2011 Templeton Freedom Award Winners PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 14 November 2011 14:14

Templeton Freedom Awards for Excellence in Promoting Liberty

-The largest international prize program that celebrates think tank contributions to the understanding of freedom

Exceptional think tanks from 10 countries have been recognized by the 2011 Templeton Freedom Awards for Excellence in Promoting Liberty for their accomplishments in advancing freedom. Representing five continents, the 16 recipients were chosen from over 183 applications from 48 countries by an independent panel of expert judges.


Named after the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, the Templeton Freedom Award was established in 2003 and is the largest international prize program that celebrates think tank contributions to the understanding of freedom. The Templeton Freedom Awards program has awarded more than $1.5 million in prizes and grants in the past eight years. This year’s awards program grants a $10,000 prize to each winner.

The awards categories include:

Ethics & Values
recognizing outstanding research and innovative projects concerning the relationship between free enterprise and the ethics, values, and character that sustain it.

Free Market Solutions to Poverty
recognizing outstanding research and innovative projects addressing how sound economic and legal institutions can solve problems of poverty.

Social Entrepreneurship
recognizing outstanding research and innovative projects on social entrepreneurship to benefit the poor, increased cooperation among think tanks, the private sector organizations for the free society; and general building of a sound, strong, civil society.

Initiative in Public Relations
recognizing non-profit research institute that have demonstrated outstanding success in effectively communicating the ideas of a free society.

Innovative Media Award
recognizing outstanding think tank projects that use film or multimedia technologies to promote the principles of a free society.

Award for Special Achievement by a University-based Center
recognizing outstanding projects and achievement by university-based centers in promoting liberty.

Award for Special Achievement by a Young Institute
recognizing out-standing performance by an institute that is less than five years old.  One winner will be chosen from a developed country, and another one from a more difficult part of the world.

Student Outreach
recognizing outstanding work by think tanks to improve education about freedom.

Ethics and Values

Central European Business and Social Initiative, CEBSI (Slovakia)
CEBSI won for their web portal The portal was established by students in a journalism group four years ago at Ruzomberok University. Since then, the portal has won journalism awards and became one of the most influential venues in spreading the values of freedom, democracy, personal liberty, dialogue, moral values and tolerance amongst young leaders in Slovakia.

Polish-American Foundation for Economic Research and Education, PAFERE (Poland)
The Polish-American Foundation for Economic Research and Education has produced a high quality education campaign spreading the message of the importance of property rights via leaflets and new media. Since 2009 the THOU SHALT NOT STEAL! IMPERITIVE has focused on changing the climate of opinion towards that which Frederic Bastiat called ‘legal plunder’; behaviors and practices that government uses to undermine property rights.

Free Market Solutions to Poverty

Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA (United Kingdom)
Despite being the oldest organization of its kind, the Institute of Economic Affairs proves that it is as vibrant and relevant as ever with the IEA Poverty Project. Spearheaded by Kristian Niemietz, the Poverty Project has produced no less than eight IEA publications, seven external publications and one comprehensive academic study, which was published in the Journal of Public Policy. The Poverty Project has been widely lauded as debate changing work, receiving frequent mentions in Britain’s national print and television media. There are few studies of free market solutions to poverty that are as high quality and as fundamentally robust as the Poverty Project.

Cathay Institute for Public Affairs, CIPA (China)
Cathay Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) founded the Capital Freedom project in 2006, which aims to assess the status, problems and perspectives of corporate capital freedom in China. The project produces a yearly report on the overall progress of and hindrances to, corporate capital freedom in China. The Capital Freedom project includes workshops and training seminars that educate the next generation of leaders. To date, these events have been attended by over 820 government officials, entrepreneurs, journalists and students. A part of this project is the Capital Freedom Index, referenced frequently by national and international business media on the internet and in journals.

The Cathay Institute award was highlighted by Forbes Magazine.

