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 Latin America Liberty Forum in Mexico City, Mexico, Valeria Peralta Albanez (Fundación Salvadoreña para el Desarrollo Económico y Social, El Salvador), Edwin Zarco Nieva (Centro de Investigación, Peru), and Jesús Armas (Ciudadanía Sin Límites) will compete for the US$10,000 grant award. Read on to find out more about the projects they will pitch to judges.
Valeria Peralta Albanez (Fundación Salvadoreña para el Desarrollo Económico y Social, El Salvador)
Surveys of the people of El Salvador show a rapidly decreasing level of trust in democratic forms of government. Not only do they express the least confidence in democracy of any Latin American country, but the problem is especially pronounced among young people, with fewer than half of eligible voters under the age of thirty casting a vote. Valeria Peralta Albanez has a plan to change that. Her pitch to judges will center on the Citizenship Academy, a civics and leadership training course with an estimated reach of over 400 students. This educational program will reach low-income students in El Salvador to train them on the value of actively participating in their society and governmental process. The 12-hour course is a crucial step in reaching Salvadorans with the value of democratic governance.
Edwin Zarco Nieva (Centro de Investigación, Peru)
Centrally-planned and government-instituted environmental protections often fall short, creating unintended consequences and failing to achieve their stated goals. Environmentally-focused entrepreneurship represents a way to advance free-market conservation efforts. In Mexico City, Edwin Zarco Nieva will pitch his “Environmental Entrepreneurship in Action” project, a training program aimed to equip enterprising individuals to take their ideas to market. By analyzing environmental issues through a freedom-oriented lens, entrepreneurs can propose solutions rooted in property rights, individual dignity, and outcome-over-ideology thinking. This socially-conscious entrepreneurship could serve as a significant boon to Peruvian communities.
Jesús Armas (Ciudadanía Sin Límites)
The Venezuelan dictator Maduro and his party have responded to the collapse of the socialist system and the ensuing humanitarian crisis by trying to move the country toward a Soviet-inspired model of government. This would trade a marginal increase in economic freedoms for a restriction on political rights and a weakening of the federal model. Jesús Armas will present judges with his plan to build a network of organizations dedicated to rejecting this encroachment on human freedom. This project will include outreach to government leaders, civil society organizations, and the people of Venezuela to advocate for a united front in support of federalism, individual rights, and open markets.
Keep an eye on our social media channels to be among the first to find out who will take home the US$10,000 prize!