Below you'll find details for the Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner 2014 program.


Something new that you'll notice is that each Liberty Forum session has been assigned to a specific "track" - either Atlas Leadership Academy, Big Ideas, or Trending Issues. 

In sessions listed in the Atlas Leadership Academy track are "nuts and bolts" advice that you can apply to your work back home. Attending three Atlas Leadership Academy sessions earns you one credit towards graduation from the Atlas Leadership Academy. 

Sessions marked in the Big Ideas track include speakers with entrepreneurial and revolutionary ideas to advance freedom and instigate change around the world.

Attend sessions within the Trending Issues track to hear from the experts on the most pressing topics of our day, such as human rights issues in North Korea and how we should address the inequality argument.

This program is tentative and is subject to change.

         Wednesday    Wednesday, November 12  
  9:30 a.m. Welcoming Remarks by Dr. Tom G. Palmer on “Building the Freedom Movement Advances Peace in the World”  
    Location: Gotham Ballroom  
  10:00 a.m. Announcement of the Winner of the 2014 Fisher Award and the 2014 Smith Student Outreach Award  
    Location: Gotham Ballroom  
    The 2014 Fisher Award and the 2014 Smith Student Outreach Award were presented by Linda Whetstone.  
  10:15 a.m. Speed Networking  
    Location: Gotham Ballroom  
    Speed Networking was moderated by Atlas Network Operations Manager Kristina Crane and sponsored by the State Policy Network.  
  10:15 a.m.  Book signing with Dr. Tom G. Palmer, Peace, Love, & Liberty  
    Location: Gotham Ballroom Foyer  
  11:15 a.m. Session Option 1: The Berlin Walls of Today  
    Location: Union Square Park  
    Track: Trending Issues  
    The Berlin Wall appeared to be permanent, until enough people summoned enough courage to prove it was not. Today we face other Berlin Walls - tyrannies that suppress the free market; education monopolies that trap kids in bad schools; Obamacare's stranglehold on the healthcare marketplace; envy-based populism that undermines the institutions of the free market. Can we be strategic enough and bold enough to tear down these Berlin Walls?  
  • Robin Sitoula (Samriddhi: The Prosperity Foundation, Nepal)
  • Darcy Olsen (Goldwater Institute, United States)
  • Tarren Bragdon (Foundation for Government Accountability, United States)
  • Bettina Horst (Instituto Libertad y Desarrollo, Chile)
  • Brad Lips, moderator (Atlas Network, United States)
    Session Option 2: Welfare State 2.0 - An Advance Forward or a Step Backward?  
    Location: Riverside Park   
    Track: Trending Issues  
    Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) have been adopted by governments to ensure welfare recipients use benefits in targeted categories that are believed to foster human development. World Bank studies have been favorable toward these programs; Atlas Network developed a program to encourage independent think tanks to look more closely at the costs and benefits of CCT programs implemented in countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Pakistan.  
  • Ali Salman (PRIME, Pakistan)
  • Roberto Laserna (CERES, Bolivia)
  • Luis Loria (IDEAS, Costa Rica)
  • Alex Chafuen, moderator (Atlas Network, United States)
    Session Option 3: The Biggest Bang for your Buck (ALA)  
    Location: Central Park  
    Track: Atlas Leadership Academy  
    Your donors want to see HIGH impact at LOW cost. These leaders at high-performing think tanks deliver this kind of value proposition.  
  • Jasmin Guénette (Montreal Economic Institute, Canada)
  • Joe Lehman (Mackinac Center, United States)
  • Baishali Bomjan (Center for Civil Society, India)
  • Marni Soupcoff (Canadian Constitution Foundation)
  • John Cerasuolo, moderator (Beacon Center of Tennessee, United States)
  12:30 p.m.  Luncheon: Think Tank Shark Tank  
    Location: Gotham Ballroom  
    The stakes were raised in our popular “Think Tank Shark Tank” competition. Live on-stage, four candidates pitched a new think tank project and fielded questions from our all-star panel of judges – the winner received $25,000 to launch his project. Think Tank Shark Tank was sponsored by the Rising Tide Foundation.     
    Mastor of Ceremonies: Fred Young (Independent Investor)


  • Terry Kibbe (Rising Tide Foundation, United States)
  • Don Smith (Smith Family Foundation, United States)
  • Luis Henrique Ball (Panama Post, United States)
  • Ron Manners (Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, Australia)
  • Nikos Monoyios (Atlas Network, United States)


