Atlas Network's 2020 Asia Liberty Forum Online, co-hosted by the Foundation For Economic Freedom, will take place online Wednesday - Thursday, April 22-23, 2020 beginning at 11:30 a.m. Philippine Standard Time (UTC +8; 12 hours ahead of EST). 

Attendance at Asia Liberty Forum Online is limited and staff of Atlas Network partner organizations will be given preference to attend. 

From your computer, you'll hear from great speakers, participate in breakout sessions, and make new friends in a collaborative online setting. We know that you're facing huge new challenges in light of this current public health crisis, and we have so much to learn from one another about how we can advance free-market reforms while fighting against new government growth. Atlas Network will announce the winner of its Regional Liberty Award, which celebrates the most successful projects by Atlas Network partners.

Major sponsorship for Atlas Network's Regional Liberty Forums generously provided by the John Templeton Foundation, Smith Family Foundation, Freda Utley Foundation, Templeton Religion Trust, Rainbow@Atlas, Thomas W. Smith Foundation, and Sarah Scaife Foundation.  

How to join:

Register for Asia Liberty Forum Online by following this link. 

If you have already registered for Asia Liberty Forum Online, instructions to join will be sent to you by email from Chelsea.Schick@AtlasNetwork.org.

Registering after 9:30 a.m. Philippine Standard Time on Wednesday, April 22 may result in a delay in receiving the instructions on how to join. 

Event Schedule:

This program will be presented live in Philippine Standard Time (GMT +8).

Wednesday, April 22
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Welcome and Responding to COVID-19 from a Classical Liberal Approach

How does the liberty movement address threats to freedom during the COVID-19 crisis and what principles should guide our thinking? Join us for an interactive discussion exploring what challenges exist in different countries and brainstorm ways to address these concerns.   

  • Opening Remarks by Calixto Chikiamco (Foundation for Economic Freedom, Philippines)
  • Discussion Facilitators: Yazad Jal (Centre for Civil Society, India) • Dr. Lyall Swim (Atlas Network, United States)


12:40 p.m. - 1:25 p.m. Virtual Think Tank Shark Tank Competition

Watch live as think tank leaders pitch their project ideas to a panel of judges! Join us after the competition for a chance to ask the contestants and judges questions about their projects.

  • Master of Ceremonies: Dr. Lyall Swim (Atlas Network, United States)
  • Contestants: Prashant Narang (Centre for Civil Society, India) • Akash Shrestha (Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal) • Casey Russell (New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, New Zealand)
  • Judges: Simon Paterno (Foundation for Economic Freedom, Philippines) • Wolfgang Heinze (Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Philippines) • Casey Pifer (Atlas Network, United States)

1:35 p.m. - 2:05 p.m. Meet and Greet with the Think Tank Shark Tank Contestants

The judges had their chance to grill our contestants – and now its your turn! Join us for an informal meet-and-greet with our Think Tank Shark Tank contestants to talk more about their projects.


Thursday, April 23
11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Fundraising in a Time of Crisis 

What’s involved in fundraising during a crisis? Join us for an interactive discussion with two development experts on strategies for navigating this issue during times of economic and political uncertainty. Come prepared with questions and ideas on how to be ready to resume normal fundraising activities and build on new strategies that may emerge.

  • Presented by Chad Goote (Atlas Network, United States) • Dr. Parth Shah (Centre for Civil Society, India)


11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Crises, Scapegoating, and Our Work for Equal Rights, Peace, and Toleration

A crisis creates a unique opportunity for extremism to grow and increases threats to existing institutions. Now, more than ever, think tanks and leaders must be ready to respond to these dangers and continue working towards a more peaceful and prosperous tomorrow. 

  • Presented by Dr. Tom Palmer (Atlas Network, United States) • Bhakti Patil (Centre for Civil Society, India) • Ali Salman (IDEAS and Islam & Liberty Network, Malaysia) • Mirsuljan Namazaaly (Central Asian Free Market Institute, Kyrgyz Republic)


12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Liberating Trade in Asia

As a result of global responses to the COVID-19 crisis, trade in Asia might look very different in the future. How should governments & institutions respond, and how we can continue to break down institutional barriers to trade in the region?

