MCLEAN, VA., January 26, 2023 – In the past 12 months, Students For Liberty has increased their worldwide footprint, gained a talented and experienced new member on the Board of Directors, and received its two largest gifts ever:
- $2.3 million to establish the Prometheus Fellowship program to provide the highest level of education, training, and mentorship to its most promising students across the international landscape
- $1.5 million to establish Green Liberty, a global program promoting free market environmentalism and exploring ideas that are likely to foster greater and more rapid improvements in the environment than top-down mandates.
As a result, the organization is now in the process of hiring for important new roles and expanding its outreach efforts in the 101 countries where it currently operates. This sets the organization up for a busy and promising 2023.
Board of Directors Gains a Valuable New Member
The Students For Liberty Board of Directors is proud to announce their newest member, chairman of the Foundation for Economic Education, Wayne Olson. Retired from a 26-year career in investment banking, Olson holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Harvard, an M.B.A. in finance from UCLA, and a C.Phil. (“all-but-dissertation”) in economics from UCLA. While attending graduate school, he started reading the magazine The Freeman, which Olson says was his introduction to the liberty movement.
“I always admired Wayne and what he accomplished at FEE as the Chairman as well as during his tenure as its Executive Director,” said Students For Liberty CEO Dr. Wolf von Laer about Olson joining the board, describing him as “a man of great wisdom and action.”
Tackling A New Project in 2023
The largest initiative launching in 2023 is Green Liberty – a global educational and incubator program focused on explaining how free markets and voluntary exchange can be more effective than government mandates in fighting climate change and creating a cleaner, more sustainable world. The project is an opportunity for young people across the globe to get involved in exploring, developing, and promoting free-market solutions to global environmental challenges.
Leading the charge on this new endeavor is Students For Liberty’s CEO, Dr. Wolf von Laer, who is enthusiastic about “leveraging the entire machinery of Students For Liberty” on promoting free-market solutions to environmental challenges over the coming years.
“We will activate our thousands of entrepreneurial student volunteers and harness their creativity to devise new ways to tackle these challenges without central planning and government bureaucracy.” Dr. von Laer continued, describing how the largest pro-liberty student organization in the world will “mobilize their national network” and focus on demonstrating the power of free market solutions to millions with social media, videos, in-person events, and more all through to 2025.
The person who will be responsible for this initiative is the newly hired Program Manager Marcin Branowski, a Students For Liberty alumnus and volunteer over the past four years who will be earning his Masters Degree in Public Administration from New York University this year.
“I am very excited to play a part in SFL, joining others in transforming the liberty movement to embrace environmentalism as its core component,” said Branowski when asked about his new role for the new project. “SFL’s greatest asset is our global network of student leaders. Through the Green Liberty program, I want to support them in making their communities and countries more environmentally sustainable.”
The Numbers Speak For Themselves
Last month, Students For Liberty unveiled their Annual Report entitled This Is the Moment SFL Was Created For. Despite the added challenges of being in a recession, the report showed how their “worldwide network of pro-liberty advocates invested over 523,039 volunteer hours” into activism projects in the last school year alone, “with each volunteer having put in at least 5 hours every week,” emphasizing how “a volunteer hour in 2021 is valued at $29.95” meaning “that just in terms of direct economic value SFL had an impact of $15,665,018.”
Media views are also on the rise, with a total reach of unique viewers exposed to SFL content reaching 1.3 billion.
Learn Liberty, the platform SFL created aimed at showcasing free-market video content to the 18 – 24 year old demographic, increased its viewership by 19 percent. The Learn Liberty YouTube currently stands at 280k subscribers with over 637k hours of content holding steady at over 5 million views.
Fighting for Liberty On An International Scale
Many breakthrough events have taken place within the last few years, and the energy and impact is only growing. An unprecedented event on women’s empowerment in the Middle East region took place when SFL Morocco hosted a women’s talk to open a discussion around individual rights and liberty.
The Asia-Pacific region held a record 36 events, collected a record 1,955 contacts, hosted 14 trainings, and garnered the most participation in its history as an SFL region. Last year, SFL Africa coordinated their first region-wide protest to end the police brutality embodied in SARS in Nigeria. SFL students and activists hit the streets with posters and Peace, Love, Liberty signs, garnering media attention from outlets such as the BBC and CNN.
Students For Liberty coordinators and staff joined protests in Nigeria and mobilized thousands of young people across the country to demand an end to a recent new wave of police brutality that was occurring. One of many Nigerians who has constantly suffered from political repressions is the SFL Director of Programs, Olumayowa Okediran, who was accosted by a Nigerian police unit in the Ajah neighborhood of Lekki for the seventh time within the past few years.
The stories continue with tales of SFL coordinators helping Ukrainian refugees, protesting against the military-run government of Myanmar, and hosting an event to promote peace in Kabul amid the Taliban-led Afghan government. All of these are covered in detail throughout the 2022 Annual Report.
SFL’s Vision Going Forward
Students For Liberty CEO Dr. Wolf von Laer expressed his excitement over the many ways that SFL presents “a true alternative to the often collectivist and freedom-disparaging teachings of most universities.” He continued praising the SFL staff, students, and activists for their efforts, explaining how their effort “is highly valuable and demands our applause for these brave souls who often do this work under huge pressure from their peers, professors, and university administrations.”
Turning his attention to the supporters, activists, and stakeholders, Dr. Wolf von Laer continued; “Our students, as well as our organization, grow significantly thanks to you. We appreciate our supporters, partners, speakers, and staff deeply. Without you, we would not be able to present a humane, up-lifting, and just alternative to the predominantly statist education that students receive. Young people can change the world and Students For Liberty is the organization that produces these leaders of tomorrow.”
To schedule an interview with Dr. Wolf von Laer to discuss Students For Liberty and the new Green Liberty project, please contact Brian Lambrecht directly at 708-420-8324 or [email protected]
About Students For Liberty
SFL is the largest pro-liberty student organization in the world with students active in 101 countries on every inhabited continent. With a multi-million dollar budget and over 86 full-time staff members, they serve pro-liberty students in their pursuit to become leaders of liberty. They accomplish this through a strategy of identifying the top students and then empowering them to be agents of change in their communities. Last school year, their students organized over 1,922 events with 215,451 people in attendance. They are a fully virtual, vibrant, and entrepreneurial organization working with a diverse team in the U.S. and around the world.
Brian S. Lambrecht
Students For Liberty