Welcome to Asia Liberty Forum 2017, A Celebration of Liberty
The 5th edition of the Asia Liberty Forum was held at the Leela, Mumbai on 10-11 February 2017 in partnership with the Atlas Network, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, John Templeton Foundation and the Smith Family Foundation. The conference brought together over 200 champions of liberty from around the world to brace the call of liberty in this part of the world. Aimed at advancing liberty and free markets in the region, the forum brought together the best of the liberal minds in Asia, including intellectuals, think tank leaders, authors, investors, development practitioners and young liberty champions to dialogue and deliberate, build friendships and networks, share ideas and best practices, and to learn and engage with the movement's most distinguished guardians.
The conference featured panels on issues pertinent to the Asian context such as "The Compatibility of Islam and Freedom," "State, Private Sector and Liberty in a Digital World," and "Regulations for a Prosperous and Innovative Market Economy." It also featured addresses by noted public intellectual Chandrabhan Prasad on "Economic Freedom for Human Rights," and the Bastiat award-winning journalist Amit Varma on "The Landscape of Freedom in India." There were also important exchanges on best practices of various aspects of think tank management such as "Running a Successful Think Tank" and "Fundraising: Getting Active and Getting Creative".
Mumbai also witnessed the first Asia Think Tank Shark Tank competition which featured three contestants from across Asia. They pitched their innovative projects before a panel of philanthropists and the regional network of free-market think tanks for the chance to win US $5,000. The contest was won by Tricia Yeoh of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, Malaysia, for her project on creating a market-friendly regulatory environment for small business owners. This edition also featured the second annual Asia Liberty Awards Ceremony, which was won by Centre for Civil Society for its work on increasing Economic Freedom and the Ease of Doing Business in India. For the first time, #AsiaLF17 was also broadcast to an online audience through a live-stream on Facebook and Twitter which drew thousands of viewers from across the world. This celebration of liberty was brought to a close by a series of "Social Media awards," recognizing the most entertaining and creative posts and images from delegates.