Ambassadors / United States / California

Abraham Phillips

Halfmoon Bay

Abraham Phillips lives aboard a 53’ 28 ton sailing ketch with his family and spends many months out of the year at anchor / sea with the rest of his time spent sheltering from weather in harbors while preparing for a circumnavigation. He brings knowledge of what living at sea actually entails, its dangers, challenges, rewards, and complications. Abe’s former career includes doing over 1,500 public speaking engagements representing 30,000 audience members, serving as board president and multiple other board roles on a Silicon Valley Industry association, along with lobbying in both the California State legislature and Washington DC for industry causes. He is also a skilled 3D CAD software designer, and has relationships with companies all over the world involved in 3D printing and CNC laser services.

Allison Marks

Los Angeles – LinkedIn

After graduating with honors from the University of California at Los Angeles, Allison received her Master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics. Allison is dedicated to disseminating innovative principles and practices of proprietary government in order to enable humankind to create a peaceful, stable, and durable civilization – a goal that has thus far not been achieved. Allison lives in Los Angeles and works as a marketing professional. Outside of work and the Seasteading Institute, she enjoys dancing, writing, running and yoga.

“Humankind’s technological progress has far exceeded its social progress. This explains why we have the capacity to launch rockets into space or discover the composition of an atom, yet we are still plagued by the same problems as ever – war, corruption, famine and poverty. When the founding fathers of the United States of America declared We don’t need a king, and established a democracy, this signified a monumental step forward in the direction of human freedom. But even a democracy does not allow for absolute freedom, for in a democracy, the minority is bound by the will of the majority. However, proprietary government offers an alternative. In proprietary government, people may choose to subscribe to goods and services in the same way they subscribe to non-governmental goods and services – by comparing the price and quality of items offered by a variety of competitors. I volunteer as an ambassador with The Seasteading Institute because I feel it is paramount to disseminate to the world a new vision of “government” – one that is proprietary, and that allows humankind to enjoy lasting peace and freedom.”

Ari Eisenstat

Pacifica – LinkedIn

Ari Eisenstat is the CEO and Founder of DRÆM VENTURES, an impact venture capital fund that invests in the next generation of socially, environmentally, and technologically conscious businesses. He is a serial social entrepreneur who has led innovation in hedge funds, think tanks, nonprofits, sustainable agriculture, art technology, creative incubators, educational organizations, and venture capital. He currently leads the Impact Venture Capital Workshop at Stanford University and frequently speaks at UC Berkeley to give students a first hand experience of being an impact investor. He also founded and works from the BHuman Social Innovation Center in Palo Alto. Ari is an international speaker on Impact Investing and Social Entrepreneurship giving talks at universities, businesses, nonprofits, and conferences. He is dedicated to building a seasteading community in the San Francisco Bay area and beyond.

“Through my Ambassadorship with The Seasteading Institute, I hope to assist in the Seasteading movement solving humanities grand challenges, while developing a thriving culture around new forms of governance, business, technology, and creativity.”

Ben Hartselle

Sacramento – LinkedIn

Ben Hartselle works to create a better world every day he is alive (except sick days). An artist, salesman, promoter, producer, sci-fi geek and futurist, Ben was introduced to the idea of Seasteading in 1996 via Neal Stephenson’s novel “Snow Crash.” After graduating from the University of California in Santa Barbara, he entered the print industry where he managed a series of commercial print operations where he taught himself network administration and graphic design. During this time, he promoted bands and worked as a musician and music teacher. He then managed a vintage guitar store for several years. After starting a family, he became a sales manager for a solar installer in California. In 2014, he learned more about the Seasteading Institute and became inspired to get involved. Obsessed with emerging technologies and their ability to radically transform the world, he sees seasteading as a path to peace, prosperity and human liberty. He currently splits his time between homeschooling two small children, solar sales, Bitcoin activism and web development. He hopes to work and live on the ocean.

