Every year, Atlas Network’s Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner features the Think Tank Shark Tank competition, where contestants deliver a five-minute pitch of their project to a panel of judges who then have the opportunity to ask questions for further information or clarification. The 2022 Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner in New York featured three contestants from three continents. The winner received a US$25,000 grant to use toward making their project a reality. Judges named Luis Fernando Sanabria (Fundación Paraguaya, Paraguay) the winner of this year's competition.
Poverty alleviation programs often take a paternalistic approach, stripping the people they aim to help of their dignity and control over their own destinies. The Poverty Stoplight method, proven in nearly 50 countries, eschews paternalism in favor of giving individuals the power to shape their own path out of poverty. This approach breaks down the complex problem of poverty into manageable and understandable pieces—such as income, health, housing, etc.—and asks families to define for themselves which of those problems are most important to solve. This has the added benefit of providing data on the specific factors aggravating poverty for a given population. Families are then paired with a mentor to help guide and encourage them on their journey out of poverty. At Think Tank Shark Tank, Luis Fernando Sanabria pitched his winning plan to implement Poverty Stoplight in Paraguay, where Fundación Paraguaya staff will work directly with families in the Qom tribe to implement Poverty Stoplight. This project aims to help about 1,200 people in their journey out of poverty.