The opportunity to meet new, young students who are interested in Objectivism. More broadly, the opportunity to network, talk to, and interact with many intelligent people who share my values, sense of life, and philosophical perspective.

OCON 2018 Attendee


Objectivist Summer Conference 2019 will take place in Cleveland, Ohio, June 23–27. The conference has five full days of programming to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Romantic Manifesto. Onkar Ghate, Robert Mayhew, Gregory Salmieri, Tara Smith and Lisa VanDamme will deliver general session talks, and Harry Binswanger will present his course Logic: The Cashing-In. Throughout the week, there will be many arts-related talks and events. Among the art forms discussed will be literature, music, sculpture and painting. Quent Cordair Fine Art will stage a pop-up gallery and offer its own programming for attendee enjoyment. See further details under Program tab.

Cleveland is the city that Ayn Rand chose for the fictional, illustrious Patrick Henry University in Atlas Shrugged. It is, perhaps not coincidentally, the city that, in the 1870s, became the first American city to produce commercial-grade steel through an innovative process, the basic open-hearth furnace. Against this historic background, we will also be featuring talks by businessmen and intellectual entrepreneurs.

The true value of OCON is best described by a past attendee from Poland, who wanted to experience it firsthand:

“I was expecting it to be good but I did not expect OCON to be such a thrilling experience. I have been interested in Ayn Rand’s philosophy and involved in the Objectivist movement in Poland for years, but now, thanks to OCON, I have had the honor and pleasure to meet the scholars and activists from the Ayn Rand Institute, learn a lot about Objectivism and get to know many great people from all around the world.”

Guest room block at the Hilton expired on June 3.

See you in Cleveland! Online registration for Week and Day Passes and all meals closes on June 18..

Livestreaming Now Available

You can now register to livestream eleven sessions. The link to the livestream sessions will be sent to you once you have registered. All the sessions will be available for livestreaming until July 31.

If you have purchased a Week Pass, your registration includes livestream access.

  • Sunday, June 23: “Highlights from The Romantic Manifesto” by Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate
  • Sunday, June 23: “The New Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” by Alex Epstein
  • Monday, June 24: “How to Fill Your Life with Art” by Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate
  • Monday, June 24: “Free Speech and the Threat of Tech Regulation” by Brian Amerige, Yaron Brook, Dave Rubin, Gregory Salmieri
  • Tuesday, June 25: “Principles and Personal Values” by Gregory Salmieri
  • Tuesday, June 25: “Spreading Objectivism: A Vision for ARI’s Future” by Tal Tsfany
  • Wednesday, June 26: “Literature and the Quest for Meaning” by Lisa VanDamme
  • Thursday, June 27: “Aristotle and The Romantic Manifesto” by Robert Mayhew
  • Thursday, June 27: “Free Speech, Free Minds, Free Markets” by Tara Smith
  • Thursday, June 27: A View from the Front Lines of a Public Energy Company” by Nick DeIuliis
  • Thursday, June 27: “Achieving Happiness: Living Life with Purpose“ by Rajshree Agarwal and Tal Tsfany

Refer a friend who’s never attended OCON and receive a $20 Amazon gift card if he or she attends OCON 2019! Ask your friend to name you when registering, and we’ll reward you after the conference.

Cannot make it to OCON but would like to help students to attend the conference? Give a contribution to show your support. (Be sure to write “OCON student scholarships” under Additional Comments.)

Become an OCON corporate sponsor today.

A positive was hanging out with other Objectivists and having quality conversations and the late-night jams were awesome.

OCON 2018 Attendee

Speakers and Schedule

Click above for more information on Speakers/Schedule.

I don't think there was a single highlight, but more like a buffet of good food for my soul.

OCON 2018 Attendee

Hotel And Cleveland

Our host hotel for OCON 2019 is the Hilton Cleveland Downtown. Since all the conference events will be held there, it would be most convenient for you to stay there too, but there is no obligation to do so.

Guest room reservations are now available at group rates starting at $159.Make your reservation online or call the Hilton at (216) 413-5000 and mention OCON, OCON 2019, or The Ayn Rand Institute to get the group rate.

Cleveland has much to offer! Explore these recent articles:

The overall experience of seeing so many people from such varied origins focused at such a serious and intense level on the most important philosophical ideas ever identified. And, they were having a great time was well!

OCON 2018 Attendee

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting the Most Out of OCON

Can I still enjoy OCON if I’m new to Ayn Rand’s ideas?

Absolutely! Some of the content is designed for those new to Objectivism.

I have never attended an OCON. Will it be hard for me to meet new people?

Not at all. Every year there are dozens of first-time attendees. There are receptions and other social events where you can mingle with other attendees. We have attendees from all walks of life, from students to retirees, from first-timers to people who have been to every conference for the past thirty years.

