KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Robert Guest is The Economist's Foreign Editor. His previous jobs include US Editor, Business Editor, Africa Editor, Washington Correspondent and "Lexington" columnist. He has reported from more than 80 countries and won numerous awards. He is the author of “The Shackled Continent”, a book that tries to explain how more liberty would help Africa prosper, and “Borderless Economics: Chinese Sea Turtles, Indian Fridges and the New Fruits of Global Capitalism”, which argues that migration makes the world brainier. 

ADDITIONAL SPEAKERS

Dr. Barbara Kolm - Austrian Economics Center, Austria

Dr. Barbara Kolm holds degrees in business studies and economics, she serves as CEO in private enterprises as well as NGOs and teaches at universities.Main fields of her academic work are efficiency processes, financial and legal foundations of administrative and state institutions – on regional, national and supranational level. Kolm publishes economic analyses, provides expertise on structural reforms and creation of growth.

Kolm is founding Director of the Austrian Economics Center, President of the Friedrich A. v. Hayek Institut, think tanks dedicated to the Austrian School of Economics, and founder of the Free Market Road Show. She is a frequent speaker at international conferences and serves as board member of several economic and academic associations e.g. supervisory board of ÖBB (Austrian Railways), APEE (Association of Private Enterprise Education in the USA) and chairperson of the board of CAMP helping create special economic zones in Honduras.

Barbara Kolm is the winner of the Global IP Award by the Global Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation Center of the US-Chamber of Commerce. She was voted among the 100 most influential libertarians in 2017, one of only 15 women. Because of her engagement for providing libertarian solutions to todays challenges she now ranks on 64th place worldwide and is ranked the most influential European. Both Institutes have reached top international ranking under her leadership.

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 Caller, National Review Online, Forbes, Fox News, American Spectator, American Thinker, and RealClearPolitics. Lips speaks widely on free enterprise as a solution to poverty, and on the international freedom champions connected by Atlas Network. 

Natalia Macyra - European Centre for International Political Economy, Denmark

Natalia Macyra is a General Manager and a Head of Communications at ECIPE. She oversees daily operations and develops external communications strategy. She also manages communications projects and is responsible for coordinating ECIPE’s networks and partnerships. As a certified project manager, Natalia oversees and supports the research project teams. Her previous research experience as policy analyst was focused on European trade policy; the impact of trade on development, migration, antidumping investigations and issues related to intellectual property rights.  Natalia holds a Master degree in International Relations with specialization in International Trade Policy from the University of Warsaw, she also studied at the United States and Denmark.

Hannes H. Gissurarson - University of Iceland, Iceland

Hannes H. Gissurarson is a professor of Politics at the University of Iceland. His Doctorate of Philosophy thesis at Oxford University was on F. A. Hayek, and he is the author of more than 15 books in Icelandic. His most recent works in English include: The Nordic Models (2016), a report for the Brussels think tank "New Direction", with a short history of Nordic liberalism, and Liberalism in Iceland in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, paper in EconWatch Journal, Vol. 14, No. 2 (available online). He was on the board of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1998–2004 and on the Overseeing Board of the Central Bank of Iceland 2001–2009. He is the academic director of RNH, the Icelandic Institute for Innovation and Economic Growth, a Reykjavik think tank.

Karin Svanborg-Sjövall - Timbro, Sweden

Karin Svanborg-Sjövall is the president of Timbro, Scandinavias´ biggest, pro-market think tank. She is a policy expert, journalist, and author who has wide experience of public sector reform across Europe.

