May 13, 2015

The standard of living in developing countries is increasingly on the rise, and communities that have long been without electricity and related sources of fuel beginning to be connected. A new documentary, Power to the People, produced by Atlas Network partner Free to Choose Media and hosted by author Johan Norberg — who delivered the 2013 keynote speech at Atlas Network’s 2013 Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner — examines how innovative new technologies and entrepreneurial efforts are bringing energy to people throughout the world who are newly arising from poverty.

“As Norberg travels the world in Power to the People, he interviews experts and peels back the layers of this global challenge, questioning the conventional wisdom on what works and what doesn’t,” Free to Choose Media explains in its press release. “His journey starts in the Moroccan bazaars of Marrakech, which functioned for eons without modern conveniences, but where now electric lights, computers, cell phones and credit card readers are ubiquitous. More telling is Norberg’s journey to a remote Berber village in the Sahara Desert, where cooking is still done over open flames, often indoors, exposing families to severe health hazards and, possibly, death. And yet, even here, changes are happening rapidly. Now, families cook on gas stoves, and some even have refrigerators — unprecedented changes in the standard of living.”

Power to the People expands on the concept of explaining through popular public television broadcasts how economic conditions and the ideas of liberty contribute to the freedom and prosperity of people around the world, first introduced in the 1980s in the Free to Choose series by Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman. Norberg contributed to an updated version, Free or Equal, in 2011.

The Power to the People documentary is airing on public television stations throughout the United States, and is currently streaming online at the Cato Institute website.

Learn more about Power to the People.

Find a local PBS showing of Power to the People.

Watch Power to the People online at the Cato Institute.

Watch Johan Norberg’s keynote address at Atlas Network’s 2013 Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner: