By Katie Dawson
Last month, the DeVoe L. Moore Center had the opportunity to co-sponsor a one-day conference with the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) at Florida State University. FEE is an organization dedicated to educating individuals on free-markets and economics in a way that is both easily digestible and interesting. On February 28, their staff took the stage to present on, “How the Sharing Economy is Changing the World.”
The day started off with a presentation from FEE distinguished fellow Jeffrey Tucker, an insightful beginning. Tucker spoke about how the rising peer-to-peer economy is quickly becoming a staple in our everyday lives. Nikki Sullivan followed Tucker with a captivating talk on how neuroscience and economics intertwine to help explain human behavior. Sullivan explained that the way humans behave and react to their environment has a lot to do with the emergence of markets in mankind’s early history.
Following a lunch break, Lawrence Reed, President of FEE, gave students some insight on why free trade is the optimal way to both improve relationships with other countries and to improve the domestic economy. He also discussed how free trade’s outcomes differ from protectionism and results in higher welfare for both producers and consumers in the long run.
Students then had the chance to participate in a group activity meant to improve their entrepreneurial skills. Attendees broke into teams to discuss business ideas, and after some time, the best ideas were chosen and presented to a panel of entrepreneurs. The simulation was in the style of the television show, “Shark Tank,” where budding entrepreneurs present their business plans with the hopes of receiving funding from distinguished professionals. This gave students the opportunity to work on their business “pitches” in a fun and challenging way.
The conference came to a conclusion with Max Borders and his presentation on the power of entrepreneurship to create value in a world of growing uncertainty. His message was empowering. He spurred the young individuals in the audience to take advantage of the sharing economy as an entrepreneurial tool. He stated that this would better both themselves and the world at large.
Over 120 students attended the conference, and with engaging speakers and a wealth of encouragement, it was a huge success for those present. It was hard not to feel optimistic about the future as speakers and attendees passionately discussed the potential benefits of the sharing economy.
A social took place after the lectures, where attendees had the opportunity to engage with the speakers and share their thoughts about the day. Students were able to convey their opinions and ideas to some of the brightest intellectuals that free-market economics has to offer. The overall sentiment was very positive, and members of FEE shared their enthusiasm about future events at Florida State.
The DeVoe Moore Center was delighted to have been a part of the conference’s success and hopes to see more educational experiences like this taking place for FSU’s students. Entrepreneurship and peer-to-peer technology continues to empower Millennials, and with the technological progress that has occurred in just the past few years, it seems the best is yet to come!