World’s First Floating Nation Begins Selling its Own ‘Vayron’ Cryptocurrency Ahead of 2022 Launch in the Pacific Ocean
Daily Mail, 9 July, 2018
“The prototype nation has partnered with French Polynesia, a collection of 118 islands in the southern Pacific, which is interested in the project as the area is at risk from rising sea levels.
The island – the brainchild of nonprofits organisations the Seasteading Institute and Blue Frontiers – is being funded by philanthropic donations via tokens of the project’s own cryptocurrency, dubbed Varyon.
In future, the project’s backers envision hundreds of floating islands operating independently of international governments to ‘liberate humanity from politicians’, according to the Seasteading Institute.
Floating islands would feature aquaculture farms, healthcare, medical research facilities, and sustainable energy powerhouses.”
Cryptovest, 9 July, 2018
“In May 2018, the pilot project went into the active construction phase following an agreement signed with French Polynesia’s government. The company behind the project plans build 300 houses, set its own government and launch a cryptocurrency called Varyon – all by 2022, Business Insider reports.
The project founders see it as a way to expand decentralization beyond the digital world and foster the evolution of new societies and forms of governance. Moreover, their vision is not limited to creating a floating utopia free of regulation and taxes; they believe that the floating city is a way to survive rising sea level.”
NextBigFuture.com, 7 July, 2018
“Seasteads are mobile floating homes, businesses, and community spaces that can be moved and reconfigured in relation to other seasteads, allowing for the formation, reformation, and dissolution of networks, neighborhoods, cities, and eventually nation-states in international waters. Seasteads will offer residents and businesses liberties and regulatory frameworks that allow for rapid innovation in societal and political structures.”
“They are creating the Varyon cryptocurrency. Varyon allows holders to exchange goods and services in the Blue Frontiers ecosystem, other ecosystems, and between themselves. Blue Frontiers will exclusively provide goods and services in exchange for Varyon where it is legally able to do so, including – but not limited to – purchase or rental of dwellings on seasteads, timeshares on seasteads, seasteads for outright purchase, services for people and businesses located on seasteads, such as business registration, administrative services, utility services, transportation, shipping, service industry activities, etc.”
A Pilot Project for a New Libertarian Floating City Will Have 300 Homes, its Own Government, and its Own Cryptocurrency
Business Insider, 6 July, 2018
“The first buildings will serve as the core of what could become an even larger city.”
“Joe Quirk ‘hopes that the city will serve as ‘an incubation hub to develop wave energy generation technologies, floating solar, materials science, algae-based food and fuel, sea water air conditioning (SWAC), desalination, and marine education.'”
The Sun, 6 July, 2018
“Randolph Hencken, executive director of the institute, previously said: ‘What we’re interested in is societal choice and having a location where we can try things that haven’t been tried before.
I don’t think it will be that dramatically radical in the first renditions.
We were looking for sheltered waters, we don’t want to be out in the open ocean – it’s technologically possible but economically outrageous to afford.
If we can be behind a reef break, then we can design floating platforms that are sufficient for those waters at an affordable cost. We don’t have to start from scratch as this is a pilot project.'”
ABC News: Seasteading: could artificial floating cities be a lifeline for low-lying Pacific nations?
ABC News, 16 June, 2018
ABC News interviewed Joe Quirk, engineer CM Wang (adviser to the Seasteading Institute and Blue Frontiers), and Neil Davies, Executive Director of UC Berkeley’s Gump South Pacific Research Station in Moorea, French Polynesia.
Neil Davies: “It really has to be up to that local community. We work to empower people to make decisions for themselves whether to use these new technologies or not to use them. Yes, there are concerns. But there are concerns with not applying these technologies, too. So the choice is to do something or to not do something. Both of those have consequences.”
- CM Wang talk: https://www.seasteading.org/2017/07/conference-talks-jacques-rougerie-pauline-sillinger-chien-ming-wang/
- Neil Davies talk: https://www.seasteading.org/2017/08/conference-talks-marc-collins-neil-davies-serge-planes/
RNZ, 16 June, 2018
“The proposed location is a calm, circular Tahitian atoll.
The water is shallow and protected from damaging waves. Bobbing up and down in the lagoon are futuristic floating dwellings with clean lines and grass-covered roofs.