Dr. Nils Karlson - The Ratio Institute, Sweden

Dr. Nils Karlson is the founding president and CEO of the Ratio research institute in Stockholm, Sweden. He is an economist and political scientist, Professor in Political Science at Linköping University, working in the fields of institutional economics, political theory, public choice, and constitutional political economy. Prior to Ratio he was the president of the City University of Stockholm, and has worked as a university lecturer, government advisor and editorial writer. He has led numerous research projects and has published over 25 books with Swedish and international academic publishers, as well as a large number academic papers and book chapters. He is a board member of the Mont Pelerin Society and is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. His research is focused on the interaction between politics, markets and civil society in Western democracies and welfare states. His latest book is Statecraft and Liberal Reform in Advanced Democracies (Palgrave McMillan 2018)

Diego Sánchez de la Cruz - Foro Regulación Inteligente, Spain

Diego Sánchez de la Cruz is a writer, entrepreneur, university professor and economic analyst in the media. He holds a BA in Journalism and an MA in International Relations. His latest book, "Por qué soy liberal", has become a best-seller, having sold out of its first three editions. Sánchez de la Cruz is the CEO of Foro Regulación Inteligente, a business consultancy specialized in areas such as economic freedom, deregulation and innovation. In addition, he is the coordinator of the Diego de Covarrubias Center, an ATLAS partner think tank specialized in studying the Spanish origins of free market thought. He is very active on social media, where his following exceeds 25,000 people on Twitter, and is also a regular on Spanish prime time TV debates.

Kimon Sargeant - John Templeton Foundation, USA

Kimon Sargeant is Vice President, Programs at the John Templeton Foundation. He oversees the Character Virtue Development, Individual Freedom & Free Markets, and Human Sciences departments, and is a member of Program Leadership Team. Sargeant is responsible for developing new initiatives on generosity, purpose, and gratitude, as well as projects that analyze global trends in religion and spirituality. Previously Sargeant served as a program officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts. He is the author of Seeker Churches: Promoting Traditional Religion in a Nontraditional Way and co-editor of Spirit and Power: The Growth and Global Impact of Pentecostalism.

Clemens Schneider - Prometheus - Das Freiheitsinstitut, Germany

Clemens Schneider, born in 1980, is co-founder and managing director of "Prometheus - Das Freiheitsinstitut". He also co-founded "NOUS - Network for Constitutional Economics and Social Philosophy", the educational project "Agora Summer Academy for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics" and the blog "Offene Grenzen“ ("Open Borders“). He is active as blogger and speaker and is in constant contact with the young members of the pro-liberty movement.

Zoltan Kész - Free Market Foundation, Hungary

Zoltan 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 ending the supermajority of the government. He was an MP until May 2018. Now he is the honorary president of the Free Market Foundation.

Christopher Lingle, Ph.D. - Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Guatemala

Christopher Lingle, Ph.D. earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Georgia in 1977. Since then, he has been employed at universities in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and USA. He is a passionate supporter of human creativity and voluntary actions that lead to social harmony. To this end, he is available to go anywhere in the world to engage in discussions on the merits of institutions and public policy based on their impacts on human liberty and dignity. Currently, he is Visiting Professor of Economics in the Escuela de Negocios at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala (since 1998), Adjunct Scholar at the Centre for Independent Studies (Sydney), Research Scholar at the Centre for Civil Society (New Delhi), International Political Economic Advisor for the Asian Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA – Kathmandu), Member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Globalization Institute (Brussels) & Senior Fellow, Advocata (Colombo, Sri Lanka). Previous academic positions include: Visiting Fellow in the Department of Management of City University in Hong Kong (February to March 2010); Visiting Professor at Institute of International Studies, Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok (2008 to 2009); Adjunct Professor of Economics, Georgetown University (July 2004): Visiting Associate Professor of Economics, Case Western Reserve University (1996 to 1998); Visiting Scholar—Emory University & Adjunct Professor of Economics—Georgia State University (January 1995 to August 1996); Senior Fellow, European Studies Program, National University of Singapore (September 1993 to November 1994); Associate Professor of Economics, Loyola University (New Orleans); Associate Professor of Economics, Miami University, European Center, Luxembourg and Oxford, Ohio (1981 to 1984 and 1989 to 1991), Adjunct Professor, Departement de Droit et des Sciences economiques, Centre Universitaire de Luxembourg (1989-91); Visiting Foreign Expert in Economics, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (February to May 1987); Lecturer and Senior Lecturer—University of Natal, South Africa (1984-90); Assistant Professor of Economics, Auburn University (1978); Assistant Professor of Economics, West Georgia College (1977). Dr. Lingle’s research interests are in the areas of Political Economy and International Economics with a focus on emerging market economies and public policy reform in East and Central 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 (1996). 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’, May 1997).

