September 29, 2016 Print

The worldwide freedom movement’s most exciting new project ideas are showcased each year as part of Atlas Network’s Think Tank Shark Tank competition. This year’s edition, sponsored by the Smith Family Foundation, will feature three contestants who will pitch their projects before a panel of judges and an audience of hundreds of the world’s top freedom advocates, influencers, and supporters at Atlas Network’s Freedom Dinner on Nov. 10 at the historic Capitale in New York City.

Freedom Dinner

Each contestant will have six minutes to pitch his or her idea to the audience and judges, who will then choose a winner for the $25,000 grand prize.

Here are the 2016 contestants:

Kristina Rasmussen
Illinois Policy Institute, United States


Project: Yearlong storytelling budget

"Our proposed project is a yearlong fellowship devoted solely to sourcing and developing compelling stories from within and outside of the Illinois Policy Institute community," Rasmussen said. "This project will have a greater impact on liberty in Illinois by tackling the state’s high property taxes, a broken criminal justice system, and the loss of manufacturing jobs. Illinois is often held up as an example of ‘what not to do.’ We intend to change the narrative and show Illinois rising up as an example of how to make change in the most unlikely of places."

Anthea Haryoko
Manager for Communications and Fundraising
Center for Indonesian Policy Studies, Indonesia


Project: A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for the CIPS ‘Affordable Food for the Poor’ campaign

"For the majority of ambitious young Indonesians who are living dispersed on 6,000 islands, the only chance to attend quality lectures is through MOOCs," Haryoko said. "Before being elected in 2014, Indonesian President Widodo promised to abandon costly fuel subsidies because the public had finally understood these subsidies did not benefit the poor. After being elected, he actually cut the subsidies. Similar to 2014, there is now a growing consensus among experts that food trade restrictions actually harm the poor and do not even protect the 26 million farmers. The CIPS campaign aims to inspire a similar policy shift during Widodo’s reelection campaign in 2019. The ultimate objective of the CIPS campaign is that the Indonesian President Widodo drops the harmful food self-sufficiency policy from his re-election campaign 2019."

Gabriel Calzada
Executive President
Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala


Project: "The Game Changer" (on-campus center for the production of video games)

"Video games have become a giant, global market and a major vehicle for cultural dissemination everywhere," Calzada said. "It is one of the most influential fields in the education of our children. It is where modern culture engages the most. And it is one of the biggest markets in the world. Video games are where children invest the greatest share of their free time… Unlike other video games centers, we are doing this within an environment that openly defends individual liberty and responsibility, and that champions entrepreneurship. We strongly believe that a center for the creation of video games framed within the libertarian ethos has the potential to be a game-changer worldwide."

In 2015, Admir Čavalić of Bosnia and Herzegovina-based Multi won the Think Tank Shark Tank competition for the “OPENFest” project proposal.

In 2014, Baladevan Rangaraju of New Delhi-based India Institute won the Think Tank Shark Tank competition for the “i-torney: a people’s pocket lawyer mobile app” project proposal.