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LibertyCon International 2024 Announces Rod Richardson, Topher Field, and Jessica Melugin to Speaker Lineup

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Students For Liberty is announcing three new speakers for LibertyCon International 2024: Rod Richardson, Topher Field, and Jessica Melugin

Washington, D.C., January 4, 2023 Students For Liberty, the largest global pro-liberty student organization, is announcing three new speakers for their flagship event, LibertyCon International, which  will take place at the prestigious Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C., on February 2-4, 2024.

Fresh from last year’s LibertyCon Europe comes Rod Richardson, President of the Grace Richardson Fund, a private foundation pioneering free-market climate policy, and also a sponsor of LibertyCon International 2024. 

“I’m excited that LibertyCon is doubling down on highlighting the evolving ideas around free-market climate policy,” Said Richardson when discussing his plans for a three-hour International Think Tank Collaboration on Climate & Freedom workshop he will be holding during the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 2, immediately before LibertyCon kicks off. 

Regarding the workshop, which will gather several dozen students from almost thirty countries attending LibertyCon, Richardson said that the students “will explore national and international free market climate policy frameworks, as alternatives to the IRA, EU Green Deal, CBAM and the rest of the climate policy mess.” Richardson and a select group of policy makers and scholars will “lead an international audience of students, activists and concerned citizens in a deep dive on decarbonization and conservation through free trade, competition, tax relief, economic rights, and private conservation of nature and natural resources.”

“I can’t wait to see what emerges” says Richardson, noting how a similar workshop at LibertyCon Europe inspired nine European think tanks to collaborate on studies pioneering cross-border free market climate solutions, as well as a proposed amendment to the Paris Accord to recognize such free-market climate strategies.

Speaking earlier this month at COP28, the United Nations’ most recent climate summit, Richardson took aim at their top-down policies by stating, “There is no greater admission of policy failure” than Europe’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM),  They are saying “Our carbon pricing is failing, so our solution to shooting ourselves in our own foot is to shoot everyone else in theirs.”

Richardson is also co-founder/co-chair of the Climate & Freedom International Coalition Meeting, facilitated in collaboration with The Tholos Foundation

Arriving all the way from Australia to make his U.S. debut at LibertyCon is Topher Field, host of The Aussie Wire and author of Good People Break Bad Laws. One of Australia’s leading and most recognized libertarian political commentators and human rights activists, Field is best known for his work on the front lines of the protests and pushback against draconian Covid lockdowns in Melbourne. He has been awarded three times by the Australian Libertarian Society and has earned 14 awards for his documentary, Battleground Melbourne.

When asked about what the rest of the world could learn from the Australian lockdowns, Field did not mince his words. “The first take-away is that it can happen anywhere. Don’t tell yourself that it’s just a Canada problem, or just an Australia problem, or just a California problem — there are people actively working to make these problems come home to you wherever you live and if you don’t stop them, they’ll succeed.” The theme from his recent book, Good People Break Bad Laws, is prevalent in Field’s answer that “civil disobedience is a legitimate and necessary tool, and if you believe in ‘limited government’ then you must believe there’s a point where the people limit their obedience to a government that has exceeded its limits, and that’s what civil disobedience is all about.”

With probably the longest trip to the conference of any speaker this year, Field is excited to be taking part in LibertyCon and to be part of  “the community, the networking, and being inspired by others who are fighting in their own way in their own place, just as I’m fighting in my way in my place. I want to inspire others who are there, and to bring their stories from around the world back to my home to inspire Australians to keep standing up, to keep working together, to keep defending freedom and claiming back our rights.”

Finally, making her debut at LibertyCon is Washington, D.C. local Jessica Melugin, director of the Center for Technology & Innovation at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Melugin’s research focuses on tech issues including antitrust, online privacy, artificial intelligence, telecommunications, social media content and net neutrality regulation. 

“Our Republic, with its protections of free speech, is such an anomaly historically and such a gift,” said Melugin when asked about her participation at LibertyCon. “All the benefits that flow from limited government, free enterprise and personal liberty can’t be maintained without the core principle of free speech. This year’s LibertyCon attendees will be the generation faced with protecting that right during a time of great technological progress; alongside property rights, nothing could be more important or instructive in getting that right than the free flow of ideas. It’s the FIRST of the Amendments to the Constitution for a reason.”

Melugin will be bringing her expertise to lead two discussions; one on the threat against free speech online, and the other on the potential regulation of AI technology, which will focus on the fears and misconceptions many people have about the looming AI tech boom that is already happening. “The fears range from the practical, like job insecurity, to the existential, like AI destroying mankind.” Melugin continued, “fair enough, but the biggest mistake would be to underestimate the potential of the human mind to manage AI. We don’t know yet all the good people will do with AI, but I remain confident that people will also be able to handle the challenges it brings.”

The LibertyCon 2024 lineup also includes these previously announced presenters:

  • Whole Foods co-founder and former CEO John Mackey
  • Professor at University of Illinois in Chicago and author Deirdre McCloskey
  • Former US Congressman Justin Amash
  • Former US Congressman and radio host Joe Walsh
  • 2020 Libertarian candidate for Vice President and Founder of You Are The Power Spike Cohen
  • Political commentator and author Stephen Kent
  • CEO of Dirty Boots Capital Tony Lopes
  • Tuttle Twins author and President of Libertas Institute Connor Boyack
  • Bitcoin enthusiast and podcaster Stephan Livera
  • Host of the “What is Money?” show Robert Breedlove
  • Editor In Chief of News2Share Ford Fischer
  • Economics Professor Antony Davies
  • Executive Director of Students For Sensible Drug Policy Kat Murti
  • Grassroots pro-housing advocate Luca Gattoni-Celli
  • Political commentator and author David Boaz
  • Journalist and entrepreneur David Preston
  • Research fellow at the Heritage Foundation and Mises Institute Peter St. Onge
  • Founder of Libertarianism.org and author Aaron Ross Powell
  • Sports broadcaster and activist Emily Austin
  • Streamer and podcast host Dylan Burns
  • Businessman and investor Rick Rule
  • Professor of economics at George Mason University Bryan Caplan 
  • Founding Director of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee James Lark III
  • Student and free speech advocate Jaiden Rodriguez

LibertyCon International will take place at the prestigious Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C., from February 2-4, 2024. Registration is open now at LibertyCon.com.

To schedule an interview with Students For Liberty CEO Dr. Wolf von Laer about the conference and presentations at LibertyCon, please contact Brian Lambrecht directly at [email protected]

Media passes are available to any journalists and media outlets upon request.

Brian S. Lambrecht
Students For Liberty
[email protected]


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