This past weekend was an exciting moment for the international student movement for liberty. European Students For Liberty ran Regional Conferences in Sweden and Italy, Students For Liberty ran Regional Conferences in Arizona and Pittsburgh, and SFL leaders ran presentations and workshops in Guatemala, Brazil, and Peru. Liberty knows no borders, and Students For Liberty is extremely proud to be empowering student leaders all across the globe.
The inaugural European Students For Liberty Regional Conference in Lithuania was a smashing success and that success continued in Sweden and Italy this weekend. The first Sweden Regional Conference was held in Stockholm and attracted over 75 students. The conference started with a presentation from Dr. James Lark III, one of SFL’s longest supporters and a well-known speaker in our Regional Conference circuit. Students also heard from local speakers like Nima Sanandaji of Sanandaji PR/AB. Happening at the same time was the first Italian Regional Conference, where Italian Students For Liberty took the ideas of liberty to Soviet Union Avenue at the University of Turin. Over 100 students came together for Italian books, Italian pizza, and Italian speakers including Michael Severance of the Acton Institute. The first ESFL Regional Conference season will wrap up with conferences in Serbia and Germany during November.
In the United States, Students For Liberty is in the thick of the fall Regional Conference season. After successful conferences in Michigan, Dallas, and Florida, SFL ran conferences in Pittsburgh and Arizona this weekend. Pittsburgh and Arizona were home to SFL Regional Conferences last year and saw exciting growth in attendees this year. Over 110 students came together at the University of Pittsburgh to hear from Dr. Antony Davies, part of the Institute Humane Studies speaker series, as well as Lawrence Reed, President of the Foundation for Economic Education. The conference at Arizona State University attracted over 130 students and featured keynote speakers Matt Welch, Editor-in-Chief of Reason Magazine, and Yaron Brook, President of the Ayn Rand Institute. Ten more Regional Conferences will be taking place all across the U.S. over the next few weeks. Register for a Regional Conference near you today!
SFL Executive Director Alexander McCobin spent the weekend at Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City. UFM was founded by Manual Ayau in 1971 at the encouragement of F.A. Hayek. The university seeks “to teach and disseminate the ethical, legal, and economic principles of free and responsible persons”. While visiting the university, Alexander ran a workshop on pro-liberty student organizing, gave guest lectures on the moral foundations of liberty, and met with university administrators, faculty members, and students interested in joining the fight for a free society. Alexander was extremely impressed with these students and their interest in building the student movement for liberty in Guatemala. Students For Liberty looks forward to further collaboration with these Guatemalan student activists.
Our new friends in Brazil, Estudantes Pela Liberdade, ran their first ever Regional Conference in the capital city of Brasilia. Over 70 students, many of whom were previously unaffiliated with EPL, were able to learn in their native Portuguese about the ideas of liberty and the importance of pro-liberty student organizations. EPL currently has over 15 active student groups in their network and their leaders are planning even more Regional Conferences for 2013.
Humberto Rotondo, a member of SFL’s new Charter Teams program, participated in the Universidad de la Libertad event hosted by Instituto Politico para la Libertad in Peru. The focus of the event was free market solutions to environmental issues. Humberto spoke of his work with SFL in his presentation and met impressive student leaders interested in working with SFL to further the cause of liberty in Peru.
Five years ago, the founders of Students For Liberty thought we could maybe run a one-time conference for 30 students. The past five years have brought amazing growth to the quantity and quality of student leaders and student groups dedicated to liberty. The international student movement for liberty continues to grow beyond our wildest expectations, but this is only the start of our international efforts. The enthusiasm with which student leaders all around the world are standing up for the cause of liberty, even in countries where it is difficult to do so, is truly inspiring. Students For Liberty will continue to empower the future leaders of a free society. We will not stop until we have a Free Academy and a Free Society.