Now in its fifth edition, this annual celebration of liberty returns to India after two years in Kathmandu and Kuala Lumpur.
1st edition: 2 & 3 February 2013, Delhi, India attended by 200 individuals from 30 countries. The opening address was delivered by Mr Baijayant “Jay” Panda, Member of Parliament, who spoke of the historical phobia of Indians towards foreign investments and free trade, following the experience of the East India Company and the ensuing colonisation of the country by the British, and emphasised that these fears must be allayed for India’s economy to continue growing. Zoltan Kesz of the Free Market Foundation(link is external), Hungary won the $5,000 Liberty Entrepreneur of the Year competition for research, awareness-raising and education in combating Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories as Tools for Extremist Political Mobilization.
2nd edition: 7-9 January 2014, Delhi, India attended by 200 individuals from 40 countries. Gurcharan Das, acclaimed author, commentator and public intellectual set the tone of the conference by narrating the Indian growth story which according to him is a result o dharma-governed market forces. Keynote speaker, Razeen Sally from the Lee Kuan Yew school of public policy from Singapore credited the unprecedented growth in Asia in the last decade to the expansion of natural liberty and the subsequent emergence of the ‘animal entrepreneurial spirit’ in individuals. Chanyang Ju’s closing address was one of the most heart-wrenching and inspiring moments of the forum. She told of her heroic escape from North Korea, how she was captured and sent back, and her determination, which led her to try again–successfully this time, and her fight for the freedom of the countrymen she left behind. She highlighted the power of information and recounted how her family was inspired to escape by listening to illicit South Korean radio broadcasts.
3rd edition: 8-10 January 2015, Kathmandu, Nepal, attended by over 250 individuals from 30 countries. After two successful years of organising the forum in India, in 2015 we partnered with Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation, to lay the tradition of providing regional partners the opportunity to bring to their country, Atlas Network’s global community of freedom champions, mentors, scholars, change agents, and future leaders, for a public celebration of our ideas, our heroes and our successes in Asia. Over three days, delegates exchanged ideas on more than 20 topics ranging from practical tools for successful think tanks to inspirational explorations of the ideas of liberty. The conference also explored the best ways to improve our present and future and also reflected deeper into our history to highlight what makes these ideas truly Asian.
4th edition: 18-20 February 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, attended by over 250 individuals from 28 countries, and hosted in partnership with the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS). Highlights included Speed Networking, designed to help attendees expand their contacts; training workshops to hone skills in marketing, social media, and entrepreneurship; a documentary screening of India Awakes; and the Elevator Pitch Competition, in which participants present their 60-second pitch with the chance to win a prize.