The CEI Krewe trekked to New Orleans for our fourth annual Summit for a memorable weekend of liberty and good times in a city that embodies the spirit of laissez faire. Laissez les bon temps rouler!
From Thursday, February 6 to Sunday, February 9, 60 CEI guests and supporters enjoyed a program featuring dynamic speakers, French and Cajun cuisine, and New Orleans art, music, culture, and history, as Mardi Gras season got under way.
CEI scholars Greg Conko, Myron Ebell, Patrick Hedger, Kent Lassman, Angela Logomasini, Mario Loyola, Jessica Melugin, Richard Morrison, Iain Murray, and Ryan Young shared their ideas for liberalizing the energy, tech, and labor sectors and reforming misguided policies on antitrust and trade.
Featured guest speakers included Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger; Kevin Williamson, author of The Smallest Minority: Independent Thinking in the Age of Mob Politics; and Ariel Corporation CEO Karen Wright.
Fifteen years after Hurricane Katrina and in the wake of New Orleans’ 300th anniversary, CEI scholars and guests also got a firsthand view of how entrepreneurs, and community organizations are leading the charge to reinvent the city.
Held at the historic Ace Hotel New Orleans, the Summit program included a private dinner and reception at landmarks French 75 and Arnaud’s; a French Quarter walking tour with Chris Rose, celebrated author of 1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina; a private tour of the National WWII Museum; a live event painting by New Orleans legend Frenchy; and a private jazz brunch at Three Keys featuring Knockaz Brass Band.
In February 2019, CEI hosted its third annual Summit at the brand-new Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah, Georgia. Guests enjoyed thought-provoking presentations and engaging conversations with CEI experts and other prominent free-market scholars.
CEI’s Wayne Crews, Sam Kazman, Marlo Lewis, Jessica Melugin, Michelle Minton, Iain Murray, Daniel Press, Ryan Radia, and Marc Scribner delivered in-depth seminars on regulatory dark matter, fintech, energy mandates, and the road ahead for transportation policy.
Guest speakers included former risk manager and Bloomberg contributor Aaron Brown, on cryptocurrency; Reason Foundation Director of Transportation Policy Robert Poole, on his new book, Rethinking America’s Highways; American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow and Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies Peter Wallison, on in his new book, Judicial Fortitude; and editor of RealClearMarkets John Tamny discussed the lasting legacy of economist Warren Brookes.
Attendees also got the opportunity to enjoy a reception at Service Brewing Company, dinner at Garibaldi, and tours of the Benedetto Guitar factory and Bonaventure Cemetery.
CEI SUMMIT KEY WEST
In January 2018, CEI hosted its second Summit at the historic Casa Marina resort in Key West, Florida. The theme of the event was Disruption v. Distortion—how we can encourage innovative shakeups in business and politics and limit government’s power to manipulate the economy. CEI’s Ted Frank, Melissa Holyoak, Sam Kazman, Angela Logomasini, Jessica Melugin, Michelle Minton, and Iain Murray discussed innovative approaches for overturning corrupt class action settlements, repealing “sindustry” prohibitions, and liberalizing the sharing economy, among other topics.
The Key West Summit also featured two special guests. Bassem Youssef—known as the “Jon Stewart of Egypt”—shared the story of his valiant defense of free speech, during a dinner reception at the Truman Little White house. The host of a wildly successful political satire show, he and his family fled the country after terminating his show due to overwhelming political pressure to censor its contents and threats of physical and legal violence. Education entrepreneur Rick O’Donnell, the founder and CEO of Skills Fund, gave the keynote speech at dinner on the beach. O’Donnell is turning traditional higher education on its head with a student-financing platform that provides financial services to employers and outcomes-based boot camp programs to students.
Guests enjoyed sailing on the Appledore II schooner, riding the Conch Train, biking around the island, and touring the Hemingway House and Truman’s Little White House.
CEI SUMMIT, WASHINGTON, DC
In June 2017, CEI hosted its inaugural Summit in Washington, DC at the Morrison Clark Historic Inn and the Society of the Cincinnati’s Anderson House.
The program kicked off with remarks from Pierre Desrochers, CEI’s 2017 Julian Simon Memorial Award Winner, and coauthor Joanna Szurmak. Desrochers discussed the continued relevance of Simon’s work and his successful bet against doomsayer Paul Ehrlich. Senator Ron Johnson and Congressman Gary Palmer spoke about the challenges of the administrative state and the role of think tanks in the debate. Boom CEO Blake Scholl closed the program with a discussion of our supersonic future. The program closed with a private tour of the Anderson House.