Economic Progress

“Freedom Rising” as CKI Goes to FreedomFest

June 29, 2016

FreedomFest—the annual gathering of free minds—will take place July 13-16 in Las Vegas. This year’s slate of activities provides ample opportunities to champion the ideas of liberty. We highly recommend that you take advantage of the resources available at this year’s “Freedom Rising” festival, from panels and debates to the Anthem Film Festival. Whether you’re interested in foreign policy, free expression, criminal justice, activism, or all of the above—this year’s FreedomFest has something for you!

The Charles Koch Institute will be at booth #230. Here are some of the attractions we’re most excited to see.

Thursday, July 14

8:45 – 9:05 a.m. Political Strategy: Applying Hayek’s Four Steps to Social Transformation
Start the day with Richard Fink, executive vice president of Koch Industries Inc., who will lead a discussion about how we can effect greater freedom in society. He’ll draw on the work of Friedrich Hayek in setting out how ideas and policies can be produced.

10:00 a.m. Can We Take A Joke?
Catch the acclaimed documentary Can We Take a Joke?, featuring comedians like Penn Jillette, Lisa Lampanelli, and Adam Carolla discussing how threats to free speech affect the arts. The screening will be hosted by director Ted Balaker.

3:20 – 4:10 p.m. Privacy, Patrols, and Protection: Inside Policing in America
The Charles Koch Institute has brought together a panel of experts, including Jim Bueermann, Russell Coleman, Neill Franklin, and Kevin Williamson, to discuss how policing relates to your rights and security, drawing on their experiences in policing, journalism, and the law. What reforms might be made to improve service and accountability?

6:45 – 6:55 p.m. Can We Keep America Safe and Free? Toward a Better U.S. Foreign Policy
Will Ruger, vice president for research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute, explores how a more responsible foreign policy will not only make the world safer, but will increase freedom at home as well.


Friday, July 15

1:30 – 2:20 p.m. Why Uber Turns Millennials Into Libertarians
What does the sharing economy mean for political preferences? Kevin Glass, director of outreach and policy at the Franklin Center, and Jared Meyer, fellow at the Manhattan Institute, will discuss how the unprecedented choices we have in our private lives is leading many to value freedom more generally.

 1:30 p.m. License to Steal: Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws
This panel centers on Seized, an entry in this year’s Anthem Film Festival directed by Matthew and Thomas Locastro. Seized is a look at civil asset forfeiture, a practice that essentially gives police departments and private partners the ability to take property without due process. Learn how these property crimes have affected people throughout the country and about the reforms that are being made to fix the system.


Saturday, July 16

11:00 – 11:50 a.m. Vilifying Speech: More Hate, Less Freedom in the Media?
The idea of free speech seems to have become unpopular today, with attacks from all quarters. What are the prospects for free discourse? We’ve brought together the worlds of academia and the media as Michael Bugeja, Charles Cooke, and Robby Soave tackle intolerance head on.

11:00 – 11:50 a.m. Foreign Policy Panel
Following Will Ruger’s foreign policy talk, learn how government actions abroad relate to markets and the economy. Moderated by the Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell, this panel draws on experts from around the world: Barbara Kolm of Austria’s Hayek Institute, Leon Louw of the Free Market Foundation in South Africa, Li Schoolland of TFT Events, Joel Stern of Stern Value Management, and Will Ruger of the Charles Koch Institute.

1:45 – 2:30 p.m.Getting Big Government Out of the Courtroom
The judicial system is sometimes overlooked in discussions of big government, but efforts for criminal justice reform reflect the same concerns as the efforts for limited government in other fronts. This panel, moderated by Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks, features Derek Cohen of Right on Crime, Jorge Marin of Americans for Tax Reform, and Jason Pye of FreedomWorks. It will look at smart reforms that can help communities, protect public safety, and save money.