Atlas Island was founded in January of 2022 when a few Seasteading Institute Ambassadors got together and decided the seasteading movement needed a project with a different approach. In this episode of the Seasteading Today podcast, Carly Jackson interviews two of the founders of Atlas Island: Mason Leschyna and Ryota Sekine.
The name “Atlas Island” was inspired by the book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Mason was inspired by the idea to stop debating with people who don’t support liberty and instead go out and build something different. Mason and Ryota are actively interested in building a community of classical liberals, libertarians, and anarcho-capitalists.
Mason and Ryota came to the conclusion that existing seasteading projects were biting off more than they could chew by envisioning large floating structures in international waters from the beginning. The cost to engineer and build a seastead is a real challenge. They wanted a more pragmatic and logical process to start a seasteading community.
Atlas Island breaks down their strategy into clear stages. Initially, there were three stages; however, through discussions with members, they determined that their original three stage plan needed two more stages. The first stage is to build an online community through their website and Telegram channel. Stages two to four focus on slowly growing the community and gradually move out further onto the water. This incremental approach ensures members will have time to grow comfortable living on the water and to develop independence from other institutions and processes tied to living on land.
They envision the platforms working like a Free Private City, in which agreements between individual and service providers are explicitly laid out in a contract. Their goal is to achieve the maximal amount of liberty possible in a pragmatic manner while following international law. In order to achieve this, the platform will operate under a flag of convenience, similar to cruise ships, which will provide almost complete autonomy while avoiding the difficulties of declaring true sovereignty.
Atlas Island is organized to have many groups aka local associations that operate as yacht clubs. They’re working on setting up the first club in Florida. The local associations will choose how to organize themselves, with guidance from the main Board.
Currently, the biggest predictor of someone’s economic success in the world is the country in which they are born. Unfortunately, millions of people have their dreams hampered by the limitations imposed by their own government. Atlas Island is dedicated to providing an alternative to ambitious individuals around the world by offering them the freedom of economic opportunity, regardless of their country of birth. They believe that this will unleash their potential and reshape not just the lives of those on Atlas Island but the world as a whole.