  • Presented by Bhuvana Anand (Centre for Civil Society, India) • Aneetha Warusavitarana (Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka) • Felippa Amanta (Center for Indonesian Policy Studies, Indonesia)


12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Book Notes: Why all the Evidence Suggests Think Tanks are an "Undervalued" Resource

Atlas Network CEO Brad Lips and Atlas Network President Matt Warner will lead a conversation about the trends defining the future of think tanks and the outsized role they can play in achieving freedom and prosperity around the world. Drawing on examples from Lips' The Freedom Movement: Its Past, Present, and Future and Warner's Poverty & Freedom: Case Studies on Global Economic Development, these experts make the case that locally-led think tanks represent one the most critical levers for creating lasting change. Whether think tanks can make the most of coming opportunities depends on many factors, including leadership, entrepreneurship, and dynamism.


1:20 p.m. - 1:35 p.m. Asia Liberty Award Announcement and Special Closing Message by Robin Sitoula (Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal)


*All programming will be in Philippine Standard Time as originally planned (GMT +8).



Terms and Conditions of Attendance at Atlas Network's Asia Liberty Forum:

Attendees at Atlas Network events agree to abide by our event terms and conditions and code of conduct. Click here to review these policies.


Felippa Amanta - Center for Indonesian Policy Studies, Indonesia

Felippa A. Amanta is a researcher at the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) where she focuses on food security and trade. Previously, Felippa conducted and published policy research with the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at University of California, Berkeley. When she returned to Indonesia, she then worked at the Women and Youth Development Institute of Indonesia in Surabaya.

She received her Bachelor in Sociology degree from University of California, Berkeley, followed by Master of Public Administration from the Australian National University with the best overall result. She was selected as one of Indonesia’s Future Leaders by the British Council in 2017 and completed the policy and leadership training from University of Cambridge.

Bhuvana Anand - Centre for Civil Society, India

Bhuvana Anand is Director, Research at Centre for Civil Society, one of India’s leading think tanks. Bhuvana’s subjects of interest are better regulation and governance, public finance management, and political economy. In India, she has worked extensively on welfare programmes across India, including reforms of the Public Distribution System and implementation of various Direct Benefits Transfers. At the Centre, she works on unpacking how government actually functions using administrative data, legislative analysis, field research, and machine learning. In addition, her team develops blueprints for programme design and policy implementation. Bhuvana has worked with various donors and civil society organisations in Sudan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, India and the United States, in policy advocacy, managing multi-pronged programs and research. She previously worked with the United Nations, the British Government's Department for International Development, and most recently at MIT’s Poverty Action Lab.

Marc Chenn - SaltStack, Hong Kong

Marc Chenn is the CEO and co-founder of SaltStack, an enterprise software company that provides intelligent, event-driven automation for efficient control of complex business systems at any scale. Marcc has a history of building significant value for high-growth technology companies. He has extensive experience in the systems management industry with Altiris where he participated in its 2002 IPO and eventual $1 billion acquisition by Symantec. In 2009, Marc joined SaaS provider Compliance11 and in two years grew the client base from 40 to more than 500 clients prior to an acquisition by Charles Schwab in 2011. Prior to Compliance11, Marc worked for Morgan Stanley within its investment management division. Marc holds an MBA in finance from Brigham Young University where he was an All-American high jumper and member of the U.S. Olympic development team.

Calixto Chikiamco - Foundation for Economic Freedom, Philippines 

Calixto V. Chikiamco is a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and Internet entrepreneur, a book author, and a writer on political economy. He’s a co-author together with National Scientist Raul Fabella, Dr. Emmanuel de Dios, former Finance Undersecretary Romeo Bernardo, and the late former Socio-economic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga Jr, of the book, “Momentum: Economic Reforms for Sustaining Growth” published October 2019. He’s also the author of the book, "The Way Forward: The Path to Inclusive Growth". He serves as a property rights consultant to the The Asia Foundation and is currently President and co-founder of the Foundation for Economic Freedom, an organization advocating economic and political liberty, good governance, and secure and well-defined property rights. 

Chikiamco writes a monthly column on political economy in Businessworld in his capacity as a board member of the Institute of Development and Econometric Analysis (IDEA). He’s the Founder and CEO of MRM Studios Inc., a digital musical services company, and Mobilemo Inc., a tech start-up providing a cloud-based field workforce management and field reporting solution (www.kustom360.com). He finished AB Economics summa cum laude in De La Salle University and Masters in Professional Studies in Media Administration in Syracuse University, New York.

