Speakers & Workshops

Meet The Speakers

Only the best make it on stage

Alexander McCobin

Alexander is CEO of Conscious Capitalism, Inc., a US-based organization dedicated to elevating humanity by improving the practice and perception of business. Alexander became CEO of Conscious Capitalism in July, 2017, after serving 15 months as co-CEO alongside Doug Rauch. Alexander joined Conscious Capitalism with experience in the nonprofit, for-profit, and academic fields.

Most recently before joining Conscious Capitalism, Alexander served as co-founder and president of Students For Liberty, a nonprofit organization that teaches the principles of a free society to young people and empowers them to make a difference in their communities; in Alexander’s last year as president, Students For Liberty was operating in over 100 countries, included nearly 2,000 student groups, organized 100 conferences for 20,000 participants, and trained over 1,500 volunteer leaders.

Alexander graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 with a BA in philosophy and economics and a MA in philosophy. He began a PhD program in philosophy at Georgetown University with the intention of becoming a professor, but ended with a Master’s degree when it became apparent that his principal interests lay outside the Ivory Tower. During undergraduate and graduate schools, Alexander simultaneously started and assisted in starting several other businesses in both the for profit and nonprofit realms ranging from introducing high school debate programs to underserved youth in Philadelphia to providing low-cost travel planning to businesses.

Deirdre McCloskey

Deirdre McCloskey from 2000 to 2015 taught economics, history, English, and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago, being a “distinguished” professor in economics and history.  She was educated at Harvard and taught for a dozen years in Economics and then also in History at the University of Chicago, tenured, and nineteen years at the University of Iowa.  She has held visiting positions in England, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, and Australia.  Author of seventeen books and editor of eight others, and over four hundred scholarly articles, she is well known internationally in economics, economic history, rhetorical theory, philosophy of science, gender studies, and various other fields.  She describes herself now as a "postmodern free-market quantitative Episcopalian feminist Aristotelian." Her latest books are Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World (the third of a trilogy, The Bourgeois Era; University of Chicago Press 2016); Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World (the second 2010); The Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives [with Stephen Ziliak; University of Michigan Press, 2008; bearing fruit in 2016 in a declared policy of the American Statistical Association against mechanical tests of “significance”], and The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Capitalism (the first 2006).  Before “The Bourgeois Era” trilogy her best-known books were The Rhetoric of Economics (University of Wisconsin Press 1st ed. 1985; 2nd ed. 1998) and Crossing: A Memoir (Chicago 1999), which was a New York Times Notable Book.

James Lark

James W. Lark, III is a professor in the Department of Systems and Information Engineering and the Applied Mathematics Program of the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia. He has also served as a professor in the Department of Statistics and in the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.

He has served as a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Public Choice at Va. Tech, the Dept. of Mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley, and the Dept. of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He was an Earhart Foundation Visiting Fellow at the Center for Research in Government Policy and Business at the Graduate School of Management at the University of Rochester.

He is the secretary of the Board of Directors of Liberty International. He served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Advocates for Self-Government from 2009 until 2016. He is a member of the Foundation for Economic Education Faculty Network. He is a recipient of the Foundation's 2017 Leonard E. Read Distinguished Alumni Award for Leadership. He is a member of the Board of Advisors for Students For Liberty and the Board of Advisors of the Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation (Fundacja Wolnosci I Przedsiebiorczosci) in Poland.

He currently serves as the Region 5 representative on the Libertarian National Committee (the Libertarian Party’s board of directors), and as a member of the LNC’s Executive Committee. He is the LNC’s representative to the International Alliance of Libertarian Parties. He served as chairman of the Libertarian Party during the 2000-2002 term, and as secretary pro tem during part of the 2012-2014 term. He previously served as an LNC member during the 1998-2000, 2004-2006, 2006-2008, 2008-2010, 2010-2012, 2012-2014, and 2014-2016 terms.

Dr. Lark is a member of the Libertarian Party's Hall of Liberty, the Party's highest honor. (Induction into the Hall honors lifetime or significant achievement that has made a lasting impact on the Libertarian Party and/or the libertarian movement.) He is also the recipient of the 2004 Samuel Adams Award (given for outstanding activism), the 2008 Thomas Jefferson Award (given for outstanding leadership, high character, and dedication to the principles and goals of the Party), and the 2012 Thomas Paine Award (given for outstanding communication). He is the only person to win each of these awards.