Will I have opportunities to interact with speakers outside the classes?

OCON speakers are happy to make themselves available for discussion outside their classes. But please remember that they also need time to relax! Feel free to approach speakers with questions, but please be polite and nonintrusive.

How can I get to know other attendees before OCON?

One of the best ways to interact with other attendees before the conference is to join the OCON Facebook group. There, you can chat with other attendees about their plans for the conference. You can also follow OCON on Twitter for general conference updates.

Do you have any videos or talks from previous OCONs?

We have a YouTube playlist of videos recorded at recent OCONs here. Also, many of our past conference talks and courses are available in MP3 format at the Ayn Rand Institute eStore.

Attendance Options

What is a typical OCON day like?

The conference days have a mix of talks and panels. We have special programming designed for students as well as programming suitable for all attendees. The day and week passes allow you to choose which days you want to attend and give you access to all the programming offered on those days. If you plan to leave early or arrive late to the conference, purchase a day pass for the day(s) you’ll be attending. If you plan to stay for the entire conference, purchase the week pass. With both passes, you don’t have to decide ahead of time which events to attend—simply show up and take advantage of everything offered.

Tell me more about student pricing.

Student pricing is available to current students only, and attendance at student events may be required to receive the discounted student pricing. Exceptions may be granted for unique circumstances (e.g., one is returning to school after an absence but not yet a current student). Contact us if you have a question about your eligibility.

Where can I find the conference schedule?

Look under the Program.

What are the week pass and the day pass?

The week pass gives you the best price if you plan to attend the entire conference. You gain access to all the programming offered throughout the conference and can take advantage of any of the talks, panels and other events offered each day. You don’t have to pay for individual talks nor do you have to decide ahead of time what you will attend. Simply show up and see what strikes your interest! Also the Opening Reception is included in your week pass. The day pass allows you to attend most events on any single day. If you cannot attend the entire conference, this is the best option for you. Meals are not included in the day pass but can be bought separately, as can any meals not included in your week pass.

How do I register for meals?

Meal registration except for the opening reception is not included in the day or week pass, but you can register separately for the meals you’d like to attend. The Opening Reception will be on June 22 and the Closing Reception and Dance on June 27.

Can I still enjoy the conference if I do not plan to stay for the whole event?

Absolutely! You can leave a few days early, arrive a few days late or come only for a few days in the middle. Every year we have many attendees who can only stay for part of the conference. The new day pass makes it easier than ever to attend only part of OCON.

Can I attend a single talk or other event?

We are not offering the option of attending single talks or events at this year’s OCON. We recommend that you buy a day pass and hope you can take the time to attend several talks or other events on that day.

Will you be livestreaming events?

We are planning to offer livestreaming. More details later.

Conference and Hotel Registration

Are there any conference registration discounts available?

There is a discount for young adults, age 29 and under, as of June 15, 2019; for full-time students of any age with a valid student ID; for OAC students; and for anyone planning to attend the entire conference. For details, see Registration.

How late can I make changes or additions to my passes?

Additional passes can be purchased at any time. If you want to change the dates you are attending, but plan on staying the same total number of days, you can make these changes at any time until June 18, 2019.

Do I have to stay at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel or can I stay elsewhere?

The Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel is our conference hotel and it would be most convenient to stay there. Summer conference attendees get a generous discount on their room at the Hilton, and we encourage you to take advantage of these savings. However, you are under no obligation to do so.

Can you help me find a roommate?

We are happy to help you find a roommate. Please call 800.365.6552, ext. 239, or email to inquire about how we can help you. You can also inquire about roommates on the OCON Facebook page.

Do I have to pay for an Internet connection in my guestroom?

The Hilton has complimentary guestroom Internet access.

Cancellation/Refund Policy

What is your Cancellation/Refund Policy?

  • Cancellation requests postmarked, emailed or made online by December 31, 2018, will receive a total refund.
  • Cancellation requests postmarked, emailed or made online between January 1 and March 31, 2019, will receive a 50% refund.
  • After April 1, 2019, no refunds, except for students, who will receive a 100% refund until May 31.
  • There is a $25 cancellation fee for all cancellations, regardless of when they are made.

How late can I cancel one or more of my passes?

If you cannot attend all the days you purchased passes for, you should cancel your passes as soon as possible to obtain the largest refund. Passes can be canceled at any time before or during the conference, but you will not receive a refund after March 31, 2019.

Navigating the Conference

What are the transportation options from the airport to the hotel?

You can take Uber or a Rapid Transit Authority train from the airport to downtown. The downtown train station, Tower City Center, is about 0.5 mile from the Hilton . The closest airport is Cleveland Hopkins International.

What is the charge for parking?

Discounted overnight self-parking is $27, including in-and-out privileges.

