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Success in Business Symposium

Success in Business Symposium

4 Mins
May 18, 2016

The Atlas Summit, the premiere conference of open Objectivism, is featuring a "Symposium on Success in Business."

Ayn Rand was one of the few moral philosophers in history who regarded business as a noble activity, on a par with all other forms of creative achievement, and she celebrated business achievers as heroes in Atlas Shrugged.

The moral code of her philosophy, Objectivism, provides a strong and motivating foundation for the traits needed for business success: rationality, productiveness, integrity, and independence. At the same time, the skills and methods that successful businesses employ can be adapted to other areas of life. They can give us insights about how to apply the abstract principles to day-to-day life.

The Success in Business Symposium will explore this two-way traffic in a series of three talks and a concluding panel session. The speakers are accomplished entrepreneurs, consultants, and educators; and all of them have a deep grounding in Objectivism.

Join them to depend your own understanding of how to be an entrepreneur in your own life.


Robert L. Bradley, Jr. is the CEO & Founder of the Institute for Energy Research. He is the author of seven books, most recently Edison to Enron: Energy Markets and Political Strategies.

Dr. Patrick Gentempo is the founder and CEO of Action Potential Holdings, Inc. He is often referred to as the “Philosopher-Entrepreneur.” He is a well-known and respected star in the world of health, wellness and business.

Kim Sawyer is a serial entrepreneur who has been a committed Objectivist since age 15, with over 20 years of business experience. Today he coaches key business people and teams to create greater wealth for their organizations and themselves.

Heather Wagenhals is an adjunct professor, distinguished speaker, author/columnist and broadcast professional on brain-based financial literacy, identity theft, and fraud.

Jay Lapeyre (Panel moderator) is chair of The Atlas Society board. His is the CEO of Laitrim, a manufacturing firm in New Orleans and industry leader in its field.

Robert Bradley, Success in Business Symposium: Ayn Rand and Best Business Practices

The heroes in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are successful businessmen. All readers of the novels can agree that the heroes behave heroically. But do they behave in ways that characterize successful businessmen?

This lecture will compare the behavior of Rand’s heroes with the insights of four authors in the classical-liberal tradition whose works identify key aspects of free-market business success: Samuel Smiles, Joseph Schumpeter, Ronald Coase, and Friedrich Hayek. Along the way, it will demonstrate that the classical liberal capitalist Charles Koch has adopted and updated all of these insights. It will then argue that Rand thoroughly understood the insights of two of these authors but slighted the insights of two others. And it will suggest that her moral and aesthetic philosophy may have been responsible for her oversights.

Patrick Gentempo, Success in Business Symposium: Unleashing the Power of Philosophy in Business

The most important word in the world, is probably the most misunderstood word in the world. What's the word? Philosophy. What comes to mind when you hear the word "philosophy"? Old guys in robes walking around in ancient Greece? Academics having abstract conversations that have no practical entrepreneurial use?

In "Unleashing the Power of Philosophy in Business," serial entrepreneur Dr. Patrick Gentempo will make a passionate argument about the VERY practical use of philosophy in business and life.

In this very unique presentation, Dr. Gentempo will share:

  • The 5 step sequence from philosophy to prosperity.  
  • The branches of philosophy and how to apply them practically the power of premise͛ and the importance of identifying premises in business and life.
  • His unique "Philosophy Formula" that pulls it all together.

Whether you are a business owner, C-level executive, or an employee, understanding the practical use of philosophy in business can truly change your life. Don't miss it!

Kim Sawyer, Success in Business Symposium: Wealth is More Than Money

Life, Liberty and the Creation of Wealth: Aren't these what a going human concern in the Business of Life requires?

Life and liberty? Sure. But what about Wealth? What is it, really? Is wealth money? Is it Stocks or Bonds? Think again!

What is success in life, really? Your title? Your bank account? Your portfolio? Your toys? Think again!

Every moment of your life is an investment decision. Come and explore the idea of building success in every area of your life using the same principles and techniques we use for building financial success

Success in Business Symposium: Panel Session and Summit Closing

The experts from our symposium on business success meet in a panel discussion to discuss the key philosophical principles that underlie success in business. Has Robert Bradley identified the key principles? Has Patrick Gentempo or Kim Sawyer done so? Heather Wagenhals adds her insights and Jay Lapeyre leads the discussion.


The Success in Business symposium can only be found at the 2016 Atlas Summit, July 11-13, at the Planet Hollywood hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Register now.

David Kelley


David Kelley

David Kelley is the founder of The Atlas Society. A professional philosopher, teacher, and best-selling author, he has been a leading proponent of Objectivism for more than 25 years.

David Kelley Ph.D
About the author:
David Kelley Ph.D

David Kelley founded The Atlas Society (TAS) in 1990 and served as Executive Director through 2016. In addition, as Chief Intellectual Officer, he was responsible for overseeing the content produced by the organization: articles, videos, talks at conferences, etc.. Retired from TAS in 2018, he remains active in TAS projects and continues to serve on the Board of Trustees.

Kelley is a professional philosopher, teacher, and writer. After earning a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1975, he joined the philosophy department of Vassar College, where he taught a wide variety of courses at all levels. He has also taught philosophy at Brandeis University and lectured frequently on other campuses.

Kelley's philosophical writings include original works in ethics, epistemology, and politics, many of them developing Objectivist ideas in new depth and new directions. He is the author of The Evidence of the Senses, a treatise in epistemology; Truth and Toleration in Objectivism, on issues in the Objectivist movement; Unrugged Individualism: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence; and The Art of Reasoning, a widely used textbook for introductory logic, now in its 5th edition.

Kelley has lectured and published on a wide range of political and cultural topics. His articles on social issues and public policy have appeared in Harpers, The Sciences, Reason, Harvard Business Review, The Freeman, On Principle, and elsewhere. During the 1980s, he wrote frequently for Barrons Financial and Business Magazine on such issues as egalitarianism, immigration, minimum wage laws, and Social Security.

His book A Life of One’s Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State is a critique of the moral premises of the welfare state and defense of private alternatives that preserve individual autonomy, responsibility, and dignity. His appearance on John Stossel’s ABC/TV special "Greed" in 1998 stirred a national debate on the ethics of capitalism.

An internationally-recognized expert on Objectivism, he has lectured widely on Ayn Rand, her ideas, and her works. He was a consultant to the film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged, and editor of Atlas Shrugged: The Novel, the Films, the Philosophy.


Major Work (selected):

Concepts and Natures: A Commentary on The Realist Turn (by Douglas B. Rasmussen and Douglas J. Den Uyl),” Reason Papers 42, no. 1, (Summer 2021); This review of a recent book includes a deep dive into the ontology and epistemology of concepts.

The Foundations of Knowledge. Six lectures on the Objectivist epistemology.

The Primacy of Existence” and “The Epistemology of Perception,” The Jefferson School, San Diego, July 1985

Universals and Induction,” two lectures at GKRH conferences, Dallas and Ann Arbor, March 1989

Skepticism,” York University, Toronto, 1987

The Nature of Free Will,” two lectures at The Portland Institute, October 1986

The Party of Modernity,” Cato Policy Report, May/June 2003;and Navigator, Nov 2003; A widely cited article on the cultural divisions among pre-modern, modern (Enlightenment) and postmodern views.

"I Don't Have To" (IOS Journal, Volume 6, Number 1, April 1996) and “I Can and I Will” (The New Individualist, Fall/Winter 2011); Companion pieces on making real the control we have over our lives as individuals.

Work and Achievement