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ACRO intends to hold a conference in autumn 2017 (60 years after Atlas Shrugged was published) in Greece (exact location to be confirmed).

  • Conference : Working Title: ‘Aristotle & the modern movement for Reason’
  • Working Subtitle : A philosophy of living in the 21st Century – Aristotle, Rand and their thought in front of today’s challenges.

Overview

This conference aims to constitute a focal point for bringing together in Greece scholars of Aristotle, Objectivists and liberty-minded students from Europe. Beyond being an academic event, it will become the base for a network of objectivists, fellow-travellers and intellectually curious young people. Another by-product of the conference will be a book: a collection with the best contributions, edited by a scholar from the Ayn Rand Institute.

Structure

The conference will consist of 1 keynote speech, 4 thematic branches (the amount of panels in each branch will be dependent on the amount of quality papers we will receive) and a social event in the evening. The four thematic branches will be philosophy, politics, morality and culture. The programme could be the following:

  • 10:00 -10:45: keynote
  • 11:00 - 12:30: philosophy (panel discussion)
  • 12:30-13:15: lunch break
  • 13:15 - 14:45: politics (debate)
  • 15:00 - 16:30: morality (debate)
  • 16:30 - 16:45 : coffee break
  • 16:45 - 18:15: culture (panel discussion)
  • 18:15 - 18:45: keynote closing remarks
  • 18:45 - 19:30: light drinks
  • 19:30 - 21:30: Premiere of Theatrical play or dinner with a speaker (Considering either ‘The Night of January 16th’ or the ‘Anthem’ )

Thus, the conference will not only attract scholars with an interest in Aristotle and Objectivism, but also young people influenced by the notion of freedom and eager to find reason-oriented answers in the pressing challenges of our times.

This will be a one-day conference. However, if early in the preparatory period we realise that the interest is high, we could make it a two-days’ event, or offer something also in Sunday, such as workshops or something more academically focused (some extra panels, the setting up of a network etc). Organisational issues the conference will take place on a weekend in September 2017 in a private venue, as Greek public universities are a risky choice, due to the anomy and the unpredictability of their smooth functioning. It aims to attract at least 400 attendants. September is an ideal period, as the autumn term has not yet started in most universities and also the weather in Athens tends to be only moderately hot. There will be no fees for participants, in an attempt to attract as many young scholars and students as possible. We hope to book a venue that will be able to provide a package deal of hosting the event, catering and accommodating visitors.

Hoping to gather as many young people as possible, we aim to mobilise existing networks of young people with which KEFIM has already co-operated, such as Students for Liberty. Previous organisational attempts in which KEFIM was included, such as the Emergency Economic Summit for Greece and the Free Market Roadshow were considered very successful, attracting large audiences, distinguished scholars and generating press interest.

The conference could be a platform for European Objectivists and liberty minded students to come together and set up a network. Universities are a field where the dominance of statism and the omnipotence of intellectual trends such as post-modernism and cultural studies are suffocating.

The network, it could kick-start a series of future conferences and even a European journal. Part of the funding will also go to a book; an edited volume with some of the best contributions, to be published in affordable paperback and kindle versions, both in Greek (by KEFIM) and in English (by a publisher of ARI’s choice).