Maria Blanco - Universidad CEU-San Pablo, Spain

Maria Blanco is a professor in the Department of Economics at the University San Pablo-CEU (Madrid). She completed her undergraduate in Economics and Business Administration and her PhD in Economics in the Department of Economic History and Institutions at the Universidad Complutense (Madrid). Her doctoral dissertation about the rejection to the use of mathematics as a tool for the economic analysis in the history of economic thought was directed by Carlos Rodriguez Braun.  Her research interests are diverse and cover from the use of mathematics in the History of Economic Thought to the economic analysis of main literary masterpieces or the application of the Theory of Systems to the economy. Her intellectual affinities are linked to the Austrian School of Economics, the School of Public Choice and the great minds of the Classical School of Economics.
She has published several chapters in collective books on libertarian public policies, and two books: Las Tribus Liberales, on the present situation of classical liberal movement, its problems and misperception by our society, and Afrodita Desenmascarada, a liberation view of the feminist movement and the feminist agenda.
She lectures in undergraduate courses (History of Economic Thought, Economic History and Economic Theory). In addition, she gives lectures in different Latin American countries such as Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador or Mexico, where she has been visiting professor. She is also active in economic newspapers and social networks.

Scott Hodge - Tax Foundation, United States

Scott Hodge is president of the Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C., and is recognized as one of Washington’s leading experts on tax policy, the federal budget and government spending. During his tenure, the Tax Foundation has become one of the most influential organizations on tax policy in Washington and in state capitals. He led the development of the Tax Foundation’s most successful programs, the Taxes and Growth Dynamic Tax Modeling project and the State Business Tax Climate Index; two projects that have changed the terms of the tax debate at the federal and state level. Over the past 25 years Scott has been a leader in many successful efforts to change public policy. During the 1990s, he helped design the major tax components for the Contract with America. These tax cuts were the eventual centerpieces of the 1997 tax bill and the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. Scott has written and edited three books on the federal budget and streamlining the government and has authored over 100 studies on tax policy and government spending. He has also authored dozens of editorials and opinion pieces for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, The New York Post and The Washington Times. Hodge has conducted over 600 radio and television interviews—including NBC Nightly News, CBS Nightly News, CNN, Fox Network, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and C-SPAN. Scott began his career in Chicago where he helped found the Heartland Institute in 1984. Before joining the Tax Foundation, Scott was Director of Tax and Budget Policy at Citizens for a Sound Economy. He also spent ten years at The Heritage Foundation as a fellow analyzing budget and tax policy. He holds a degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Jacob Lundberg - Timbro, Sweden

Jacob Lundberg is chief economist at Timbro, Sweden's main free-market think tank. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Uppsala University in 2017, where he specialized in public economics, in particular, income taxation.

Sanna Suvanto-Harsaae - Altia and BoConcept, Finland/Denmark

Sanna Suvanto-Harsaae is Finnish/Danish Chairman of several Nordic companies among others Altia Oy, BoConcept AS, TCM AS, Babysam AS, Nordic Pet Group and Footway AB. Also a board member of Paulig Oy, SAS, and CEPOS. Wide experience on consumer-related business, FCMG, food, retail, and airlines. Wide ownership experience from listed companies (incl IPOs), Private equity, family business and government-owned.

Dr. 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 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), 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.

