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The Road to Serfdom from Austria to America
How Lessons Can be Learned
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Austrian Economics Center
Independent Institute
John Templeton Foundation

Tuesday, July 12, 2016
5:30-6:30 p.m.: Reception
6:30-8:00 p.m.: Program

The Infinity Club Lounge
333 Main Street (between Folsom & Harrison Streets)
San Francisco, CA 94105

Yaron Brook
Yaron Brook received his M.B.A. and Ph.D. in finance from the University of Texas at Austin. For seven years he was an award-winning finance professor at Santa Clara University, and he co-founded BH Equity Research, a private equity and hedge fund manager, of which he is Managing Director and Chairman. He serves on the boards of the Ayn Rand Institute, Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism and CEHE (Center for Excellence in Higher Education), and he is a member of the Association of Private Enterprise Education and the Mont Pelerin Society. Dr. Brook is author of the books, Free Market Revolution (with with Don Watkins) and Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality.
John D. Chisholm
John D. Chisholm is Chief Executive Officer of John Chisholm Ventures, a startup advisory and angel investing group. He is President and chair of the worldwide MIT Alumni Association, a Member of the MIT Corporation (board of trustees), and a Trustee of the Santa Fe Institute and Seasteading Institute. He is author of the Amazon best-seller, Unleash Your Inner Company: Use Passion and Perseverance to Build Your Ideal Business, and he holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Federico N. Fernández
Federico N. Fernández is a Senior Fellow with the Austrian Economics Center (Vienna, Austria) and Founder and President of Fundación Bases (Rosario, Argentina). He is a member of the Organizing Committee of the International Conference “The Austrian School of Economics in the 21st Century”, which has taken place every two years since 2006 in Rosario (Argentina). He is author of numerous scholarly articles and he is co-editor of the book, La escuela austríaca de economía en el siglo XXI, and he publishes on popular blogs and is responsible for the “Free Market Diaries.”
Barbara Kolm
Barbara Kolm is Founding Director of the Austrian Economics Center and also serves as President of the Friedrich A. v. Hayek Institut, both Vienna, Austria. She holds degrees in business studies and economics, serves as CEO in various private enterprises as well as NGOs and regularly completes academic research and lecturing at universities. Main fields of her academic work are efficiency processes, financial and legal foundations of administrative and state institutions. She is a frequent speaker at international conferences, board member of the Association of Private Enterprise Education and the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce, and she is the director of the board of advisors for ZEDE in Honduras.
Lawrence J. McQuillan
Lawrence J. McQuillan is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation at the Independent Institute where he also administers the quarterly California Golden Fleece Award. He received his Ph.D in economics from George Mason University, and he has served as Chief Economist at the Illinois Policy Institute, Director of Business and Economic Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Founding Publisher and Contributing Editor of Economic Issues.
Randal O’Toole
Randal O’Toole is a Senior Fellow with the Cato institute and a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, specializing in land-use and transportation issues. His most recent book, American Nightmare: How Government Undermines the Dream of Homeownership, shows how urban planners have not only made housing unaffordable, they caused the recent housing bubble that led to the 2008 financial crash. Prior to working for Cato, O’Toole taught environmental economics at Yale University, University of California at Berkeley, and Utah State University.
Mary L. G. Theroux
Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute and a columnist for The Huffington Post. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, Ms. Theroux is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California. She is Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Alameda County Salvation Army; former Chairman and current member of the San Francisco Salvation Army Advisory Board, and also serves on the National Advisory Board of The Salvation Army.

Despite the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, most of Europe has descended into an inexorable slide towards socialism, with a relentless drumbeat against business and the knee-jerk response to every problem being further centralization and regulation. Free-market ideas in Europe are at a turning point, while the costs of the journey down the road to serfdom are growing higher. At the same time, the U.S. is crying out for a change in direction and for practical solutions to problems. At this critical moment, the U.S. should not fall into the same trap as Europe, where free-market thinking is either dismissed as passé or omitted. Many have either forgotten or never learned that freedom, competition, and personal responsibility are deeply connected with the pursuit of happiness, economic stability, and sustained peace.

Panel 1. The American Dream
What has “The American Dream” meant in the past and what does it mean today? What promise could it hold, and how could we make that promise a reality? What role should government play?

Yaron Brook, President, Ayn Rand Institute
Barbara Kolm, Director, Austrian Economics Center
Lawrence J. McQuillan, Senior Fellow and Director, Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation, Independent Institute
Randal O’Toole, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute

Panel 2. The Self-organizing and the Sharing Society
Apps like Uber, AirBnB, and TaskRabbit enable people to self-organize and share resources and skills in new ways. Who are the winners and losers from these new services, and what are the opportunities and obstacles? What might the future look like?

John Chisholm, Chief Executive Officer, John Chisholm Ventures
Federico Fernández, Senior Fellow, Austrian Economics Center
Mary L. G. Theroux, Senior Vice President, Independent Institute

  • Catalyst
  • Beyond Homeless