He currently serves as advisor to The Liberty Coalition and its constituent organizations at the University of Virginia. He also serves as national campus coordinator for the Libertarian Party, and advises college and high school libertarians.

Kate Andrews

Kate Andrews is News Editor at the Institute of Economic Affairs. She joined in February 2016 having previously worked as Head of Communications at the Adam Smith Institute, where she handled media and donor relations. As News Editor, Kate oversees the IEA’s digital platforms, creating and commissioning content for the website, social media, and ieaTV.

Kate regularly features across UK national media, including appearances on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV and BBC’s Question Time. She currently writes a fortnightly column for London's financial newspaper CityAM.

Yaron Brook

Yaron Brook is the host of the nationally syndicated Yaron Brook Show and renowned best-selling author. Brook’s Radical Capitalist series can be heard weekly on TheBlaze Radio and his Living Objectivism series can be heard on the Yaron Brook Show at BlogTalk Radio and YouTube.
Brook was the Executive Director of The Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) for 17 years (2000-2017). He remains Chairman of the Board of ARI and its primary spokesperson.

Brook, an internationally sought speaker, travels extensively promoting Ayn Rand and her philosophy-Objectivism, Capitalism, Political & Economic Freedom.

Brook also pens works that make one think. His most recent book, co-authored with Don Watkins is In Pursuit of Wealth: The Moral Case for Finance. The book makes the case that few industries are more vital to our prosperity–and more maligned–than the financial industry. It explains why finance has faced so much criticism, and why, despite the conventional image of financiers as “greedy” and reckless, finance is a moral industry.

Yaron & Don’s first book together was the 2012 national best-seller Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government, Brook and Watkins argue that the answer to our current economic woes lies not in “trickle-down government” but in Rand’s inspiring philosophy of capitalism and self-interest.

In 2016, Brook and Watkins released, Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality, a book that shows the real key to making America a freer, fairer, more prosperous nation is to protect and celebrate the pursuit of success―not pull down the high fliers in the name of equality. Brook is also contributing author to “Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea” as well as, “Winning the Unwinnable War: America’s Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism” and “Big Tent: The Story of the Conservative Revolution — As Told by the Thinkers and Doers Who Made It Happen.” He was a columnist at Forbes.com, and his articles have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Investor’s Business Daily and many other publications.


Tune in to the Yaron Brook Show on YouTube and Blogtalk Radio
Follow Yaron on Facebook and Twitter

Fred Roeder

Fred Roeder has been working in the field of grassroots activism for over eight years. He is a Health Economist from Germany and has worked in healthcare reform and market access in North America, Europe, and several former Soviet Republics. One of his passions is to analyze how disruptive industries and technologies allow consumers more choice at a lower cost.

Fred is very interested in consumer choice and regulatory trends in the following industries: FMCG, Sharing Economy, Airlines.

In 2014 he organized a protest in Berlin advocating for competition in the Taxi market.

Fred has traveled to 100 countries and is looking forward to visiting the other half of the world’s countries.

Among many op-eds and media appearances, he has been published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Die Welt, the BBC, SunTV, ABC Portland News, Montreal Gazette, Handelsblatt, Huffington Post Germany, CityAM. L’Agefi, and The Guardian.

Jamie Bartlett

Jamie Bartlett is a writer and, journalist, and the Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think tank Demos. He writes about technology, society, politics, research methods and internet culture. He is the author of the best selling book The Dark Net which was nominated for the Debut Political Book of the Year, the Transmission Prize and the Orwell Prize.

Lecture topic: The Dark Net

David Friedman

David Friedman is an academic economist with a doctorate in physics who has spent the
past twenty-two years teaching in a law school. His first book, The Machinery of
Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism, was published in 1973 and includes a
description of how a society with property rights and without government might function.
There as elsewhere, he offers a consequentialist defense of libertarianism.

His most recent non-fiction book, Future Imperfect: Technology and Freedom in an
Uncertain World, examines the implications of a variety of technological revolutions
that might happen over the next few decades. His current book project, not yet published,
is Legal Systems Very Different from Ours, covering systems from Periclean Athens
through modern Amish and Romany. He is also the author of two novels, one
commercially published and one self-published, and, with his wife, a self-published
medieval and renaissance cookbook and a larger self-published book related to their
hobby of historical recreation.

