Past Annual Conferences

The Bridwell Institute's annual conference is a half-day conference held each fall. The annual conference attracts some of today's leading academics, policy makers, and thought leaders to address various topics. Previous conferences have featured Thomas Sowell, George Will, John Mackey, John Allison, William J. O'Neil, Walter Williams, Phil Gramm, James K. Galbraith, and others. 


2019: Past as Prologue: What History Teaches Us About Today's Economy

  • Tim Harford, Author of The Undercover Economist
  • Richard Alm (SMU)
  • W. Michael Cox (SMU)
  • Douglas A. Irwin (Dartmouth College
  • Jayme Lemke (George Mason University)
  • Edward Stringham (American Institute for Economic Research)
  • Ning Wang (Zhejiang University)

2018: Ethical Conundrums of Capitalism

  • Vernon Smith, 2002 Nobel Laureate (Chapman University) (Video)
  • Jim Otteson (Wake Forest University) (Video)
  • Scott Cunningham (Baylor University) (Video)
  • W. Michael Cox (SMU) (Video)
  • Jessica Flanigan (University of Richmond) (Video)
  • Brink Lindsey (Niskanan Center) (Video)

2016: Capitalism: Curse or Cure?

  • Matthew Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist and The Evolution of Everything

  • Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind and Grand Pursuit

  • W. Michael Cox, co-author of The Myths of Rich and Poor

  • Alex Epstein, author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

  • Robert Gordon, author of The Rise and Fall of American Growth

  • Marian Tupy, editor of

2015: Keeping the Texas Economy Strong

  • Former Sen. Phil Gramm (Video)

  • Brooke Rollins, Texas Public Policy Foundation (Video)

  • Dean Stansel, Florida Gulf Coast University (Video)

  • James Galbraith, University of Texas (Video)

  • W. Michael Cox, SMU (Video)

  • George W. Will

2014: The Road to Freedom: Migration and the Search for a Better Life

  • Caroline Brettell, SMU (Video)

  • Nathan Ashby, UTEP (Video)

  • Robert Lawson, SMU (Video)

  • Alex Novrasteh, Cato Institute (Video)

  • Richard Vedder, Ohio University (Video)

  • Jim Prewitt, Landmark Nurseries

2013: Entrepreneurship in Education: The Key to Rebuilding America's Middle Class

  • W. Michael Cox, Director, O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom (Video)

  • James Tooley, University of Newcastle upon Tyne (Video)

  • Jeff Sandefer, Acton MBA & Acton Academy (Video)

  • Eugenia Toma, University of Kentucky (Video)

  • Bryan Caplan, George Mason University (Video)

2012: The Future of Economic Freedom

  • W. Michael Cox, Director, O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom (Video)

  • Robert A. Lawson, SMU (Video)

  • Benjamin Powell, Suffolk University (Video)

  • Christopher Coyne, George Mason University (Video)

  • Michael Clemens, Center for Global Development (Video)

  • Michael Strong, FLOW, Conscious Capitalism, Inc., and the Free Cities Institute (Video)

  • Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus Center at George Mason University (Video)

  • John Mackey, Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Video)

2011: Free Market Solutions for Today's Toughest Problems

  • Brian Habacivch, Senior Vice President, Research & Publications, Fellon McCord (Video)

  • W. Michael Cox, Director, O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom, SMU Cox School of Business (Video)

  • John Goodman, President & CEO, National Center for Policy Analysis (Video)

  • Lisa Snell, Director of Education and Child Welfare, Reason Foundation (Video)

  • Michael Tanner, Senior Fellow and Director of Social Security Choice project, CATO Institute (Video)

  • Robert Stavins, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program (Video)

  • Warren Stephens, CEO, Stephens Inc. (Video)

2010: Reviving Economic Freedom in America

  • Walter Williams, Distinguished Professor of Economics, George Mason University (Video)

  • W. Michael Cox, Director, O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom, SMU Cox School of Business (Video

  • David Henderson, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution at Stanford University (Video)

  • Fred L. Smith, President and Founder, Competitive Enterprise Institute (Video)

  • William J. O’Neil, Publisher, Investor’s Business Daily

  • Thomas Sowell, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution at Stanford University (Video)

  • Stephen Moore, Senior Economics Writer, The Wall Street Journal (Video)

  • John Allison, Retired Chairman & CEO, BB&T and Distinguished Professor, Wake Forest University School of Business (Video)

Image list box item - 2009

  • Richard W. Fisher: President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Video)

  • W. Michael Cox, Director, O'Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom (Video)

  • Robert A. Lawson: Co-author, Economic Freedom of the World Annual Report (Video)

  • Richard K. Templeton: Chairman, President and CEO Texas Instruments (Video)

  • Panel Discussion with Thomas J. Falk, Chairman and CEO, Kimberly-Clark

  • Gustavo Calvo Paz, VP and Managing Director, Kimberly-Clark Eastern Europe

  • Stephen Shao, President, Kimberly-Clark China (video)