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Reaching Millennials With Ideas on Liberty: A Strategic Outreach and Message-Testing Campaign on the Humane Values of the Free Society

Project Leader(s)

Richard Lorenc

Grantee(s)
Foundation for Economic Education
Description

Free societies and free markets promote peace, cooperation, prosperity, strong character, and social progress. Collectivism fosters conflict, mistrust, poverty, moral degradation, and despair. Unfortunately, with the failures of communism now a distant memory, many Millennials (born between 1982-2004) regard free markets with indifference or suspicion and embrace collectivist solutions (even if they do not term them as such) as welcomed progress. Ineffective communication of the freedom philosophy means young people have not yet connected how liberty is the means to achieving a humane and just society. Supporters of the free society now have the opportunity to illuminate the hearts of this rising generation. However, this will not happen until we have solid data on the messages, media, and styles to which they respond. This project proposes to answer: Are there certain approaches that may undermine the credibility of collectivist solutions among Millennials and induce large numbers of them to give serious consideration to the free market approach? This project combines FEE’s core competency–teaching students how freedom matters to their lives and the lives of all–with a research-based and iterative approach to produce a robust understanding of the most effective ways to influence various segments of Millennials, particularly those aged 14-26. It leverages heavy investment in customer research, data analysis, and channel development. After assessing the current state of pro-liberty messaging, it applies insights to produce multimedia (video and podcasts) and seminars as experiments in messaging that will move Millennials to see markets as a genuine force for personal growth and social progress, making insights available to like-minded groups. The project positions FEE to become the liberty movement’s leading resource in communicating with Millennials, setting the stage to dislodge collectivism from its “high ground” position among the rising generation.

Grant Amount:
$1,800,698
Start Date:
January 2017
End Date:
December 2019
Grant ID:
58635

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