Who We Are
Adam Smith Society

The Adam Smith Society, founded by MBA students at some of America’s top business schools, brings together students and professionals to discuss and debate the contributions of the free market to advancing human flourishing and opportunity for all. 

Like its parent, the Manhattan Institute, the Adam Smith Society is committed to defending free enterprise while welcoming the participation of all open-minded people interested in the competition of ideas.  

What We Do

Founded in 2011 in partnership with the Marilyn G. Fedak Capitalism Project, the Adam Smith Society seeks to do for free-market principles what the Federalist Society has done for constitutionalism.  

We host events with thought leaders from industry, academia, and the policy world for talks and debates that unpack key policy challenges facing the business community and our country at large. Our events examine questions like:  

  • How do we train the American workforce for jobs of the future? 
  • Does the free market promote inequality or opportunity, or both? 
  • Ought firms prioritize social and environmental goals? 
  • How does capitalism affect the least privileged? 
  • Is Big Tech a problem for our democracy, and if so, should it be regulated? 

Our Community

A little over 10 years since our founding, the Adam Smith Society now is a community made up of thousands of business professionals across the globe. There are Adam Smith Society student chapters on 35 of the top business school campuses.  

Our members are impacting American public life and will increasingly do so in the coming decades through their efforts in private industry, public service, and philanthropy.  

“Would I have joined the Adam Smith Society? In a heartbeat. There was nothing like this.

There was nothing that could teach you the value of business in the world or teach you that you’re doing something that’s good and worthwhile. [...] A support network of like-minded people would have been wonderful.” 

Cliff Asness, Founder AQR Capital Management

Our Reader

James R. Otteson (ed.)

What Adam Smith Knew: Moral Lessons on Capitalism from Its Greatest Champions and Fiercest Opponents

This book provides some answers through seminal readings on the nature, purpose, and effects of capitalism as understood by its most influential expositors, both historical and contemporary. In addition to Adam Smith himself, the selections gathered here include essays and excerpts by thinkers ranging from Locke and Rousseau to Hayek and Cass Sunstein. All are chosen and arranged to highlight the ways that capitalism bears on a set of fundamental human concerns: liberty, equality, social order, virtue, and motivation.