INESS 2013 Friedman Legacy Day for Freedom

For the fourth time, the Institute of Economic and Social Studies INESS has been honored to organize the event commemorating Milton Friedman, one of the most notable flag bearers of economic liberty. As INESS is the most frequently quoted economic think tank in Slovakia and a staunch defender of market freedom, we wanted to make sure Friedman’s birthday event had the prestige it deserved.

The event was organized in partnership with The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Back in 2010, INESS was the pioneer as it organized the very first and only Friedman Day in Europe that year. This year, Friedman Legacy Day events were organized in 144 places throughout the world, 90 in 44 states of the U.S. and 54 in other 25 countries.

The event took place in Zamocky Pivovar, a restaurant in the very center of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, on Wednesday, July 31 at 6 p.m. The audience counted as many as 30 invited people. Our goal was not only to commemorate Friedman’s life and achievements, but also to stress the importance of his ideas in the field of toleration. Therefore, after welcoming our guests and a short opening speech introducing Milton Friedman’s life and work by INESS’ Director Dr. Richard Durana, a lecture of Dr. Sean Gabb, Director at The Libertarian Alliance (United Kingdom), and prominent British libertarian, followed. The topic of his lecture was “Milton Friedman and the Virtue of Toleration”.

The lecture lasted over an hour and was met with keen interest from the audience. Following it, Q&A lasted another hour.

After the formal part, the event followed with a pleasant dinner, naturally accompanied by a lively informal discussion in several groups around the tables. Every event is as good as its audience is, and we took great care to invite people who were keen to listen to ideas and think about them. The guest list consisted of politicians, entrepreneurs, university professors, public sector experts, bank analysts, NGO representatives, journalists and of course students. Despite taking place on a weekday and extremely hot weather this summer in Central Europe, most of the guests didn’t leave until midnight.