Bob Iofis

San Jose

Bob Iofis is an experienced professional in the Silicon Valley high-tech industry, currently working for a venture capital firm providing technical evaluation on potential investments in the areas of thin films semiconductors, energy generation, and energy storage thin film applications. Originally from Soviet Union (Latvia), Mr. Iofis moved to California in 1992. Besides his work with the VC firm, he is actively involved with the community of Russian-speaking professionals based in Silicon Valley, with members from all over the United States. As an experienced R&D high-tech commercialization professional, Mr. Iofis is at the forefront of the emerging VC industry in Russia, in other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and in Baltic countries. Mr. Iofis has over 20 years of high technology engineering experience in the semiconductor equipment industry and over 10 years of project development management experience in energy sector. His last years focus is on renewable energy projects assessment. He holds a MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnical University of Riga, Latvia. Mr. Iofis was awarded the Humanitarian Award by Friend Ships Unlimited, Louisiana-based charitable non-profit.

Chad La Tourette

San Francisco – LinkedIn

Chad La Tourette studies Earth Systems at Stanford University, and is very passionate about playing a direct role in the future of the oceans, and humankind’s place in their colonization. Chad views seasteading as a unique and promising vision for protecting the health of our oceans without having to worry about the burden of some of the most crippling environmental regulations. As an environmental studies major, he has researched the economic collapse of fisheries across the globe. He believes permanent ocean colonization will be crucial in aiding our understanding of the overall health of the ocean, and will help us prevent the further collapse of major ocean resources in the future.

Charlie Deist

Berkeley – LinkedIn

Charlie received his bachelor’s degree in economics from UC Berkeley in 2011, and worked for The Seasteading Institute from 2011 to 2014. He discovered seasteading while facilitating a seminar on Milton Friedman through the DeCal program (Democratic Education at Cal), and quickly began to see government as an industry sorely lacking competition, imagination, and experimentation. This perspective allowed Charlie to put aside his disagreements with peers on controversial political issues, and work toward solutions that everybody wants but nobody gets — prioritizing seasteading technology as the lever for this change.

“I can imagine no greater calling than the enabling of dynamic, technologically-advanced, and legally autonomous floating cities. I believe seasteading offers the single best opportunity to achieve freedom in my lifetime.”

Davis R. Green

Thousand Oaks

Davis graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor’s degree in communication studies, and from Los Angeles City College with dual Associate’s degrees in Chinese and Social and Behavioral Sciences. He is currently working on postgraduate research in Communication Studies and Rhetoric. As a lifelong learner, one of his passions is education, and he devotes a great deal of his time developing educational curriculums for several disciplines. Aside from school, Davis does extensive genealogical and historical research, and is seeking to become a board certified genealogist and archivist. As humanitarian at heart, he plans to dedicate his life to improving the human condition every opportunity he gets. His two favorite activities are traveling and exercising.

“I have a strong love for technology, public policy, social change, and the future. This is why I want to support and advocate for the Seasteading Institute – to help create and spread this collective vision to the other millions of people worldwide that will one day benefit from everything it will come to offer. I believe that seasteading is a logical and inevitable form of progression that is paramount to our development, and The Seasteading Institute provides a tangible and achievable method of conquering this goal, driven by the support of a passionate community.”

Henry Mariano

Orange County – LinkedIn

Henry Mariano is the Co-Founder and CEO of Harvest Energy. His primary focus at Harvest Energy is acquiring strategic, operational, and investment partners while strategizing the company’s overall direction through its applications. Before joining Harvest Energy, Henry worked at a W.H. Murphy (WHM), a boutique investment bank. At WHM, Henry assisted several clean tech startups create business plans and executive teams while introducing institutional/strategic investors and initial distribution networks. Prior to W.H. Murphy, Henry founded Crane Capital, a commercial investment placement firm focusing on commercial and investment related debt. He received his Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco and holds FINRA Series 7, 63, & 24 licenses. In his spare time Henry enjoys sparring, surfing, and automobile engineering and racing.

Jeff Fong

Oakland – Twitter – LinkedIn

Jeff Fong has lived in many different states, spent time in numerous countries, and seen the difference good rules can make. As an athlete, he also saw how the rules dictated the nature of the game. When Jeff was exposed to this same idea in the realm of political economy – that rules matter – the logic of seasteading seemed straightforward. Jeff has extensively studied the concepts of competitive governance, and has written about decentralized government and the importance of federalist experiments for Policy Mic, the world’s largest news site for and by millennials. He also collaborates with groups and individuals in the related Startup Cities movement.