Chad Goote - Atlas Network, United States

Chad Goote is the Vice President of Development for Atlas Network. Before joining the organization in 2019, he was Vice President of Advancement at the Foundation for Government Accountability, and under his leadership, the financial strength of the organization grew from $700,000 to $12,000,000 in under six years. 

Chad started his career in Washington, DC in public affairs, where he worked in strategy development, grassroots management, coalition building, and strategic communications for Fortune 500 corporations and trade organizations. He spent years working on behalf of children and families as an advocate for school choice and used his expertise to elect legislators who prioritized educational innovation and competition. One of those visionary legislators was Michigan Representative Justin Amash, whose successful congressional campaign Chad managed in 2010.  

Chad holds a B.S. in Political Science from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. From their home base in Orlando, Florida, Chad, his wife Mardy, and their two adorable children travel, learn, and discover the beauty and wonder of the world. The Goote family also works together as advocates against human trafficking, and they open their home as host parents to children in need.  

Wolfgang Heinze - Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Philippines

Wolfgang Heinze is the Head of Country for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation - Philippine Office. Previously he worked in the FNF Bangkok office for FNF activities in Myanmar and Malaysia before joining FNF headquarters in Potsdam as Desk Officer for Southeast and East Asia in 2012. He's been working for the foundation for fourteen years. He took his Master's degree in Philosophy at the University of Passau.

Yazad Jal - Centre for Civil Society, India

Yazad Jal is Director, CCS Academy at the Centre for Civil Society (CCS). In this role, he creates, develops and manages all the training and education related programs of the Centre including the flagship "ipolicy for Young Leaders". Previously Yazad was Fellow, Economic Policy and managed the Technology and Policy Program at the Takshashila Institution, Bengaluru. Before that he worked as a management consultant in the United States from 2008-18 with McKinsey and Company, IBM’s Global Business Services and his own independent consultancy. Yazad has also been active in the non-profit sector in India, serving as CEO of Praja Foundation in Mumbai from 2002-2006.

Yazad has an MBA from Yale University and a BA (Econ) from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai University.

Brad Lips - Atlas Network, United States

Brad Lips is the chief executive officer of Atlas Network, which increases opportunity and prosperity by strengthening a global network of independent civil society organizations that promote individual freedom and remove barriers to human flourishing. In the decade since he became CEO, the budget of Atlas Network has more than doubled and the scope of its programs has extended worldwide. Lips is a member of the John Templeton Foundation, Templeton World Charity Foundation, and Templeton Religion Trust. He serves on the boards of directors of the American Friends of the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Institute of Economic Studies—Europe. As a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, Lips chaired the Organizing Committee of its General Meeting in 2016. Prior to joining Atlas Network in 1998, Lips co-founded an Internet start-up, conducted equity research for Smith Barney, Inc., and worked in a policy research capacity for the Progress & Freedom Foundation. He has spoken on five continents on solutions to poverty, and his work has been published in Regulation, National Review Online, Investor's Business Daily, The Daily Caller, Forbes, Fox News, American Spectator, American Thinker, and RealClearPolitics. Lips received his MBA from the Goizueta Business School of Emory University and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Brad lives with his wife, Stephanie, and their four children in Falls Church, Virginia.  

 Mirsuljan Namazaaly - Central Asian Free Market Institute, Kyrgyz Republic

Mr. Mirsuljan Namazaliev is the Managing Director of CAFMI, a free market public policy think tank which he founded in 2009. He owned and managed K-News LLC (2015-2017), one of the leading online news sources in Kyrgyzstan. He is the founding curator at the Global Shapers Hub in Bishkek, initiative of the World Economic Forum. Previously, Mr. Namazaliev has represented the Zurich-based Neweurasia Citizen Media company in Kyrgyzstan (2006-2014), founded and lead various civic movements and organizations that promoted democratic changes under authoritarian regimes in the country (2004-2008). He stands for the Rule of Law, Economic Freedom and Minimal Government. Mr. Namazaliev holds a BA in political science from the Bishkek Humanities University (2009). 

Prashant Narang - Centre for Civil Society, India

Prashant Narang is Associate Director- Research, Centre for Civil Society. His most significant contributions at Centre for Civil Society include Ease of Doing Business reforms recommendations and the Street Vendor Compliance Index. He also secured a favourable judgment from the Supreme Court of India leading to the implementation of the Street Vendor law in Rajasthan. Apart from the Right to Education Act and the Street Vendors Act, his current interest areas are the Rule of Law and the constitutional right to carry on business and trade in India.