Much of his published work, including journal articles, essays, drafts of forthcoming
work and the full text of several books, can be read on his web page:
www.daviddfriedman.com. He comments on a wide range of issues on his blog, Ideas, at

Patrik Schumacher

Patrik Schumacher is principal of Zaha Hadid Architects and is leading the firm since Zaha Hadid’s passing in March 2016. He joined Zaha Hadid in 1988 and was seminal in developing Zaha Hadid Architects to become a 400 strong global architecture and design brand. Patrik Schumacher studied philosophy, mathematics and architecture in Bonn, Stuttgart and London.

He received his Diploma in architecture in 1990. He has been a partner since 2003 and a co-author on all projects. In 2010 Patrik Schumacher won the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Stirling Prize for excellence in architecture together with Zaha Hadid, for MAXXI, the National Italian Museum for Art and Architecture of the 21st century in Rome.

He is an academician of the Berlin Academy of Arts. In 1996 he founded the Design Research Laboratory at the Architectural Association in London where he continues to teach. In 1999 he completed his PHD at the Institute for Cultural Science, Klagenfurt University.

Patrik Schumacher is lecturing worldwide and recently held the John Portman Chair in Architecture at Harvard’s GSD. Over the last 20 years he has contributed over 100 articles to architectural journals and anthologies. In 2008 he coined the phrase Parametricism and has since published a series of manifestos promoting Parametricism as the new epochal style for the 21st century.

In 2010/2012 he published his two-volume theoretical opus magnum “The Autopoiesis of Architecture”. Patrik Schumacher is widely recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders within the fields of architecture, urbanism and design.

Marc Emery

Marc Emery is a Canadian cannabis rights activist, entrepreneur, and politician. Often described as 'the Prince of Pot', Emery has been one of the most notable advocates of international cannabis policy reform. As a political libertarian, Emery has also protested against Sunday shopping laws, obscenity laws, political endorsement of sporting events, Canadian censorship, and several taxes.

Emery has been jailed several times, and in 2009 was sentenced to a five-year sentence in a United States federal prison for selling mail-order cannabis seeds into the US. His story was featured in documentaries such as Super High Me and The Union: The Business Behind Getting High.

Brian O’Shea

Brian W. O’Shea is the CEO and Senior Investigator at Striker Pierce.  Brian’s specialties include M&A/Exit Strategies and Information Protection for Investment Clients located in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, and the Middle East.  Additionally, Brian assists companies in protecting their information, especially during deals, from competitive intelligence collection as well as information loss through nefarious means.  Part of this process is assisting companies in choosing the most secure data management systems for their enterprise or transaction and ensuring the proper management of data by all parties.

Brian has spent over 20 years in the field of investigations and intelligence working first in military intelligence for two Special Forces groups and then for two different government agencies.  Brian left government service to enter the world of boutique intelligence, focusing on corporate and executive clients, and finally founded Striker-Pierce.  Brian is featured in several publications on body language and human lie detection, has worked intelligence and investigations in over 27 different countries, and has solved over 500 domestic and international cases involving fraud, theft, corporate espionage, patent infringement.  Mr. O’Shea has also been a featured speaker at Reed Smith’s Cyber Security Roundtable, has been a guest speaker at several Canadian-based Corporate and Business Intelligence seminars, and has managed investigations and intelligence operations for several Fortune 500 companies and international financial firms.    Brian is a Certified Private Security Instructor in the Commonwealth of Virginia, has been certified in various disciplines by numerous law enforcement and intelligence organizations, and is a guest instructor for courses focused on social engineering, lie detection, and information elicitation.  Brian holds 3 undergraduate degrees and a Master’s of Criminology (Depth: White Collar Crime) from Boston University.

His specialties are corporate and defense investigations, executive due diligence, training.

Matt Kibbe

Matt Kibbe is President and Chief Community Organizer at Free the People, an educational organization turning the next generation on to the values of liberty. We reach the “liberty curious” through social media, video, and storytelling. Kibbe is also an Executive Producer at CRTV, where he produces “The Deadly Isms,” a documentary series about the dangers of all flavors of authoritarianism.

He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Austrian Economics Center in Vienna. In 2004 Kibbe founded FreedomWorks, where he served as President for 11 years. Steve Forbes said, “Kibbe has been to FreedomWorks what Steve Jobs was to Apple.”

