March 20, 2020 Print

Nestled between Russia and Turkey, the small Caucasian nation of Georgia is known for its cuisine, wine, and hospitality. The local proclivity for bringing people together was on full display with the inaugural Prometheus Academy, which was co-hosted in March by the Ayn Rand Center Europe and the New Economic School—Georgia and attracted 70 participants from the Black Sea region for in-depth discussions about the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand.

“The Prometheus Academy is our biggest and most successful event so far,” said Isidora Kolar, director of Prometheus Academy and COO of Ayn Rand Center Europe. “We brought together participants from more than a dozen countries, many of them alumni from our previous programs, to give them an opportunity to further advance their knowledge of Objectivism.

Objectivist scholars and philosophy students from Georgia, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Turkey, Israel, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia gathered on the coast of the Black Sea in Batumi to hear how Rand’s philosophy promotes the idea that individual liberty leads to greater human flourishing. Another key component of the highly interactive program was the importance of using storytelling to reach new audiences and combat the narrative that more government intervention creates better outcomes for society.

During the week-long event, participants heard from several speakers, including Craig Biddle from the Prometheus Foundation, Matt and Terry Kibbe from Free the People, Leopold Ajami from the Novel Philosophy Academy, Boaz Arad from the Ayn Rand Centre, and Alex Cordell from Atlas Network. A highlight of the program was the Intercultural Evening, where participants presented their home countries’ cultures through music and singing, sweets, snacks and drinks, and a scavenger hunt throughout the beautiful city of Batumi.

“It’s incredibly energizing to be with so many amazing young people inspired by Ayn Rand’s ideas,” said Terry Kibbe, CEO of Free the People. “They get it—the principles of individualism are not just academic concepts. The right values can transform their home countries and their futures.”

At the end of the program, all participants were presented with a certificate of completion, as well as a set of books that included Rand’s Objectivist classics Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.

Kolar hopes the Prometheus Academy will become an annual event that is organized each year in a different part of Europe. The next Prometheus Academy is scheduled to take place in Serbia in 2021.

Atlas Network was a sponsor of the Prometheus Academy.