Admir Čavalić - “Multi”, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Admir Čavalić is the founder and director of "Multi," the pioneer and largest libertarian association in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Čavalić is a PhD student at the Faculty of Economics in Tuzla and an active lecturer at this and other faculties in the country. He is a director of the OPEN festival, the largest libertarian festival in Europe. Admir works with politicians, media, and NGOs to promote libertarianism and Bosnia and Herzegovina and entire Western Balkans region

Ratko Nikolić - Center for Anti-Authoritarian Studies, Serbia

Ratko Nikolić is the president of Center for Anti-Authoritarian Studies, a Serbian libertarian think tank aimed at promoting and protecting the unrestricted freedom of expression and empowering young journalists and social activists to excel at their profession while promoting the values of individual liberty. A sociologist of culture and politics by education, before founding CAAS in 2015, he has spent several years running pro-liberty nonprofits and served as the regional director for ex-Yugoslavia at Students for Liberty. 

Maryan Zablotskyy - Ukrainian Economic Freedoms Foundation, Ukraine

Maryan Zablotskyy is the head of the Ukrainian Economic Freedoms Foundation (UEFF), which he co-founded in 2015. He holds a master's degree in finance from Lviv Commercial Academy and a Ph.D. in economics from Ukrainian National Science Academy. Maryan took part in the development of numerous law drafts, of which 7 were fully adopted. These laws terminated two dozen different permits and licenses, improved land rights protection and decreased corruption.

Mark Littlewood - Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), UK

Mark Littlewood is the Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the IEA’s Ralph Harris Fellow. Since his appointment in 2009, Mark has been instrumental in expanding the IEA’s reach, both inside and outside Britain. He was recently ranked number 45 on the right-wing power list. Mark is recognised as a powerful spokesman for free markets and features as a regular guest on flagship political programs such as BBC Question Time, Newsnight and the Today Program. He writes a regular column for The Times and features in many other print and broadcast media such as The Telegraph, City AM and Any Questions. Mark campaigned strongly for Brexit and hopes to see an open, global and free-trading Britain post Brexit.

Bjørn Høi Jensen - CEPOS, Denmark

Bjørn Høi Jensen has been chairman of CEPOS, the leading independent free-market think tank in Denmark, since 2012. Bjørn worked in corporate finance in Denmark and London from 1985-1995 and from 1995-2008 as a senior partner in EQT, one of Europe's leading private equity funds. Since 2009 has held numerous board positions in corporate entities and trusts, including the chairman role of Rockwool International, one of the worlds leading insulation companies (2008-2017), Gyldendal, the leading Danish book publisher (2003-2013), Erhvervsinvest, a Danish private equity fund (since 2004) and Nordic Real Estate Property Partners. More recently Bjørn has joined the board of Augustinus Fabrikker, a leading Danish industrial holding company and the Berlingske Foundation (a trust behind the oldest Danish media company). Bjørn graduated from Copenhagen University as a Master of sciences in Economics in 1985.

Alexander Skouras - KEFIM, Greece

Alexander Skouras is the president of the Greek free-market think tank Center for Liberal Studies (KEFiM). Prior to his role at KEFIM he served as Director of External Relations at the DC based Atlas Network where he helped think tanks from around the world to achieve impact and grow their capacity. Alexander has also been involved in major political campaigns in Greece and the US, including a major republican primary candidacy during the 2012 cycle. Alexander graduated from the American College of Greece with a degree in business and did some postgraduate work at the Graduate School of Political Management at the George Washington University.

Lawson Bader - DonorsTrust, USA

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.

Otto Brøns-Petersen - CEPOS, Denmark

Otto Brøns-Petersen is director for analysis at Center for Political Studies (CEPOS), an independent Danish public policy research institution. He is a former deputy permanent secretary in the Danish Ministry of Taxation, in charge of tax and general economics and tax policy. Previously, he has been a director for economic analysis at the Ministry of Taxation and a director for structural economic policies and public finances at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. He holds a M.A. in economics from the University of Copenhagen. He has taught at the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School. He has published on a wide number of subjects in economics, political science and political philosophy, including a forthcoming book on the constitutional economics of James M. Buchanan.

