Individualism in an Age of Tribalism

Ayn Rand Student Conference 2018 | W Atlanta-Midtown | November 2–4

@AynRandOrg | #AynRandCon

“It was a true learning experience, with in-depth analysis and real life examples of how Objectivism applies in our daily life.”

Gjergji Toromani, College of Europe, Natolin campus

Individualism in an Age of Tribalism

Increasingly, our culture pushes us to view ourselves as passive members of one group or another. What matters, we’re told, is not the choices we make or the actions we take as individuals, but our ethnicity, our gender, our inherited “privilege” or lack thereof.

In politics, people care less and less about ideas and principles and more and more about exhibiting uncritical loyalty to the party and defending “our side” while attacking “the other.”

Philosophers and psychologists tell us that free will is a myth and that we should look to biology, neuroscience and evolutionary psychology for the deterministic causes of our behavior.

Ever more insistently, we are urged to think in collectivist terms and to then act accordingly — to vote for a woman presidential nominee because we’re female or a black candidate because we’re black — or even to support the rise of a new form of white nationalism because we’re white.

In her novel The Fountainhead (and in her other writings), Ayn Rand challenges the doctrines of collectivism and introduces a radical new conception of individualism. She rejects the tribal mindset at its deepest roots and offers a vision of human existence in which we are not interchangeable members of some collective, but sovereign, independent individuals, whose true interests align.

Join us November 2 to 4 in Atlanta, Georgia, at Ayn Rand Student Conference 2018 (AynRandCon), to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Fountainhead and its timeless, crucial theme of “individualism versus collectivism, not in politics, but in man’s soul.”

At AynRandCon you’ll hear leading experts on Rand’s philosophy present an in-depth exploration of her philosophy of individualism as the antidote to our era’s increasing tribalism. You’ll also meet other students who love Rand’s novels and are eager to explore her ideas. And you’ll have the chance to network with speakers, students and professionals from various fields.

The conference is brought to you by the Ayn Rand Institute (aynrand.org) with the assistance of STRIVE (striveclubs.org) and is made possible by the generous support of the Michael and Andrea Leven Family Foundation, as well as Loren and Kathy Corle (RELCO LLC), Ellen and Harris Kenner, and other AynRandCon Sponsors. (Please see the Registration section if you are interested in becoming a Sponsor.)

Thanks to these donors, students are able to attend this conference at little or no cost. All students are eligible for a scholarship covering their travel, lodging and registration expenses.

Conference applications will be accepted until October 1, 2018.

“Every person I met was so full of passion and purpose. It was inspirational to see people from all around the world who take an active interest in liberty and capitalism.”

Aleksandra Skica, Brooklyn College

Speakers & Schedule

Click above for more information on Speakers/Schedule.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the conference; it exposed me to different ideas that I never considered and challenged my own beliefs, which I thought was very refreshing and intellectually stimulating.”

Giana Castelli, Rutgers University

Hotel & Travel

Ayn Rand Student Conference 2018 will take place at the W Atlanta-Midtown.

Those receiving a scholarship are required to stay at the W and to attend the full conference, beginning at 7 PM on Friday, November 2, through 4 PM on Sunday, November 4. (Those opting-out of a scholarship are exempt from these requirements.)

Once you are accepted to the conference, a double room with two queen beds will be reserved for you at the W by ARI. You should *not* make a reservation at the hotel on your own. You must have a roommate and may choose to find one on your own or to have ARI assign you a roommate of your gender. Anyone looking for roommates should post a message in the AynRandCon 2018 Facebook group.

A guest checking into a room must be at least eighteen years of age, have a valid picture ID and present a method of payment for incidentals upon arrival.

ARI will cover only Friday and Saturday nights at the hotel. ARI can extend reservations to include Thursday or Sunday nights, but the attendee will pay for the cost of the additional nights. The conference room rate is $191/night (includes taxes and fees) and is available until October 16 or until the room block is filled.

Travel Support

In general, those receiving a scholarship and are flying to the conference will book their travel through ARI’s booking website, which allows for ARI to pay for the flight directly. Those who are driving or taking ground transportation may submit a request for reimbursement of expenses after the conference. Further details will be provided when a scholarship is awarded.

Getting There

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the closest airport. The hotel does not provide a shuttle service to or from the airport. Ground transportation between the hotel and airport includes:

  • Subway (MARTA): Midtown Arts Center Station stop is 0.5 miles from the hotel ($2.50 one way from the airport; a reloadable Breeze card is required and costs $2.00)
  • UberX or UberPool: $20 – $24 if surge pricing is not in effect (one way)
  • Taxi: Flat rate of $32.00 from airport to the Midtown area

“It was a wonderful experience from start to finish. I love how engaging the event was, and especially how accessible the speakers were.”

Krystal Grey, University of Manitoba

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting the Most Out of #AynRandCon

Can I still enjoy #AynRandCon if I’m new to Ayn Rand’s ideas?

Absolutely! The content is balanced so those at all levels of familiarity with Rand — from beginners to advanced students — benefit. Every year there are dozens of first-time attendees.

How can I get to know other attendees before #AynRandCon?

The main way to interact with attendees before the conference is to join the AynRandCon 2018 Facebook Group. There, you can chat with other attendees about their plans for the conference. You can also search the #AynRandCon hashtag on Twitter to see what’s being said about the conference.

Will I have opportunities to interact with speakers outside the sessions?

Yes! In addition to taking questions during their sessions, AynRandCon speakers are happy to make themselves available for discussion whenever there is a break in the conference programming. We encourage you to interact with speakers during breaks, receptions and meals.

