Templeton Freedom Award 2015

Named for the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, theTempleton Freedom 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. Awarded since 2004, the Templeton Freedom Award beginning in 2013 is generously supported by Templeton Religion Trust.  

Finalists for the Templeton Freedom Award must have:

  • Achieved strategic impact (in areas of policy impact, social impact, academic impact, media impact, or student impact, etc.),
  • Made innovative contributions to the field of free enterprise education or policy research, and
  • Laid the groundwork for future progress in improving countries’ scores in rankings of economic freedom (e.g., The Index of Economic Freedom or the Economic Freedom of the World report).

The winner of the 2015 Templeton Freedom Award will receive $100,000 and be honored at Atlas Network’s annual Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner, which will next be held in New York City on November 11-12, 2015. Additional finalists will receive $5,000 prizes and travel support to attend Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner November 11-12.

Applications for the 2015 Templeton Freedom Award are closed, but will re-open in April 2016.

For press-related questions about the Templeton Freedom Award, contact Daniel Anthony, vice president of marketing and communications at: Daniel.Anthony@AtlasNetwork.org or 202-341-1175.

For other questions about the Templeton Freedom Award, contact Gonzalo Schwarz, director of grants and awards at: Gonzalo.Schwarz@AtlasNetwork.org or 202-449-8449.

Take a look back at a decade of the Templeton Freedom Award.


   2015 Finalists


Acton Institute (Grand Rapids, Mich., United States) — Poverty, Inc.

Poverty, Inc. is changing the culture of aid. Drawing from more than 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, this feature-length documentary unearths an uncomfortable side of charity that we can no longer ignore. By tracing paternalism from the colonial era to contemporary times, Poverty, Inc. helps viewers to abandon the tired paradigm of aid in favor of proven reform centered on free enterprise and human dignity. It makes a persuasive case that the most effective solutions to poverty lie in unleashing entrepreneurs to find new, innovative, and efficient ways to meet people’s needs. Read more…

Center for Dissemination of Economic Knowledge for Freedom (CEDICE Freedom) (Caracas, Venezuela) — Watchdog for Freedom and Democracy Project

Within the Watchdog for Freedom and Democracy project, three observatories collect and share data on property rights, legislative proposals, and public expenditures, exposing institutions undermining the autonomy of Venezuelans and building public consensus against increasing State power. More than 5,000 Venezuelans have attended Watchdog forums, and CEDICE Freedom has generated more than 2,500 press appearances, a remarkable feat in a country where the State controls 80 percent of the media. Read more…

Free Market Foundation (FMF) (Johannesburg, South Africa) — Khaya Lam Land Reform Project

Black South Africans have been denied property rights since a 1913 law took land and houses owned by black people and banned them from owning property, leaving them completely reliant on apartheid socialist housing. Today between 5 and 7 million black families live in these apartheid-era houses, and although 1991 legislation gave them ownership rights, government inaction on titling means they still live in constant fear of losing their homes. Khaya Lam means “My Home” and aims to correct this injustice by helping black South Africans secure fully tradable titles to their property. The Khaya Lam pilot project in the Ngwathe (**pronounced “Nnn-gwatee”**) area has given hundreds of fully tradable title deeds to homeowners and unlocked $4.5 million of previously dead capital for this impoverished community. Most importantly, it has created a groundswell, and resulted in a workable blueprint for the titling of all such properties in South Africa. With the Khaya Lam Land Reform project, the Free Market Foundation is reversing one of the greatest crimes of apartheid, promoting respect for property rights, and laying the foundation for a free and prosperous future for all South Africans. Read more…

Institute for Justice (IJ) (Arlington, Va., United States) — Strategic Research Program

Among other issues, IJ fights civil forfeiture, eminent domain abuse, and arbitrary licensing requirements, persuading courts with robust evidence and building legal precedent for individual rights and limited government. IJ’s Strategic Research Program uses rigorous empirical analysis to demonstrate the benefits of freedom and the harm caused by runaway government power. It arms its attorneys to litigate from a position of power both in court and in the media, and the results speak for themselves: though its opponent is nearly always the government, IJ wins more than 70 percent of its cases. Read more…

Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) (Melbourne, Australia) — Repeal the Carbon Tax Campaign

Nearly a decade ago in Australia, the idea of a carbon trading scheme or tax began gaining popularity. It was finally passed in 2011, taking effect the following year. During that entire period and until its repeal, IPA served as a consistent and leading voice of caution, educating lawmakers and the public about its shortcomings as environmental policy and about how free societies protect the environment best. The repeal, which ultimately succeeded in 2014, ended this poorly conceived and costly law that had barely reduced emissions and could not have possibly made an impact on global temperatures. The IPA’s successful 2014 carbon tax repeal campaign demonstrated that the tax was not only costly, confusing, and ineffective, but that it actually prevented innovation in the energy industry. Read more…

Tax Foundation (Washington, D.C., United States) — State Business Tax Climate Index

The Tax Foundation compiles its State Business Tax Climate Index to annually rank the 50 U.S. states across more than 100 tax policy provisions. The Index synthesizes thousands of data points into an easy-to-use score, awarding highest marks to states with simple, neutral, and transparent pro-growth tax climates. Cross-state comparisons prove that excessive tax burdens can make the difference between growth and stagnation. Low rankings grab the attention of governors and legislators who seek out personalized help from Tax Foundation experts in crafting lasting policy solutions. In the last three years, the Tax Foundation has been instrumental in shaping tax overhauls in North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and several other states. Read more…