  • Patrick Reasonover (Taliesin Nexis, United States)
  • Candelaria de Elizalde (Libertad y Progresso, Argentina)
  • Baladevan Rangaraju (India Institute, India)
  • Cristina Berechet (Civismo, Spain)
  2:15 p.m. Session Option 1: How to Win the Inequality Argument  
    Location: Union Square Park  
    Track: Trending Issues  
    Have you noticed the mainstream press's infatuation with Occupy Wall Street (before the movement petered out unceremoniously) and with Thomas Picketty's Capital in the 21st Century (before and after flaws were revealed in its data)? It's clear that many are invested in the argument that free enterprise produces unequal outcomes. Can friends of freedom win this argument? Our panel provided answers from Yaron Brook, whose Free Market Revolution makes the Objectivist case for challenging the ethical foundations of the inequality argument. Eamonn Butler drew from his book, Foundations of a Free Society, which makes the case for the freedom philosophy in terms already familiar to newcomers.   
  • Yaron Brook (Ayn Rand Institute, United States)
  • Eamonn Butler (Adam Smith Institute, United Kingdom) 
  • Brad Lips, moderator (Atlas Network, United States)
    Session Option 2: Free Market Philanthropists Take Your Questions (ALA)  
    Location: Gotham Ballroom   
    Track: Atlas Leadership Academy  
    You send them proposals. You give them pitches. Philanthropists shared what they look for in funding opportunities, and what groups could do better to earn lasting support.   
  • William J. "Jerry" Hume (Basic American Foods, United States)
  • Terry Kibbe (Rising Tide Foundation, United States)
  • Julie Smith (Smith Family Foundation, United States)
  • Bobbi Herzberg (John Templeton Foundation, United States)
  • Stephanie Giovanetti, moderator (Atlas Network, United States)
    Session Option 3: Human Rights, A Classical Liberal Agenda  
    Location: Riverside Park  
    Track: Big Ideas  
    Recent presentations of "human rights" have often excluded classical liberal perspectives, but this sessions' panelists made important contributions in helping closed societies.  
  • Jacob Mchangama (CEPOS, Denmark)
  • Hanna Song (Liberty in North Korea, United States)
  • Aaron Rhodes (Freedom Rights Project, Germany)
  • Alex Gladstein, moderator (Human Rights Foundation, United States)
  3:45 p.m. Session Option 1: Seizing the Moral High Ground  
    Location: Union Square Park  
    Track: Atlas Leadership Academy  
    Policy victories can be won when campaigns are designed to claim the moral high ground and put the enemies of freedom on the defensive. This session featured how a progressive tax was defeated in deep blue Illinois; how the poverty alleviation debate has been reframed; how free market defenders have rallied Mexican youth by giving them a voice; and how quality schools are serving the poor without the help of government.   
  • John Tillman (Illinois Policy Institute, United States)
  • Armando Regil (IPEA, Mexico)
  • Kris Mauren (Acton Institute, United States)
  • James Tooley (E.G. West Centre)
  • Matt Kibbe, moderator (FreedomWorks, United States)
    Session Option 2: Building Pro-Liberty Networks (ALA)  
    Location: Riverside Park  
    Track: Atlas Leadership Academy  
    It's been said that you are only as strong as your network. This session highlighted how to build the right connections and increase your impact.  
  • Zineb Benalla (The Arab Center for Scientific Research and Humane Studnies, Morocco)
  • Christiana Hambro (Institute of Economic Affairs, United Kingdom)
  • Japheth Omojuwa (, Nigeria)
  • Christie Herrera (Foundation for Government Accountability, United States)
  • Bridgett Wagner, moderator (The Heritage Foundation, United States)
    Session Option 3: Fundraising for Liberty in Difficult Places (ALA)  
    Location: Central Park  
    Track: Atlas Leadership Academy  
    Every nonprofit needs an effective fundraising plan, but organizations in places such as Africa, South America, and Asia need a specialized approach.    
  • Franklin Cudjoe (IMANI, Ghana)
  • Mike Rotich (Eastern Africa Policy Centre, Kenya)
  • Ernesto Selman (CREES, Dominican Repulic)
  • Tricia Yeoh (IDEAS, Malaysia)
  • Cindy Cerquitella, moderator (Atlas Network, United States)
