Each year, as part of Atlas Network’s Smart Bets program, we select 10 high-achieving partner organizations that represent the freedom movement’s established and up-and-coming stars from around the world. These organizations are given a game-changing opportunity to make even more profound advancements in their work within the Smart Bets class. Membership provides partners with additional grant funding, access to collaborative meetings and consultations with the Atlas Network team and other Smart Bets organizations, and networking engagements with prospective donors. The pinnacle of the Smart Bets program is the chance to compete for an additional US$50,000 grand prize to the organization that can demonstrate the most transformational impact of their work at the Liberty Investors Summit, held during the Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner 2022 in New York City.
The 2023 Smart Bets encompass three U.S. states and seven countries, representing five continents. This week’s featured 2023 Smart Bets include:
Students for Liberty Brasil | Brazil
Students for Liberty Brasil (SFLB) shares with us the story of one of their alumni, Ítalo Cunha. Ítalo grew up in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro where he had limited access to new opportunities. After learning about SFLB and getting involved with their program, he was exposed to a range of businessmen, leaders, and academics who inspired him to further his education and become an entrepreneur. Ítalo ended up attending Georgetown University and eventually started his own business. SFLB is committed to playing a role in inspiring more future leaders and entrepreneurs across a range of industries and fields.
Currently, students in the public school system in Brazil have few opportunities to learn about liberty at a young age, because the values of entrepreneurship and free markets are not widely embraced in the country. SFLB was created over a decade ago with the goal of changing that reality, aiming to use their Liberty and Entrepreneurship Course to reach an ever-expanding audience of public school students and advance the pro-liberty movement. By engaging with students, SFLB believes they can create a sustainable movement by producing future generations of leaders like Ítalo in Brazilian society. They plan to develop the scope of their program by working alongside public school administrations to distribute their course throughout Brazil, and host workshops, lectures, and mentorship programs to directly encourage student engagement. Because this project is generational, as students graduate from high school, they are given the opportunity to join the SFLB movement as coordinators and volunteers, and work with pro-liberty projects throughout Brazil that best fit their unique interests and skill sets.
Young Voices | United States
Young Voices Level Up Initiative
There is tremendous untapped potential for sustainable youth engagement in political movements, and Young Voices thinks the best way to tap into that potential is by enlisting enthusiastic and dedicated young people to find creative and direct ways to engage with their peers. Young Voices is at the forefront of talent development in the United States. Over the past decade, they have created a network of over 400 rising leaders for liberty—in think tanks, universities, and the media. As part of the 2023 Smart Bets class, they plan to expand three of their primary programs.
With their Regional Leaders Program, Young Voices will focus on developing new talents and partnerships that embrace individuals’ local roots and authentic knowledge of their home region. The Accelerator Program, which is a vehicle for individuals starting up their own media ventures, will expand from the traditional uses of podcast and video-streaming to include new creative outlets, from TikTok influencers to Substack writers. Over time, Accelerator will engage a robust network of libertarian creatives who can collaborate and influence the public. Finally, The Dissident Project is the newest launch by Young Voices. The project enlists young people who have escaped authoritarianism and socialism and supports them in sharing their experiences with high school and college audiences across the country. The expansion of these programs, and their successes putting pro-liberty influencers in the headlines, will secure Young Voices as a premiere organization for talent development.