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LATIN AMERICA THINK TANK ESSENTIALS TRAINING FOCUSES ON REVITALIZATION

January 9, 2018

Every year, Atlas Network holds a Latin America Think Tank Essentials training, which focuses on providing new think tanks in the region with the tools to establish or revitalize their organizations. With the help of instructors from Contribuyentes por Respeto, Libertad y Desarrollo, and the Archbridge Institute, 13 think tank staffers spent four days in November 2017 in Santiago, Chile, refining their business plans and discussing strategies for strengthening their operations. The following three participants share their workshop experiences and discuss the main challenges that their organizations face.

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BUILDING A BETTER BUSINESS-ENABLING ENVIRONMENT IN UKRAINE

January 2, 2018

Andriy Shpakov is the executive director of EasyBusiness, a Ukrainian think tank, whose mission is to create a better environment for business operation and economic growth. Shpakov has a background in finance and business analysis, and during the last three years he has advised the Ukrainian government on how to develop a deregulation strategy and improve Ukraine’s position on the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking. Shpakov gave Atlas Network a little glimpse into Ukraine’s current political climate and what EasyBusiness is doing to spread the message of freedom in Ukraine, in light of an upcoming Atlas Network event in New York City on January 10.

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THIRD ANNUAL ARAB LIBERTY FESTIVAL PROMOTES ROLE OF PRIVATE SECTOR AS AGENT OF CHANGE IN REGION

December 28, 2017

The third annual Arab Liberty Festival, held from Dec. 8-9 in Rabat, Morocco, focused on promoting stable institutions that encourage entrepreneurship and rule of law throughout the Arab world. Hosted by the Arab Center for Scientific Research and Humane Studies and sponsored by Atlas Network, the Arab Liberty Festival brought together nearly 100 members of free-market think tanks and organizations from across the region.

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SEASON 4 OF THE FREE MARKETS SERIES TO AIR ON PBS

December 28, 2017

Interested in seeing some of the leading lights of the free-market movement talk about their life’s work and the ideas that get them fired up in the morning, all in an intimate interview setting? You can do just that if you watch The World Show: The Free Markets Series in partnership with Montreal Economic Institute (Institut Economique de Montreal) and broadcast on PBS Affiliate stations.

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SECOND OPEN FEST SPANS FIVE DAYS, DRAWS THOUSANDS IN SARAJEVO

December 21, 2017

The Bosnian think tank Multi has demonstrated once more how effective non-traditional channels can be in introducing new audiences to the ideas of classical liberalism with its second annual OPEN Fest. Over 2,000 people participated in the festival, with a few more thousand attending at least some of the associated programs, and 100 people were trained from the Western Balkans in three training programs – Balkan Leadership Training, Objectivist OPENer, and Catallaxy Seminars – held before OPEN Fest.

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MALAYSIAN CONFERENCE DEBUNKS PRE-CONCEIVED NOTIONS ON COMPATIBILITY OF ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY

December 20, 2017

Based in Kuala Lampur, Istanbul Network for Liberty strives for a Muslim renaissance based on the principles of a free society. It recently hosted its fifth annual international conference, organizing around the theme of “Democratic Transitions in the Muslim World.” More than 125 participants attended the conference, representing Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and more.

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NEW LIBERTY AWARDS IN GREECE HONOR TOM PALMER, OTHER FREEDOM CHAMPIONS

December 20, 2017

The recent turn of Greeks back to the ideas of classical liberalism is continuing. Earlier in December, The Center for Liberal Studies - Markos Dragoumis (KEFiM) hosted an award ceremony for “Freedom in Greece,” called PROMETHEUS 2017, at St. George Lycabettus in the presence of 120 prominent guests and award winners.

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LFMI: LABOR MARKET REGULATION INDICATORS PROVE VALUABLE DESPITE ABSENCE IN DOING BUSINESS REPORT

December 19, 2017

Until 2012, a measure of the rigidity of labor regulation had been reflected in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, but has since been removed in its associated index. The Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI) believes that there is a vast body of research to support the importance of these employment regulation indicators, and so, it developed the Employment Flexibility Index for the European Union (EU) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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MODERNIZING LABOR POLICY IN SOUTHERN INDIA TO INCREASE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN, CPPR SAYS

December 18, 2017

Current labor regulations in the southern Indian state of Kerala are shaped by the Shops and Commercial Establishments Act of 1960, which has demonstrated itself to be outdated, inefficient, and discriminatory. Center for Public Policy Research (CPPR) is located in Kochi, a major port city in the state of Kerala. Its Model Shops and Establishments Act project analyzed suggestions put forward in a recent bill amending the Act and proposed CPPR’s own amendments. With its study and resulting draft bill, which it presented to the State Labour Department, CPPR is attempting to increase employment opportunities for women and improve Kerala’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking.

