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What most excites you about your new job role?

I get to be a part of an organization that has a huge positive impact on the political views of my generation! Arriving from the UK, I also think that learning more about liberty in a North American context is a really interesting prospect. In terms of specific roles and responsibilities, I’m looking forward to keeping SFL’s website active and DanielPryorengaging, as well as updating our network on all the exciting work going on at SFL via email and social media.

How did you first get interested in the liberty?

I went to a Sixth Form conference at the Adam Smith Institute, then asked my history teacher (an anarcho-capitalist) to direct me towards further reading on liberty. Beforehand, I’d never been interested in politics, philosophy or economics. Rothbard led to David Friedman, Friedman led to Hayek, and I’ve been immersing myself in libertarian literature ever since. The more I read, the more convinced I became that market anarchism and a more general commitment to liberty were the best approaches to questions of government and society.

Who do you think is the most underrated libertarian thinker? 

Though it might be a stretch to call him a bona fide “libertarian thinker,” I’d say Michel Foucault. His emphasis on dissolving harmful power relations is something that has huge relevance to a universal commitment to liberty, and was something I enjoyed exploring during my undergraduate dissertation.

On a non-liberty note, what do you like to do in your free time?

Hiking, soccer, gaming, playing guitar, singing and socializing.

The following post is from our friends at The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Join the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and attend the DC premiere of Havana Motor Club! This film is character driven and personal–it explores the tale of Cuba’s community of underground drag racers as they attempt to hold Cuba’s first official car race since the 1959 Revolution. havana film club

The DC Premiere of the award-winning documentary Havana Motor Club spotlights the culture and passion of the Cuban people while demonstrating the limited freedoms they experience every day. After the premiere, the third addition to the Witness Project series will be premiering. This 5 minute short will feature Sirley Ávila León, a courageous champion of human rights that was brutally attacked in her native Cuba and lived to not only tell her story but continue her fight for freedom on behalf of the Cuban people.

We hope you will be able to attend the premiere and support this important opportunity to share these stories of hope amid the darkness of Communism.

The premiere will take place on July 19th, 2016 at 6:30 pm. The premiere will be held at the Landmark Theatres E Street Cinema at 555 11th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Tickets are $10 – $12. Space is limited, so click here to reserve your tickets early!

 

Leo Plumer is a former Senior Campus Coordinator and Regional Conference Director for Students For Liberty. He studied economics and political science at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. He is now a Founding Director at the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Economic Freedom, based out of St. John’s, Canada.

What is the purpose of your new think tank?NLCEF

Our fundamental raison d’être is to promote market driven solutions to public policy challenges facing Newfoundland and Labrador. For now, we’re really acting as a non-profit advocacy and educational group, focusing on public outreach, commentary and education. In the medium to long term, we hope to grow into a bona fide think-tank, where we’ll be able to produce in-depth analyses/research and directly influence provincial policy. In order for that to happen, though, we need to make sure our market-liberal point of view is heard and spread among the public.

What problems are you addressing?

Like the rest of Atlantic Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador have had a long history of social, political, and economic underdevelopment. We traditionally had a rural fishing economy, with isolated villages dotting the coastline. St. John’s was (and still is) the prime city, and a rural-urban divide emerged, creating problems still present today. In the ’90s, the cod stocks ran out and the fishery collapsed, plunging a poor province even deeper into poverty. Our population began dwindling, with the median age increasing as younger people moved away. Federal transfer payments really kept us afloat for that decade.

Leo Plumer, a former SFL leader and Founding Director at the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Economic Freedom.

Leo Plumer, a former SFL leader and Founding Director at the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Economic Freedom.

In the 2000s, we struck oil and by 2008 the money came flowing in, reducing fiscal burdens and bringing new prosperity. In this, we just went from dependence on one volatile natural resource to another. By the mid-2010s, we had a class of nouveaux-riches and oil royalties took up a massive chunk of our budget. The government somehow kept posting deficits even in these boom years, with the public sector exploding in size. Unsurprisingly, oil prices dipped pretty dramatically, and we were sent spiralling into deficit in 2015-2016. I’m talking about going from the fastest-growing to the most indebted place in the country, all in the span of a couple years. The recently elected government has implemented something of an austerity budget: poorly designed and tax-heavy. People are livid, and the future looks bleak: an aging and poorly educated population, no high-growth industries, a fiscal black hole, etc.