Bhakti Patil - Centre for Civil Society, India

Bhakti Patil is Manager,  Development and Strategy at the Centre for Civil Society (CCS), India's foremost libertarian think tank based in New Delhi. She manages fundraising and grants administration at the organisation.  Prior to joining CCS, she worked as Executive Fundraising and Communications with Sshrishti, a non-profit in New Delhi, managing institutional fundraising, documentation and communication. She holds an M.Phil and a Master’s in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her undergraduate training has been in Anthropology and Sociology at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.  Her own research engages with the core categories of Gandhian thought, particularly the ideas of Swaraj and Ahimsa, and the radical affirmation of human freedoms that they contain.

Dr. Tom G. Palmer - Atlas Network, United States

Dr. Tom G. Palmer is the executive vice president for international programs at Atlas Network and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. On Nov. 10, 2016, Dr. Tom G. Palmer was named the George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty at Atlas Network. He is also a senior fellow at Cato Institute and director of Cato University. Before joining Cato, he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, as well as the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights. He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Ethics, Critical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Die Welt, Caixing, Al Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice (expanded edition 2014), and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism (2011), After the Welfare State (2012), Why Liberty (2013), Peace, Love & Liberty (2014), and Self-Control or State Control? You Decide (2016). Palmer received his B.A. in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, his M.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and his doctorate in politics from Oxford University.

Casey Pifer - Atlas Network, United States

Casey Pifer is the Director of Institute Relations at Atlas Network. She manages the grants and awards programs of Atlas Network, including the prestigious Templeton Freedom Award. Originally from West Virginia, Casey joined Atlas Network in 2014 on the events team and has since transitioned to become the institute relations director. She grew up in West Virginia and graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor's degree in economics and political science.

Simon Paterno - Foundation for Economic Freedom, Philippines

Simon R. Paterno is currently Founder and Chairman of ZQR Corporation, a fintech startup aimed at improving interactions between banks and their clients.  He is a former Managing Director of J.P. Morgan (1984-2002) and Credit Suisse (2004-2012), a former President of the Development Bank of the Philippines (2002-2004), and a former Executive VP of Bank of the Philippine Islands (2014-2019).  He graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1980, with an AB, Honors Program in Economics, cum laude, and from Stanford University in 1984, with an MBA.

Casey Russell - New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, New Zealand

Casey is the Engagement Coordinator at the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, where she contributes to fundraising and campaign teams, organises events and manages incoming correspondence. She is in her final year of study towards a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Public Policy at Victoria University of Wellington. Casey was a finalist in the John Blundell Elevator Pitch Competition at the 2019 Liberty Forum. She is passionate about exposing government waste and ensuring a transparent and accountable government.

Ali Salman - IDEAS and Islam & Liberty Network, Malaysia

Mr. Ali Salman is CEO of Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), a leading independent think tank of Malaysia. Mr. Salman is also Director of Islam and Liberty Network, a global platform for researchers and academics working on Islam and freedom. Earlier, Mr. Salman founded Policy Research Institute of Market Economy (PRIME), an economic policy think tank in Pakistan in 2013. Mr. Salman’s diverse career spans more than 20 years in the government, private sector, international development, think tanks, and universities. He is recipient of Fulbright Scholarship, Royal Netherlands Fellowship and Charles Wallace Fellowship and holds master degrees in Economics, Public Policy and Business Administration. He writes op-eds for various newspapers in Pakistan and Malaysia.

Dr. Parth Shah - Centre for Civil Society, India

Dr. Parth J. Shah is the Founder of the Centre for Civil Society (CCS), India's foremost market-liberal think tank that advances social change through public policy. Parth also serves as Director at the Indian School of Public Policy. His research and advocacy work addresses economic freedom, choice and competition in education, a property rights approach to the environment and new public management. He holds a PhD in Economics and has taught at the University of Michigan, at JNU, New Delhi, and MS University, Vadodara. As the President at the CCS, for over two decades, Parth has worked to further market-solutions to India's educational crisis and enduring poverty. He has steered the Centre's flagship School Choice Campaign, including India's first school voucher pilot, and championed livelihood freedom and the rights of marginal entrepreneurs in India.  Some of his authored and edited works include Liberalism in India, Morality of Markets,  Law, Liberty, and Livelihood, and School Vouchers: Direct Benefit Transfers in Education.