How will I find conference events inside the hotel?

We will have signs directing you to conference events. Also, when you first check in at our Attendee Services, you will receive a program that contains complete conference information, including a guide and map showing where the events are taking place.

How will I know who works for OCON/ARI if I need help?

Staff will have bright yellow/goldenrod ribbons attached to their nametags. Feel free to talk to any of us!

Miscellaneous Questions

What is your solicitation policy?

OCON has a strict no-solicitation policy. All of our attendees are there to learn and enjoy themselves and should not be approached for funding, employment, etc.

What is your recording policy?

No private audio or video recording is allowed. ARI records OCON events and makes them available later through our channels. However, you are encouraged to take photos and tweet! We simply ask that you respect our speakers’ wishes and refrain from using flash photography during talks.

Where can I learn more about Ayn Rand’s ideas?

Visit the Ayn Rand Institute’s main website,, and explore a wealth of resources related to Ayn Rand and her philosophy, Objectivism. A selection of past conference talks and courses is available at the Ayn Rand Institute eStore, and the Ayn Rand Institute Campus has a large selection of free online courses.

Is there a dress code?

The Closing Reception, Dinner and Dance is dressy. The rest of the conference is casual.

Get ready, only

until OCON 2019

Tweet about OCON 2019


Expand the following registration options to see which one is right for you:

Prime Movers
Sponsor students to attend OCON by becoming a Prime Mover.

Register for the full conference.

  • Prime Mover Week Pass $4,400

    The Prime Mover week pass includes tuition and meals. Please indicate if you plan to attend these meals when they are offered. A portion of your Prime Mover week pass is a tax-deductible donation to the Ayn Rand Institute and will sponsor student scholarships to OCON. The tax-deductible contribution is limited to the amount over the fair market value of OCON tuition and meals. We estimate the fair market value of these to be $1,900.

  • Prime Mover Day Pass $1,000

    The Prime Mover day pass includes tuition for one day (no receptions, dinners or lunches, which can be purchased separately). A portion of your Prime Mover day pass is a tax-deductible donation to the Ayn Rand Institute and will sponsor student scholarships to OCON. The tax-deductible contribution is limited to the amount over the fair market value of OCON tuition and meals. We estimate the fair market value of these to be $250.

Adult (age 30+)
Explore our first-time attendee discount.

Register for the full conference.

  • Adult Week Pass $1,750

    The Adult week pass includes tuition and the Opening Reception on June 22. Other meals will be offered separately.

  • Adult Day Pass $350

    The Adult day pass includes tuition. Meals will be offered separately.


  • First-time OCON attendee (Adults week pass only)

    If you have not attended an OCON organized by ARI—i.e., any of those held since 2002—get an extra 10% discount regardless of when you register. First-timer week pass includes the Opening Reception on June 22.

Young Adult (age 29 and under, born on or after June 15, 1989)
Special discounted rates for young adults.

Register for the full conference.

  • Young Adult Week Pass $195

    The Young Adult week pass includes tuition and the Opening Reception on June 22. Other meals will be offered separately.

  • Young Adult Day Pass $50

    The Young Adult day pass includes tuition. Meals will be offered separately.

Student (current students in a degree program or ARI’s Objectivist Academic Center)
Those younger than 15 attend for free with their parents; no registration needed.

Apply for a scholarship to cover some or all your expenses.

In addition to steeply discounted registration pricing, students can apply for a scholarship. Scholarships covering mainly lodging expenses will be awarded based on merit to students who register for a week pass. Any student currently in a degree program (high school or beyond) or ARI’s Objectivist Academic Center is eligible to apply. Scholarship application is available here.

Register for the full conference.

  • Student Week Pass $100

    The Student week pass includes tuition and the Opening Reception on June 22. Other meals will be offered separately.

  • Student Day Pass $25

    The Student day pass includes tuition. Meals will be offered separately.

This was my first OCON—I will have to attend a few more to make meaningful comparisons. However, I was very happy with finally meeting fellow objectivists.

OCON 2017 Attendee


Past OCONs

Probably one of the best weeks of my life!

OCON 2018 Attendee


Consider becoming an OCON Corporate Sponsor or refer the opportunity to your peers. Choose a level of Corporate Sponsorship to fund OCON and promote your product or service to OCON attendees.

Being an OCON Corporate Sponsor allows you to showcase your company or organization to our Objectivist community and it also provides you the following benefits:

  • Access to today’s business and thought leaders as well as the potential leaders of tomorrow
  • Being a part of an atmosphere in support of reason, individualism and capitalism
  • Brand awareness for your product, service or organization including access to potential clients
  • Potential partnerships with other sponsors and attendees
  • Spotlight in OCON materials

Explore our OCON CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP GUIDE for more details or contact