We believe in the dedication of our team, the ideas of our partners, and the
commitment from our donors to have a tremendous impact on the
worldwide freedom movement.

Atlas Network does not receive funds from any government or quasi-government institutions.
Since its founding and according to its bylaws, Atlas Network has relied solely on
voluntary gifts from those who cherish the principles of a free society.


Atlas Network increases global prosperity by strengthening a network of independent partner organizations that promote individual freedom and are committed to identifying and removing barriers to human flourishing.


Our vision is of a free, prosperous, and peaceful world where the principles of individual liberty, property rights, limited government, and free markets are secured by the rule of law.


Atlas Network cultivates a network of partners that share this vision. To accelerate the pace of achievement by our partners in their local communities, Atlas Network’s unique "Coach, Compete, Celebrate!" strategic model inspires our partners to improve performance and achieve extraordinary outcomes.

  • Coach Atlas Network provides world-class seminars, workshops, mentoring, and other learning opportunities that inspire professionalism and build community among our independent partners.
  • Compete Atlas Network offers grant and prize competitions that fuel our partners' efforts to develop, innovate, and succeed.
  • Celebrate Atlas Network fosters camaraderie and stokes ambitions among our partners by celebrating their greatest accomplishments through events and media outreach.


A firm believer in the impact of independent think tanks, Antony Fisher founded the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in 1981.

Antony Fisher never knew his father. He was killed by a sniper’s bullet in Gaza during World War I when Antony was two-years old. Antony and his brother Basil served as pilots in the Royal Air Force in World War II, part of “the few” in Winston Churchill’s memorable phrase about the Battle of Britain: “Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.”

“Without Fisher, no IEA; without the IEA and its clones, no Thatcher and quite possibly no Reagan; without Reagan, no Star Wars; without Star Wars, no economic collapse of the Soviet Union. Quite a chain of consequences for a chicken farmer!”

After victory came at last in the war against Germany’s National Socialism, Fisher was distraught to see the British people elect a Labor Party government that set the country on a socialist course: nationalizing industries and using central planning to run the economy. He came across an abridged edition of F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, which posits that central planning inevitably erodes individual liberty and enables tyranny. Fisher was motivated to seek out Hayek, who was then teaching at the London School of Economics. Fisher told Hayek that he agreed with every word in the book, and was going to go into politics to save Britain from socialism.

Several years later, after achieving success as an entrepreneur (creating the first factory-style chicken farm in Britain), Fisher decided the most effective way to act on Hayek’s advice would be by establishing an independent research institute that would bring innovative, market-based perspectives to issues of public policy. In 1955, he founded the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in London, which gradually gained credibility and laid the intellectual groundwork for what later became the Thatcher Revolution.

Fisher lived in San Francisco in 1981 when, with the help of his second wife Dorian, he founded the Atlas Economic Research Foundation to institutionalize this process of helping start up new think tanks. Friends like Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, and Margaret Thatcher applauded the idea of replicating the IEA model far and wide.

Fisher died in 1988, just weeks after being honored with knighthood by Queen Elizabeth. British MP, Oliver Letwin later commented on the incredible influence of this RAF pilot turned chicken farming entrepreneur turned think tank pioneer: “Without Fisher, no IEA; without the IEA and its clones, no Thatcher and quite possibly no Reagan; without Reagan, no Star Wars; without Star Wars, no economic collapse of the Soviet Union. Quite a chain of consequences for a chicken farmer!”


Atlas Network’s “Coach, Compete, Celebrate” model — coaching through training programs, fostering friendly competition via grants and awards, and then celebrating partners’ achievements at our world-class events — inspires higher levels of innovation and effectiveness throughout the freedom movement.

This approach seeks to strengthen the worldwide freedom movement by expanding and energizing the global network of think tank leaders and staff to continually inspire and redefine excellence in advancing the cause of liberty.


In its first four decades, Atlas Network has played a role in the work of numerous market-oriented public policy organizations all over the world, including the Manhattan Institute in New York, the Afghanistan Economic and Legal Studies Organization, the Acton Institute in Michigan, Fundación Libertad in Argentina, the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, Instituto Libertad y Desarrollo in Chile, the Centre for Civil Society in India, the Lebanese Institute for Market Studies, the Free Market Foundation in South Africa, CEDICE Libertad in Venezuela, the Fraser Institute in Canada, Istituto Bruno Leoni in Italy, the Advocata Institute in Sri Lanka, the Centre for Development and Enterprises Great Lakes in Burundi, and the Association for Liberal Thinking in Turkey, among others.

Today, Atlas Network connects more than 500 think tanks in nearly 100 countries. Each of our partners is demonstrating how principled work affects public opinion in favor of the ideas of a free society.

While the think tank movement has grown significantly over recent years, the spirit of Atlas Network’s work stays true to Antony Fisher’s vision. To win the long-term policy battles that will shape history, we need freedom champions to create credible institutes—well-managed and independent of vested interests—that use sound business practices to advance sound public policy ideas that improve the quality of life for all.

Atlas Network is not endowed and does not accept government funding. We do not support political candidates or parties, nor are we otherwise involved in partisan politics.

In the most widely cited and influential index of think tanks in the world, the University of Pennsylvania’s 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report ranked Atlas Network highly in: "Best Think Tank Network," "Best Independent Think Tanks," "Top International Development Think Tanks," "Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks," "Top Think Tanks in the United States," "Best Managed Think Tanks," "Best Think Tank Conference," "Think Tanks with the Best Use of the Internet," "Best Use of Social Media and Networks," "Think Tanks with the Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program," and "Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedures."

We are grateful to those generous individuals, philanthropies, and businesses that entrust us with financial resources to build a greater public consensus around the ideas of a free society by advancing the Atlas Network mission.

View this video to learn more about Atlas Network.