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TFAS Equips Young Leaders to Defend Freedom at Inaugural Future of Freedom Luncheons


The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) recently completed the first year of the Future of Freedom Luncheon Forum series made possible through the John William Pope Foundation’s Future of Freedom Initiative grant.

This series brings together young leaders from the conservative and libertarian movements for wide-ranging conversations about how to enhance the principles of freedom and the Western rule-of-law tradition. The Future of Freedom Luncheon Forum also serves as the entry-point into TFAS’s Future of Freedom programming, which allows emerging leaders to engage in conversation about philosophy, policy, and politics.

Dr. Samuel Gregg speaks with Future of Freedom Luncheon participants.

An accomplished author of 10 books, including his most recent, “The Enduring Tension: Capitalism and the Moral Order,” and a renowned expert on the political philosophy known as ‘fusionism,” TFAS Senior Scholar Dr. Donald Devine chaired the series.

TFAS hosted eight events from September 2022 to May 2023, with the majority of sessions featuring readings and a special guest speaker. Featured speakers included:

Dr. Don Devine speaks to the participants at the Future of Freedom Luncheon.

Attendees at the Future of Freedom Luncheons represented a variety of media outlets, including the Washington Examiner, Public Discourse, Reason, National Review, The Dispatch, Mediaite, and The Messenger. Participants also included representatives from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), The Mercatus Center, The Vandenberg Coalition, the Hudson Institute, and the Tax Foundation.

Participants engaged in wide-ranging and in-depth conversations on topics such as “The Authoritarian Convergence,” “Ideas Behind ESG,” “The Next American Economy,” and “19th Century Nationalism and 20th Century Fusionism.”

These luncheons provided an essential opportunity for the next generation of conservative and libertarian leaders to expand their networks and gain a better understanding of how applying fusionist principles can solve current political and policy conflicts. The Future of Freedom Luncheons influenced many of the attendees’ coverage of issues related to the size and scope of government, economic freedom, and conservatism.

Dominic Pino of National Review shared that the luncheons provided a valuable opportunity for participants to hear from conservative thought leaders while allowing for professional connections with like-minded individuals who are interested in thinking deeply about those issues.

“It’s a great opportunity to hear from some of the leading conservative voices on major issues facing our country,” Pino said. “The people I’ve met at the Future of Freedom lunches are fun to talk to and always have something interesting to add to the conversation.”

The people I’ve met at the Future of Freedom lunches are fun to talk to and always have something interesting to add to the conversation.” – Dominic Pino of National Review 

Future of Freedom Luncheon Forum attendees chat with Jonah Goldberg after discussing his forward to What is Conservatism?.

Upon the announcement of the Future of Freedom grant and new programming last fall, TFAS Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Steve Slattery said that the funding allows TFAS to enhance its work to equip courageous leaders who will defend the values of freedom.

“With this grant, TFAS will enhance our work to develop courageous leaders for liberty,” he said. “The overall goal is to invigorate, create thoughtful and provocative content, and increase collaboration for leaders in public policy in order to advance freedom.”

Through supporting the work of Future of Freedom fellow Donald Devine, fostering the collaboration of conservative intellectuals, and educating the next generation of courageous leaders, TFAS has successfully implemented and fulfilled the proposed objectives for the first year of the Future of Freedom initiative.

The John William Pope Foundation supports nonprofit public policy work that defends the American tradition of a free-market economy under the rule of law. The Foundation’s Future of Freedom Initiative, established this year, is a targeted program that seeks to refresh, rebuild and revitalize American conservatism with grants that invest in projects and institutions exhibiting inclusion, integrity, innovation and influence.

The luncheon series will continue in September, with a focus on fusionism’s approach to individualism and community. Attendance at this luncheon series is by invitation only. Please contact Ryan Wolfe, director of The Center for Excellence in Journalism, at rwolfe@TFAS.org with any questions.


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