Speakers & Workshops

Meet The Speakers

Only the best make it on stage

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
http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/.

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.

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

Leyla Hussein

Photo: Jason Ashwood

Leyla Hussein is a psychotherapist specialising in supporting survivors of sexual abuse. She is a leading award wining international campaigner against female genital mutilation (FGM) and her passion is to empower women and girls. Leyla founded The Dahlia Project, the UK’s first specialist therapeutic service for FGM survivors and co-founded anti-FGM charity Daughters of Eve. She created the ground-breaking Face of Defiance project which is a series of photographic portraits and interviews with FGM survivors. As a writer, Leyla has been published in national media and she regularly appears in both print and broadcast as an expert commentator. Leyla was named Cosmopolitan Campaigner of the Year 2010 and she was included in the BBC 100 Women List in 2013, Woman’s Hour Power List 2014 and Debretts 500 as one of the UK’s most influential people.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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