This is how the Seasteading Institute – a non-profit think tank – imagines the world’s first floating town will look.”
BBC, 15 June, 2018
At 24:54 Frankie and his guests discuss Seasteading.
Guest Miles Jupp: “We could divide up the entire world according to people’s interests. And it’ll stop being about nationality and it’ll stop being about class. And it will be about what people actually like. And you could sort of end those kinds of divisions… it will be a completely different world.”
ABC, 13 June, 2018
“Mr Quirk emphasises the eco-friendly technology and innovation potential, saying it could provide hope for Pacific nations coping with the impact of climate change.
‘It would help people adjust to sea level rise, and experiment with voluntary governance,’ he said.”
RNZ, 11 June, 2018
“The institute planning to construct a state of the art floating island in the Pacific says French Polynesia is still an option for the project.
The project’s backers said they were still in talks with the government which earlier said a deal was void.”
BBC, 5 April, 2018
“Forget Mars… in the future, humanity will live at sea, argues Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute.”
A series of 3 minute videos made in collaboration with the BBC.
Jacobite Mag, 23 March, 2018
” People in the innovative governance space have long been thinking about creating city states, experimenting with and improving models for territorial governance.”
“The Seasteading Institute, for example, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of French Polynesia. Three books, Seasteading by Joe Quirk and Patri Friedman, Your Next Government? by Tom Bell and The Political Economy of Special Economic Zones by Lotta Moberg were recently published. The Startup Societies Foundation has, by and large, filled the void left by the Free Cities Institute, by trying to popularize the idea of creating new jurisdictions and hosting conferences. Neom, a half-trillion-dollar, 10,000-square-mile autonomous city is being built in Saudi Arabia, and sharing sovereignty with Egypt and Jordan, was announced.”
Stuff.co, 4 February, 2018
“A seastead is an idea; a floating community at sea. It is a homestead, just like in the John Wayne movies, but on the water, not the prairie; outside the reach of any government.”
WIRED.com, 16 January, 2018
“This is one of the most important books I’ve ever read.” — Dave Barr Kirtley, science fiction author & host of “Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy” podcast.
One hour podcast, no edits.
The Daily Sentinel, 5 January, 2018
“The Seasteading Institute has steadily grown in credibility, its vision no longer considered science fiction, especially because there is now an actual prototype being designed. It involves several private companies, architects, scholars, and now the government of French Polynesia … The Institute created a company called Blue Frontiers to construct and operate the proposed city, planned for occupation by the end of this decade. Its artist drawings are fascinating, showing a floating island with houses and commercial buildings attached by floating causeways … Perhaps the oceans covering 70 percent of the Earth may really be the next frontier.”
TABI LABO, 4 January, 2018
“In preparation for the tsunami disaster due to typhoons and earthquakes, the Seasteading Institute has selected narrow places with little influence of the open ocean…We can hardly imagine ourselves shifting from the present life to the maritime life, but the research of the Seasteading Institute may be drawing attention as a useful technique…let’s continue to focus on the magnificent project for the future.”
Progrss, 2 January, 2018
Featured on Home Page!
“San Franciscan non-profit, The Seasteading Institute, is working towards building self-sufficient and self-reliable floating cities in an attempt to reverse environmental damage and jumpstart the global economy.”
“The organization’s goal is to maximize entrepreneurial freedom and reverse damage accrued to the environment.”
Newshub, 28 December 2017
Marvelous Mainstream TV in New Zealand!
“The movement is called ‘sea steading’, a man-made floating community that sets its own laws and is self-sustaining, and the first one could be built on our Pacific doorstep in French Polynesia.”
Radio New Zealand, 27 December 2017
“The creators of a man-made floating island off Tahiti say they want a quarter of its population to be made up of Polynesian people.
“`We feel we’ve convinced the government and a lot of the population there’s a real opportunity to work together to improve the lagoon.’ [Co-founder] Marc Collins said first figures show living there would be “affordable” and might cost about the same as an apartment in Papeete.
“He said Blue Frontiers was still in talks with the French Polynesian government about creating a special regulatory environment for the project which is aimed at attracting investment and talent.
