What Is the Antigua Forum?

Throughout the United States and around the world, the most effective way to advance liberty, opportunity, economic progress, and human flourishing is through voluntary action and private initiative. When individuals are free to pursue their dreams, ideas, and goals in ways that benefit themselves and others, the potential for peaceful and prosperous societies is at its greatest. Many, though—especially those who focus on political reforms—lack the entrepreneurial lens that can identify the signals and models that would help them discover how to successfully implement their vision, expand their impact, and make it stick.

In answer to this need, in 2012 Universidad Francisco Marroquín (UFM) launched the Antigua Forum. The Antigua Forum helps innovators with projects that are well-positioned to advance human well-being through economic freedom.

How does the Antigua Forum help?

Every January, the Antigua Forum gathers approximately fifty carefully selected and highly-leveraged leaders—political reformers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, heads of think tanks, and experts in strategy and communications. Around ten are invited to bring a concrete project that has great potential to advance human well-being through economic freedom, and that also faces tough challenges. The other participants serve as a “brain trust,” offering their knowledge and expertise to raise the chances of success for each project.

Guided by trained facilitators, participants and project owners engage with a highly productive format—based on the principles of collaboration, individual choice, and self-organization—to discover better ways to advance liberty by moving projects from thought and discussion to action and implementation. The process helps these project owners understand their biggest obstacles, brainstorm solutions to overcome these obstacles, and then develop action plans that can raise the odds of success for their projects.

The participants who help these project owners often find that they get as much as they give, and many leave the event with new insights on how to better advance liberty and opportunity. Those who are philanthropists or investors appreciate the opportunity to identify, evaluate, and connect with innovative ideas to advance common goals.

In addition, the Antigua Forum process has proved to be highly adaptable and productive in addressing other goals. UFM has applied this process to help other free-market organizations rethink how they carry out their missions, redesign their signature event, or simply raise their game on their most important activities.

How to Support

Key to the success of the Antigua Forum is selecting the right mix of people and projects for each annual event. Participants and project owners come from around the world, including approximately half from the United States. Most participants cover their event-related expenses (airfare, lodging, meals). However, it often happens that some of the most promising candidates are least able to pay. In these cases, the Antigua Forum helps cover costs, especially in the case of first-time participants or those with especially powerful projects. There is significant need for
funding the following areas:

  • Support for select first-time participants, especially those with a promising project
  • Support for administrative staff, to help with costs not covered by participants

For more information on how you can support the Antigua Forum, please contact Nina Rasch at nina@foufm.org.