Summit Overview

On October 17-18, 2024, The Future of Free Speech and Vanderbilt University will host the inaugural Global Free Speech Summit, an event to discuss the most pressing challenges threatening freedom of expression worldwide and identify impactful solutions to reinvigorate this fundamental freedom.

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About the Summit

Oct. 17-18, 2024  |  Nashville, TN

On October 17-18, 2024, The Future of Free Speech and Vanderbilt University will host the inaugural Global Free Speech Summit. Experts from academia, industry and civil society organizations will gather on Vanderbilt’s campus to discuss the most pressing challenges threatening freedom of expression worldwide and identify impactful solutions to reinvigorate this fundamental freedom.

From 2012-2022, 6.3 billion people across 81 countries experienced declining freedom of expression. This global free speech recession has dire consequences for democratic governance, but The Future of Free Speech, located at Vanderbilt University, is focused on finding solutions to create a resilient global culture of free speech.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Nathan Law — Hong Kong activist
  • David French — Columnist, New York Times
  • Julie Owono — Executive Director of Internet Sans Frontières
  • James Bennet — Senior Editor, The Economist
  • Rana Ayyub — Indian Journalist and columnist for The Washington Post
  • Billion Lee — Co-founder of Cofacts, Taiwan’s pioneering fact-checking entity
  • Mishi Choudhary — Senior Vice President of Virtu
  • Daniel Diermeier — Chancellor of Vanderbilt University

Panelists will discuss free speech in three discrete yet overlapping areas:

  • The challenges to free expression from governments.
  • The impact of the private tech sector on freedom of expression and access to information.
  • The challenges to freedom of inquiry and expression in cultural institutions that create and disseminate knowledge and art.

This multi-day summit will offer speakers, panelists and attendees a unique opportunity to engage with and exchange ideas, research, and solutions to turn back the tide of global threats to free speech stemming from these three sectors.

Full summit registration will open this summer.

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About The Future of Free Speech

The Future of Free Speech is an independent, nonpartisan think tank located at Vanderbilt University. Through knowledge, research and advocacy, it works to restore a resilient global culture of free speech in the digital age. Led by Jacob Mchangama, The Future of Free Speech has published cutting-edge research and provided influential commentary on the state of global freedom of expression.

About Dialogue Vanderbilt

>Vanderbilt reaffirms its over a century-and-a-half-long commitment to free speech and civil discourse through Dialogue Vanderbilt. The initiative comprises a vast array of programs and offerings, including the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracythe Vanderbilt Debate Teamthe Open Dialogue Visiting Fellows program and The Future of Free Speech.