The first New Intellectuals Conference – NICON, an annual gathering of the John Galt School alumni, as well as our partners, donors, and lecturers, took place in Prague, Czech Republic on April 18-22, 2022.
NICON 2022 was a unique opportunity for the best of our John Galt School alumni to advance their knowledge of Objectivism even further, building on what they’ve already learned, as well as to connect with their fellow alumni.
More than 100 participants from over 20 countries were gathered in Prague, including 20 lecturers and donors, over 20 of our partners, and 60 alumni.
The conference theme was self-development, covered by more than 15 sessions with various speakers, such as Craig Biddle, Matt and Terry Kibbe, Isidora Kolar, Leopold Ajami, Angel and Thomas Walker-Werth, Djordje Mancev and Eszter Nova.
During the five days of the conference, the participants had attended inspiring talks, participated in various workshops and discussions, competed in a trivia quiz, met prominent Objectivist speakers and alumni from other countries, and had the opportunity to lead thought-provoking conversations and broaden their personal connections with fellow new intellectuals.
The sessions were highly interactive, to name a few: “Let Your Life Proceed by Its Own Design: Building a Career Consistent With Your Values” (Matt and Terry Kibbe), “Uncage Your Voice” (Leopold Ajami), “Rearranging the Hierarchy of Values: How I Did It and How It Changed My Life” (Isidora Kolar), “Objectivism and Independence” (Craig Biddle). Our participants proved to be very curious and ready to ask thought-provoking questions, contributing to a highly intellectually stimulating atmosphere. The teams that achieved the best results in the Objectivism trivia quiz went on to compete in a book pitch competition. The winning team was announced and awarded with Ebook reader tablets at the beginning of that evening’s exciting social event, our karaoke night.
All the conference attendees were presented with a certificate of attendance and a copy of Craig Biddle’s book “Loving Life: The Morality Of Self-interest And The Facts That Support It”, which he was so kind to donate.
Here’s what some of the attendees said about our conference:
It was an excellent opportunity for networking and developing collaborations across Europe. Thank you for providing it!
Networking was my favorite part of the conference. But networking was possible because of the substance and theme of the conference. So I would say that the mixture of getting food for thought and being able to network, was my favorite experience of the event.
Every time I learn more about Objectivism I see changes in myself – that’s my favorite part. Meeting people from different countries, hanging out with them, interesting sessions – all my favorite!
Here I saw people who talk freely about themselves, and how this philosophy and thinking affected their own lives and that’s the best way to tell stories.
It was the first conference that was so close to my values and, of course, it was easier to communicate with people who have the same interests.
Even though I didn’t know most of the people I met, I felt like I’d known them for some time and we had so much in common.
The weekend after the conference, April 23-24, all NICON attendees had the opportunity to attend the largest European pro-liberty conference, LibertyCon. The flagship event of our partners from European Students For Liberty gave NICON attendees an opportunity to continue their engagement with the great freedom-loving ideas we promote for an additional two days. Our relationship with ESFL was once again strengthened with our collaboration in the organization of these two successful events.
NICON 2022 would not have been possible without the help of our donors. We sincerely thank the Prometheus Foundation, Carl B. Barney, and Atlas Network for giving us the resources to make this event happen. We are certain that NICON can and will become the most significant annual gathering of the new intellectuals in Europe.