Atlas Network is delighted to announce that Linda Kavuka of African Students for Liberty in Kenya, Greg Brooks of Better Cities Project in the United States, and Roxana Nicula of Fundación para el Avance de la Libertad (Fundalib) in Spain have been named finalists in the 2020 Think Tank Shark Tank competition. The winner, who will be chosen by a panel of judges comprised of thought leaders in the freedom movement, will receive a $25,000 prize in project seed funding. Think Tank Shark Tank is sponsored by the Smith Family Foundation and will be held during Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner online on November 12.
President of African Students for Liberty
Project: “Uhamaji Huru: A Free Migration Project”
It is often easier to migrate out of Africa than migrate within Africa. This has led to slavery in parts of the northern continent, brutal working conditions in the Great Lakes region, and hundreds of annual drownings in the Mediteranean. Unfortunately, those seeking legal migration in Africa lack accessible migration channels. African Students for Liberty’s Uhamaji Huru campaign seeks to make migration in Africa not only permitted, but encouraged, by national governments. The SFL team plans to create public awareness through online and in-person campaigns, articles, and seminars that highlight the harm of a restrictive migration policy. The team will also produce a research-backed policy paper that it will present to stakeholders and international organizations. The outreach and concrete solutions offered in the policy proposal will be the groundwork needed to usher through real migration reform.
Linda Kavuka began promoting the ideas of liberty in 2013 when she joined Students For Liberty as a Charter Teams Member. She was later accepted to the Inaugural African Executive Board in 2014, serving as Regional Director for East Africa where she helped to launch SFL in the region. She served as chair of the African Executive Board in 2015 and is the host of the annual Eastern African Regional Conference. On behalf of African Students For Liberty Kenya Linda was selected to represent the youth interest in the project, Fostering Issue Based Political Dialogue in Kenya towards the 2018 General Elections, a project in partnership with Liberal Alliance Denmark, Kenya Association of Manufacturers and Eastern African Policy Centre January 2016 – November 2017. Linda completed a Bachelor of Law from the University of Nairobi and the Advocates Training Program from the Kenya School of Law. She is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, and previously practiced law at Muma and Kanjama Advocates. Linda recently joined Students For Liberty as staff and is the current African Programs Manager.
Co-Founder and President of Better Cities Project
Project: The 1921 Project
In 1921, Washington DC began encouraging zoning laws, which were immediately implemented in a discriminatory way. Almost 100 years later and most of these arbitrary laws are still on the books in some of America’s largest and most populous cities, effectively declaring who can build what and where. The 1921 Project wants to make zoning laws morally untenable and politically dangerous. They plan on doing this by planting several seeds, including building a coalition of 2,500 individuals and organizations, holding 8-10 town halls to activate the grassroots, authoring 6-10 policy proposals, and holding several live events. Better Cities Project will provide the policy and publicity while the local groups provide the political pressure.
Greg Brooks is the founder and president of the Better Cities Project. He is an alumnus of Atlas Network's Executive Accelerator. Brooks is no stranger to market-oriented policy organizations, having led public affairs for the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation, public relations for the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, and national outreach efforts for Compact For America, as well as other groups. In his more than 30 years as a journalist, public relations professional and entrepreneur, Brooks has consistently helped elected officials, the press and the public understand and support complex policy ideas. As a business leader, he has advised multimillion-dollar clients on the most effective ways to enter new markets and change the dynamics of existing ones.
Co-Founder and CEO of Fundación para el Avance de la Libertad (Fundalib)
Project: Young and Self-Employed
Spain has the highest self-employment tax in the European Union. This excessively high tax has contributed to a youth unemployment rate over 40 percent. Anyone who is self-employed must pay 4,000 Euros annually just to operate, whether they have income or not. This barrier has made it difficult for young people to take a chance and start a business. Fundalib plans to harness existing anger over these policies and produce a whitepaper on Economics of Youth Entrepreneurship and Tax Obstacles. The team will present the report to relevant stakeholders, highlighting the negative consequences of an unemployed youth.
Roxana Nicula is one of the founders of the Foundation for the Advancement of Liberty (Fundación para el Avance de la Libertad), a Spanish libertarian think tank. She is an independent online communication consultant and translator and a law school graduate at both National Bucharest University and Ecological University. Currently, she is Chair of the Board of Trustees of Fundalib.
Nicula was born in Romania under the Ceaușescu communist dictatorship in a middle class classic liberal-leaning family where both parents were car engineers. After the end of the communist regime while she was a university student, she began to actively promote free-market capitalism reforms as a member of the National Liberal Party (PNL) in the Youth Division (TNL). Years after that experience she co-founded in 2009 the Libertarian Party in Spain, ran several local, national, and EU elections, and is now General Secretary of this young political party advocating openly for capitalism in Spain.