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Self-driving cars. Smart home technology. Connected health devices. The fourth industrial revolution is already well underway – but does it bring promise, peril, or both?

This November, join Acton scholars in Austin as we explore how the modern workforce is changing due to technological innovation. We’ll be asking questions like:

  • What can we really know about “Industry 4.0”?
  • Is it even possible to prepare for the coming changes?
  • What are the economic implications of this fourth industrial revolution?
  • What does it mean to be human in an age of increasing automation and disruption?
  • How do we preserve and promote liberty and virtue in this new world of work?

Conference attendees will explore the interdisciplinary nature of these questions and learn how to address the fundamental ideas that undergird the conversation.

The ideal conference attendee is a student (undergraduate or graduate) with some experience studying economics, philosophy/ethics, technology, and/or theology.

Attendance is by application only. Conference fees, meals, and lodging will be covered for accepted applicants. Travel scholarships are available. Applications are now closed. 

Hunter Baker Headshot
Hunter Baker, J.D., Ph.D.
Union University

University Fellow and Associate Professor of Political Science

Hunter Baker, J.D., Ph.D. is the dean of arts and sciences at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He is the author of The End of Secularism, Political Thought: A Student’s Guide, and The System Has a Soul. He has also written widely for a variety of outlets which include Touchstone, Christianity Today, Modern Age, Public Discourse, the Journal of Law and Religion, Perspectives in Politics, and many others. Baker won the Acton Institute’s Michael Novak Award in 2011 and now serves as an affiliate scholar for Acton and as an associate editor of the Journal of Markets and Morality. He is also a research fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and a contributing editor for Touchstone

Dan Churchwell Headshot
Dan Churchwell, M.A.
Acton Institute

Associate Director of Program Outreach

Dan Churchwell, M.A. comes to Acton from Dakota Wesleyan University, where he served as Program Coordinator and Instructor for Leadership and Public Policy at the McGovern Center. Prior to DWU, Churchwell was an instructor and administrator at the Spokane, WA campus of Moody Bible Institute where he taught courses in philosophy, apologetics, and philosophy of education. He also directed the office of Field Education, working closely with student volunteers as they served both locally and internationally. Before coming to Moody, he taught for three years in the School of Global Commerce and Management at Whitworth University, teaching courses in business, social ethics, and non-profit management.


Dan also has extensive experience in a Fortune 100 logistics company, a commercial real estate investment firm, as executive director of an international medical non-profit, and has served on multiple non-profit boards.

He holds an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Central Baptist Seminary, a B.A. from Northland International University, and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from St. Thomas University in MN. He also has further graduate study in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from Talbot School of Theology at Biola University.

Paul Mueller Headshot
Paul Mueller, Ph.D.
The King's College

Assistant Professor of Economics

Paul Mueller is an assistant professor of economics at The King’s College in Manhattan. He received his Masters and Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University. Dr. Mueller’s academic interests include monetary economics, public choice economics, the history of economic theory (particularly the works of Adam Smith), and Austrian economics. He has published articles in the Journal of Private Enterprise, the Review of Austrian Economics, the Adam Smith Review, and the Quarterly Review of Austrian Economics. He lives in Harrison, New Jersey with his wife Kathryn and their three children.

O. Alan Noble Headshot
O. Alan Noble, Ph.D.
Oklahoma Baptist University

Assistant Professor of English

O. Alan Noble is Assistant Professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University, Editor-in-Chief of Christ and Pop Culture, and author of Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age, InterVarsity Press. Dr. Noble has published articles in The Atlantic, VOX, First Things, and Buzzfeed. He lives with his wife and three children. 

Jay W. Richards Headshot
Jay W. Richards, Ph.D.
The Catholic University of America

Assistant Research Professor in the School of Business and Economics

Jay W. Richards, Ph.D. is the executive editor of The Stream. He is an assistant research professor in the School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute. He is author of many books including the New York Times bestsellers Infiltrated (2013), and Indivisible (2012), co-authored with James Robison. He is also the author of Money, Greed, and God (2009), winner of a 2010 Templeton Enterprise Award; and co-author of The Privileged Planet with astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez. His most recent book, co-authored with Jonathan Witt, is The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom that J.R.R. Tolkien Got and the West Forgot (2014). He has a Ph.D., with honors, in philosophy and theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Event Details

Start Date

End Date


Hyatt Regency Lost Pines
575 Hyatt Lost Pines Road
Lost Pines, TX 78612
United States


To be determined


Conference fees, meals, and lodging will be covered for accepted applicants. Travel scholarships are available. 

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