The nomination period has now ended and we are one step closer to ISFLC17! There were so many great students, groups, and events this year which made the nomination process a competitive event. We are now pleased to highlight these finalists and the work they have brought not just to SFL, but to a freer world.
STUDENT OF THE YEAR
The finalists are. . .
Manirakiza Aimable is the Country Director and founder of SFL Burundi. His efforts have led to ten SFL groups being set up at different universities throughout Burundi. While he has made SFL Burundi flourish, his efforts do not stop at the borders, as he has also set up SFL groups in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Aimable is a rising star in the liberty movement and his passion has inspired more than 1,500 other students and led to seminars, debates, events, and most importantly, liberty.
Co-founder and current president of SFL Indonesia, Imantaka Nugraha has grown SFL Indonesia into something inspiring. As a self-starter, he has spoken at many events throughout the Pacific and helped coordinate the first ever SEASFLC (Southeast Asia Students For Liberty Conference). Last May, he expanded his outreach to Japan and Australia. Nugraha has spoken on topics such as the sharing economy and Uber. Currently, he is writing a book on cryptocurrency. Nugraha’s efforts have proven he has a vision for how liberty will persist through the advancement of technology.
If you’re part of SFL in the United States, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the name of SFL College Park President Ethan Pritchard. And for good reason; the man is tireless in his pursuit of a freer world. Every week, he’s out there being a role model for all activists. Pritchard has built two large clubs from scratch. He helped organize a regional conference centered around free speech (and beer). And the clubs he has created have become major players within three semesters. A believer in building bridges, Pritchard knows the value of finding common ground with other groups and this has helped him to get nearly 900 new people interested in SFL.
EVENT OF THE YEAR
The finalists are. . .
Principles and Foundations of a Free Society in Ten Universities
SFL Burundi’s large project this year was an inter-university competition which took place over a period of two months. At these universities, debate, discussion, and education took place through these events. The game attracted the attention of media outlets and helped further the cause of liberty throughout Burundi, educating hundreds of students. This event touched many lives and has helped our cause to expand.
Simpósio Interdisciplinar Farroupilha (Interdisciplinary Symposium Farroupilha)
This was the third SIF and attracting a crowd of 700 people in November, this was the second largest libertarian event in Brazil. Topics covered at this event included the failure of the drug war, failures of gun control, private justice, and a keynote speech from Jeffrey Tucker. Held in Santa Maria, the mayor decided to attend. Following SIF, he said he would plan to meet with his administration to see how libertarian ideas can better help his city. Thanks to SIF, freedom was taken one step further in Brazil.
With over 2,000 participants, OPEN Fest was the largest libertarian meeting in Europe during 2016. For three days in Bosnia and Herzegovina, people gathered to learn about microstates, Islam, communism, free speech, and the ideals of liberty. Organized by 50 ambitious young people and attracting over 100 media reports and 30 speakers, OPEN Fest is sure to have a lasting impact on liberty in the Balkans and Europe as a whole.
STUDENT GROUP OF THE YEAR
The finalists are. . .
Students For Liberty Korea
This year, the first SFL Korea conference was held, thanks to this group and their dedicated effort. A group focused on ideas, SFL Korea has founded a Free Speech Board and produced translations of recent libertarian works. In addition, the students have hosted a number of book forums, not just on traditional texts, but also boldly giving a critical examination to significant communist texts. Prepared for the digital age, SFL Korea also has founded a YouTube channel focused on the ideas of liberty.
Montenegrin Students For Liberty
Holding a regional conference in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, Montenegrin Students For Liberty has proven to be an influential group. The group also founded the school of liberalism and the academy of liberalism.
Hyderabad Students For Liberty
South Asia Students For Liberty is doing better than ever before, and in no small part thanks to the efforts of students in Hyderabad, a region where the ideals of liberty are not widespread. Due to their persistence, our leaders in Hyderabad organized a regional conference which reached over 100 people. Throughout the year, four SFL Colloquia were held. In November, two of the student leaders attended a leadership forum and a protest in New Delhi. Recently, Hyderabad SFL hosted a speaker event with over 200 attendees. This group proves that liberty can resonate anywhere.
These are your finalists! The work they have put in has been a distinguishing mark and they all deserve our thanks for how they have changed the world and furthered an admirable cause. However, only one from each category will be the winner. Naturally, the winners will be revealed at ISFLC. I hope to see you there!