INHABITAT, 27 December 2017
“Inhabitat spoke with architect Simon Nummy and Blue Frontiers co-founder Joe Quirk to hear more about the vision for the world’s first floating city.
`Each building strives for energy independence and the architecture results from this; energy efficiency and passive strategies are vital,’ Nummy told Inhabitat. `Polynesian architecture is primarily about the roof and we have tried to interpret this in a contemporary, sensitive way that both reflects local precedents while harvesting rainwater and discretely maximizing the opportunities for photovoltaics and vertical axis wind turbines.'”
Straits Times, 24 December 2017
“With seasteading, we can put tens of thousands or perhaps millions of people on platforms in our lifetime. With the Mars plan, the reality of many people going in our lifetime is slim. It’s cool to colonise the solar system, but there’s an atmosphere on earth and we can live here. Oceans are the only place we’re not really living. We should own our own planet first, and it will be much cheaper. How many billions or trillions of dollars would it take to put dozens, not to mention thousands, of people on Mars?” posed Randolph Hencken, the executive director of the Seasteading Institute.
Newsmax TV, 22 December, 2017
Newsmax TV reaches 40 million homes!
“My imagination is definitely excited,” says Newsmax host Bill Tucker. “This is fascinating. Basically what you’re talking about is a free market of government. Don’t like this one? Go move to another place. Joe, good luck, really and truly, with the venture. It sounds tremendously exciting.”
“History of an extraordinary project:
“Imagine a handful of artificial islands forming an arc of a circle, with houses with raised roofs, offices, laboratories, trade, underwater restaurant and artificial beaches … This maritime city, politically autonomous, does not depend on any government!”
La Dépêche de Tahiti, 21 December 2017
“The initial project of the floating islands of 7,500 square meters on the water could triple in size…more than 2,000 jobs could be created [by 2030]. Blue Frontiers offers a strict environmental impact control framework …”
France TV Info, 21 December, 2017
“These are young people who believe that we have a better tomorrow,” says Marc Collins, ambassador to The Seasteading Institute and Managing Director of Blue Frontiers.”
CNN Tech, 20 December, 2017
This is a huge score for mainstream acceptance of seasteading.
“The US-based Seasteading Institute intends to build a “Floating Island Project” off the coast of Tahiti. It would consist of cities built on modular platforms. The project could be proof-of-concept for future politically autonomous countries built on water.
Incredible images reveal a futuristic vision inspired by Polynesian traditions for the world’s first floating nation planned for the Pacific Ocean by 2020
DailyMail, 18 December 2017
“The structures will feature ‘green roofs’ covered with vegetation and construction will use local bamboo, coconut fibre, and recycled metal and plastic…the project will still need to be approved by the local government, and possibly France, which holds the territory.”
BRAIN WAVE: Inside the Incredible Floating Nations Designed to “Free People from Politicians” Planned for the Pacific by 2020.
The Sun, 18 December 2017
Great British Press!
“`If we can be behind a reef break, then we can design floating platforms that are sufficient for those waters at an affordable cost. We don’t have to start from scratch as this is a pilot project. They also have very stable institutions so we’re able to work with a government that wants us there, that we have respect for and they have respect for us.’
“Randolph [Hencken] added that he was confident the project could benefit the French Polynesia’s economy – and draw in a fresh wave of tourism.”
O Globo, 18, December, 2017
“The consortium believes that by 2050 the Pacific is home to thousands of new city-states.”
Fault Lines, 18 December 2017
Billionaire Peter Thiel helped fund plans to build the world’s first floating city — take a look at the designs
Business Insider, 17 December 2017
“`We will be living on the oceans long before we live on Mars,’ Quirk said…He also hopes that the city will serve as `an incubation hub to develop wave energy generation technologies, floating solar, materials science, algae-based food and fuel, sea water air conditioning (SWAC), desalination, and marine education.'”
52-insights, 16 December 2017
“A highly eccentric idea…from the fringes of Silicon Valley…We talk to American author Joe Quirk.”
Novinky, 14 December 2017
Great Czech Republic Press!
“A place on the shores of French Polynesia has already been visited by architects and engineers …The floating town of Polynesia is also set to operate in a Special Economic Zone where it is possible to test the ideas of Quirk and his colleagues. The authors of the project want to have their research institute and also a power plant capable of delivering and selling clean energy.”
