Think Tank Shark Tank competitions are an attendee-favorite part of each of Atlas Network’s Regional Liberty Forums. During these events, three individuals represent Atlas Network grantees on stage to pitch their organization’s project to a panel of judges, explaining why their proposal will have the greatest impact and why they deserve the top prize. This year at Europe Liberty Forum in Warsaw, Poland, Guillem València Caballero (Institut Ostrom Catalunya, Spain), Glen Hodgson (Free Trade Europa, Sweden), and İsrafil Özkan (Freedom Research Association, Turkey) will compete for the US$10,000 grant award.
Guillem València Caballero (Institut Ostrom Catalunya, Spain)
Blood plasma is a crucial ingredient in a huge number of life-saving medicines for patients around the world, and the demand for those medicines is only increasing as research into new opportunities continues. Countries that supply the overwhelming majority of the globe’s plasma supply allow compensation for plasma donors, but despite other advances in the healthcare system, Spain still does not allow for compensation for these essential donors. Spanish donors only account for one-third of the supply patients in the country need every year. Guillem València Caballero, director of global programs at the institute, will pitch his project to encourage badly needed regulation reform, allowing appropriate compensation for donors. Caballero estimates that effective reform will result in an increase in the rate of plasma donations in Spain to 1,000 a week.
Glen Hodgson (Free Trade Europa, Sweden)
With the advent of services like ridesharing, on-demand food delivery, and other app-based gig opportunities, workers and customers alike across Europe have more and more options at their disposal. In addition, COVID-19 accelerated the move toward an economy based on digital interactions. Unfortunately, regulation limits the ability of markets to innovate and reduces the incentives for entrepreneurs to do so. Glen Hodgson, CEO and founder of Free Trade Europa, will pitch his initiative to change hearts and minds in Europe in favor of better policy that would allow greater benefits and more flexibility for workers.
İsrafil Özkan (Freedom Research Association, Turkey)
For years, lawmakers in Turkey have tried to legally restrict the sale of alcohol under a variety of excuses, including the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts include higher taxes, banning advertising, and making it increasingly difficult to get a liquor license. To track and call public attention to these efforts, Freedom Research Association created the Turkish Alcohol Public Policy Watch. The organization is very proud of what they’ve accomplished in educating the public on the actions of lawmakers, and now they’re ready to take the project to the next level. İsrafil Özkan, secretary general of Freedom Research Association, will pitch his plan to educate people in Turkey on their right to consume alcohol and the responsibilities that accompany that right—including the responsibility to defend it.
Join us in Warsaw, Poland on May 12–13 to see the competition live and be the first to find out who will take home the prize!