Presentation of the Alexis de Tocqueville Awards
Spring 2017

Tickets Reservations Coming Soon
The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

Join with us for an elegant Gala and enlightening Policy Symposium to celebrate the Independent Institute’s 30th Anniversary! In 1986, Independent began its tradition of boldly advancing the timeless principles of liberty by combining scholarly rigor with extensive communications and media coverage of the results, engaging new audiences in innovative, enterprising solutions. At our Gala for the Future, we will celebrate our past successes as we look forward by honoring Nobel Laureate economist Vernon L. Smith; North Korean refugee, defector, and human-rights activist Yeon-mi Park; and other exemplary champions of liberty, entrepreneurial innovation, and human well-being. P.J. O’Rourke, bestselling author and America’s leading political humorist, will be our master of ceremonies. Gala attendees may also join with us the next morning for our Symposium on the Future: Economic Peril or Prosperity, featuring top economists, and help chart initiatives to ensure a future of prosperity and liberty.

Master of Ceremonies
P. J. O’RourkeP.J. O'Rourke, a Founding Member of the Independent Institute’s Board of Advisors, is America’s leading political humorist and the best-selling author of 16 books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics. After graduating from Miami University of Ohio and attending the graduate program at Johns Hopkins University, O’Rourke began his career of skewering both the left and the right on the ends of his razor-sharp one-liners.

A regular panelist on NPR's Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me! and a member of the editorial board for World Affairs, O’Rourke is the former editor-in-chief of The National Lampoon and a popular contributor to a host of publications, as well as Foreign Affairs Desk Chief for Rolling Stone, and correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, during which he traveled to wars, riots, rebellions, and other "Holidays in Hell" in more than 40 countries.

Among his many best-selling books are the new Thrown Under the Omnibus, reviewed here in the Wall Street Journal; Republican Party Reptile; Holidays in Hell; Parliament of Whores; All the Trouble in the World; Eat the Rich; On the Wealth of Nations: Books That Changed the World; and The Baby Boom.

An Evening Honoring
Yeon-mi ParkYeon-mi Park is the renowned, twenty-two-year-old, human-rights activist and North Korean refugee and defector who has become a leading voice of oppressed people around the world. Her 1994 article about North Korea’s “Black Market Generation” in the Washington Post has created a sensation worldwide and the memoir about her perilous escape from North Korea, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom, has recently been published in 17 languages and 18 countries.

At the 2014 Oslo Freedom Forum and the One Young World Summit in Dublin, she became an international phenomenon, delivering a passionate and deeply personal speech about the brutality and repression of the North Korean regime. Her escape from North Korea has given the world a window into the lives of its people, and due to her bravery, strength, and story, the BBC has named her one of their “Top 100 Global Women.”

Ms. Park has been featured on CNN, CNBC, BBC, Fox News Network, Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, and Aljazeera, as well as in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph, Wired Magazine, The Daily Mail, Reuters, The Guardian, Yahoo News, National Review, Business Insider, Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Vice News, Daily Life and The Verge.
Vernon L. SmithVernon L. Smith was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his pioneering work in experimental economics and the economics of entrepreneurial discovery and innovation. Professor of Law and Director of the Economic Science Institute at Chapman University, he is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association; a Member of the National Academy of Sciences; a Fellow of the Econometric Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and a Member of the Board of Advisors of the Independent Institute.

Dr. Smith has been a Ford Foundation Fellow, Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology. He is past President of the Public Choice Society, Economic Science Association, Western Economic Association and Association for Private Enterprise Education. Previous faculty appointments have included the University of Arizona, Purdue University, Brown University, University of Massachusetts and George Mason University.

Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, he received CalTech’s distinguished alumni award, and he has authored or co-authored more than 250 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource economics and experimental economics.

For further registration information, please contact us at:
(510) 632-1366