Welcome to the 2021 Mont Pelerin Society Special Meeting!
Welcome to the MPS2021 Special Meeting! We are very pleased to announce that this year’s meeting will be held at Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala City, from November 14 to 18, 2021. This event, which will take place in the context of UFM’s 50th anniversary, will be an opportunity to engage in a discussion about the causes of the current crisis and explore effective responses to the challenges ahead.
Since the last time we saw each other, the free society has been facing mounting and multiplying attacks. An increasing rejection of civilization’s central values has fueled this new crisis, but as we know, the future is not written in stone. It will depend on us as to whether we are moving toward a society in which lives are ever more controlled by politicians and state bureaucracies, or if, on the contrary, we are heading toward a freer society.
The progress of humanity and the ability to overcome crises have been possible thanks to people who have committed themselves to advance freedom, even at the risk of challenging the status quo, conventions, and what is politically correct. Ideas have consequences, and as intellectuals engaged in the preservation and improvement of the free society, we can have a lasting impact on the future of our civilization. If we aim to succeed in this noble goal, we need to double our efforts to do holistic analyses and to increase our capacity to introduce ideas in the wider social conversation.
That is why we are excited to host this special meeting with the theme: Rising from the Crisis: Advancing the Future of the Free Society, which will offer a space to dialogue and foster mutual learning among us at a time when it is most needed.
For us at Universidad Francisco Marroquín, this event will also mark the very special occasion of our 50th anniversary. As many of you know, UFM emerged from the vision of a group of young entrepreneurs, rebellious innovators, in response to a crisis of reason that was reflected in the academic, political, and economic spheres. They were inspired and encouraged by members of the MPS who gave them their unconditional and enthusiastic support. As Manuel F. Ayau mentioned: “If the Mont Pelerin Society hadn't existed, we would probably have discarded the idea of founding a university." For this reason, we are thrilled to open our doors to all of you who continue to advance the aims of the Mont Pelerin Society.
As the lives of Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, Michael Polanyi, Bruno Leoni, and so many others remind us, the future of freedom is in the hands of those who dare to defend it at the times when it is most questioned. We are at just such a juncture where it is essential to create the space for mutual, interdisciplinary, and candid learning established by the Mont Pelerin Society’s founders.
We look forward to seeing you soon and engage in a productive and necessary dialogue for the free society!
Chair of the Organizing Committee
President, Universidad Francisco Marroquín
Guatemala is a beautiful country that is definitely worth a visit. It has plenty to offer, with spectacular natural beauty and pleasant year-round climate. Guatemala is a land of many contrasts, offering a vibrant and colorful cultural heritage, a modern business hub, and a wealth of adventure.
There are many famous attractions in Guatemala for all types of interests. Antigua is a charming, colonial town where you may enjoy walking along cobblestone streets, shopping in the outdoor markets, and exploring colonial ruins. Lake Atitlán is for those who wish to relax, swim, or take a boat ride, all against the breathtaking backdrop of three volcanoes towering over the southern shore. The ancient Mayan city of Tikal is a must-see, and plan to arrive a few days before or after the event. Spend the night in the park so that you can wake up early in order to hear the howler monkeys and to watch the sunrise from atop one of the pyramids, far above the jungle below. And for the most avid adventurers, climb one of Guatemala’s famous volcanoes, such as Pacaya, with lava flowing down the sides, or Acatenango, adjacent to the active Fuego volcano.
You may discover the country's rich, historical culture in its museums, which cover subjects including textiles, modern art, and archaeology. Two of these impressive museums are located on the campus of Universidad Francisco Marroquín. For the early risers, bird watching is possible before sunrise in the University's gardens.
Thanks to bountiful regional ingredients, Guatemala is also known for its cuisine; the flavors here will surely capture your senses. In case you didn't know, avocados are native to Guatemala. From the renowned Zacapa Rum to an emerging craft beer scene, you are sure to find something you like. And if you enjoy drinking coffee, some of the world’s best is grown in our highlands. Just like our ideas on liberty, Guatemalan coffee is exported to every corner of the world!