Atlas Network launches center for U.S. and Canada

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[ARLINGTON, VA – October 15, 2019] Atlas Network is delighted to announce the Center for U.S. and Canada, a new opportunity to focus on the role that free markets, property rights, and the rule of law have in creating the conditions for people to thrive in the region.

Under the direction of John Tillman, the Center for U.S. and Canada will support Atlas Network’s regional partner organizations in their efforts to create positive perceptions of the role of free enterprise and individual liberty in advancing a freer, more prosperous world for all.

“Individual initiative by people and groups can create a catalyst for change, but experience has proven that a network of allied people and organizations is essential to make that change transformational and sustained. I am excited to be working with Atlas Network to create new opportunities for peace and prosperity to thrive,” said Tillman. “We share a vision of the benefits of a free society, and we share a sense of optimism that the tools we need to advance a free society are within our grasp.”

The Center for the U.S. and Canada is part of a proven strategy for improving the effectiveness of think tanks and other players in the freedom movement. By leveraging Atlas Network's strengths in training programs, competitive grants, media outreach, and events, and by building new capacity through coalition engagement, the Center will engage a peer-to-peer network that is advancing innovation and idea diffusion. With more than 180 active organizational partners in the United States and 13 in Canada, Atlas Network is well-positioned to work with local civil society groups that are addressing complex issues with home-grown solutions that focus on local needs.

“The United States and Canada represent more than a quarter of the world’s economy, and together they have an even greater role on the world stage as beacons of free enterprise and individual liberty,” said Brad Lips, Atlas Network’s chief executive officer. “To ensure that the 21st century is marked by peace and prosperity, civil society organizations in these two countries must provide leadership in defense of free enterprise and limited government.”

A special priority of the Center is to seek solutions for achieving a more inclusive prosperity in American and Canadian communities via an engagement strategy that has yielded successes for Atlas Network in other countries. Tillman’s leadership with state-based think tanks has helped to create new opportunities for free-market public policy to thrive, and his plan for the Center is to transcend traditional ideological divides and focus on the important role of the individual, not the state, in carving a path out of poverty.

The Center will kick off with the inaugural U.S. Investors Summit for Liberty, a competitive grant opportunity that will give 10 pre-selected, U.S.-based organizations deemed Atlas Network’s “2020 Smart Bets” a platform to compete for grants of up to $75,000 . At least $500,000 will be divided among the participants, with a chance for liberty-minded donors in attendance to ask questions and pledge additional support. Atlas Network currently provides in excess of $5 million annually in project funding to our partner network, with roughly $1 million directed to groups in the U.S. and Canada in 2019. Particular areas of emphasis for grantees have been reforming the criminal justice system, removing occupational licensing barriers, monitoring regulatory red tape, and advancing school choice for children and families.

“Free enterprise and limited government are the most powerful force ever created in the human sphere to lift all people, especially the poor and disadvantaged. When leaders make policy arguments on that moral basis we will win more victories that change people’s lives for the better,” said Tillman. “Atlas Network has long been a leader in explaining the moral dimension of free enterprise and limited government—it is not just about material prosperity but about human flourishing in every dimension of life.”

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About John Tillman

John Tillman is one of the nation’s most prominent leaders in advancing free-market public policies and grassroots activism that promotes individual freedom and economic liberty. As CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, his leadership has been instrumental in making the Illinois Policy Institute an important voice on criminal justice reform, pension reform, budget and tax policies, and issues concerning jobs and growth. Tillman also founded Illinois Policy 501(c)(4) and the Liberty Justice Center, a 501(c)(3) public-interest law firm. In 2011, John won the State Policy Network’s prestigious Roe Award for his leadership, innovation and accomplishments in the world of public policy.

About Atlas Network

Atlas Network advances opportunity and prosperity by strengthening a global network of independent civil society organizations that promote individual freedom and remove barriers to human flourishing. We cultivate a network of partners—currently more than 490 in 93 countries—that share a vision of a free, prosperous and peaceful world where the rule of law, private property, and free markets are defended by governments whose powers are limited.

Atlas Network’s vision is to create greater opportunity for individuals to use their talents freely and contribute to increasing levels of peace, civility, and prosperity, and we invest in civil society organizations that are working toward a free society. Through a unique “Coach, Compete, Celebrate” model, Atlas Network provides training and mentorship designed to improve the efforts of free-market organizations, and encourages friendly competitions that elevate performance and celebrate achievement. The Doing Development Differently initiative is helping partners around the world advance, implement, and market locally-grown solutions to poverty that improve established measurements of economic freedom, and regional centers in Latin America, Africa, and the United States and Canada are focusing international attention on the political, social, and economic challenges of free-market reforms.