How Atlas Works

Venture capital firms use specialized expertise to invest in startup companies with the goal of achieving very high returns. Atlas operates in a similar manner, putting resources into new and innovative institutes and programs, then monitoring those investments to improve their chances of success.

While the think tank industry is still very young, Atlas is guided by individuals on its Board and Staff who have played many roles and have many years of experience within the think tank movement.

Atlas’s investments are long-term in nature, but with incredible potential for changing the climate of ideas and improving the prospects for human freedom around the world.

In addition to advising young institutes, Atlas hosts workshops and networking events; administers prize programs; and undertakes special projects that bring more resources to local institutes. Atlas also publishes its Highlights newsletter; maintains a Toolkit of advice helpful for think tanks; and features online information-sharing tools – such as our Directory, Classifieds, Calendar and Blog Hub, to provide you with a convenient way to access information about this diverse global network.

Vision and Mission

The Atlas Vision
To achieve a society of free and responsible individuals, based upon private property rights, limited government under the rule of law and the market order.

The Atlas Mission
To discover, develop and support intellectual entrepreneurs worldwide who have the potential to create independent public policy institutes and related programs, which advance our vision; and to provide ongoing support as such institutes and programs mature.

Mission Objectives and Methods
To discover intellectual entrepreneurs who share our vision.

To develop and support them in the establishment and growth of organizations with the potential to advance our mission.

To encourage such people and such institutes to address policy issues which advance our vision.

To support the dissemination of their work to current and potential opinion leaders.

To encourage and provide support for institute leaders and staffers to develop their management, leadership and fundraising skills.

To alert institutes about potential funding opportunities.

To inform institutes about the work of their colleagues through networking, publications and conferences.

To encourage institutes to create a working environment that will attract intellectual entrepreneurs and retain talented staff.

Welcome to Atlas Economic Research Foundation

Investment for Economics Success

Milton & Rose Friedman

“coverage of the world on behalf of liberty is truly remarkable. In seventy or more countries it is helping think tanks spread an understanding of free markets or engaged in creating think tanks that will do so. More power to it.”

— Milton Friedman, September 16, 2005

Since 1981, Atlas Economic Research Foundation has been the leading international organization for supporting independent think tanks advancing freedom.

Based in Arlington, Virginia, and founded by the late Sir Antony Fisher, Atlas believes the prospects for free societies all over the world depend upon intellectual entrepreneurs in civil society, who wish to improve public policy debates through sound research.