Free Societies

2023 Smart Bets Weekly Highlight: Atlas Network Partners in Poland and Spain

Conference Audience

Each year, as part of Atlas Network’s Smart Bets program, we select ten 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 $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 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:

Fundacja Liberté! | Poland
Freedom Games

Conversation and debate between individuals that represent a range of sectors, from culture to business to public affairs . . . renowned keynote speakers from the United States, Russia, China, Ukraine, France, and many other countries around the globe . . . a partner network of participating organizations, from the Open Societies Foundation to Google and Facebook—all of this is on tap at Fundacja Liberté’s annual event, Freedom Games. This event first launched in 2014, and in less than a decade, has increased its attendance from a couple hundred attendees, to 1,700 in-person attendees, and more than 1 million online viewers for the 2021 edition. Freedom Games, which takes place in the center of Poland, has become a leading intellectual event for promoting liberty, democracy, free markets, and an open society, attracting more than 280 speakers from around the world.

Although Freedom Games has already grown tremendously, Fundacja Liberté! sees significant opportunity for continued development in the coming years. In an age of growing populism and illiberalism, Fundacja Liberté! sees it as vital—now, more than ever—to bring freedom closer to the hearts and minds of European societies. In the next three years, they aim for Freedom Games to expand the number and diversity of speakers and increase their online audience. With the current geopolitical context of the Ukraine War, Fundacja Liberté! hopes to engage more media outlets, partners, and speakers from Ukraine in Freedom Games to empower their pro-Western transformation. Fundacja Liberté! also aims to work collaboratively with Atlas Network and other Smart Bets organizations to share a data-based case study for how an event like Freedom Games shapes networks and decisionmakers.

Fundación para el Avance de la Libertad | Spain
Taxes Down, Citizens Up!

Fundación para el Avance de la Libertad, also known as Fundalib, works to advance a more economically competitive regional and municipal tax system by engaging the 50 largest cities and 19 regional tax authorities in Spain. Over the last six years, Fundalib has successfully contributed to 25 tax reform policy improvements. Fundalib’s annual Regional Tax Competitiveness Index and the Index of Economic Freedom for Spain’s Cities have been vital tools in these efforts. Due to currently high levels of inflation in Spain, and the subsequent economic stress on citizens, there has been a shift in sentiments away from non-essential government spending and toward a more financially responsible approach. As a result, regional and local authorities are now reaching out to Fundalib for guidance and information on how to better perform on their annual indices.

As part of the 2023 Smart Bets class, Fundalib intends to advance priority tax reform goals at both the regional and local level, including duplicating a successful effort to scale back the wealth tax in Madrid in other communities, reducing the construction tax rate across more cities, and making local corporate tax rates more lenient. Fundalib says their advocacy strategy is based on identifying both short- and long-term policy goals, which will give the organization a sustainable path to building a permanent presence in Spain’s tax reform debate.