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ALUMNI IN FOCUS: THE CHEETAH GENERATION OF AFRICA

December 15, 2017 | by Linda Kavuka Kiguhi

Poverty, literacy rates, and youth unemployment are part of a long list of Africa’s biggest challenges. But at the top of this list is corruption. It sweeps indiscriminately across the continent. Africa has countries that have been ruled by dictators for over 30 years, and in others power shifts from father to son. This is only possible because of corruption. In Africa, the phrase “everyone has a price” is put to real practice. Institutions are not independent, as claimed on paper. And judiciaries in many countries are threatened by the executive and rules as per the will of the government.

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AUDACE INSTITUT AFRIQUE CREATES NEW MODEL FOR LAND OWNERSHIP IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE

December 15, 2017

To protect private property effectively, rights must be clearly defined. In Côte d’Ivoire, only four percent of all rural land is legally registered, which leaves virtually all of the non-urban population vulnerable to disputes. Part of the challenge lies in the prohibitive costs associated with engaging the formal system. For example, even small farming parcels (around two hectares) require about one year’s worth of income in fees for the average Ivorian to register their land, an investment made all the more unattractive when you consider the mismatch between informal agreements and the formal system. As a result, most landowners operate only under a weak informal system using handwritten claims or oral agreements. Audace Institut Afrique (AIA), an Atlas Network partner organization based in Côte d’Ivoire’s economic capital of Abidjan, has taken on the important task of transitioning those informal systems to formal registration and adjudication with its “Rural Land Project” (Acteur Communau’Terre).

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REPLACING PATENTS WITH GOVERNMENT PRIZES NOT THE WAY TO INNOVATION, SAYS GENEVA NETWORK

December 14, 2017

There have increasingly been calls for the market-based system of patent-driven drug research and development to be replaced with centrally planned systems driven by tax-funded innovation prizes and research contracts. Geneva Network, an Atlas Network partner in Salisbury, United Kingdom, explores this issue thoroughly in its recent policy brief Delinked from Reality, arguing that replacing research and development with bureaucracy will likely do more harm than good.

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RESEARCH FINDS PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR SCHOOL CHOICE, FLEXIBILITY ON THE RISE

December 13, 2017

In education, as in the current political climate, those with the loudest voices get the most attention for their cause. Special interest groups consisting of parents, teachers, administrators, boards, and government struggle to align their goals while maintaining a positive learning environment. In an effort to cut through this noise, EdChoice interviews 1,000 Americans every year (in collaboration with Braun Research, Inc.) for its Schooling in America series. Now in its fifth installment, this annual survey gives a picture of what the average citizen thinks of the current state of K-12 education.

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LIBERTYFEST ATTENDEES CELEBRATE AUSTRALIA'S EXISTING FREEDOMS, BRAINSTORM TO RESTORE LOST LIBERTIES

December 6, 2017

LibertyWorks Inc., an Atlas Network partner based in Brisbane, Australia, recently hosted its annual LibertyFest Conference. This conference was held to celebrate existing liberties and discuss how liberties that have been lost can be restored. The event consisted of a day filled with speakers and entertainers whose mission was to advocate for liberty and stimulate thinking.

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ECONOMIC FREEDOM SUMMIT IN SRI LANKA OFFERS ROADMAP FOR ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

December 6, 2017

Each year, the Fraser Institute releases its Economic Freedom of the World Index, which ranks every country based upon the degree to which each country’s policies and institutions support economic freedom. Advocata Institute, an Atlas Network partner organization in Sri Lanka (most recently ranked 94th in the index), recently hosted an Economic Freedom Summit with the Fraser Institute to examine the country’s performance in the index and discuss how the country can improve its rankings through reforms. The summit was an opportunity for Advocata Institute to provide a comprehensive description of the current economic policies in Sri Lanka and to offer a prescription for reform to boost the economy. It also held an essay contest at the event, which brought in one hundred and twenty different essays in three different languages discussing economic reform in Sri Lanka.

