Think Tanks in Denmark, Lithuania, Mexico, Spain, US as eight Templeton Freedom Award finalists

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The top change agents strengthening the worldwide freedom movement are named finalists for Atlas Network’s 2014 Templeton Freedom Award. Awarded since 2004, the Templeton Freedom Award is named for the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton. The award annually honors his legacy by identifying and recognizing the most exceptional and innovative contributions to the understanding of free enterprise, and the public policies that encourage prosperity, innovation and human fulfillment via free competition.

The Templeton Freedom Award is generously supported by Templeton Religion Trust and will be presented during Atlas Network’s Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner 2014. The winning organization will receive a $100,000 prize and the runners-up will receive $5,000.

The 2014 Templeton Freedom Award finalists are:

Acton Institute (Michigan, USA) - Acton University

Established in 2005, Acton University is a four-day conference that brings together a globally diverse group of influencers to discuss the intersection of human dignity and free enterprise.

Center for Political Studies (Copenhagen, Denmark) - Private Property Project

For the first time in Denmark’s history, this project made it easy to review government-led expropriation of private property, particularly for the benefit of private interests, in the country’s 98 municipalities. As a result, the incidence of expropriation of private property for the benefit of private interests has dramatically declined to only one such case in a single year.

Civismo (Madrid, Spain) - Low Taxes Campaign for Spain

This campaign to lower taxes and promote economic freedom all throughout Spain paved the way to significant tax reform. One component of the reform package is that the average income earner will save about 600 euros (US$777) per year.

Foundation for Government Accountability (Florida, USA) - Uncover ObamaCare initiative

The Uncover ObamaCare initiative resulted in 24 states saying no to ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion. The initiative has kept 9.4 million Americans from becoming dependent on government and will save taxpayers almost $500 billion over the next decade.

Goldwater Institute (Arizona, USA) - Education Savings Accounts initiative

Unlike school vouchers, education savings accounts create the maximum possible choice for parents and opportunities for competition among government schools, private schools, and other education providers. Arizona became the first state to launch education savings accounts in mid-2011. And in 2014 Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law the country’s second education savings account program.

Illinois Policy Institute (Illinois, USA) - Campaign to stop an unfair progressive income tax

The campaign led to the defeat of a movement to amend the Illinois Constitution and replace the state’s flat income tax with a progressive rate structure. This victory means that over the next five years alone, nearly $30 billion dollars will stay in the hands of Illinois’ families and businesses instead of going to politicians in Springfield.

IPEA (Agora Institure for Strategic Thinking) (Mexico City, Mexico) - One Million Youth for Mexico campaign

The campaign was started to address barriers to freedom throughout Mexico and has produced a growing network of more than 155,000 young leaders in more than 20 cities across Mexico. The campaign played a critical role on the federal level in achieving the Law of Citizen’s Initiative being passed, which will strengthen civil society and rule of law throughout Mexico.

Lithuanian Free Market Institute (Vilnius, Lithuania) - Municipal Performance Index for Freedom and Free Enterprise

Launched in 2011, the index measures and ranks the performance of municipal governments in three overarching categories: municipalities for citizens, municipalities for investors, and municipal governance and administration. The methodology of the index comprised 55 indicators and anchored the evaluation criteria in the underlying values of freedom of choice, private ownership and initiative, free enterprise, efficient use of public resources, and transparent and accountable governance.

Who: Atlas Network
What: $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award
When: Nov. 13, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner closing ceremony – Capitale, 130 Bowery, New York, NY 10013
(Bowery and Grand St.)