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The Acton Institute has long had an international presence, most commonly in the conferences it has hosted around the world. These gatherings include our standard Toward a Free and Virtuous Society conferences, as well as two Catholic Bishops' conferences. Acton scholars also speak regularly at other conferences around the world, from Hungary to Guatemala.

But in recent years, Acton has expanded its international efforts, most notably with the founding of an office in Rome. This post has allowed the institute to host a number of additional conferences and lectures that expose a greater number of European leaders to the intersection of freedom, faith, and the public sector. For example, the Acton Institute has recently started a series of 10 lectures (nine in Rome and one in Poland) in honor of the fifteenth anniversary of the papal encyclical Centesimus Annus . This series will take place through 2007 and will feature world renowned experts in economics, philosophy, and theology. The first of this series was held in October 2005.

But perhaps the greatest and most exciting example of Acton's international influence has been our work with our international affiliates. This past summer, Acton hosted a group of like-minded educators and entrepreneurs from around the world for a week of intense, specialized training. Equipped with a solid understanding of our core principles, these affiliates now carry on Acton's work in their home countries on the grassroots level. This work has resulted in the founding of institutes in Austria and Argentina, the support of a third in Brazil, and the beginnings of one in Zambia. By hosting conferences, pursuing research, and translating texts, Acton affiliates are reaching Europe, Africa, and South America in ways we could not have hoped for in the past.

As we continue with our educational efforts, we look forward to even more relationships with partners around the world. It is personal contacts like these that encourage the Acton Institute to plow ahead with its message of freedom and responsibility, whether that be in Paradise, Texas, or Lima, Peru.

Kris Mauren
Executive Director

Kris Mauren is co-founder and executive director of Acton Institute, an international educational and public policy organization based in Grand Rapids, Michigan and with international offices in Rome, Italy and Buenos Aires, Argentina.   The Institute publishes scholarship and film and organizes educational seminars around the world for current and future religious leaders across denominations promoting an understanding of the ethical dimensions of the free market economy.