INESS in collaboration with the American Language of Liberty Institute organized this summer the seventh international educational event in a row, the 2013 Liberty camp. Students from 5 different countries met between June 23rd and 29th in Vrútky, Hotel Junior Piatrová and discussed various issues related to liberalism concerning philosophy, economics, law or entrepreneurship. Lectures and following discussions were led by foreign experts. Cultural program, student debate and camp fire were part of it, as well.
Director of the Language of Liberty, Glenn Cripe (USA), opened the event with lectures about the importance of liberty in one´s life, as well as in a society. Lecturer from England, Robin Koerner, brought the students closer to how the money is created and how modern monetary system works. Radovan Ďurana from INESS introduced Austrian school of economics and in the second lecture explained history, principles of welfare state and how it is financed. A Slovak well-known expert in internet security and co-founder of hackerspace, Juraj Bednár, had a lecture on one of the most interesting issues of these days, Bitcoin. In the evening debate, he explained the security of personal data and explained to what extent governments have access to it. The end of the week drew our attention to Hayek by Carlos Alfaro (USA), and Harold Kraemer (USA), students visiting regularly, with a presentation about gun rights and investments. Director of INESS, Richard Ďurana, delivered presentation on intellectual property rights, a controversial topic becoming an important issue recently.
After each lecture, students were divided into small groups led by lecturers, who coordinated the discussion with an aim to further develop previous lecture and at the same time, to allow all group members to voice their opinion and practice English speaking skills.
Argumentation skills of the students were reinforced also in a student debate with the topic “individual liberty vs. abortions”. Not only the two teams with opposing opinions, but especially more than 3-hour-long discussion of the whole audience that followed proved that students appreciate discussions on topics which shape their view of the world.
The liberty camp is much more than listening to lectures and discussing relevant issues. From the very first day, the students are divided into small groups and start to work on their projects related to the main topic of the camp. This year it was “After the welfare state” based on the current unsustainability of the welfare state in Europe. The students had to prepare their liberal solutions to specific areas of social system in their countries, or Europe. On Friday, the last day of the camp, the teams presented their projects and had to defend their proposals facing many questions from lecturers as well as other students.
After these presentations, all the students received the certificates confirming their active participation in the camp. All the students were also given interesting economic literature and materials, which they can read and independently follow up the topics discussed during the seminar.
Another successful year of the Liberty Camp was organized thanks to kind support of Friedrich Naumann Stifftung and International Republican Institute, which financially supported the event and allowed us to prepare this event for students.