450 Ft, it’s 280 Ft per kilometer and the waiting fee is 70 Ft per minute. Uber began operating in Budapest in 2014 but the social ride search company was not exactly warmly received; public protests led to a government ban and in the summer of 2016, Uber announced that it will suspend operations in Hungary indefinitely.

City Taxi. Budapest, Budapest. 1/211–1111;
Taxi 2000. Budapest, Budapest. 1/200–0000;
6x6 Taxi. Budapest, Budapest. 1/666–6666;