In an Attempt to Avoid Politicians, Author Wants to Build Artificial Islands
Mundo, 10 December 2017
Major Brazilian Press!
The Economist (German), 8, December 2017
Stupendous German Press!
“Private Cities in International Waters.”
iNews, 8 December 2017
Great British Press!
“Floating cities may sound like science fiction, but if Blue Frontiers has its way, about 250 people will be living on about 15 artificial islands in the lagoon by 2020. By 2030, the company hopes to have installed a total of 45 islands and its effort to extend the concept of civilisation into something it likes to call “sea-vilisation” will be well under way.
Blue Frontiers is the commercial wing of the Seasteading Institute, an organisation committed to building “floating startup societies” that offer “innovative governance models”. In Tahiti it will attempt to achieve both aims by locating its islands in a newly created special economic zone that offers latitude to experiment with new ways of running a community.”
Science and Future, 31 November 2017
Great French Press!
“The aim of the project is multiple, to the point where we no longer know where to turn our heads: it would be an opportunity to test different modes of governance, to experiment with sustainable technologies (desalination, renewable energies, floating food production), but also constitute scientific marine stations. Or even serve as liferafts for coastal populations displaced by sea level rise.”
Tahiti-Infos, 30 November 2017
Great Tahiti Press!
“The floating island project sponsored by the Californian Seasteading Institute is starting to take shape … The Polynesian manager of the structure, Marc Collins, confirms to us that [Blue Frontiers] will be on time to respect its commitments towards the Country, with a publication of the environmental and socio-economic impact studies of their artificial island before the end of the year.”
Latina Geeks, 30 November 2017
“ICOs to Watch… Blue Frontiers is the for-profit arm of the Seasteading Institute, a non-profit that is exploring the concept of building floating societies on man-made islands that will act as self-governing organizations of startups, research labs, and homes.
“Blue Frontiers has signed an MOU with French Polynesia (Tahiti) to build a floating island in the protected waters of a Tahitian lagoon, which will be the first of these startup society ecosystems. The Tahitians are on the front lines of climate change, as it is predicted that a third of the Tahitian Islands will be underwater by 2100. As a people, Tahitians are aware of their need to find options to keep their cultural traditions and people alive beyond climate change impact. Tahitians also consider themselves the original “Seasteaders” as they have been sailing and living at sea their entire history.”
With seasteading as a viable option in the coming decades, we can look beyond the frustration of modern political systems. Peacefully exploring alternative methods of governance for the betterment of humanity is worthy of pursuit.
~ Randy Hencken, Cofounder Blue-Frontiers
Futurism, 30 November 2017
“We’re going to have bungalows, we’re going to have apartments, we’re going to have research institutions, we’re going to have an underwater restaurant,” Quirk says. “It will be a tourist attraction in its own right, and a showcase for sustainable societies. We plan for these platforms to increase the density of sea life as animals and plants attach to it. You’ll go down into the basement and look through the glass walls and see the sea life… to really introduce people to how floating societies can be environmentally restorative…
Some sort of autonomy is also part of the plan for the first floating village: “The reason we’re able to call it a seastead is that it will be something of a semi-autonomous governmental start-up, under the protection of French Polynesia,” Quirk says. “So they’re allowing us to make this first step, to see if we can establish something spectacular.”
CTV News, 30 November 2017 (Video 2)
“We’re going to start very small and non-threatening,” Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute, told CTV’s Your Morning on Thursday. He said his aim is to “create completely independent floating nations,” where new forms of governance can leave behind some of the issues people face in land-based countries.
“Seasteading solves two of the biggest challenges in the world,” he said. “One is sea level rise and the other is the lack of startup innovation in governance.”
CTV News, 30 November 2017 (Video 1)
Canadian TV reaches millions each week!
“The first ever-floating city is set to appear in 2020—and by 2050, thousands could exist around the world.
The Seasteading Institute is behind the $60-million project and the first “city” will have around 15 floating structures. All structures will be attached and each will be the size of a baseball diamond. Every structure will feature green roofs covered with vegetation, and solar panels will fill 25 per cent of the area.
Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute, spoke with Ben via Skype about the difference between floating cities and islands and how these floating nations will handle the elements of the ocean. Find out more in the video clip above.”
BBC News and Podcast, 29 November 2017
BBC Future entitles their subchapters “Aquapreneurs” “Seavangelists” and “Seavilization”.
“We are convinced we can create better worlds on the ocean,” says Joe Quirk, an author and self-proclaimed “seavangelist”. He is also the spokesman for The Seasteading Institute, and hopes to create floating communities that can test innovative forms of governance.
“The group, which was founded in 2008 by economist Patri Friedman and Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel, says that by moving floating cities out into international waters they can create “start-up” nations with their own legal systems.”
Folha de S.Paulo, 29 November 2017
“I talked a few days ago with Joe Quirk, president of Seasteading, an institute that plans to build floating libertarian nations in ocean areas not controlled by governments.”
The Sustainabilist, pgs 54-55, 27 November 2017
“Young people want a new world, and seasteaders hope to provide this for them. Nearly half of the world’s surface is unclaimed by any existing country. Floating cities allow the aquatic generation to create new societies based on 21st-century values, like energy sustainability, ecological restoration, voluntary cooperation, and economic opportunity for all…
“The Floating Islands aim to provide a sustainable, scalable solution to sea-level change, with French Polynesia well-suited to serve as a test bed for floating communities. The goal of this initial project is to create an incubation hub for blue jobs and environmental stewardship. If the Floating Island Project is successful, French Polynesia could become a leader in a new industry, producing sustainable floating islands for societal innovation.”
NBC News, 21 November 2017
“The village will serve as a showcase and test bed for technologies that will be needed to create much larger floating communities, says Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that is the driving force behind Blue Frontiers. The institute hopes one day to establish full-scale floating cities that could flourish outside the territorial waters of existing nations…
“’The reason we’re able to call it a seastead is that it will be something of a semi-autonomous governmental start-up, under the protection of French Polynesia,’ Quirk says. ‘So they’re allowing us to make this first step, to see if we can establish something spectacular.’ “
mindbodygreen, 19 November 2017
“”Ocean living requires us to flip our land-based assumptions. On coastal cities, land space is a radically limiting factor. On the ocean, horizontal space is abundant, and gravity is your friend. Upside-down floating skyscrapers—seascrapers—could one day be more stable and safer in a typhoon than a land city is in an earthquake,” he writes in his book Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the Environment, Enrich the Poor, Cure the Sick, and Liberate Humanity From Politicians.
He also believes these cities can undo some of the environmental damage we’ve left on land. His envisions a society where seaweed replaces soybeans as a major source of protein, solar energy from the ocean is harnessed instead of coal power, and sustainable algae farms become as common as pesticide-ridden crop fields.”
The World Economic Forum, 18 November 2017
With over a quarter million views!
“The structures will be built using local wood, bamboo and coconut fiber, and recycle metal and plastic.“
BBC, 16 November 2017
“Want to change the world? Well how about going to live on a city that sails about in the tropical waters of French Polynesia? Companies, academics, architects and even a government are working together to produce this floating prototype by 2020. The Seasteading Institute says its sea faring cities will exist independently outside the structure of existing states.
“Joe Quirk – president of the Seasteading Institute – explains more… ”
Storypick, 16 November 2017
“The main aim of the project is to `liberate humanity from politicians’ and `rewrite the rules that govern society’. Now, doesn’t that seem like a better alternative as compared to the world we’re living in today?“
MyNorthwest, 16 November 2017
“Joe Quirk is an American author whose idea of building floating nations is explored in his latest book Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the Environment, Enrich the Poor, Cure the Sick, and Liberate Humanity from Politicians.'”
Baer Engineering, 15 November 2017
“Joe was in the middle of the festival, talking with a friend, James Hogan. The conversation eventually landed on Joe’s idea of a cruise ship on which people could live permanently. James, who had heard a similar idea, immediately introduced Joe to a man he knew named Patri Friedman.
“Patri had been famous in some circles for speculating about new forms of societies. His father was a well-known political theorist, and his grandfather was the great Nobel-Winning Economist Milton Friedman, who founded his own school of economics known as the Chicago School of Economics.