Akash Shrestha - Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal

Akash Shrestha is Research Manager at Samriddhi Foundation. He also engages with the politicians, policy-makers, bureaucrats and sectorial experts of Samriddhi’s research areas as part of Samriddhi’s advocacy efforts. He contributes to building networks with key stakeholders and identifying new research areas. His concentration is also on promoting ideas of liberty through media platforms via different public consumption materials.

He studied Political Economy at the University of Hong Kong. He was a finalist in the Think Tank Shark Tank Competition held in Malaysia in 2016 and was the winner of the John Blundell Elevator Pitch Competition in Ney York in 2017. He has authored (and co-authored) a number of policy papers and articles dissecting Nepalese economic policies.

Akash holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science. Prior to joining Samriddhi in 2013, he was a founding member of Youth for Nepal.

Robin Sitoula - Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal

Robin Sitoula is the co-founder and executive director of Samriddhi Foundation. Having successfully established a non-partisan youth movement in Nepal in the late nineties through Youth Initiative, he initiated Samriddhi Foundation in 2006 with his colleagues. From the very beginning, he has been at the core of building a reliable team that has made Samriddhi an award-winning institute. He has designed and implemented several research, educational and advocacy programs in areas of entrepreneurship, economic policy reform, and democracy. He has worked with major political organizations of Nepal for several years and established one of the largest collaborative leadership programs amongst contesting parties in Nepal. He has extensively travelled in South Asia and North America to share his expertise on designing successful campaigns and programs. He has been a fellow at Atlas Network since 2006. He graduated in Investments and Financial Management from the Tribhuvan University in Nepal. Besides working at Samriddhi, he runs private enterprises namely in the sector of management consulting and research and analytics as a vocation.

Dr. Lyall Swim - Atlas Network, United States

Dr. Lyall Swim is the Chief Operating Officer at Atlas Network. In his role, Lyall leads the organization’s team and systems development as Atlas Network continues to grow in size, reach, and impact. For the past 17 years, he has engaged with more than 20,000 adult learners in dozens of organizations around the world. His focus has been to build increased leadership and operational capacity and enable organizations to successfully navigate various forms of change. He is a sought after speaker on ethics, leadership, innovation adoption, and education innovation. As the director of operations for Sutherland Institute, Lyall helped lead a redesign of the organization that enabled the Institute to better leverage the strengths of each staff member and increase the profile and influence of the Institute in Utah. Lyall holds a Doctorate of Education with an emphasis in organization leadership from Pepperdine University. He also holds a bachelor’s in communications and an M.B.A. from Brigham Young University. His research and writing on leadership, ethics, education reform, adult learning, and innovation adoption have been published in a range of peer-reviewed journals and various local and national outlets. Above all, Lyall enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three teenage children.

Matt Warner - Atlas Network, United States

Matt Warner is president of Atlas Network. Under the direction of the CEO, he is responsible for strategy, programming, and personnel management. Matt also leads the development of a research agenda to further demonstrate the invaluable role of think tanks in achieving freedom around the world. Matt is the editor of Poverty and Freedom: Case Studies on Global Economic Development and coined the term "the outsider's dilemma" to describe the challenge of helping low-income countries develop without inadvertently and perversely getting in the way of their most viable paths to prosperity. Matt writes, speaks, and consults internationally on the topics of economics, institution building, nonprofit management, measurement, and impact philanthropy. His work has appeared in Cato Journal, Forbes, The Hill, Harvard's Education Next, Real Clear Markets, Foundation for Economic Education, EconTalk, and Washington Times, among others. Prior to joining Atlas Network in 2010, Matt served in various policy leadership positions at nonprofit think tanks with a focus on energy, education, and property rights. Matt has a master's degree in economics from George Mason University and is certified by Georgetown University in organizational development consulting. He is also a 2019-2020 Penn Kemble Fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy, a member of American Enterprise Institute's Leadership Network and a recipient of America's Future Foundation's 2019 Buckley Award.

Matt and his wife Chrissy, an attorney, live in Vienna, Virginia with their four children. 

Aneetha Warusavitarana - Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka

Aneetha Warusavitarana is the Research Manager at the Advocata Institute, an independent policy think-tank based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She has previously worked as an Analyst at Sri Lanka's Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs. She holds a BSc Hons. in International Relations from the University of London and her research interests lie in trade, pension policy and social policy, with a focus on South Asia.