NICON 2023

The second New Intellectuals Conference – NICON, an annual gathering of the John Galt School alumni and our partners, donors, and lecturers, took place in Belgrade, Serbia, on April 10-14, 2023.

NICON 2023 provided the best John Galt School alumni a unique chance to deepen their knowledge of Objectivism, building upon their existing understanding while fostering connections with fellow alumni. With over a hundred participants, this conference marked our most successful event to date.

NICON – “A Week of Love” contained more than 15 sessions, including lectures, a panel discussion, and a debate. We were honored to host insightful lectures by leading figures in the realm of freedom and Objectivist thought. Renowned speakers like Craig Biddle, Stephen Hicks, Tom G. Palmer, Matt and Terry Kibbe, Leopold Ajami, Isidora Kolar, and others from our extensive network shared their wisdom, enriching the conference with their expertise and perspectives. The central motive of the conference was love, so every lecture focused on particular types and aspects of love, showing its importance in almost every sphere of our lives.

One of the highlights of the conference was the debate between Craig Biddle and Stephen Hicks: “Is Objectivism a “Closed System” or an “Open System.” The attendees had the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge of the arguments from both sides and to ask questions about the topic in the Q&A session afterward.

Our alumni and partners also had the chance to participate in an interactive competition in order to win prizes. The first part of the competition was a quiz, whereas, in the second part, the most successful teams from the quiz had to choose a song about love, and explain why their chosen song describes and represents love in the best way possible.
Every conference attendee was awarded a certificate of attendance and a copy of Ayn Rand’s book “We the Living”.

Here are some impressions of this year’s NICON participants:

I just want to express how grateful I am for being given the opportunity to be a part of this amazing conference. It truly was a special experience and I enjoyed every moment of it! I want to extend my congratulations to the ARCE team for their hard work in making this event a success!

The atmosphere of this conference was amazing and the people were so unique that inspired me on so many levels.

I enjoyed the conference! Thank you for this life-changing opportunity. I felt the atmosphere full of love, liberty and met amazing people from other countries. I felt the unity and what’s more important I was the part of it.

NICON 2023 owes its success to the generous support of our donors, namely the Prometheus Foundation and Carl B. Barney. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for their contributions, making this event possible. With such backing, we are confident that NICON will evolve into Europe’s most significant annual gathering for the new intellectuals.