Over 600 people attended the Madrid RC held on the 14th of October, which makes it the biggest European Students for Liberty Regional Conference so far. Irune Ariño, Regional Director for Iberia, and Álvaro Pavón Romero, Chairman at Students For Liberty España, get all credits for this year’s success. We talked to them to find out more about them and their biggest achievement within SFL.
What’s your secret and how did you get so many attendees?
Álvaro: This year we invited not only libertarian speakers who always talk at our events but also people whose own opinions are totally at odds with pro-liberty ideas. Therefore, our main goal of this year’s conference was to trigger debates. I think this helped us attract people who would have otherwise considered the conference to be exclusively for libertarians.
What was the most memorable moment during the conference?
Irune: There were two most memorable moments for me. First, when during lunch Álvaro and other SFLers from Iberia gave me bouquet of flowers to thank me for my work as a Regional Director, which was very moving. The other one was at the debate between Juan Ramón Rallo and Juan Carlos Monedero, when I realised the Auditorium was full.
What made you interested in the ideas of liberty?
Álvaro: Reading Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom was a revelation in my case.
Irune: When I entered my university I met some libertarians who introduced me to the ideas of liberty. Then, I started reading Ayn Rand, Hayek and a spanish economist Juan Ramón Rallo.
How did you first get involved with SFL?
Álvaro: In 2013, I was attending the lecture by Yaron Brook on Ethics of Capitalism and there I met one of the ESFL Local Coordinators. Later on, in 2015, two friends and I decided to start a SFL group in Seville and then I joined LC Programme in 2016.
How has your time with SFL shaped who you are what are your plans for the future?
Álvaro: It gave me a lot of confidence in myself and helped me develop management and leadership skills that I missed before. I met a lot of inspiring people thanks to SFL and even made a few friends. Whatever I do in the future, that confidence, skills and friends will definitely be very useful..
Irune: SFL has given me a lot of self-confidence and leadership skills which I will need to build a successful career. Also, I have expanded my knowledge of libertarian ideas through discussions and debates with other libertarians. Finally, thanks to SFL I have met a lot of amazing people.