As an ambassador, Jeff seeks to engage the public with ideas motivating competitive governance in general and seasteading in particular.

“Ultimately, our problems may be less about always having the right answers and more about learning how to ask the right questions.”

Jeff Trirogoff

Moorpark – Website 

Jeff Trirogoff is President of Elements of Earth and Energy (EEE, Inc.) in Moorpark, CA (

Jeff graduated UCLA in 1993, in Business Economics and was inspired by Milton Friedman in his micro- and macro-economics classes. He works as a consultant in energy efficiency, water conservation and alternative energy, specializing in Photovoltaics and Advanced Energy Storage. He is fluent in solar technology and certified as a Photovoltaic Installation Professional with NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners). Since 2010, he has been trouble shooting residential and commercial photovoltaic and energy management systems. He continues to volunteer his time as a team leader for Grid Alternatives, a non-profit solar company, installing solar systems on low income family homes in Los Angeles and Ventura County. He spent 5 years as the trainer and mentor in energy efficiency, water conservation and alternative energy for Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, ICF International and the Energy UpgradeTM program (EUC) from 2012-2016. He has continually inspired builders and contractors to go beyond the code in the Energy Efficiency Standards for each and every house they build or upgrade and provide the best, most up-to-date and energy efficient houses possible. He has an integrated systems approach, believing that, “the house and all of its components work as a system – a symbiotic relationship, with all aspects working together based on proper design and installation.” Since, 2016, he has been the construction manager of the largest affordable, residential subdivisions for farmers in California, consisting of 40 homes certified as Zero Net Energy by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) all electric with solar PV; Water Sense, Energy Star and Indoor airPLUS by Environmental Protection Agency’ LEED Platinum by U.S. Green Building Council; Energy Star for Homes; and Energy Builders’ Challenge Program.  Since 2013, Jeff has been involved in designing and building residential and commercial Hydroponic and Aquaponic systems/gardens/farms to grow fresh, healthy, aromatic, delicious local fruits, vegetables and nuts full of vitamins, minerals and proteins, both indoors and outdoors. Jeff lives with his beautiful wife in Moorpark, CA.

Katie Chowne

Berkeley – TwitterLinkedIn – Facebook

From Vancouver, it was a natural thing for Katie Chowne to be drawn to all things ocean. SCUBA and kayak certified, for a year even lived on a boat. She first got involved in politics at the age of 18, running for the BC Marijuana Party. This led her to the Libertarian Party and she took on the role of Leader of the federal party from 2011-2014.

“I appreciate all aspects of what seasteading offers; a chance to start from the ground up, the ability to test some new theories about governance, and create an environment that allows for the use and innovation of new technologies, like algae production for bio fuels and food, water-based agriculture, and all the new technology that will be created to run a seasteading. My goal as an Ambassador is to promote all of these aspects to those around me. Many people are unaware of the freedom, visceral happiness that can be found on water, and I hope to relate this sense of lifestyle every chance I get.”

Lili Smith

Oakland – LinkedIn

Lili Smith graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from U.C. Berkeley in 2012, and is currently collaborating with other visionaries and designers while carefully deciding where to pursue a Master’s in Architecture. Her decision to enter into the design field was a direct result of her intuitions and visions from an early age relating to the harsh realities of the world’s political and environmental situations. She is thus taking her next steps with a humanitarian focus in mind, and seeks to spend her energy and talents with like-minded thinkers, working on projects that are solving major quality of life issues that we will all face, including rising waters, hunger, water scarcity and government breakdowns across the globe. Lili’s experience also includes working in closet and kitchen design specification and sales, commercial and residential real estate finance, design assistance for Architects, set design and contract design work in Revit.

“I believe the key is to think far enough in advance to properly transition large groups of people into new ways of living, by developing adaptable, alternative methods of long-term shelter, sustainable food growth, and efficient water recycling.”

Matthew Haley

Mountain View – LinkedIn

“My name is Matthew Haley and I live in Mountain View, CA. Ever since being introduced to Seasteading through the Voice and Exit Facebook page, I can’t stop talking about it! I tell people they’ll hear more about Seasteading in the future and then we dive into interesting political topics. It’s clear to me that there’s interested people out there, they just may not know what it is yet. I received my business degree in marketing in 2013 and started an entertainment non-profit at the age of 21.”

