Hola! Our team has just come back from Colombia. The city of eternal spring, Medellín, was the home of the Liberty International World Conference for 4 days – from August 12 to 15.
Liberty International and the host organization Movimiento Libertario Colombia have been organizing the event for almost a year. Today we say openly, that those days spent in the liberty circle were the most pleasant part of the whole process – the culmination of logistical, promotional, creative and organizational work of our entire team!
With 30 speakers at LIWC 2021, over 80 attendees from 19 different countries shared and gathered around the ideas of liberty. The topics covered were quite diverse – from the right to self-medicate to the current migration issues in Venezuela. All days of the conference were very intense. The days were filled with lectures and workshops on freedom and freedom-related topics. Subjects that weren’t obvious, made you think and ask questions. And questions were not lacking after each speech. We reached back to the source, analyzed freedom in economic, historical, social, and even moral terms! All this on a national and international scale. We thank all of our speakers for giving us the opportunity for dialogue, a dose of new knowledge and previously unknown perspectives with their speeches.
What is more, we had the pleasure of having guest activists and freedom fighters from Venezuela, Henry Song who talked about North Korea and ways to help escape the regime, and Mikhail Svetov, prominent defender of liberty from Russia. We also hosted a political figure – Marcel van Hattem – who has been elected federal representative of the State of Rio Grande do Sul in Brasília.
Fortunately, the limits imposed on some countries for COVID-19 didn’t stop some of the speakers like Dr. Mary Rutwart, Walter Block and Roberto Salinas from making a special appearance via zoom.
To reflect the atmosphere of the event at least to a small extent, here is a brief description of what happened each day
During the first night, attendees enjoyed a meet and greet dinner thanks to the Friedrich Naumann Foundation which ended with a special showcase of local tango dancers. They had some insane skills and the performance left everyone speechless!
On Friday night, Tomasz Agencki premiered the World Series of Liberty International with 3 episodes that discussed the importance of freedom in today’s society. The merit of the videos was on a high level and went hand in hand with the quality of the footage, which was professionally recorded and edited.
We believe in taking care of future generations of leaders – that is why LIWC has always welcomed newcomers with enthusiasm. On this occasion, we created 3 spaces specially for our students scholars: Lunch with Locke and Lunch with Ayn Rand sponsored by The Objectivist Standard Institute with Jon Hersey as speaker. In addition to that, Dr. Kyle Varner conducted a workshop on how to live a libertarian life.
Medellín is known for its nightlife, and our attendees could discover it during Saturday night. VIP guests enjoyed a Colombian dinner at a popular restaurant in the city. In addition to the educational part of the event, we try to include as much networking and sightseeing as well.
The conference came to an end at the farewell dinner with an experience of the festival of flowers, a ride on a Chiva (Colombian party bus), folkloric dance and a percussion band called Papayera that brought everyone to the dance floor. No one was sitting still! The energy in the room was blasting the ceiling, and the fun and dancing were intertwined with the thrill of having experienced such wonderful days together.
We take back with us new acquaintances, inspirations, heads full of ideas and willingness to act towards liberty in our own countries, hometowns and communities. Thank you to all of those who contributed to the LIWC 2021 in Medellín and our wonderful attendees for making this an unforgettable and magical time for us all.
Andrea Castellano, Venezuela
From the moment I walked into our hotel and was able to establish contact with different nationalities, I knew I was in the right place, at the right time and with amazing people. So I made sure I had the best attitude, ready to enjoy the experience.
I loved each and every one of the sessions, in which I was able to learn new things and reaffirm some of the things I already knew. I was also able to take note of many recommendations made by the speakers in terms of books, documentaries and actions to follow.
I appreciate having the opportunity to talk about the situation in my country, Venezuela. To make us visible to people of different nationalities who may know little, much or nothing about us. Total thanks to Ken for giving us a voice, and to the entire LIWC team for making this possible.
I take with me a great contribution of ideas and knowledge that will help me grow as a person and further develop my knowledge so that I can replicate it to more people.
Wojciech Podbielski, Poland
Meeting champions of libertarian thought and leaders of the struggle for freedom and against authoritarianism from around the world was such an inspiring and encouraging experience!
Lectures and talks gave me a lot to think about. Facing theorists and practitioners of libertarianism allowed me to better understand both the theoretical basis and practical consequences of it’s philosophy, as well as to recognize effective ways to spread ideas of liberty and voluntary cooperation. The great part of the conference was meeting young people like me and sharing passion for freedom despite the different environments we are coming from.
I am still looking for my way to contribute to efforts of making the world freer, but with such a great experience I definitely know better what to do!