The cause of all of this misery throughout our history has been a dysfunctional political culture, poor institutions and abysmal public policy, especially on the economic front. We believe that, although no panacea, an injection of enlightened classical liberal ideas can really make a difference.

What do you hope to be your impact in the first year? (more…)

In my five years as a student and Students For Liberty leader, I co-founded European Students For Liberty, started the Local Coordinator Program, served as ESFL chairman, and have worked since April as SFL’s Director of Professional Development. I am deeply grateful to SFL since it has shaped me to become who I am. I grew up within the organization and became a better advocate, thinker, and young professional due to SFL. Therefore, I am excited and humbled to become Students For Liberty’s next Chief Executive Officer!Wolf von Laer

Alexander, Sloane, the Board of Directors, our staff, and volunteers have worked tirelessly in the last decade to foster a network of pro-liberty activists on every inhabited continent. Just last year, we trained over 1,500 students and organized close to 100 conferences around the world. A couple of years ago, nobody expected this growth when they saw just a handful of students that were passionate about liberty. Under the leadership of Alexander and the hard work of our staff and volunteers, SFL has flourished. I am very pleased that Alexander will continue to serve the organization as a board member and donor.

Classical liberalism is a set of ideas that is optimistic about people’s abilities to improve their own and other people’s lives through collaboration and exchange. Students For Liberty has proven this to be true by showing that young, dedicated, and passionate people are changing today’s world for the better. Our students prevented a Marxist shutdown of universities, helped earthquake victims in need, stood up against the Nanny state, and continue to defend free speech at universities in the US and around the world.

389149_10150416798937372_681222371_8598093_1178669231_nSFL is here to change the world to make it a freer place. Our theory of social change works, and our alumni carry on the ideas of liberty in their own life to their colleagues, companies, students, and audiences around the world. We have alumni that are parliamentarians, journalists, academics, policy activists, nonprofit leaders, and business people. After a mere nine years of existence, SFL’s vision already bears fruit as seen by countless inspiring stories from around the world. I fully realized the importance of SFL and its impact on my life and people around the globe, when working on my PhD at one of Europe’s top universities, King’s College London. I reevaluated my choice to become a professor and chose to go back to SFL due to the importance of our mission, vision, and how much SFL means to me. My passion for SFL has never been stronger!

SFL’s crucial impact on my life and on the world propels me to contribute my time and energy to grow SFL further. With your help, I am confident that SFL will become one of the predominant classical-liberal forces recognized around the world! I invite you to support us as a student leader, donor, educator, mentor, and fellow traveler on the road towards the freedom the world needs and deserves!

It is my pleasure to introduce the next CEO of Students For Liberty: (soon to be Dr.) Wolf von Laer.

IMG_0104_cropped.jpgWolf joined Students For Liberty in 2011 as a member of the founding European Students For Liberty Executive Board. The following year, he became chairman of that Executive Board and launched several important projects that continue today including the European Students For Liberty Local Coordinator Program. After passing the baton off to the next chairperson, Wolf began his D. Phil. at King’s College London in political economy. For the past three years, while Wolf has concentrated on his studies and received notable recognition in his field, he has remained an active volunteer and advocate for SFL. Most recently, he joined SFL’s staff as Professional Development Director.

Wolf brings together all of the qualities we were looking for in the next CEO. Wolf’s extensive history with SFL coupled with his experience outside of the organization will provide him with a unique perspective for growing the organization. He balances one foot in the world of academia and one in the world of action. He has a global background, having lived in the US, Turkey, Spain, Argentina, Sweden, UK, and Germany, but also possesses the appreciation for and understanding of US issues critical to work in a US-based organization. Most importantly, Wolf is one of the most capable and competent individuals out there, able to both set ambitious goals and deliver upon them.

As detailed in our 2015-2016 Annual Report, SFL just experienced our most successful year to date growing to 1,916 student groups, training 1,574 leaders, running 98 conferences for 19,834 attendees, and garnering 1,077 media hits. This position is not an honorific. It imposes a heavy burden upon Wolf to support the further growth of the student movement for liberty. Under Wolf’s leadership, though, I have great confidence that SFL will continue to grow and will have an even bigger impact in the future.

Wolf will assume the position of CEO in the coming months as we complete the transfer of my responsibilities to him and he moves to the United States. In the meantime though, please join me in welcoming Wolf to his new role and thank him for taking on this responsibility.