June 7, 2018 Print

Latin America’s Think Tank Shark Tank is a regional competition aimed at supporting innovation in the promotion of liberty. Three professionals pitch their programs to a panel of judges, in a showcase of some of the region’s most exciting new liberty advancing projects. The winner will receive $10,000 to support their pitch project.

Thanks to the generous support of the Smith Family Foundation Think Tank Shark Tank will be held during the Latin America Liberty Forum on June 15th in Santiago, Chile.

Here are the participants:

Our panel of judges includes:

  • Luis Henrique Ball, Atlas Network, USA
  • Ramón Parellada Cuadrado, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala
  • Linda Edwards, Institute of Economic Affairs, UK
  • Roberto Salinas-León, Foro de negocios de México, Mexico

Gonzalo Schwarz from the Archbridge Institute will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.

Project Overviews:

Garret Edwards, Director of Legal Research, Fundación Libertad
Project: Liberty Through Justice

Fundación Libertad is seeking funding for its “Liberty Through Justice” project to defend freedom in Argentina. They plan to use relevant legal cases in order to tell the stories of how freedom can impact people’s lives. By taking these cases in front of the Justice administration and other public administration organisms, they will be better able to convey their liberty message to stakeholders in Argentina. 

“Liberty through justice will allow Fundación Libertad to take relevant cases from Argentina in front of the Justice administration system and other public administration offices, and by doing so it shall become a libertarian voice for the under-represented voiceless citizens of our country.”

Garret Edwards is an Argentine lawyer with a degree from Universidad Nacional de Rosario, with a specialization in Educational Management. He is Director of Legal Research at Fundación Libertad, and professor of Philosophy of Law at Universidad del Centro Educativo Latinoamericano. He is both an Atlas Network’s TTMBA alumnus and has been a Smith Fellow. He also hosts and participates on several radio and TV shows, and regularly publishes on both national and international media outlets.

Elena Toledo, Executive Director, Fundación Eléutera
Project: Reducing Bureaucracy Reduces Poverty and Violence

Fundación Eléutera is seeking funding for their project to help Hondurans reenter the workforce. They target two demographics: people coming out of prison and migrants who have returned from the United States. Using an online platform, this project will help register their businesses and reduce bureaucratic barriers in order to make it feasible for these individuals to work legally. 

“With this project we are providing an effective solution to break the vicious circle of violence and poverty in Honduras by putting technology, economy and education at the service of the reinsertion of ex-prisoners, returned migrants and all those vulnerable populations whose right to return to part of the economic life of the country is conditioned but this effort cannot have the impact that Honduras needs because we do not have enough resources to reach all the people who need it, that's why we will expose this effort in the Think Tank Shark Tank have a greater impact of conscience in the population and action to continue to include entrepreneurs seeking a second chance in Honduran society.”

Elena Toledo is the Chief Executive Officer of Fundación Eléutera. She is an educator, and has extensive experience working with vulnerable communities. She has worked with organizations such as SOS Children's Villages and community and Catholic Church programs that serve people deprived of freedom, as well as children in high-risk areas, and people living with HIV, among others. In parallel, she was already writing articles in national and international newspapers and magazines, eventually opening the door for her to work in the PanAm Post newspaper as a reporter for Central America and Mexico for four years.

Hernán Bonilla, Executive Director, Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo
Latin American Trade Vulnerability Index

Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo is seeking funding to expand its Latin America Trade Vulnerability Index that has already been successful in Uruguay.  This index currently focuses on the degrees to which economies are closed off, and will be a useful tool for comparing and contrasting the different trade strategies in the continent. Expanding this index to include additional Latin American countries and making this information widely available will help to inform public discussion and steer discourse towards freer markets. 

“The Trade Vulnerability Index measures the degree to which an economy accesses other markets with tariff preferences. The Trade Vulnerability Index aims to be a decisive contribution to influencing the decisions on public policies to make Latin American economies more open, competitive and dynamic. Our project seeks to spread this index in different countries of Latin America, as the first international product of our think tank. to be an effective tool in the battle of the ideas of freedom throughout the continent, with an important impact on the academy, the press and politics. We are convinced that with this project we will be able to positively influence our economies to be more open and generate greater prosperity in the benefits of Latin Americans.”

Hernán Bonilla holds a degree in Economics from the University of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. He is a fellow the National Academy of Economics and a professor of Economics at ORT University. He has published papers and given lectures on economics, public policy and international trade. He is the author of the book "How do we get to this State?: Culture, institutions and economic performance in Uruguay”. He is a columnist for the newspaper El País of Montevideo among others. He is an academic fellow of the Libertad y Progreso Foundation of Buenos Aires. He is a graduate of the Atlas Leadership Academy and in 2016 he participated in the Atlas Network Smith Fellowship.