March 6, 2018 Print

Students For Liberty’s (SFL) annual conference in Washington D.C., LibertyCon — formerly known as the International Students for Liberty Conference (ISFLC) — was once again a resounding success in 2018. The conference, hosted from March 2-4, was in part sponsored by Atlas Network and featured the works of Atlas Network’s partners around the world.

Photo: Yaël Ossowski

Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey as keynote speaker

The three-day event included speeches from Daniel Hannan, British politician, writer and journalist who served as a senior member of the successful Brexit campaign; Dr. Tom G. Palmer, George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty and executive vice president for international programs at Atlas Network; Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media; Congressman Justin Amash, the U.S. representative for Michigan’s Third Congressional District; John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, and many more.

“Prosperity is completely linked to liberty,” said Mackey, who gave a keynote presentation at the conference.

Doing Development Differently

Atlas Network’s booth in the exhibit hall at LibertyCon featured an interactive display focusing on Doing Development Differently, discussing with attendees how to alleviate poverty by breaking down barriers to entry and promoting economic freedom. Based on the “teach a man to fish” proverb, the display featured a magnetic fishing game, with tiles corresponding to success stories from 10 of Atlas Network’s partners.

Atlas Network’s Dr. Tom G. Palmer honors the future leaders of freedom

The “Future Leaders of Freedom” luncheon, presented by Atlas Network and hosted by Dr. Tom G. Palmer, the George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty and Executive Vice President for International Programs at Atlas Network, honored 50 young liberty leaders from around the world, many representing Atlas Network partners. Dr. Palmer also spoke about the causes of poverty, wealth, and inequality, focusing on the problems that arise with top-down foreign aid and how mass aid can dissuade private enterprise and stagnate developing markets.

Dr. Tom G. Palmer speaking at LibertyCon

SFL awards go to Atlas Network partners in Africa and Eastern Europe

The award for Students For Liberty Individual of the Year went to Aimable Manirakiza, founder of SFL Burundi, who has participated in several Atlas Network training events.

The Student Group of the Year Award was presented to Georgian Students for Liberty, which hosted a conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, that attracted more than 900 students. Dr. Tom G. Palmer was one of the featured speakers for this event, which became one of the largest and most successful regional conferences in SFL history.