To describe their first meeting, Joe gave me a wonderful image…
Independent, 14 November 2017
“This floating city will exist in a ‘special economic seazone’, allowing the the Seasteading Institute to try out some of its ideas in a relatively controlled environment.
Engineers and architects have visited an undisclosed location where the project is set to begin. Their ambitions extend to the creation of a research institute in the floating city, and even a power plant to sell energy and clean water back to their host nation.”
Vice News, 14 November 2017
“They hope to fund the project through an initial coin offering, a new means of crowdfunding that involves the creation of a new digital currency, where there are a finite number of the currency, and the whole thing operates outside of any traditional financial or regulatory system.
The seasteaders, says Quirk, are “committed to decentralizing not only governance but also finance.”
“If societies floated and they could be disassembled and moved around you’d have variation and selection in governance itself,” Quirk said. “So governance as a technology could advance at a speed akin to the phones we’re talking about right now.”
“I think of seasteads as being like the iPhone that floats. And you can bring your governance app, and choose how to structure society.”
Exame, 13 November 2017
Feature in the leading business magazine in Brazil.
The New York Times, 13 November 2017
“Mr. Quirk and his collaborators created a new company, Blue Frontiers, which will build and operate the floating islands in French Polynesia. The goal is to build about a dozen structures by 2020, including homes, hotels, offices and restaurants, at a cost of about $60 million. To fund the construction, the team is working on an initial coin offering. If all goes as planned, the structures will feature living roofs, use local wood, bamboo and coconut fiber, and recycled metal and plastic.”
Daily Bell, October 5, 2017
“By the time I finished the book I was utterly convinced that seasteading will save the world…
“There is so much useful information in this book, that I was wondering the whole time why I had never heard much of it before. Why didn’t I know ocean fish farming can be profitable and actually improve the environment? Why hadn’t I heard about advancements in wave power and ocean current electricity? How has an organization delivering affordable care to the poorest people via floating hospitals not been widely touted?
“That is the path you are taken down in Seasteading.”
Nature, 4 October 2017
The esteemed journal Nature published a solid investigation about the Blue Frontiers project in Tahiti, including an enjoyable 7-minute podcast.
“Blue Frontiers isn’t asking French Polynesia for any subsidies to build the island, but it is asking for a 0% tax rate, among other regulatory exceptions. It has hired French firm GB2A, based in Paris, to prepare legal research and a set of requests, which Blue Frontiers presented to the government at the end of September. The team hopes to see a bill emerge before the end of the year.”
Big Think, 29 September 2017
“Marc Collins was born in Hawai’i, the son of an American father and Tahitian mother, raised in Mexico City and attended college in the United States. He returned to his mother’s home country of Tahiti, in 1991, where he became involved in the family business of black pearl farming and retailing. He ran a successful chain of Tahitian pearl jewelry boutiques and after 17 years in the business, was invited to join the government as Minister of Tourism from 2007 until 2008…
“In 2017, Marc became an Ambassador for The Seasteading Institute, as well as a co-founder and VP of Public Affairs for Blue Frontiers.”
Aeon Essays, 5 September 2017
“This year, Patri together with his institute’s communications director Joe Quirk released an exhaustive book on seasteading, and signed a memorandum of understanding with French Polynesia to create the first semi-autonomous seazone in shallow waters off their coast for the first prototype city at sea. Patri told me that they’re starting to build very soon, and within a couple of years expect to have a few hundred people living on this floating metropolis just off the coast of Tahiti.”
Inverse, 31 August 2017
Joe Quirk has a bold vision for the future.
“In mere decades I think our children will be living on floating, sustainable societies, based on the voluntary choices of the people who live there,” Quirk tells Inverse. “They’ll look back on our primitive governments founded in previous nation states and wonder why we had to argue between two choices, when they have such a proliferation of choices.”
The Tom Woods Show, 10 July 2017
Maybe the time has come to try something radically different, instead of doubling down on the same old strategies. That’s the view of Joe Quirk of the Seasteading Institute, who discusses the potential for humanity in, yes, floating nations.
Living On Earth, 23 June 2017
“Living on Earth” is aired on over 300 National Public Radio stations, reaching 80% of USA, and they featured this seasteading interview on their home page.
