Linda Whetstone Program for Advancing Freedoms is a free three-stage training program for Belarusian youth with an active social position who want to develop their leadership qualities and improve their knowledge in economics, political science, history and other areas and learn more about social activism around the world.
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What is the purpose of the Program?
The purpose of the Linda Whetstone Program for Advancing Freedoms is to unleash the inner potential of Belarusian youth in the country and abroad and to expand their knowledge of economic and individual freedoms.
What will be the subject of Linda Whetstone Program for Advancing Freedoms?
The first stage — an online-studying
For four weeks, participants will gather at Google Meet and listen to lectures from leading experts from Belarus and Ukraine in the fields of economics, political science, and philosophy. The meetings will start at 19:00 Kyiv time. The schedule and topics are presented below.
- March 14 – “Where does wealth come from?”
- March 17 – “Free Market and Redistribution of Wealth”
- March 21 – “Why dictatorship does not lead to prosperity”
- March 24 – “Decentralization as a guarantee of the nation’s well-being”
- March 28 – “Leadership and Project Management”
- March 31 – “How to become a leader?”
- April 4 – “Basic concepts of human rights”
- April 7 – “Weapon in a Free Society”
At the end of each training week, a thematic test will be sent to participants to help assess the level of knowledge gained during the last lectures.
The second stage — an offline conference in Ukraine
25 Belarusian students who were the most active in the online part and received excellent scores on the results of thematic tests will have the opportunity to attend a large-scale conference.
The conference will last for three days: from April 29 to May 1, 2022, near Kyiv.
Networking with other participants and speakers of online learning, informative panel discussions, and group assignments — all of these wait for the conference participants.
Participants from Belarus and Belarusians in exile will be able to attend the event. We fully cover the cost of tickets, food and accommodation for the conference.
“It will be a real intellectual training ground,” said Daniil Lubkin, Head of the USF.
The third stage — an internship
Three students from the previous stage, who will show the highest motivation to study and the desire to build a free society will be able to start paid internships in our partner organizations — the Ukrainian Society for Economic Freedom (Ukraine) and the Mises Research Center (Belarus-Ukraine).
The five-month internship will focus on developing a vision of a new, democratic Belarus: with a free economy and free people. The graduates will work together on a publication that will analyze exactly how they see the future of Belarus. Those who reach the end will receive not only secure recognition in Ukraine but also financial support.
Who organizes the Program?
The program was created by the public organization “Ukrainian Students for Freedom”, which defends economic and individual freedom. You can read more about our principles here.
Since the beginning of the protests in Belarus, we have supported the protesters’ demands and organized several rallies to support them in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities.
In 2021, we conducted a large-scale project “Belarus Leadership Program”, which involved more than 150 Belarusian students. Thanks to the acquired knowledge, the graduates of the project created the NGO “Belarusian Students for Freedom”, which will soon begin active educational activities.
In addition, our activists have been corresponding with Belarusian students imprisoned by the dictatorial regime for opposition activities for more than a year – they have even launched an online initiative “Write a letter to a political prisoner”.
Also, together with the Mises Research Center, the Institute of Freedom and the NGO “Belarusian Students for Freedom”, we held a weekend school “Belarus for the modern world. The path to freedom and democracy for Belarusians in the country and abroad. ” The school brought together Belarusian-Ukrainian experts, entrepreneurs and activists who care about the fate of Belarus and its democratic future.
Project partners: ATLAS Network, Bendukidze Free Market Center, Mises Research Center and Ukrainian Society for Economic Freedom.
Why the program is named after Linda Whetstone?
Linda Whetstone (1942-2021) was a British libertarian who had been fighting for free-market ideas throughout her life. She was a president of the Mont Pelerin Society, an international association of liberal scholars and practitioners first founded by Hayek in 1947, a trustee of the Institute of Economic Affairs, and a mentor of thousands of classic liberal activists and thought leaders around the world.
Throughout her life, Linda Whetstone has worked on translating books on the idea of freedom to several languages, helping to spread free-market ideas around the world. She co-edited Islamic Foundations of a Free Society and co-authored a CD, Ideas of a Free Society, with key works by important liberal thinkers, Hayek and Friedman. More than 150,000 copies have been distributed in more than 60 countries. Linda’s work has inspired many organizations and individuals.
Linda was also one of the judges in the Think Tank Shark Tank competition from ATLAS Network, the victory which gave us the opportunity to conduct this program. A few days after the competition, Linda’s heart stopped.
To honor Linda’s memory and her outstanding role in the struggle for freedom, we named the project after her.
Who can participate in the training program?
Linda Whetstone Program for Advancing Freedoms is open to Belarusian youth who are interested in politics and civic activism and want to join the creation of a new, free Belarus.
How to become a participant in the program?
To enter the program, you need to fill out the registration form.
Deadline for sending the form: February 27, 23:59.
By March 4, the selected participants will receive letters with additional testing by e-mail. The general test will allow us to see what values of freedom the participants distinguish for themselves, what level of awareness in economics and political science they have.
By March 10, we will send the final selection results to all participants and create a general chat.
In which language the program will be?
Program languages: Belarusian and Russian.
How much does the training cost?
The program is completely free. During the offline conference, we provide food and accommodation, and the cost of tickets to the conference venue is fully reimbursed.