September 18, 2014


AFF Austin Reaches New Audiences with Your Ideas

By: Kathryn Shelton

Meet Arif Panju: Innovative AFF Leader. arif

Your support of America’s Future Foundation goes directly to help leaders like Arif Panju to advance liberty in their cities nationwide.

Arif started the Austin chapter of America’s Future Foundation in April of 2013.  His full-time job is an attorney at the Institute for Justice. He first heard about AFF from a longtime friend, Ashok Chandra, who at the time led AFF New York City.

So far, the Austin chapter has been one of AFF’s busiest.  Arif has recruited a talented board, and together they have put on dinners, panels, roundtables and film screenings that reached a wide audience.

Arif explains how AFF Austin draws diverse audiences to educate about the ideas of liberty:

“Long term, our plan for AFF-Austin is to continue demonstrating how individual liberty forms the pillars of a free society and that Austin, at its core, is more liberty-minded than anything else. Austin has an entrepreneurial spirit that has thrived—from food trucks, to urban farms, to becoming the new destination of choice for tech entrepreneurship—because of access to free markets, economic liberty, and a robust marketplace of ideas.

By continuing to host cutting-edge events, our goals are to both highlight the importance of individual liberty when assessing the issues of the day, and identifying young leaders that can both apply and articulate the principles of liberty in an effective way.”

According to Arif, three of their events stand out. The first was a joint event with Google in February of 2014: No Freedom Without Privacy: The ECPA Needs an Upgrade. (pictured below) This event was a panel debate on the severely outdated Electronic Communication Privacy Act and more than 80 young professionals attended.

The second event was a sold-out screening of Reason Magazine’s documentary, America’s Longest War: A Film About Drug Prohibition. It was held at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and included a Q&A with Reason’s Jacob Sullum.

The third was an event co-hosted with Americans for Prosperity, the Institute for Justice, and Liberty on the Rocks: Ridesharing Austin: Drinks, Debate, and Plenty of Designated Drivers. More than 100 people came to hear how the city of Austin is stamping out ridesharing by enforcing laws that protect the taxi monopoly from competition. The event received media coverage from the local Fox and CBS affiliates as well as a cover story in the Austin-American Statesman.

Arif is just one of the many leaders that give their time and efforts through AFF to advance liberty.

arif speaking