Against his better judgment, Kibbe occasionally gets involved in politics, serving as Senior Advisor to a Rand Paul SuperPAC, and creating AlternativePAC to support liberty candidates. Back when Yoda was a teenager, Kibbe worked as Chief of Staff on Capitol Hill, as Budget Director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and at the Republican National Committee.

Dubbed “The Scribe” by the New York Daily News, Kibbe is most recently author of the #2 New York Times bestseller, Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto. In his spare time he appears on Old Media, including FOX News, MSNBC, CNN and HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Most of his best material is lifted from his three liberty-minded cats, Roark, Ragnar, and Rearden.

Terry Kibbe

Terry Kibbe is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Free the People, which uses pop-culture and video storytelling to turn on the “liberty curious.” She is also a Senior Advisor to AlternativePAC, a SuperPAC which supported Libertarian Gary Johnson for President. During the 2016 GOP primary, she was a fundraiser for a SuperPAC supporting Rand Paul for President.
Terry was also President of Curated Innovation, a medical research foundation delivering breakthrough products that save and improve lives. From 2009 to 2014, Terry served as Chairwoman of the Advisory Board of the Rising Tide Foundation in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and as an Advisor to the Global Philanthropic Trust in the Cayman Islands. She has been a fundraiser for more years than she cares to admit, having raised millions in operating capital for various nonprofit and political causes, including FreedomWorks, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Cato Institute.
In early 2007, Terry formed Dagny, LLC, offering strategic management services to philanthropic charities and non-profit organizations. She spent the first decade of her career as an engineer working on defense technology. Terry is a graduate of Grove City College, where she received her B.S. in Industrial Engineering. Terry is often embarrassed by her husband Matt’s facial hair, but is always proud of her Anarcho-CATipalists, Roark, Ragnar and Rearden.

Ricardo Avelar

-Journalist and political editor at one of the largest newspapers in El Salvador.
-Currently studying a masters in Latin American Politics at UCL in the UK.
-Anti corruption activist. Baseball enthusiast.
-Will quote The Office (US) constantly.

Sam Martin

Sam Martin is the Creative Director at Free the People. He is a videographer, video editor, actor, director, and filmmaker from the San Francisco Bay Area. Most recently, Sam produced video content for FreedomWorks, including educational videos, campaign ads, and documentary material on a variety of liberty-related issues. He also creates, produces, and stars in a web series called “Liberty Beats,“ spoken word poetry on various liberty-related issues affecting the Millennial Generation.

Sam is the co-founder and Creative Director of Principled Productions and has produced everything from campaign ads for presidential candidate Rand Paul to documentaries, music videos, short films, and congressional interviews. He received his B.A. in Theatre Arts from Westmont College, trained at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center, and earned his two-year conservatory degree from Stella Adler Art of Acting Studio in Los Angeles, California.

Sam is passionate about using the artistic mediums of film and entertainment to spread the ideas of liberty in fresh and innovative ways. He is an enthusiastic advocate for the Millennial generation and has spoken on panels for FreedomWorks and Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). Sam is one of “The FEE 100“’s distinguished alumni.

Aleksandar Kokotović

Aleksandar is the Programs Director of European Students For Liberty. He has spent the last five years promoting the ideas of free market and individual liberty around the world, speaking on various topics related to pro-liberty activism and individual freedom in dozens of countries, on four continents. He is actively cooperating with the biggest Serbian pro-liberty think-tank Libek and is the founder of Legalizuj which is a cannabis legalisation initiative in Serbia. Aleksandar's areas of interest are wide and among them are pro-liberty activism, relations between technology and liberty, drug reform, business and the connection between popular culture and individual freedom.

Logan Albright

Logan Albright is the Director of Research at Free the People. Before Free the People, Logan was the Senior Research Analyst at FreedomWorks, and was responsible for producing a wide variety of written content, research for staff media appearances, and scripts for video production. Logan also managed the research and interviews with congressional candidates used for endorsements by FreedomWorks PAC.
He received his Master’s degree in economics from Georgia State University in 2011, before promptly setting out for DC to fight for liberty. He first discovered the ideas of liberty during his time at Oberlin College, where his contrarian nature drove him into countless hours of heated debate at this bastion of progressive thought. Logan occasionally takes time out from his busy schedule of railing against the evils of government to play the part of musician, amateur novelist, and moustache enthusiast.

