I recently had the pleasure of making my way down to Lynchburg, Virginia, to the campus of Liberty University to attend the Networking the Nations CEO Summit, hosted by business school dean and former member of Congress Dave Brat. The conference was a mix of inspirational stories, leadership lessons, political pitches, and practical business opportunities. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was in attendance, and gave remarks related to his new book, Defeating Big Government Socialism, now available from Center Street press.
The Liberty business school has a special connection to Africa, so they were pleased to welcome attendees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Mozambique, and Tanzania, among others. Former Ghana President John Mahama spoke eloquently about the future opportunities for economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, and participants discusses challenges like the influence of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the longstanding strategy of the government of the People’s Republic of China to secure natural resource supplies on the continent.
The conference also had a special focus on my particular area of interest of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, and its implications at the crossroads of politics and faith. Panelists like Jerry Bowyer and Kevin Freeman discussed how attendees could respond to the idea that a mostly left-of-center ESG agenda. Part of that solution for conservatives is setting up investing options built on their own values and goals—the firm Amberwave Partners was an example—and pushing back politically on things like the recent rulemakings at the Securities and Exchange Commission that are pushing U.S. firms into a corporatist corner without any input from Congress.
The Liberty conference, by the way, took place immediately after the Breakthrough Institute’s Ecomodernism 2022 conference, which I blogged about here. I mentioned the 2021 Liberty University CEI Summit in an article for National Review last September.