It’s been almost 30 years since the Institute for Economic Studies – Europe has started pursuing the goal of spreading the ideas of liberty to young minds through summer seminars that gather students from all over the world. This summer we have successfully completed three summer seminars in three places very special for us and for the liberty movement, namely Sairme-Georgia, Bansko-Bulgaria and Gummersbach-Germany.
88 students coming from 25 countries covering 3 continents have participated in our week-long intensive seminars debating the ideas of liberty and free-markets through history, economics, philosophy, law and political science. Following a successful model that combines 45 minutes lectures with 30 minutes group discussions and 45 minutes of Q&A open discussions, our seminars are meant to strengthen the participants’ knowledge and theoretical basis for classical liberalism but also discuss some of the current issues and developments that concern and challenge the possibility of creating a freer world. Exchanging ideas and experiences from each participant’s background allowed for open and challenging debates on both theoretical and practical solutions to today’s problems.
Our faculty this year included well-known professors and lecturers such as Pierre Garello, president of IES-Europe, Douglas Rasmussen – professor of Philosophy at Saint John’s University in New York, Steve Davies – Head of Education at the Institute for Economic Affairs, Alberto Mingardi – director of the Bruno Leoni Institute in Italy and professor of political thought at the University of Milan, Krassen Stanchev – founder of the Institute for Market Economics in Bulgaria, Carlo Lottieri – Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Verona, Gia Jandieri and Paata Sheshelidze – founders of the New Economic School of Georgia, Murat Mungan – Associate Professor at George Mason University, Petar Ganev – research fellow at Institute for Market Economics and Christian Nasulea – Director of Programs at the Institute for Economic Studies – Europe and Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Bucharest and the Bucharest University of Economic Studies.
Although funding the seminars is not an easy task, this year we have managed to make them possible with the generous help of some foundations who believe in what we do, such as the Krieble Foundation, the Charles Koch foundation due to which we have managed to bring 15 US students in Gummersbach and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Moreover, smaller donations also came from private companies and individuals, IES Alumni and even students who appreciate our work. We sincerely thank them for this. A special surprise was the seminar in Bansko which, despite funding difficulties, was completely privately funded by Bulgarian companies and individuals, thanks to the Institute for Market Economics’ fundraising efforts.
As next year, IES-Europe will be celebrating 30 years of existence in addition to our usual seminars, we are preparing a high-scale event in Aix-en-Provence, meant to reunite IES-Europe alumni, freedom fighters and liberty lovers from our network. Stay tuned and follow our website for news on the projects we’re preparing for you.