Skip to main content Skip to main content

Ideas matter

Alexandre Padilla explores economic and political freedom for students and the community.

February 12, 2015

Alexandre Padilla (left) receives the Kent-Aronoff Service Award from APEE 2014 President Peter Boettke. PHOTO: Courtesy of APEE
Alexandre Padilla (left) receives the Kent-Aronoff Service Award from APEE 2014 President Peter Boettke. PHOTO: Courtesy of APEE

As Albert Einstein once noted, information is not knowledge. Truth is revealed only through comprehension, the application of information and by challenging the status quo.

This is what Alexandre Padilla, associate professor of economics and director of the Exploring Economic Freedom Project, has aimed to achieve over the past seven years by hosting more than 25 campus debates and lectures that address the benefits and costs of economic and political freedom.

“I care about improving the well-being of the least fortunate. I believe that ideas matter. They guide the world and public policy,” said Padilla. “It’s important for students and the community to learn the facts and get involved in the conversation, as there is a lot of misinformation about markets, entrepreneurship, what businesses do and the role of government.”

The Exploring Economic Freedom lecture series serves as a forum to debate the best means of achieving goals associated with economic and political freedom, including decreasing crime and violence, promoting social mobility, reducing poverty, stimulating business creation and improving health. The upcoming debate, “Sweatshops & Poverty: Exploitation or Salvation,” which was funded in part by the Institute for Humane Studies, is scheduled for Feb. 19 from 12:30-1:45 p.m. in the ballroom of MSU Denver’s SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown Hotel. A YouTube channel will air the debate for those unable to attend.

Topics of past debates include foreign policy, development and entrepreneurship in Africa, the criminal justice system in the U.S. and abroad, the war on drugs, the value of higher education, the microbrewery industry, Wal-Mart and immigration.

Padilla also supports student work and has secured funding for students to present senior projects and undergraduate research at the Association of Private Enterprise Education’s annual conference. He was awarded the association’s Kent-Aronoff Service Award in 2014 for his contributions in support of undergraduate research.

“It’s hard to match the energy and passion Dr. Padilla puts into making the Exploring Economic Freedom Project a success for our students and the community,” said Arthur A. Fleisher III, chair and professor of economics. “He isn’t afraid to take on challenging or controversial topics, and the students respond and respect the healthy debate he seeks to generate from the lectures.”

Edit this page