Our Team

  • Advisors

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      O.Shane Balloun

      O.Shane Balloun is a lawyer in Western Washington, practicing at his firm, Balloun Law Professional Corporation. His areas of practice include admiralty and maritime law, high-tech business law, property law, litigation, and other civil matters.O.Shane attended Cornell University as Dean’s Scholar and graduated with an A.B. in Mathematics. After college, he worked in high tech in Silicon Valley, enjoying a stint in the hard disk drive industry before beginning work at Google. After Google, O.Shane earned his J.D. with honor from the University of Wyoming, graduating in the top 3% of his class. He also holds an LL.M. (Master of Laws) in Admiralty from Tulane University Law School, where he graduated with distinction.He has published legal articles concerning the intersection of seasteading and American criminal law enforcement in admiralty as well as how the Tenth Amendment supports various states’ firearms freedom acts. He is licensed to practice in California and Washington; further, he is admitted to practice in all federal courts in California, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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      Randolph Hencken

      Randy earned his MA in communication and his BS in business administration from San Diego State University. From 2008 to 2011, he was the Director of Communication and Marketing for the non-profit research organization MAPS, which conducts clinical research investigating combinations of psychotherapy and novel drugs to treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and death anxiety. From 2006 to 2008, while writing a quantitative thesis, he taught communication courses to undergraduates at SDSU. Prior to returning to university, from 2001 to 2004, he was the program director at the Ibogaine Association, an alternative drug-treatment center in Mexico. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Students for Sensible Drug Policy, an international organization advocating for drug policy reforms based on science and compassion. Randy is thrilled to be a part of the seasteading movement and to focus his activism toward creating innovative political systems, governments, and societies.
      Randy served as the Managing Director for The Seasteading Institute from 2012 to 2018.

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      Tom W. Bell

      Professor Tom W. Bell earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago, practiced law in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., and served as a policy director at the Cato Institute before joining the faculty of Chapman University, Fowler School of Law in 1998. He teaches all of the first-year common law courses and electives in high-tech, entertainment, and intellectual property law. Bell has published works on copyright, Internet law, polycentric law, prediction markets, and the Third Amendment (the one about quartering troops). His books include “Intellectual Privilege: Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good” (Mercatus 2014), and “Your Next Government? From the Nation State to Stateless Nations” (Cambridge University Press 2018). He created Ulex, the open source legal system, and advises companies developing special economic zones and related semi-autonomous jurisdictions. As Academic Director of the Institute for Competitive Governance, he promotes a better way to better government. He has served as pro bono legal advisor for The Seasteading Institute in French Polynesia and other countries.

  • Board of Trustees

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      James R. Von Ehr II

      Recognized as a leader within the nanotechnology industry, he founded the Texas Nanotechnology Initiative and the Feynman Grand Prize in Nanotechnology. His significant gifts established the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) NanoTech Institute, the James Von Ehr Distinguished Chair of Science and Technology at UTD, held by the late Nobel Laureate Alan MacDiarmid, and the James Von Ehr Scholars program at Michigan State University (MSU).Von Ehr was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in June 2003. He has also been named Distinguished Alumni of MSU and UTD, and received MSU’s Claud Erickson Award, their highest engineering honor. In 2004 he received the Richardson Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Leadership Award, and in 2008, was named Richardson’s Citizen of the Year. A more detailed bio can be found here.

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      Joe Quirk

      Joe Quirk is President of The Seasteading Institute and co-founder of Blue Frontiers. Joe Quirk is also a science writer, novelist, and memoir ghostwriter, with a national bestseller in each category. He is co-author with Patri Friedman of Seasteading, an Amazon bestseller in the category of marine engineering. Joe leads a team of lawyers, engineers, business leaders, artists, and investors to establish the first floating community with unprecedented political autonomy in the waters of a host nation.

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      Jonathan Cain

      Jonathan is co-founder of the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship, which identifies and supports the tech visionaries of tomorrow. He also serves as a principal at Clarium and sits on the boards of the SENS Foundation, a nonprofit that works to develop, promote, and ensure widespread access to regenerative medicine solutions to the disabilities and diseases of aging, as well as The Seasteading Institute. Before joining the Thiel Foundation and Clarium, Jonathan served as speechwriter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. He lives with his wife, Robyn, in San Francisco.

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      Patri Friedman

      Patri received a BS in math from Harvey Mudd College, an MS in computer science from Stanford University, and an MBA from Cardean University. While in school he experimented with technology startups, ran a small consulting business, and co-founded two intentional communities. In 2004 he joined Google to work as a software engineer. In 2008 he left Google and founded The Seasteading Institute with seed funding from PayPal founder Peter Thiel.

      Patri is on the board of the Startup Societies Foundation, runs the angel fund Zarco Investment Group, and advises a variety of projects in the competitive governance space. He is also a prolific writer on philosophy, politics, and economics on Twitter and the blog Let A Thousand Nations Bloom. Patri comes from a line of great revolutionary thinkers, his grandfather Milton Friedman was the 1976 Nobel Laureate in economics, and his father David Friedman is a well-known political theorist and legal scholar. Patri lives with his wife Brit, and children Tovar, Iselle, and Honor in the Los Gatos Mountains in California.

