Mark Lutter, former student leader from Maryland, has founded a new organization, the Institute for Innovative Governance. The Institute for Innovative Governance, as Mark describes it, is “both a think tank and an incubator. As a think tank we initiate serious policy discussions about innovative governance zones. Our goal is to become the thought leader for innovative governance zones. As an incubator we help early innovative governance projects craft their vision and to ensure they have access to the people and organizations they need to succeed. Our goal is to become the clearing house for information sharing about the best practices of innovative governance zones.”
His involvement with Students For Liberty began in 2010 when he attended our annual conference in Washington, DC. At the time, Mark was a student at the University of Maryland, College Park and there was no pro-liberty organization on his campus.
His proudest moment during his time with Students For Liberty occurred when Mark was attending graduate school and he helped establish an SFL chapter in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Reflecting on the experience, Mark says, “Honduras is a place which can certainly use the ideas of liberty.”
On Students For Liberty, Mark told me that “Students For Liberty helped launch my intellectual career.” The organizations he was introduced to through SFL proved invaluable in his professional development. Mark says “SFL showed me that there was a viable career path in ideas.”
Mark first became interested in the ideas of liberty after his high school administration shut down his money-making enterprise where he was selling pizza and soda outside of class. As Mark told me, “the experience solidified my dislike of bureaucratic busybodies.”
Today, Mark has a doctorate in Economics from George Mason University and is passionate about the role governance plays in economic prosperity and in alleviating poverty. He likes to use the example of China lifting 800 million people out of poverty, largely due to their implementation of special and autonomous economic zones. Mark believes their mode “with proper updates, is applicable throughout the world.”
With more than 4 billion people living on less than $10 a day, poverty alleviation is a critical issue in our time. It is inspiring to see dedicated Students For Liberty alumni like Mark doing meaningful and important work. We can’t wait to hear more from Mark as he and the Institute for Innovative Governance move forward in their mission!