Promoting Free Societies
Hosting a Worldwide Conversation
Poland has undergone major social and political change in its recent history, having only started its transition from communism toward liberal democracy and a free market economy in the late 1980s. For the past two decades, Fundacja Liberté!, an Atlas Network Smart Bets partner in Poland, has been building momentum for a better future for their country by engaging millions of people in a conversation about freedom.
“We always want to remain true to our mission and vision, which is promoting free, open societies with a free market,” said Olga Łabendowicz, senior administrative and project coordinator at Fundacja Liberté!.
In addition to publishing Liberté!, a monthly e-magazine, Fundacja Liberté! has invited people from across the globe to participate in Freedom Games, an event that has grown from a gathering of a few hundred attendees to an open forum with thousands of in-person participants and a virtual audience of more than a million people.
Finding the Common Ground
Freedom Games brings a classical liberal perspective to discussions on a broad range of topics, from politics to quantum physics to culture wars to environmental security. “Each year, we try to find the most untapped topic that we can tackle as liberals,” Olga explained.
These conversations serve as a catalyst for fostering understanding and unity among speakers and participants, advancing Fundacja Liberté!’s mission as each topic is approached with a respect for individual rights. Rather than prioritizing only prominent freedom advocates for their panels, Fundacja Liberté! features speakers from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives in an effort to diversify the conversation.
While those without a background in politics or economics may be hesitant to express their policy views, Olga remarked that Freedom Games offers a credible venue where public figures from all industries can take part in civil society.
“Having them gain the courage to be a part of the freedom movement, by being a partner and providing knowledge, for instance, is very crucial. That’s a big step towards bringing the message of freedom across.”
The Freedom Games approach has been successful in engaging a progressively larger and more diverse group of participants. This is evidenced by the presence of over 400 speakers that now present at their annual two-and-a-half day discussion.
“The tenfold increase in the number of speakers shows how much interest there is in this type of forum, and how much need there is for having spaces to debate freely,” Olga said.
Building on Success
In recognition of their success in expanding the space for debate with Freedom Games, Fundacja Liberté! was awarded Atlas Network’s 2022 Europe Liberty Award.
“The award has been a boost in energy for the Freedom Games project. It helps us to leverage our partnerships in the region and inside of Poland as well, and it helped us reach out to new speakers whom we could not have considered due to financial reasons,” Olga said.
Soon after receiving the award, Fundacja Liberté! was selected as a 2023 Atlas Network Smart Bets partner. The Smart Bets program supports 10 organizations each year that are prepared to achieve ambitious goals. Through mentorship, training, and financial support offered through the Smart Bets program, these organizations are primed to flourish and exceed expectations.
“The Smart Bets program has enabled us to further develop the Freedom Games. It has helped us leverage our potential that we could not have used to the fullest before,” said Olga. “We are trying to go beyond our original scope of activities and navigate this exceptional opportunity that we’ve been given.”
With each stride that Olga and her team are taking to expand the Freedom Games brand and engage their rapidly growing audience, they ensure that Fundacja Liberté!’s mission remains at the core of all their plans.
“Every activity that we take on, every project that we take on, we always have in mind our ultimate goal, which is to move the freedom movement forward, be it in Poland, Europe, or globally,” Olga said.