Prometheus – Das Freiheitsinstitut
Prometheus – Das Freiheitsinstitut is a think tank aiming to spread the idea of liberty. It is our goal to strengthen the value of individual responsibility in our society. We are convinced that taking one’s life in one’s own hands is pivotal for human dignity.
Therefore we take a stand for individual liberty, a strong civil society, a free market order, the rule of law and rolling back the paternalistic state. Prometheus wants to contribute to building a free society.
With Prometheus we want to actively change our society. This cannot be achieved in one stroke. We not only want to halt bad policy in the short but, above all, we want to change the climate of opinion. We do not aim for quick and isolated success that may not last long. Rather we look for lasting and sustainable change. By waging specific campaigns we are able to criticize current political measures and offer constructive counterproposals. But above all, we work for social change. Through our events and publications we seek to reach key stakeholders including journalists, academics and teachers and especially young people. We do not want to surrender the contest for the hearts and minds of the people to those who put the case for paternalism. We are willing to muster up the necessary courage, patience, and idealism in order to win the battle of ideas.
Prometheus does not stand alone. We are well connected with entrepreneurs, academics, journalists, and politicians in Germany and beyond. We have close relationships with many think tanks in Germany, Europe, and all over the world. Above all, we nourish hope from the growing number of people who rediscover the value of liberty, especially the young generation who yearn for a life with more freedom and responisbility. These young people are the future we must build on.
We stand for a comprehensive pro-liberty conception of man: for an open society, the free market, and the rule of law. We are inspired by important thinkers such as Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville, Frédéric Bastiat, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich August von Hayek, Karl Popper and James Buchanan. We are also inspired by women and men who through their practical commitment, have helped to create a free society. These include Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, William Wilberforce, Richard Cobden, Louise Otto-Peters, Eugen Richter and Antony Fisher. In our work we are guided by the example of other think tanks who, in the past, have managed to influence their countries in a lasting way such as the Institute of Economic Affairs in Great Britain, the Cato Institute in the USA and the Lithuanian Free Market Institute.
We have chosen the Greek mythological figure Prometheus as our namesake. Prometheus stands for the liberation of man from immaturity. The fire which Prometheus brought mankind empowered them to self-determination and liberty. We want to spark this fire in the minds and hearts of the people in our country. Our motivation is idealistic. We do not pursue special interests and we are independent of political parties. We believe in the power of ideas.
Frank Schäffler, born in 1968, is one of the most prominent figures in the pro-liberty movement in Germany. He was a member of the Bundestag from 2005 to 2013. Then, he vigorously opposed the so called rescue of the Euro and voted against all attempts of debt communitisation in the Euro zone. In his party, the FDP, he organized a much-noticed member’s vote on the ESM. His book „Nicht mit unserem Geld“ („Not with our money – The crisis of our monetary system and its consequences for us“) is a bestseller.
Clemens Schneider, born in 1980, works on his PhD on the English historian Lord Acton and his notion of liberty. He co-founded the educational project „Agora“ Summer Academy and the blog „Offene Grenzen“ („Open Borders“). From 2011 to 2014 he held a scholarship by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and held responsible positions there organizing several seminars and conferences. He is active as blogger and speaker and is in constant contact with the young members of the pro-liberty movement.
Prof. Thomas Mayer
Prof. Dr. Thomas Mayer is founding director of the Flossbach von Storch Research Institute in Cologne. Previously, he was chief economist of the Deutsche Bank Gruppe and head of Deutsche Bank Research. Prior to being engaged in the private sector, he occupied various positions with the International Monetary Fund in Washington and at the Institute for World Economics in Kiel. In 2014 he published the book “The new order of money – why we need a monetary reform” published.
Prof. Stefan Kooths
Prof. Dr. Stefan Kooths, born in 1969, is head of the Forecasting Center of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. He teaches economics at the Business and Information Technology School (BiTS) in Berlin. He stands for a coordination-oriented paradigm in understanding economics, inspired by the scientific programme of the Austrian School of Economics and combines both cyclical analysis and regulatory policy.
Prof. Justus Haucap
Prof. Dr. Justus Haucap, born in 1969, is founding director of the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) of the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf. From 2006 to 2014 he was a member of the monopoly commission of the German federal government, which he headed from 2008 to 2012. Professor Haucap is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Federal network Agency and president of Econwatch – association for policy analysis.
Others About Us
Modern Germans have created a free and prosperous nation, but like economic capital, moral and legal capital can be eroded. For Germany – and Europe – to continue to enjoy prosperity, freedom, and peace it is vital to renew that capital, that is to say, the rule of law, protection of property, limited government, and toleration. I am profoundly impressed by the team of the Prometheus Institute and am committed to working closely with them in coming months and years.
Dr. Tom G. Palmer, Executive Vice President for International Programs, Atlas Network
We are delighted that a new voice for free markets has emerged in Germany, one that is independent and 100% privately funded. We look forward to seeing Prometheus play a major role in shifting the climate of opinion in Germany, and wish them every success.
Mark Littlewood, Director General des Institute of Economic Affairs, London
Germany is one of the largest economies in the world. A country such as that needs an organization committed to true liberalism. I look forward to seeing the Prometheus Institute’s work.
David Boaz, Executive Vice President des Cato Institute, Washington D. C.
Now more than ever an independent analysis and critique on state of things is needed. „Prometheus“ has a chance to enlighten public debate in Germany. Best of luck!
Žilvinas Šilėnas, President des Lithuanian Free Market Institute, Vilnius
There has been a growing student movement for liberty in Germany for the past several years. I am excited by the founding of the Prometheus Institute to work with and build upon the student movement for liberty’s activities to advance the principles of liberty in public policy in Germany.