August 8, 2014 Print

As part of its annual student essay contest,, the pro-liberty Russian language news and commentary website, recently announced the finalists for the 2014 contest. This year, in partnership with the Ukraine-based pro-liberty website, invited undergraduate and graduate students from Russia, Ukraine, and other former Soviet Republics to explain what types of associations – national, religious, professional, ideological – most define their identity and what evolving role such identities play in social progress. One of the finalists, a student from Uzhgorod, Urkaine, wrote about a generational shift in attitudes that has occurred in his country, from strong nationalistic sensibilities to more of a focus on individual freedom. Citing globalization as a key factor in broadening the perspective of young people, he explains that it is no longer just the very powerful or the very wealthy who are able to see the world and, in so doing, learn to appreciate the possibilities both beyond and within one’s borders. This perspective, he says, awakens a stronger sense of oneself. The 61 finalists were each invited to attend this year’s summer school, August 24-31, to be held at the Free University of Tbilisi training center in Bazaleti Georgia. Finalists will learn from teachers of liberty, including Atlas Network Executive Vice President Tom Palmer, and will present their own ideas and discuss how to secure peace and freedom in the region. The most promising participants will be invited to enroll in the Atlas Leadership Academy.