Atlas Network is a nonprofit organization connecting a global network of more than 400 free-market organizations in over 80 countries to the ideas and resources needed to advance the cause of liberty.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

Recent News

In Memoriam: John Blundell (1952-2014)

In Memoriam
John Blundell (1952 – 2014)

The freedom movement has lost one of its most influential institution builders. Atlas Network has lost a dear friend, its past President and Board Member. John Blundell died July 22, 2014.

John Blundell spent two decades as the General Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, the “grand-daddy” think tank to the Atlas Network and (in the estimation of Andrew Marr of the BBC) “undoubtedly the most influential think tank in modern British history.”

Prior to his service at the IEA, Blundell was President of the Charles G. Koch and Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundations, aiding in their evolution into some of the most active philanthropies for the advancement of libertarian ideas.

Earlier, Blundell led (simultaneously) the Institute for Humane Studies and the Atlas Network (then, Atlas Economic Research Foundation), organizations that served as catalysts to the creation of new generations of classical liberal academics and think tank entrepreneurs, respectively.

During the last decade, Blundell established himself as an accomplished historian. He followed his own Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady (2008) with an edited collection, Remembering Margaret Thatcher: Commemorations, Tributes and Assessments (2013). He wrote Ladies For Liberty: Women Who Made a Difference in American History (2nd expanded edition 2013) to also showcase American women that contributed to individual freedom.

One of his greatest written contributions is a slender volume, Waging the War of Ideas (most recently published in 2007 in its third expanded edition), that has served as a primer for audiences around the world looking for cost-effective ways to affect social change in the direction of greater liberty.

He continued to play active roles with the Atlas Network, Institute for Humane Studies, Heritage Foundation and Mont Pelerin Society (after having organized its largest-ever meeting in London in 2002). He received honorary Ph.D. degrees from the University of Buckingham in the UK and Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala.

John was born on October 9, 1952, in Congleton, Cheshire. He was educated at the King’s School, Macclesfield, and at the London School of Economics.

John had a keen sense of how history moves, and the principles that will be vindicated over the long term. He celebrated bold leadership on behalf of those principles, and also the quiet behind-the-scenes work that often matters more than what’s most visible to a general audience.

John was a beloved figure – full of good cheer, dry wit, and a winking British formality – and a great and generous friend. He delighted in designing and giving elaborately thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gifts. John looked out for friends in need, while shying away from recognition himself. John is survived by his wife Christine and their two sons. He will be missed.

Realizing Bitcoin’s potential

Governments around the world are grappling with what to do with Bitcoin — the cryptocurrency that has attracted enthusiasts worldwide, endured the bankruptcy of one major exchange (Tokyo-based Mt. Gox), and puzzled fans and detractors alike with regard to its legal status. The Montreal Economic Institute recently published a study that discusses Bitcoin’s potential. [Continue Reading...]

Latin America celebrates Milton Friedman’s legacy

On July 31, the world will celebrate Dr. Milton Friedman’s 102nd birthday. To commemorate the life and work of Dr. Friedman, who received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976, the Hispanic American Center for Economic Research (HACER) will host fifteen events titled “The Legacy of Milton Friedman for Liberty in 2014” in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

To watch HACER’s promotional video, click here.

Shale gas production in Bulgaria could mean 39,000 jobs

While European nations like the UK and Romania ramp up exploration and production of natural gas from shale, Bulgaria remains on the sidelines, potentially missing out on this economic boom.

Atlas Network partner Institute for Market Economics in Bulgaria recently released a forecast report estimating social and economic impacts for various production scenarios. The most conservative of these would introduce more than 25,000 new jobs to Bulgaria’s economy, with as many as 39,000 jobs predicted if full production potential is realized.

Natural gas meets roughly 13 percent of Bulgaria’s current energy demand, but only 10 percent of its natural gas is produced domestically. By expanding to shale production, the IME report makes clear Bulgaria could significantly improve its domestic energy landscape and reduce unemployment.

Study finds innovation is key to improving Spain’s unemployment rate

With unemployment above 25 percent, more than twice the EU average, Spain’s economy continues to struggle to create and maintain sustainable job opportunities. Previous job creation policies in Spain, such as the ill-fated solar sector regulations, failed to create as many jobs as they cost.

To advance an alternative solution to government intervention, Atlas Network partner Institución Futuro (IF) released a new study in 2014 linking private sector innovation to economic performance and job growth. Through data analysis and surveys at top performing companies in the Navarra region, IF analysts found that 87 percent of successful companies attribute increased employment opportunities to innovations within the company.

To better understand the relationship between innovation and public policy, analysts also asked respondents to identify key factors influencing their level of investment in innovation. Among the most cited responses, those surveyed pointed to excessive government bureaucracy and high interest rates as two key factors limiting their innovative potential.