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‘OPT OUT’ PROJECT INFORMS UNION MEMBERS OF THEIR RIGHTS

December 5, 2017

Public sector employees are pressured to join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) once they gain employment. However, a 2014 Supreme Court decision (Harris v. Quinn) authorized Medicaid-compensated home healthcare and childcare providers in Washington, Oregon, and California to opt out of their union membership. Despite the ruling, many of these employees are unaware that they have the right to opt out of the SEIU and avoid paying union dues. Freedom Foundation, an Atlas Network partner based in the state of Washington, is working to end this culture of ignorance with their “Union Transparency and Reform Project.”

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PROJECT ARIZONA IGNITES A PRO-FREEDOM SPIRIT IN YOUNG INTERNATIONAL LEADERS

December 4, 2017

Bringing conceptual understanding of classical liberal philosophy into practical application in society is a difficult task, especially for those in nations that have lower levels of economic and personal freedom. Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation (FEF), an Atlas Network partner based in Poland, has successfully bridged that gap with Project Arizona.

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‘KEEP IT LOCAL SUMMIT’ PROMOTES BOTTOM-UP APPROACH TO LOCAL ISSUES IN CONNECTICUT

December 1, 2017

Local solutions to local challenges often are much more effective than directives from more distant government bodies. The Yankee Institute for Public Policy’s Keep it Local Summit brought together more than 100 policy experts, lawmakers, mayors, state lawmakers, local elected officials, candidates for public office, business leaders, and concerned citizens to discuss the important issues that Connecticut faces and formulate ways to solve them from the local level. The summit was covered by Connecticut’s top political news outlets, Fox61 News and CT News Junkie.

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DANIEL HANNAN GIVES THE TOAST TO FREEDOM AT ATLAS NETWORK'S FREEDOM DINNER 2017

November 29, 2017

The historic Capitale was bursting at the seams with more than 650 people from 50 countries when Daniel Hannan paid homage in his Toast to Freedom to Atlas Network’s founder, Sir Antony Fisher, who once was a very successful chicken farmer. “Chickens are not exactly the eagle, the American crest, and yet under their feathers, they incubated freedom,” said Hannan. His toast, which he gave at Atlas Network's Freedom Dinner 2017, went on to describe how without free trade, a chicken sandwich would likely be out of reach for most people in the world.

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SMITH FELLOW SPOTLIGHT: SUSANA DONAIRE

November 29, 2017

A recent alumna of Atlas Network’s Smith Fellowship, Susana Donaire is the institutional development coordinator of México Evalúa, an Atlas Network partner organization based in Mexico City, Mexico. Atlas Network’s Leadership Academy’s program manager, Tarun Vats, recently caught up with Susana to discuss the challenges in Mexico, how México Evalúa hopes to make a difference, and how the Smith Fellowship has created new opportunities to help Susana in her work.

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REFORM, NOT MINIMUM WAGE, THE PATH TO PROSPERITY IN SOUTH AFRICA

November 28, 2017

In May 2018, the South African government plans to introduce a national minimum wage, claiming it will provide much-needed assistance to low-income earners. Free Market Foundation (FMF), an Atlas Network partner based in Johannesburg, has been leading a national dialogue about the probable negative outcomes that a national minimum wage would bring, especially the disproportionate harm that would be done to those with low incomes more than any other demographic. FMF’s efforts in this regard have made it the authoritative voice of opposition to the prospective national minimum wage in South Africa, and it has further cemented FMF’s leading role as an advocate for the economic well-being of all South Africans. FMF recently won a Platinum Award from the Impumelelo Social Innovation Centre for its Khaya Lam Land Reform Project. The Impumelelo Award recognizes social innovations and is awarded for changing society in a way that is unique, sustainable and replicable.

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SNAPSHOTS FROM TTMBA AND TTLT 2017

November 21, 2017

Just before Atlas Network’s inspirational Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner, 55 think tank leaders from more than 25 countries came together in two separate trainings to refine their skills in leadership, fundraising, strategic planning, and more. Think Tank MBA took place in Fairfax, Va., Oct. 27-Nov. 6, and Think Tank Leadership Training took place in New York City, New York, Nov. 5-7.

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