Conference Basics

Can I attend a single session or day of the conference?

Attendees receiving a scholarship are required to attend the full conference, from 7 PM on Friday, November 2, to 4 PM on Sunday, November 4. If you are not receiving a scholarship you are exempt from this requirement, but please let us know if you will not be attending the full conference.

I can’t find a flight that doesn’t conflict with the conference schedule. What should I do?

The Atlanta airport is a major hub for domestic and international flights, so this is a rare occurrence. If you’re having difficulty, contact us at students@aynrand.org, and we will work with you to resolve the issue.

What is your Cancellation/Refund Policy?

The registration fee will be refunded for cancellations made by October 10. Please contact us at students@aynrand.org if you are no longer available to attend the conference.

Do I have to stay at the W Atlanta-Midtown hotel or can I stay elsewhere?

Attendees receiving a scholarship are required to stay at the W Atlanta-Midtown hotel and to have a roommate who is also attending the conference. If you are not receiving a scholarship, you are exempt from these requirements.

How can I find a roommate?

Post a message on the AynRandCon 2018 Facebook Group to connect with other attendees concerning rooms, travel, etc. If you’ve done this and are still having difficulty finding a roommate, email us at students@aynrand.org and we can assign you a roommate.

Will you be livestreaming the conference?

We will not be livestreaming the conference, but some sessions will be available on ARI Campus or ARI’s YouTube Channel after the conference.

Are meals included in the conference? Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?

The conference includes a Friday night reception with light fare, Saturday and Sunday lunch and all-day coffee, and a party on Saturday evening with hors d’oeuvres. The reception and party include one free drink, after which there is a cash bar. Every meal will have a vegetarian option. Contact us (students@aynrand.org) if you have questions about the meals.

At the Conference

Will there be free Internet?

Yes! Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the guestrooms and meeting spaces.

What are the transportation options from the airport to the hotel?

Please visit the Hotel and Travel section above. Other information can be found on the website of W Atlanta-Midtown and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

What is the charge for parking at the W Atlanta-Midtown?

The hotel offers only valet parking, which is $40.00/day.

How will I find conference events inside the hotel?

The meeting spaces are easy to find. The main meeting room is the Great Room, which is on the lower level of the hotel.

Is there a dress code?

The conference will be photographed and filmed and has a “smart” or “smart casual” dress code, which means casual but presentable and neat. See the links for more information, and if you have questions contact us at students@aynrand.org.

What is your recording policy?

No private audio or video recording is allowed. ARI records conference events and makes them available later through our YouTube Channel, eStore and other outlets. However, you are encouraged to take photos and tweet (#AynRandCon)! We only ask that you refrain from using flash photography during talks so as not to disturb the speakers and other attendees.

About the Conference Organizers

Where can I learn more about Ayn Rand’s ideas?

Visit the Ayn Rand Institute’s main website, AynRand.org, and explore a wealth of resources related to Ayn Rand and her philosophy, Objectivism. A selection of past conference talks and courses is available at at ARI’s YouTube Channel and eStore, and ARI Campus offers a large selection of free online courses. The Students section of our website covers a range of educational programs and resources available to students through ARI.

Where can I learn more about STRIVE?

STRIVE (STudents for Reason, Individualism, Value pursuit, and Enterprise) is a nationwide student organization which consists of a network of campus clubs, as well as a campus newspaper distributed across the country (The Undercurrent). STRIVE clubs give students access to practical resources and knowledge through the unique perspective of Objectivism, and provides them with opportunities to join the broader Objectivist student movement. Visit StriveClubs.org and learn more.

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Register

Expand the following registration options to see which one is right for you:

Students ($100)

All students in a degree program, an apprenticeship program or the Objectivist Academic Center who are at least eighteen years of age by November 2, 2018, are eligible to apply to attend Ayn Rand Student Conference 2018. Those who have graduated from or who will begin such a program within six months of the start of the conference are also eligible. (Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.)

All those aspiring to attend the conference must apply to do so and be accepted. The application entails first registering for the conference and then completing the separate scholarship application (which you must complete even if you are not seeking a scholarship). Those accepted will receive a scholarship of up to $1,000 in value for lodging and travel costs, unless they have chosen to waive the scholarship support and make the funds available to other applicants.

The scholarship application is available at aynrand.org/scholarships#aynrandcon. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until October 1, but funds may be exhausted before then. Please complete the application as soon after registering as possible. You must include your registration number when you apply.

For those whose applications are denied or who cancel before October 10, the fee will be refunded at the time of the denial or cancellation. After October 10, no refunds will be given for cancellations.

Sponsors ($2500)

ARI is once again inviting non-students to attend AynRandCon by supporting the conference as a Sponsor. Your support will allow students to attend AynRandCon and learn about Objectivism. AynRandCon Sponsors are able to attend all conference sessions, receptions and meals, and can interact with students and speakers throughout the conference. Sponsors are also invited to a special Saturday evening dinner with speakers and conference staff.

As a Sponsor, you will be given recognition in conference materials (with an opt-out option), and you will be sent exclusive pre- and post-conference reports and additional sponsor perks.

Registration as an #AynRandCon Sponsor is $2,500. A portion of your Sponsor registration, $2,000, is a tax-deductible donation to the Ayn Rand Institute and will support Ayn Rand Student Conference 2018.

If you would like to contribute without attending #AynRandCon or if you would like to contribute more than $2,500, please visit our AynRandCon 2018 Sponsoprship Guide or contact contributions@aynrand.org.