Social Entrepreneurship

Indego Africa, (Rwanda / United States)
Indego Africa is a nonprofit social enterprise that partners with cooperatives (“co-ops”) of female artisans in Rwanda who make accessories and home décor products that are then sold on its online store and at more than 70 U.S. retailers. It invests 100% of profits from sales and fundraising into its tailored long-term skills training programs for the co-op members in business management, entrepreneurship, literacy, and technology – all taught by Rwanda’s top university students. Indego currently partners with more than 300 Rwandan artisan women, many of whom lack formal education, care for several children and are the sole provider in their household. Indego verified the following impact in its partner co-ops in a two year period: a 821% increase in the number of women earning $1 a day or more, a 254% increase in the number of women who have a bank account, and a 630% increase in the number of women satisfied with quality of life.

Junior Achievement of Argentina, (Argentina)
Junior Achievement won for their Banks in Action initiative. The program has been running entrepreneurial and economic programs for 50,000 students per year throughout the last 20 years, covering the total territory of the Argentinean Republic in the educational area. Based on Murray N. Rothbard’s book The Mystery of Banking and Hans F. Sennholz’s book Age of Inflation, Junior Achievement developed a seven-lesson course and a video about the origin of money and banking, and finally, a simulation game through which the students learn how to manage a commercial bank.

Initiative in Public Relations

Reason Foundation, (United States)
The Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Poll is an initiative that explores what Americans think about government and major issues through a series of quarterly nationwide public opinion surveys. The project’s goal is to create market research that leads to public policy outcomes that advance individual liberty, free markets, and the rule of law. Poll aggregator agreed to include this and future polls in its poll feed. Experts from Gallup, Reuters-Ipsos, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the New York Post, and the Columbus Dispatch were among those who responded to the poll’s debut. editor Nick Gillespie discussed the poll on CNN with former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, and Polling Director Emily Ekins taped two segments for CNN Headline News that aired more than a dozen times each in the Los Angeles market. On Fox Business News’ FreedomWatch, host Judge Andrew Napolitano said, “This may be the single most important poll that will determine who wins the White House in 2012 and there isn’t a single candidate mentioned in it.”

Centre for Civil Society, CCS (India)
The Certificate Course in Public Policy for Journalists is a unique residential course launched in 2009. Since then it has received a tremendous response from journalists all over the country, with the course now being conducted in 6 cities including Delhi, Jaipur, Patna and Guwahati. Over 100 participants have returned to their media houses to share these teachings among their teams, work on stories based on discussions, and initiate longer-term campaigns on some of the issues. The themes addressed during the Certificate Course typically include poverty, governance, liberalization, education and role of Hindi media. Since 2009, the program itself has made news repeatedly and been featured in publications as a unique media engagement project. Participants of previous programs initiated and organized these courses in their cities, which were a resounding success. Additionally, participants have engaged with CCS more proactively.

Innovative New Media

Illinois Policy Institute, IPI (United States)
The Illinois Policy Institute launched the Illinois Turnaround Tour New Media Campaign in 2010. The IPI produced several thousand pocket-sized booklets containing facts about Illinois’s challenges, a policy narrative on Illinois’s need for a turnaround and seven easy steps for getting involved. The institute purchased an RV, wrapped it with Turnaround-themed imagery, and hit the road for a statewide tour. During 78 days spanning the summer and fall of 2010, IPI logged more than 8,000 miles and made more than 130 stops across the state. The campaign resulted in a massive earned media impact with more than 35 significant media mentions, including Fox Chicago Sunday Show, Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald, State Journal-Register, WLS-AM Cisco Cotto Show, Rock Island Argus/Moline Dispatch and WIFR-CBS Rockford. The key messages of the campaign were shared more than 2,800,000 times through film, radio, print, direct mail, SMS text, on-the-road, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and news sites.

Institute for Humane Studies, IHS (United States)
In February 2011, the Institute for Humane Studies began producing short, educational videos, posting them on YouTube at, and promoting them via blogs and social media. At present, Learn Liberty’s 120 videos have attracted over 1 million views, six videos have topped 50,000 views each, and the project has more than 50,000 Facebook fans and 8,900 YouTube subscribers. The key to the Learn Liberty’s success is credibility—quality content from reliable scholars. To deliver this, IHS staff works closely with top-notch professors and professional video producers to develop educational videos that are clear, concise, compelling, and accurate.

