As a kick off to this year's annual Friedman Conference (Australia's largest gathering of liberty oriented individuals), Atlas Network held a one-day Think Tank Essentials training that brought together 20 participants representing 12 organizations from 4 different countries to learn best practices on strategy, marketing, and development. As part of the session, participants created a cascading Vision execution plan, developed messaging for their current work, and discussed how to create a culture of fundraising within their organizations.
Joining the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a “Right to Try” law on May 22. Expected to be signed by President Trump, this new law lifts restrictions on terminally ill patients from trying treatments that are still being tested in clinical trials but potentially life-saving. The Goldwater Institute, an Atlas Network partner based in Arizona, has been a leader in promoting Right to Try both at the state and federal levels. Since 2014, 40 states have passed their own legislation, with the Goldwater Institute being responsible for creating the original policy on which these state laws are based.
The following is a speech delivered by Temba A. Nolutshungu, director of South Africa-based Free Market Foundation, during Atlas Network’s Global Policy Perspectives event April 25. The Global Policy Perspectives event series, generously supported by the Achelis & Bodman Foundation and the Smith Family Foundation, presents timely and topical conversations from some of Atlas Network’s most thought-provoking, inspirational, and effective partners in the worldwide freedom movement.
Atlas Network is excited to announce the finalists of this year’s Think Tank Shark Tank — Europe competition, which is sponsored by the Smith Family Foundation and will be held during Europe Liberty Forum from May 29-30 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Three think tank professionals will compete in a showcase of the region’s most exciting new projects. The winner, chosen by a panel of judges comprised of thought leaders in the industry, will receive a $10,000 prize in project seed-funding. The finalists are Admir Čavalić (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Ratko Nikolić (Serbia), and Maryan Zablotskyy (Ukraine).
In keeping with the international trend, populism has taken root in some of the major political parties of Nepal. Politicization of the press and media has also presented a significant challenge to providing news without a political bent. Atlas Network partner Bikalpa – An Alternative has launched a neutral news outlet with the aim of creating an alternative discourse for Nepali citizens, known as Bikalpa Khabar.
Earlier this month, the Afghanistan Economic and Legal Studies Organization (AELSO) launched a new project to promote democracy, liberty, and tolerance, while opposing radicalism in order to bring peace and prosperity to the country. The initiative, called the “Tolerance and Prosperity Caravan,” is a nationwide project with goals of empowering the next generation of citizens to better understand liberal values, democracy in action, and solving problems with approaches implicit in these values.
The finalists for the 2018 Europe Liberty Award are Lipa, Croatian Taxpayers Association (Croatia), for its successful campaign against the introduction of property taxes; Fundación para el Avance de la Libertad (Fundalib, Spain), for its Regional Tax Competitiveness Index; and Ukrainian Economic Freedoms Foundation (UEFF, Ukraine), for its tax reform project.
Lithuania commemorated its first “Respect for Taxpayers Day” on May 11, 2018. This coincided with Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI)’s launch of The Charter of Taxpayers’ Rights, which assembles and explains the rights of taxpayers that are spread amongst several laws.
In the last 10 years, Turkey has been struggling with a significant deterioration in its rule of law, as evidenced by the major indices measuring freedom and rule of law around the world. Freedom House, the World Justice Project, the Fraser Institute, and the Economist Intelligence Unit have all downgraded Turkey in terms of the country’s rule of law, freedom of speech, democracy, and human rights performance since 2010. In the latest Rule of Law Index by World Justice Project, Turkey scored below Russia, China, and Iran.
The Centre for Civil Society (CCS) has consistently advocated for the rights and recognition for Budget Private Schools in India, speaking up against arbitrary regulations that deter private initiative, and compromise educational access and quality. The government of India, in the past year, has issued several circulars (often over-lapping and contradictory regulations) that allow for an excessive interference of the government in the administration and functioning of private schools. To speak up against the stifling of private initiative and autonomy, CCS - through the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) - launched a massive campaign to mobilize "edupreneurs" from around the country to advocate for reinstating of choice and the recognition of the role and scope of private provision of education in India.
The 30th Anniversary Dinner of Fundación Libertad, held in Buenos Aires, was attended by Presidents Mauricio Macri (Argentina) and Sebastián Piñera (Chile), Nobel Prize in Literature Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa and more than a thousand business, intellectual, and political leaders from Argentina and Latin America.
In 2014, the Greek government passed an anti-racism law aimed at cutting down on incitements to violence in the country. While well-intentioned, an application of this law in action saw the recent criminal trial of Greek author Soti Triantafyllou for an op-ed she wrote in late 2015 in which she mentioned a false quote attributed to Marco Polo about Muslims. She was informed in early 2017 that legal action was being taken against her for the misquote.
Atlas Network’s Lights, Camera, Liberty workshop brought together 57 participants from 35 organizations in 15 countries to rethink their approach to marketing, communications, and storytelling. During this powerhouse 4-day interactive workshop in Los Angeles, participants learned to use best practices in product and idea messaging and film production.
The Supreme Court has granted a writ of certiorari to two petitioners represented by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in an appeal from a lower court decision. CEI’s Center for Class Action Fairness (CCAF) filed the petition for the Supreme Court to hear the case of Frank v. Gaos to shed light on the class-action settlement abuse by the attorneys of the original class-action lawsuit.
The late Milton Friedman (1912-2006) is one of the modern era’s most influential libertarian thinkers. The 1976 Nobel Prize in Economics winner brought the ideas of classical liberalism to a massive new audience with television shows like 'Free to Choose,' which aired on public television across the United States beginning in 1980. Until recently, however, the works of Friedman were available only to those who spoke English. A new project by the Institut Coppet in France aims to change that.
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