2011 Initiatives

In addition to its core work of discovering, training, and advising champions of freedom, along with its prize and grant programs, Atlas undertakes special projects each year to advance its vision of a society of free and responsible individuals.

Celebrating 30 Years of Advancing Liberty

In the three decades since Atlas was founded, the global network of free-market think tanks has grown from barely a dozen to more than 400 in over 80 countries. Yet there is much more to accomplish.

This year Atlas is celebrating its 30th Anniversary with a new publication, Freedom Champions: Stories from the Front Lines in the War of Ideas, a related 30th anniversary campaign, and special events featuring Nobel Laureate and Templeton Leadership Fellow Mario Vargas Llosa, Swedish author Johan Norberg, NCPA President John Goodman, and Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, among others.

The Morality of Free Enterprise

It is imperative that the understanding of how Free Enterprise both depends upon, and reinforces, moral behavior is understood. Atlas is using its Discovery and Outreach Programs in Arabic, Chinese, Russian and other languages to make accessible the great works that demonstrate the morality of free enterprise. Atlas is coordinating essay contests and summer schools to encourage students to go beyond the anti-market biases of their professors and grapple with the moral issues surrounding respect for property, achievement, and free exchange.

Sound Money Project

Co-directed by senior fellow Judy Shelton and Atlas’s President Alex Chafuen, the Sound Money Project connects experts with institutes and academic centers in the Atlas network, strengthening the effort to promote public policies consistent with sound money principles. Atlas sustains an active Sound Money web site with essay contests, as well as a popular primer, A Guide to Sound Money.

Education Policy Initiative

In 2011, Atlas is working with international and U.S. partners to improve educational outcomes via more choice and innovation. Atlas will foster research on topics that can shift the education policy debate, recognize effective think tank work on school choice, and encourage replication of high-impact programs.

Energy Policy Initiative

Many attacks on energy markets are simply old-fashioned attempts to control the economy and dictate consumer choices. Atlas is encouraging think tanks — especially at the U.S. state level where much of the action in this debate has moved — to become more engaged in this policy arena, and take advantage of existing experts and resources. To these ends, Atlas convened an Energy Policy Summit in 2010 and is continuing to advise think tanks on how to play value-added roles on energy.

Lights, Camera, Liberty!

This program has helped 22 North American think tanks grow their communications shops with new or upgraded cameras, studio equipment, and editing software. They also take advantage of an Atlas-created package of training opportunities in video production for online media.

Frédéric Bastiat’s Legacy

Atlas has translated the works of the 19th century French economist Frédéric Bastiat (“a publicist of genius” according to F.A. Hayek) in 14 languages. Atlas also partnered with Students for Liberty to produce and distribute thousands of copies of The Economics of Freedom: What Your Professors Won’t Tell You, an economic primer featuring Bastiat’s “What Is Seen and Not Seen” and other essays that unlock the fundamentals of economic understanding. Atlas continues to build on these efforts to popularize the lessons of Bastiat through this initiative.

Transform the Americas

Atlas has translated and published The Economic Transformation of Chile: A Personal Account, by Hernan Büchi, the architect of many of Chile’s successful market-oriented reforms of the 1980′s. The Transform the Americas project continues to promote the positive lessons learned from Chile’s economic development — which stands in such marked contrast to the cautionary tales of Venezuela and other neighbors –so that they can be studied throughout the world.

Think Tanks for a Secure Free Society (SFS)

Atlas has encouraged think tanks to explore topics where economics intersects with security challenges, especially in countries with weak institutions and/or oppressive governments. Atlas convenes SFS training workshops and plays “catalyst and connector” roles for think tanks working to build programs to address these topics.

Teach Freedom Initiative

Atlas’s Teach Freedom Initiative exists to identify & assist Intellectual Entrepreneurs within universities, who wish to create and develop academic centers that are dedicated to exploring the institutions of a free society. Atlas also incubates certain scholarly programs that are consistent with its vision, such as Econ Journal Watch.

Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Orders

The Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Orders recognizes & supports the work of scholars who apply the perspective of Austrian methodological individualism, which has greatly increased our understanding of free markets, to areas outside the realm of traditional economic study. The Fund convenes academic conferences and has a series of prizes for scholars doing significant work in the area of Austrian economics.

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