Matthew Maringer

Los Angeles – LinkedIn

Born and raised in Fort Wayne, IN, Matthew is a graduate from the University of Indianapolis where he studied marketing and economics. He recently made the transition to the west coast and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and works in the financial services industry. His awareness of The Seasteading Institute came about when he heard of Peter Thiel’s involvement. After doing more research on seasteading it was evident all the possibilities it could offer for social and political changes. He looks forward to educating people about seasteading and is proud to be an ambassador. His interests include finance, technology and investments.

“The Seasteading Institute is not only an advancement in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, but it’s a whole new way of life for humanity to live. And it’s time for that change. As an ambassador I not only want people to view seasteading as possible, but as something our society needs in order to grow and prosper for future generations. It excites me to be a part of this revolution and share the vision.”

Ryan Garcia

San Diego – LinkedIn

Ryan is an attorney and entrepreneur originally from Waimea, Hawai’i, and now residing in San Diego with his lovely wife Marlo. He advocates for the Seasteading Institute in order to contribute to the establishment of new international communities where individual freedom can be realized.

“I am an ambassador for The Seasteading Institute so that I may positively contribute to the establishment of new international communities where individual freedom can be realized to an extent yet unseen by humankind. The emergence of even a single polity committed to coercing none and treating all equally will inspire a sorely needed socio-economic and political reformation worldwide, leading to greater freedom and prosperity for more individuals.”

Vijay Motaparthi

San Jose

Vijay is a bio-technologist by education and software engineer by profession. Originally from India, Vijay received his Bachelors in Biotechnology and a Masters in Regulatory Affairs for Drugs, Biologics and Medical Devices, and currently works as a freelance database architect. He first heard about The Seasteading Institute through Blue Seed, and started following news updates and studying the website until he applied for our Ambassador program. Due to Vijay’s educational background, he is especially motivated to get involved in the seasteading movement; he studied the FDA’s multiple departments and agrees that regulatory hurdles can block progress in medicine and other areas of research, and wants to support seasteading as an answer to this problem.

“I am a big fan of Independence. The practical definition of Independence can be very broad. It can be as simple as walking on your own legs, or it can be as complex as attaining financial independence and retire for the rest of your life. When I came to know about the concept of seasteading, I found it to offer a whole new dimension of Independence. I believe that it also provides solutions to many political, economic and legal bottlenecks that our nations are currently facing, through experimentation and testing in less restricted environments. There is no end to the revolutionary possibilities that independent seasteading communities can offer. They can offer a cancer patient access to a drug in clinical trials that has yet to be approved by the FDA, and a workplace for skilled people that cuts across nationalities and visa issues. I believe that sky is the limit as far as these possibilities are concerned. Future generations on this planet will be classifying their history books as ‘Before seasteading (or) after seasteading’ and I would like to be involved with The Seasteading institute to become a part of an organization that is passionate about changing the world for the future generations.”

Zoltan Istvan

San Francisco – Website – Twitter – LinkedIn

Zoltan Istvan, an American-Hungarian best-selling author, began a solo, multi-year sailing journey around the world at the age of 21. His main cargo was 500 handpicked books, mostly classics. Zoltan has explored over 100 countries—many as a journalist for the National Geographic Channel—writing, filming, and appearing in dozens of television stories, articles, and webcasts. His work has also been featured by The New York Times Syndicate, Outside, San Francisco Chronicle, BBC Radio, and many others. In addition to his award-winning coverage of the war in Kashmir, he gained worldwide attention for pioneering and popularizing the extreme sport of volcano boarding. Zoltan later became a director for the international conservation group WildAid, leading armed patrol units to stop the billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. Back in America, he started various successful businesses, from real estate development to filmmaking to viticulture, joining them under ZI Ventures. He is a philosophy and religious studies graduate of Columbia University and resides in San Francisco with his daughter and physician wife. Zoltan recently published The Transhumanist Wager, a fictional thriller describing apatheist Jethro Knights and his unwavering quest for immortality via science and technology. The novel was recently a #1 bestseller in Philosophy and Sci-Fi Visionary on Amazon.