2015 Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner highlights

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For more than three decades, Atlas Network has been the leading organization for building an international network of free-market think tanks. The annual Liberty Forum brings together amazing freedom champions from this network to exchange ideas and share strategies. The gala Freedom Dinner serves as a fitting grand finale to this conference, celebrating heroes of the freedom movement and the principles that friends of Atlas Network are advancing worldwide.

Plan to join us on Nov. 11–12 in New York City and experience these highlights firsthand at the worldwide freedom movement’s most inspirational event of the year:

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Keynote address by Charles Murray, 2015 Templeton Leadership Fellow

Atlas Network is pleased to welcome Charles Murray as its next Templeton Leadership Fellow. In this capacity, Murray will serve as the keynote speaker at Atlas Network’s gala 2015 Freedom Dinner and play key roles in other events and communications efforts. The renowned scholar’s latest book, By the People (2015), suggests a citizen-led approach to curbing the excesses of the regulatory state.

“It is a real honor for Atlas Network to welcome Dr. Murray as our new Templeton Leadership Fellow,” Atlas Network CEO Brad Lips said. “At their best, our think tank partners conduct solid research to illuminate public policy problems, and develop innovative solutions that aren’t bound by politics. Charles Murray provides a great example in both categories.”

Third Annual Liggio Lecture with Professor Randy Barnett

The U.S. judicial system should be the last line of defense for protecting individual rights from the overreaching power grabs of government officials, but too often the courts only serve to approve and enable the worst abuses of government power. Randy Barnett, the Cormack Waterhouse professor of legal theory at Georgetown University Law Center, is at the forefront of a movement to restore judicial review to its proper role of limiting government and protecting individual liberty. Barnett will present the Liggio Lecture at Atlas Network’s 2015 Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner, Nov. 11–12 in New York City.

“[Ten years ago], Barnett was one of a handful of academics on the fringes of conservative legal thought,” a recent New Republic profile explains. “Today, their views are taking hold within the mainstream of our politics. Barnett and his compatriots represent the vanguard of a lasting shift toward greater libertarian influence over our law schools and, increasingly, throughout our legal system. They’re building networks for students and young lawyers and laying the foundation for a more free-market cast of federal judges in the next presidential administration. Their goal is to fundamentally reshape the courts in ways that will have profound effects on society.”

Prestigious 2015 Templeton Freedom Award

Atlas Network is pleased to present the six finalists for the 2015 Templeton Freedom Award, the winner of which will receive $100,000 and be honored at Atlas Network’s annual Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner in New York City on Nov. 11–12, 2015.

“This year's finalists for the prestigious Templeton Freedom Award represent some of the very best organizations in the worldwide freedom movement,” said Atlas Network CEO Brad Lips. “Their projects on property rights, poverty alleviation, regulatory reform, and other key policy areas rank among the most exciting and impactful work we've seen in years.”

Think Tank Shark Tank competition

Do you have what it takes to stand before an audience of over 300 and pitch your next big think tank project? How about before a panel of potential supporters who will quiz you on the intricacies of your plan? In only 6 minutes?

Four Atlas Leadership Academy graduates have had their pitches selected for the 2015 Think Tank Shark Tank competition during Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner on Nov. 11-12 in New York City. One of these outstanding individuals will receive a $25,000 prize from the Rising Tide Foundation.

John Blundell Elevator Pitch

In this fast-paced world with limited attention spans and competing priorities, you must be able to clearly and efficiently articulate what your organization does. In the John Blundell Elevator Pitch, participants of Atlas Network’s featured training program Think Tank MBA have a chance to refine their message in a competition for a chance to win $1,000. Participants must deliver their message in 60 seconds or less to an eager crowd of influencers at Atlas Network’s annual Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner. Think Tank MBA is a 10-day strategic planning program for leaders within new and established think tanks. Participants draft strategic plans, develop campaign plans, and gain customized leadership advice.

Lights, Camera, Liberty! Award

The world is filled with stories that illustrate how innovation, entrepreneurship, productivity, exchange, and the voluntary aid of civil society combine to foster widespread human freedom and flourishing. It’s not always evident, though, how best to harness their narrative power and further spread the ideas of liberty. Lights, Camera, Liberty! is an Atlas Network grant and training program that focuses on how to tell these stories in visual media, culminating in a film festival competition at Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner in New York City, with cash prizes for the winner.

This year, the new Tell Your Story award will also give an Atlas Network partner a chance to work with veteran filmmakers to tell the organization’s story of success and impact. In association with Atlas Network, filmmakers Kit Tyler and Leon Corcos will make a video for one selected Atlas Network partner. The video production and editing costs will be generously donated by Corcos and Tyler, who each have more than 35 years of experience making films. The two filmmakers became involved with Atlas Network as a way to bring their talents and abilities to partner organizations that might not normally have the means for such production.

Auction of Leonard Liggio's copy of Atlas Shrugged

The late 20th century brought a remarkable revival of classical liberal ideas in the United States, and the late Leonard Liggio, Atlas Network’s long-time executive vice president of academics, was there through it all. We know Leonard best today from his decades as a scholar, a gentlemen, and a behind-the-scenes builder of the freedom movement, but his vivid stories about the intellectual tradition to which he devoted his life begin during his days as a student, learning directly from giants of free-market thought like Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand.

In the last two weeks of his life, Leonard donated his first-edition copy of Ayn Rand’s landmark novel Atlas Shrugged to be offered at auction to raise funds for Atlas Network’s global mission of advancing liberty. The book will be auctioned during Atlas Network's 2015 Freedom Dinner, held at Capitale on Nov. 12 in New York City. To make a confidential bid in advance of the event, please email Kristina Crane at

Screening of India Awakes

What makes the difference between poverty and prosperity? For individuals and families, there could be an endless number of variables, such as health, intelligence, education, initiative, perseverance, community, or opportunity. At least some circumstances vary widely in every case. When almost an entire society begins to rise from poverty and approach prosperity, though, it’s important to understand how and why it happens. India Awakes, a new documentary airing on public television stations throughout the United States, hosted by Swedish author and economist Johan Norberg, tells the story of how a country mired in poverty for hundreds of years has seen a dramatic change of course in the space of only a couple of decades.

We will screen the 53-minute film and have a discussion with individuals involved in the film, including special remarks by Dr. Tom G. Palmer, Atlas Network's executive vice president for international programs, and Barun Mitra, founder and director of Liberty Institute in India.

Much, much more!

This is only the tip of the iceberg. View the full schedule for Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner to see the wide array of speeches, panels, and networking opportunities that you'll have the opportunity to see and participate in directly!