Martin Ågerup - CEPOS, Denmark

Mads Lundby Hansen - CEPOS, Denmark

Mads Lundby Hansen holds an M.A. in economics from the University of Copenhagen. He has been the Chief Economist at CEPOS since 2005. Mads is also a member of the Economic Council in Denmark. Previously he has been chief economist at the Liberal Party (the party of the current prime minister). And before that, he worked as an economist at the Tax department in the Ministry of Finance. 

Flemming Rose - Cato Institute, Denmark

Flemming Rose is a Danish author and journalist. He is currently the foreign editor of the newspaper Jyllands-Posten. In 2005, in an exploration of self-censorship in Denmark, Rose commissioned a series of cartoons for Jyllands-Posten, including several that depicted the prophet Muhammad. The cartoons sparked great controversy in the Muslim world; demonstrations erupted throughout the Middle East and several Danish embassies were attacked. Jyllands-Posten’s employees faced a large number of death threats, and an attempt was made on the life of the cartoonist behind the most controversial drawing. In 2010, Rose released “Tyranny of Silence,” a book that explores the cartoon crisis and its ramifications from a global perspective. In addition to his work as editor, Rose has spent more than 10 years as Moscow correspondent for both Jyllands-Posten and Berlingske Tidende.

Torben Mark Pedersen - LIBERTAS, Denmark

Torben Mark Pedersen has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Copenhagen, has studied economics at Harvard University and at University of Chicago, and is the editor of the Danish libertarian journal, LIBERTAS

John O'Connell - UK Tax Payer's Alliance, United Kingdom

John O'Connell joined the TPA as an intern in 2009. Since then he has worked at every level of the organization which made him uniquely qualified to become Chief Executive beginning August 2016. 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. In April 2012 John completed the Think Tank MBA in America, an intensive training course offered by the Atlas Network. 
 

Kerry Halferty Hardy - Institute for Economic Studies-Europe, France

Kerry Halferty Hardy has extensive experience in both the healthcare and the nonprofit sectors, particularly in strategic planning and development, fields in which she is currently engaged as a consultant. She was previously the Chief Development Officer at the American Hospital of Paris and also worked in various development and strategy roles in internationally and domestically-oriented policy organizations, as well as in entrepreneurial ventures. Kerry created a course on NGOs and Civil Society in the Business and Diplomacy M.B.A. program at INSEEC in Paris, where she lectured for several years. Kerry also serves on the board of the Institute for Economic Studies Europe (IESE), the Competitive Enterprise Institute, l’Institut de Formation Politique (IFP), and is active in the Comité Paris-Chicago. Faithful to her Lone Star roots, she is also a member of the Texas State Society and a Texas-Ex. Kerry has a B.A. in German Studies and an M.S.M. with an emphasis on Nonprofit and Association Management. Based in Paris, she speaks French, German, and Spanish, as well as Texan.

Nicolai Søndergård Kjær - Founder of the cleaning platform Hilfr and regulatory advisor at Rud Pedersen Public Affairs, Denmark

Nicolai has worked with the digitization agenda for several years and with the sharing and platform economy with an emphasis on the regulatory challenges in a Danish and European context. Nicolai works for the political consultancy, Rud Pedersen, where he advises companies on digital and platform economy issues in a Danish/European regulatory setting. Nicolai has also founded the cleaning platform Hilfr. In April 2018 Hilfr made the first collective agreement with a Danish Union. The agreement is a pragmatic approach that ensures flexibility for the individual and entitlements in line with the so called “Danish model” of employment. The agreement has been lauded by the Danish Prime Minister as an example to follow and have been acknowledged by the Danish Unions as well as the Danish Business Associations.