Liberty International hosted its 37th edition of the annual Liberty International World Conference in Madrid, Spain, from August 16–19, 2023. This year’s main theme was “Prosperity and Longevity Through Liberty” and encompassed discussions on the past, present, and future challenges faced by the freedom movement and its evolution over time.
This year’s conference reunited 150+ attendees and 10+ pro-liberty organizations from all around the world in the heart of Madrid at the Ateneo de Madrid. The conference´s agenda included keynote sessions, panel discussions, debates, film screenings, and other entertaining activities. In addition, we had two days of cultural tours around Madrid.
The conference started with host José Luis Cordeiro and Ken Schoolland, VP of international relations, opening the conference with welcome remarks. The conference began with Joy Kim sharing her story from North Korea to Liberty, which touched many hearts. Following the talk, the Liberty Award ceremony was organised in order to honour the catalysts in the liberty movement. Syed Kamall, a free-market politician and academic, and the Foundation for the Advancement of Liberty (Fundalib), a libertarian think tank in Spain, were bestowed with the awards, respectively. Following the award ceremony, Dan Mitchell and Syed Kamall delivered their talks on Lessons from the Reagan Years and the Challenges of Being a Classical Liberal Politician, respectively, to close the day.
On Day 2, which had the theme of learning from our past, Angelica Walker-Werth of The Objective Standard Institute spoke on Rights: From Cicero to Rand. It was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Communism to Capitalism, which had speakers Nodar Chinchaladze, Kamil Cebulski, and Simon Sarevski. The next in line were the sessions by John Dana Chisholm on the Impact on Human Longevity of AI and US-China Relations and Building Free Cities by Jan Bertram of the Free Cities Foundation. The audience relished the talk by Jan Kuban on ‘ Reflections from 25 Years of Teaching Freedom and Fighting for Liberty. Next in line was the panel on spreading freedom through entrepreneurship with Shinichi Baba and Glenn Cripe, hosted by Roxana Nicula, followed by a talk on the libertarian roots and consequences of cryptocurrency by Ben Best.
Day 3, which revolved around the present, began with the Torch of Liberty Award being presented to Isabel Diaz Ayuso, President of the Community of Madrid, which was received by Counselor Miguel Angel Garcia Martin. Spanish media outlets across the nation provided extensive coverage of this event.
It was followed by a session with Thomas Walker-Werth of The Objective Standard Institute speaking on “How Star Trek’s Optimism Has Changed the World”. Next in line was the panel discussion on the opportunities of today. We also showcased Episode 1 of the Jonathan Gullible Cartoon Series. It was followed by a talk on Migration Controls: That Peculiar Institution by Ken Schoolland. An Objectivist Luncheon on Epistemology: Who Needs It? by Angelica Walker-Werth was organized for the scholars.
Hiroshi Yoshida and Antonio V. Saravia delivered their talks on how to shrink government and intolerance on college campuses, respectively. It was followed by a panel of defectors, refugees, exiles, and emigrants from the worst totalitarian regimes: North Korea and Venezuela, which had Miguel Henrique Otero, Henry Song, and Jung Oh Park in person, and Leopoldo Lopez Mendoza in video
Day 4, which revolved around the theme of the future, had Robbie Miles speak on Live and Let Live: The Global Peace Movement. It was followed by a panel on futurescapes in healthcare information and nutrition against disease, which had Ken Schoolland, Gregory Rehmke, and Edward Cole Miller. Andrew Cowin discussed how illegal immigrants from Latin America can save it. Scholars had an exclusive Objectivist Luncheon on Reason for Living: How Rational Philosophy Can Help You Live Fully by Thomas Walker-Werth.
The talks by Per Bylund and Walter Smith on sound libertarianism and lifestyle choices for a better life span and health span, respectively, intrigued the audience. The next panel was on Bitcoins, Cryptocurrencies, and the Future of Money, with José Luis Cordeiro, Jorge Jraissati, and Giovanny Montealegre from Bit2Me, one of the local sponsors.
The cultural highlight of the day was an opera performance by Daniela Tabernig, who had Glenn Cripe perform on the piano to complement the performance. José Luis Cordeiro concluded the conference with The Future of the Future: Prosperity and Longevity through Liberty.
The conference was a huge success. Blazej Szkudlarek, a scholarship holder from Poland remarked:
“The Liberty International World Conference, organized by Liberty International, was an enlightening and transformative experience that left an indelible mark on my perspective. Over the course of this inspiring event, I had the privilege of connecting with passionate individuals from around the world who are dedicated to the cause of freedom.”
The 38th Liberty International World Conference will be held in Texas, US from November 14 to 17, 2024. We hope to see you there!