  6:00 p.m. Reception: Elevator Pitch Competition and Announcement of the Think Tank Shark Tank  Winner  
    Location: Gotham Ballroom  
    During the Elevator Pitch Competition, Think Tank MBA graduates had 60 seconds to give their elevator pitch in front of a live audience who will vote for the winner. We also announced the winner of the Think Tank Shark Tank competition.  
  7:30 p.m. A Tribute to John Blundell  
    Location: Gotham Ballroom  
    Atlas Network CEO Brad Lips led us in a tribute to John Blundell, which included remarks by Mark Littlewood (Institute of Economic Affairs), Warren Lammert (Granite Point Capital), James Tooley (E.G. West Centre), Dan Peters (Lovett and Ruth Peters Foundation) and Marty Zupan (Institute for Humane Studies).   
  8:30 p.m. Atlas After Dark with Lindy Vopnfjörð   
    Taking place at Social Bar and Grill, 795 8th Avenue, NYC  (48th St. and 8th Ave.)  
    At Social Bar and Grill, located just 4 blocks away from the InterContinental Times Square hotel, Atlas Network hosted an evening for networking and a musical performance by Lindy Vopnfjörð.  
    Thursday, November 13  
  9:00 a.m. Atlas Over Breakfast, "Working Smart "with John Tierney  
    Location: Gotham Ballroom  
    Social scientists have recently rediscovered a Victorian concept. They've learned how to improve willpower with some simple strategies that have been tested in both the lab and the real world. These strategies improve self-control, the quintessential human virtue that is vital to any kind of personal or professional success (as well as the libertarian belief in individual freedom and responsibility). This session was led by New York Times science columnist, John Tierney, winner of Competitive Enterprise Institute's 2014 Julian L. Simon Award and co-author of "Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength." An introduction was given by Atlas Network Trustee Gerry Ohrstrom.  
  10:30 a.m. Session Option 1: Reasons for Hope  
    Location: Central Park  
    Track: Trending Issues  
    Did the news headlines of 2014 have you depressed? This session featured some good news - real stories about how government spending can be cut; the tax burden lightened; economic freedom restored; and the welfare state reformed.   
  • Martin Agerup (CEPOS, Denmark)
  • Candice Malcolm (Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Canada)
  • Jonathan Isaby (TaxPayers' Alliance, United Kingdom)
  • Cristina Berechet (Civismo, Spain)
  • Tom Palmer, moderator (Atlas Network, United States)
    Session Option 2: How Our Attitudes About Wealth Shape the Prosperity We Get  
    Location: Riverside Park  
    Track: Big Ideas  
    For many of us committed to advancing the ideas of liberty, economic efficiency seems a natural and compelling feature to emphasize -- and it is. But this message must be supplemented with a broader appeal that recognizes the role social attitudes play in shaping our economic landscape.  
  • Zilvenas Silenas (Lithuania Free Market Insitute, Lithuania)
  • Matt Warner (Atlas Network, United States)
    Session Option 3: Products You Can Replicate (ALA)  
    Location: Union Square  
    Track: Atlas Leadership Academy  
    Ideas successfully implemented by one Atlas Network partner can be adapted by others. This is the power of the Atlas Network. The Economic Freedom of the World report can be leveraged to establish an agenda for free-market reformers in your country; you can inspire healthy competition among municipalities that compete for business investment; you can measure and articulate the costs of bad regulation; a new macro-economic measure can re-orient government decision-makers away from Keynesian policy prescriptions.  
  • Fred McMahon (Fraser Institute, Canada)
  • Lawson Bader (Competitive Enterprise Institute, United States)
  • Aaron Ginn (Lincoln Labs, United States)
  • Cameron Smith, moderator (Liberty Foundation of America, United States)
  12:00 p.m. Luncheon: Second Annual Liggio Lecture by John Tomasi  
    Location: Gotham Ballroom  
    This luncheon featured the second annual Liggio Lecture by John Tomasi, an Associate Professor of Political Science, a Faculty Associate at The Watson Institute for International Studies, and a Stanley J. Bernstein Assistant Professor of Social Science-International Affairs at Brown University. 