Matt Battaglia

Matt Battaglia is the Art Director at Free the People. He is a designer, editor, and illustrator. His graphic novel, Indoctrination, was published by Z2 Comics in 2016, and he’s been working in the liberty space since 2012.  An avid and devoted Springsteen and Southside Johnny fan, he refuses to leave his home Garden State in spite of ridiculous taxes. His dog Misty ensures that he actually goes outside at least three times a day.

Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz comments on EU politics/policy in major news outlets. He works as a correspondant on EU affairs for RTL Radio Luxembourg, and analysis EU legislation for the Consumer Choice Center. On Twitter: @wirtzbill

Mathilde Berger-Perrin

After a bachelor in literature & political sciences, Mathilde came to Paris to study cognitive sciences. There she has been a local coordinator for Students for Liberty and created « Les Affranchies » (Women for Liberty, France) in 2017. Convinced that feminism is a highway to socialism (at least in France), she wants to convey women to liberal ideas. She wrote several tribunes in renowned French newspapers such as L’Express and Contrepoints. Ending the gender war, inspiring people to become free responsible individuals are the heart of her commitment."

Tim Andrews

Tim Andrews is the Foudner and Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers' Alliance and the Senior International Fellow at the Washington DC based Taxpayers' Protection Alliance. He holds a Bachlor of Economics, a Bachelor of Laws, and a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Sydney during which time he also served two terms as the Federal President of the Australian Liberal Students' Federation. Prior to starting the ATA Tim Andrews had been employed by the Cato Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, and as a Koch Associate.  He is a Director of the Australian Libertarian Society and Co-Convenor of the Friedman Conference, the largest libertarian conference in the Asia-Pacific Region, a member of the UK Taxpayers Alliance Advisory Council, and a member of the The Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organisation Advisor Board.

Daniil Gorbatenko

Daniil Gorbatenko is a fifth-year PhD student in economics at Aix-Marseille University in Aix-en-Provence, France. He is a member of the Alumni for Liberty. Although he would not like to idealize the EU, he considers it to be an important framework for limiting the worst excesses of the member states. He blogs at https://medium.com/@daniilgor

Tanja Porčnik

Tanja Porčnik is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. Porčnik is president and co-founder of the Visio Institute, a think tank in Slovenia, and co-author of The Human Freedom Index.

She was formerly a senior fellow of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, a Government Teaching Fellow of the American Institute on Political and Economic Systems in Prague, Czech Republic (a joint program of the Georgetown University and The Fund for American Studies), and a Research Associate & Manager of External Relations of the Cato Institute.

Her articles on human rights, law, international relations, and economic policy appear regularly in printed media, and she is a frequent commentator on television and radio.

Porčnik is currently working on her Ph.D. dissertation in American Studies. She obtaining her master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Ljubljana and her bachelor’s degree in Applied Economics from the University of Maribor.

Frédéric Jollien

Frédéric Jollien is a libertarian Swiss activist. He has been president of Swiss Students for Liberty since 2014, member of the Young Radical-Liberals and primary teacher. He’s now absolving his master degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economy at the CEVRO institut in Prague. He was also one of the initiator of the swiss referendum « No Billag » that occurred in march 2018 that had the purpose to abolish national media fees.

Jernej Kosec

Jernej Kosec is a Slovenian living and working in Northern Norway. A law-school graduate and former journalist, now a full-time Viking who thinks spontaneous orders can arise on the international level, too. Hasn't eaten seal meat yet.

Hebing Wang

Hebing Wang is a postgraduate student at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London studying Politics of China.

Edouard Hesse

Edouard is a passionate liberal who has been involved with SFL during 2 years. He is now working in a startup, and he is a regular writer for the French liberal website Contrepoints as well as the French version of Slate. He has written his Master's thesis about surrogacy, and he is most interested by bioethics, about which he has written considerably. He has also given many speeches around Europe about the ethics of reproductive technologies.

Lecture topic: "From human cloning to genetic engineering: Is there anything to fear about the reproductive technologies of tomorrow?"

Admir Isanovic

Law student coming from Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was involved with ESFL since 2015. He likes to discuss about everything and introduce people to the ideas of liberty

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