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      Susanna Dokupil

      Susanna Dokupil is the Vice Chairman of the Harris County Republican Party and the founder of Documenting the American Dream, a video project that teaches core values by telling inspirational stories. She previously served as Special Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, as an Assistant Solicitor General in the Office of the Attorney General of Texas, as well as two years in private practice. Ms. Dokupil frequently comments on public policy, often on issues related to religious liberty and judicial nominations. She has authored over 75 articles and op-eds for such publications as National Review Online, The Washington Times, The Houston Chronicle, The American Enterprise, Above the Law, The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, The Texas Review of Law & Politics, The Cato Supreme Court Review, The Journal of Church & State, and The Encyclopedia of Religious Freedom. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Jerry E. Smith, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Prior to law school, Ms. Dokupil received her B.A., magna cum laude, in the University Scholars program and her M.A. in Church-State Studies from Baylor University. Ms. Dokupil currently serves as a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Tenth Amendment Action, a member of the board of advisers of The Texas Review of Law & Politics, and on the governing board of the Houston Symphony. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in Strategic Public Relations at George Washington University. Ms. Dokupil resides in Houston, Texas with her twin boys, David and Benjamin, her daughter Annabelle, and her son Jonathan.

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      Titus Gebel

      Titus Gebel is founder, President & CEO of TIPOLIS Corporation and board member of the Free Private Cities Foundation. He is a German entrepreneur with a PhD in international law and an extensive worldwide network. Among others, he founded Frankfurt-listed mining company Deutsche Rohstoff AG, retired as their CEO in 2015 and emigrated with his family to Monaco. With Free Private Cities, he wants to create an entirely new product in the “market of living together”. If successful, it will fast-track knowledge and progress for humanity. Titus has written the book, Free Private Cities – Making Governments Compete For You, where he states the theoretical and practical groundwork. At the same time he is working with his partners to make the worldwide first Free Private City a reality.

  • Honorary Mentions

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      John Chisholm

      John Chisholm is CEO of San Francisco-based John Chisholm Ventures, an entrepreneurial advisory and investment firm. He is founder and former CEO/chair of Decisive Technology (now part of Google), the first company to automate surveys on the Internet, and of CustomerSat (now part of ConfirmIt), a leader in enterprise feedback management. He is a trustee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), of the Santa Fe Institute, and is a member of the US Council on Competitiveness. He serves on the Recommendation Committee for Internet Achievements at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China, and on the visiting committees for MIT Social Sciences and the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. He is past president and chair of the worldwide MIT Alumni Association and past chair of the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society. He has served on advisory councils of the Institute for New Economic Thinking and of the Association for Interactive Media. He authored the popular guide to entrepreneurship, Unleash Your Inner Company, and mentors or has mentored entrepreneurs through the Hult Prize, the Thiel Fellowship, the European Innovation Academy, the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, and Plug and Play Tech Centers.

      A contributor to Forbes, he frequently speaks and writes on what forms of regulation and law promote vs. stifle entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth; the future of education; how to create Silicon Valleys around the world; and how anyone can become an innovator. An author of two US patents, he holds bachelors and masters degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School. An avid mountain climber, he has summited Mounts Rainier, Shasta, St. Helens, and Whitney, and a live volcano in Chile.

  • Speakers

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      Egor Ryjikov

      “Islands 2.0″

      Weber CoMechanics Group is a made up of 16 companies involved in engineering, robotics, manufacturing, and development and application of new technologies. Egor is also an inventor, experimenter, dreamer, serial entrepreneur and a business angel.

      His current interests include: distributed manufacturing, blue economy, floating solar, floating OTEC, floating data centers, circular economy, data-based sharing economy.

      Egor is an ambassador of The Seasteading Institute as well as co-founder and VP Engineering for Blue Frontiers.

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      Greg Delaune

      Greg Delaune is an internationally recognized consultant, teacher, speaker, and writer specializing in sustainable economic development and public-private partnerships (PPPs) for green cities and smart cities. Greg has over 15 years of international experience in economic development, urban design, and regional planning policy, managing multidisciplinary teams in the formulation and execution of innovative development strategies, including applied research on integrated sustainability tools and techniques for emerging economies in peripheral Europe and Latin America (e.g. Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay). He is cofounder and CEO of The Urban Innovation Exchange (UIX Global), and founder and editor of the blog IMPACT URBANISM (www.impacturbanism.org).

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      Jim Von Ehr

      “From Lab to Market: Commercializing Nanotechnology”

      Programmer, inventor and entrepreneur, nanotechnology industry leader. CEO of Zyvex Labs and chairman of Zyvex Technologies. Founder of the Texas Nanotechnology Initiative and the Feynman Grand Prize in Nanotechnology. Von Ehr was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in June 2003. He has also been named Distinguished Alumni of MSU and UTD, and received MSU’s Claud Erickson Award, their highest engineering honor. Board member of The Seasteading Institute, Investor in Blue Frontiers.

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      Karina Czapiewska

      “Environmental Framework for Floating Islands – Think Globably, Float Locally”

      Specialist in the field of multidisciplinary area development, project management and sustainable development. She graduated at the faculty of Architecture at Delft University of Technology with a minor in Sustainable Development (TIDO). Since she first learned about the possibility of floating cities during her studies, she’s committed herself to realize the first self supporting floating city in the world.

  • Staff

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      Carly Jackson

      Carly Jackson joined the Seasteading community after meeting a group of seasteaders at the Startup Societies Conference in August 2017. She has dreamed of living on a seastead ever since. She served on the board for The Center for Natural Living, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating autonomous and sustainable communities. She has worked and volunteered for a number of nonprofit organizations and political organizations, building communities and training activists. She worked as Social Media Manager for Blue Frontiers, growing the digital presence of seasteaders.

      Her claim to fame is that Jeffrey A. Tucker once kissed her on the cheek.