Special Achievement by a University Based Center

The Miller Upton Programs at Beloit College, (United States)
The Miller Upton Programs are named in honor of the sixth President of Beloit College. Miller Upton devoted his career to advancing the ideals of the liberal society: political freedom, the rule of law, and the promotion of peace and prosperity through the voluntary exchange of goods, services, and ideas. President Upton believed that the liberal arts college was the ideal place to engage the ‘great questions’ and to set the standard for civil discourse in an open society. The centerpiece of the Miller Upton Programs is a week-long annual forum on The Wealth and Well-Being of Nations that brings to campus leading thinkers who ask first order questions about the institutions necessary for freedom prosperity, and human flourishing. Douglass North (2008), Hernando de Soto (2009), Israel Kirzner (2010), Elinor Ostrom (2011) and Timur Kuran (2012) are the first five “Upton Scholars.” Other programs include a senior summer seminar, a student research colloquium, student internships and the publication of the Annual Proceedings of the Wealth and Well-being of Nations based on the presentations made during the forum.

Murray Rothbard Center of Political Economy and Business at the Romanian American University in Bucharest, (Romania)
Founded in 2010 in Bucharest, Romania, the Murray Rothbard Center of Political Economy and Business at the Romanian American University in Bucharest has developed a variety of programs that encourage the development of education and research in economics and public policy from a free-market perspective. Their distinctive focus is on the Austrian School of Economics. They have hosted conferences featuring such distinguished academics as Jeffery Miron and Jesus Huerta de Soto. Some of their main programs are Mastering Economic Journalism, Tax Freedom Day and hosting a Great Books in Economics discussion series.

Special Achievement by a Young Institute

Civil Development Forum, FOR Foundation (Poland)
Civil Development Forum (the FOR Foundation) is a free-market think tank based in Poland promoting an idea of a limited state – a government whose activity does not harm economic liberties and personal freedom. FOR seeks to contribute to policy-making through fact-based research and public debate. Among its activities, the FOR Foundation has established a “public debt clock” which is frequently cited by the media. FOR has received nationwide media coverage warning the Polish nation of the dangers of public debt and educating the public about what is a safe level of debt and deficit.

Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation (Nepal)
Samriddhi has been running the “Gari Khana Deu” (loosely translated as ‘let me earn a living’) campaign since 2009. The campaign calls for establishing a stronger Rule of Law, stronger property rights and freedom to trade freely and peacefully in Nepal. The campaign has been hugely successful with more than 200,000 individual members and organizations becoming part of the grassroots coalition to support the campaign agenda. The campaign has been frequently covered by the media and has successfully influenced the climate of opinion with the phrase “Gari Khana Deu” being cited often by politicians. The quality standards of the campaign are reflected in both the events hosted under the campaign banner as well as the promotional materials of the campaign.

Student Outreach

Students for Liberty, SFL (United States)
This year Students for Liberty took their student outreach over and above their already impressive body of work. At their annual International Students for Liberty Conference, The STOSSEL Show filmed an episode, later broadcast on the Fox Business Network. SFL continues to challenge barriers to learning the principles of a free society. The organization now boasts a national network of 57 ‘Campus Co-coordinators’ who act as community organizers for liberty in schools across North America. Furthermore, during the 2010-2011 school year, over 1,500 individuals from all over the globe logged into SFL’s weekly E-Leadership webinars which included academic lectures and practical training.

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, FIRE (United States)
FIRE’s Individual Rights Education Program (IREP) is a critical tool for educating students about their basic rights and the need for freedom of speech. Through the IREP, FIRE produces it’s series of Guides to Student Rights on Campus. Each of the five guides provides easy-to-reference information regarding constitutional protections, legal precedent, case studies, and steps for combating civil liberties violations. This project has a record of success, with over 280,000 print and electronic guides distributed since 2005. IREP also sends civil liberties experts to college campuses to speak about student rights. Since 2008, FIRE staff members have delivered nearly 100 speeches to students, priming them on their rights and energizing them to reclaim those rights. FIRE’s IREP also reaches out to high school seniors through a “know before you go” initiative, which proactively educates them about their fundamental freedoms before they arrive at college and incorrectly learn to accept violations of those freedoms.

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