Ingrid Gregg, President of the Earhart Foundation gave a tribute to the late Leonard Liggio. 

  2:00 p.m. Session Option 1: Learning from the Best: ALA Mentors  
    Location: Union Square Park  
    Track: Atlas Leadership Academy  
    Learn from the best! Our Atlas Leadership Academy Mentors discussed best practices, new ideas, and effective strategies that you can apply to your think tank, as well as common mistakes you should avoid.  
  • Larry Reed (Foundation for Economic Education, United States)
  • Juan Jose Daboub (The Daboub Partnership, United States)
  • Clint Bolick (Goldwater Institute, United States)
  • Ann Fitzgerald (A.C. Fitzgerald & Associates, United States)
  • Rainer Heufers, moderator (Atlas Network, United States)
    Session Option 2: Escaping North Korea, Discovering Freedom – the Story of Yeonmi Park  
    Location: Central Park  
    Track: Trending Issues  
    Yeonmi Park is a North Korean refugee. Working with Freedom Factory in South Korea as a media fellow, Yeonmi has quickly become a prominent spokesperson against North Korea's tyrannical regime, while bringing light to ways we can make a difference for the people of North Korea, assisting its refugees and helping its nascent black-market economy to grow. Park and her family escaped North Korea through China and Mongolia in 2007. She co-hosts the online “North Korea Today" with Atlas Network fellow Casey Lartigue. Yeonmi has been published in The Washington Post and among other outlets, and she is in the midst of an extended speaking tour making several appearances for Atlas Network, along with presentations at TED, Oslo Freedom Forum, Students for Liberty and others.    
  • Yeonmi Park 
  • Casey Lartigue, moderator (Freedom Factory, South Korea)
    Session Option 3: Measuring Economic Growth  
    Location: Riverside Park  
    Track: Big Ideas  
    So much of public policy debate and decision-making turns on the growth measurement tools and statistical concepts we commonly reference. But do familiar concepts, like Gross Domestic Product, always measure up? What are we missing in our public dialogues about measuring economic growth and is there a better way?  
  • Mark Skousen (FreedomFest, United States)
  • Marian Tupy (Cato Institute, United States)
  3:30 p.m. Session Option 1: Atlas Film Festival - Lights, Camera, Liberty!  
    Location: Gotham Ballroom  
    Track: Atlas Leadership Academy  
    Showing off the best video work done by think tank partners who have partaken in Atlas Network's "Lights, Camera, Liberty!" program.  
  • Charlie Fritschner (Illinois Policy Institute, United States)
  • Roman Hardgrave (Mercatus Center, United States)
  • Vytautus Zukauskas (Lithuanian Free Market Institute, Lithuania)
  • Patrick Reasonover, Moderator (Taliesin Nexus, United States)
  • With a special announcement by Tom Skinner of the Free to Choose Network.
    Session Option 2: Difficult Territories Panel  
    Location: Riverside Park  
    Track: Trending Issues  
    Stories from some of the most dangerous places to advocate for freedom.  
  • Yuliya Kocherhan (Kyiv School of Economics, Ukraine)
  • Kanan Dhru (Research Foundation for Governance in India, India)
  • Elisa Martins, moderator (Atlas Network, United States)
  5:30 p.m. Buses depart for Capitale (for Atlas Club Members)  
  5:45 p.m. Buses depart for Capitale (for all other attendees)  
  6:00 p.m. Atlas Club Briefing (for Atlas Club Members only), Capitale  
    Our Atlas Club Briefing showcased heroes of Venezuela's freedom movement, including a presentation by Carlos Vecchio, right hand-man to Leopoldo Lopez, the opposition leader that has been in prison since February (Leopoldo himself was a past Atlas speaker). Leopoldo's parents joined us for special recognition, along with staff and trustees of the think tank CEDICE of Venezuela -- individuals who have seen their businesses stolen and their safety threatened as a consequence of their principled stands for freedom. Tickets for Atlas Club Briefing are available to Atlas Club Members or with a purchase of a VIP ticket or a sponsorship.  
  6:30 p.m. General Freedom Dinner Reception, Capitale  
  7:30 p.m. Freedom Dinner, Capitale  
    Freedom Dinner featured legendary chess champion Garry Kasparov, the announcement of the 2014 Templeton Freedom Award, and an introduction by Atlas Network Senior Fellow Judy Shelton. Atlas Network CEO Brad Lips served as the emcee for this event.  
    Friday, November 14  
  9:00 a.m. Sound Money Breakfast featuring Judy Shelton and Seth Lipsky  
    Co-sponsored by Foundation for Economic Education

Located off-site at the Marriott Marquis 1535 Broadway, New York, NY 10036. This is just 3 blocks away from the InterContinental Times Square Hotel. 

  10:15  a.m. Liberty Forum Excursion to the 9/11 Memorial Museum  

Additional $45 fee applies. Fee includes transportation to and from the InterContinental Hotel and admission to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. 

The bus departed from the InterContinental at 10:15 a.m. A boxed breakfast was available at 9:30 a.m.



This program is tentative and is subject to change.

Contact Chelsea Albers at or (202) 449-8434 for more information.