California’s Seasteading Institute has an audacious claim: establishing floating societies will “restore the environment, enrich the poor, cure the sick, and liberate humanity from politicians.” ‘Seavangelist” Joe Quirk, author of the new book Seasteading, explains this bold vision to host Steve Curwood.
Guardian, 21 June 2017
Tech titans are also busy rethinking the role of the nation state. Take libertarian billionaire Peter Thiel’s Seasteading Institute, an organisation that aims to create new government-free societies in the ocean. This may sound crazy, but it looks as if it’s well on its way to becoming a reality. Earlier this year, the French Polynesian government signed an agreement with the institute to create a “Special Economic SeaZone” near the islands of Tahiti. “The SeaZone will combine the advantages of French Polynesia’s geopolitical location with unique regulatory opportunities specifically designed to attract investors,” says Randolph Hencken, executive director of the Seasteading Institute. The institute also recently announced Blue Frontiers, a new company “that will administer the seazone and build floating islands designed to adapt organically to sea level change, by 2020”.
Yale Climate Connections, 8 June 2017
While some people are planning for life on Mars, there’s a new movement of so-called “Seasteaders” planning to colonize a frontier a lot closer to home.
Quirk: “Seasteading is building politically independent cities that float on the ocean.”
That’s Joe Quirk with the California-based Seasteading Institute.
He believes that man-made islands will someday be home to independent communities where people can experiment with new forms of government and launch innovative businesses. He says these islands may also have value for places threatened by sea-level rise.
Reason Magazine, June 2017 Issue
For nearly a decade, the Seasteading Institute has been working to create autonomous floating communities on the ocean, where settlers can make their own rules de novo, unbound by the principalities and powers based on land. Founded by Google software engineer Patri Friedman—grandson of the libertarian economist Milton Friedman and son of the anarchist legal theorist and economist David Friedman—it has weathered its share of thin years, previously dwindling to a two-staffer, no-office operation. But on January 13 in San Francisco’s Infinity Club Lounge, institute chief Randolph Hencken signed a memorandum of understanding with a new partner, one Jean-Christophe Bouissou**, and put the construction of an actual seastead onto the cusp of reality.
CNN, 29 May 2017
More and more Americans are dissatisfied with their government
So now is the perfect time to innovate and create self-governing artificial islands.
“We’ve already raised our seed round of investments to perform research and secure legislation, so get ready for the next wave of nations.”
The New Republic, 29 May 2017
“If residents didn’t like one utopia, they could simply sail off to a new one.
There’s something seductive about this idea…”
Les Témoins d’Outre-mer, 29 mai 2017
Macron sur la scène internationale : une entrée réussie ? Nos avisés débattent.
RadioNZ, 26 May 2017
Pierre Carpentier, 23 May 2017
L’humanité est à pied sec sur moins de 30% de la planète. Et ce n’est pas près de s’améliorer à cause de l’érosion côtière due au changement climatique.
Poussés à assurer notre survie, c’est à dire à nous nourrir, à gérer nos ressources et à nous abriter, nous voici contraints d’observer et d’apprendre les usages savants des civilisations nautiles premières, preuves de leur capacité d’innovation.
“Maya Weeks is a writer and artist working on a project about the gendered violence of marine debris as a byproduct of global capitalism.”
She introduces our extensive interview with the following sentence:
“The tone of Quirk’s book, co-written with Patri Friedman (grandson of Milton Friedman) is in keeping with the imperialist attitudes that have led to so much of the land in the world being colonized by white men who have no claim to it.”
And it only gets better from there!
RadioNZ, 22 May 2017
“Yes, I think Hawaii would be interested in this,” says Senator J Kalani English, Senate Majority Leader, Hawai’i State Senate, after speaking at Seasteading Tahiti conference. “Our ancestors had this concept and we also know that Polynesians are very quick to adapt the latest technology.”
Ouest France, 19 May 2017
Bâtir des cités flottantes en Polynésie française, c’est le pari de l’association The Seasteading Institute, qui a tenté de convaincre les Polynésiens cette semaine, pendant quatre jours de séminaire à Tahiti, consacrés à ces îles artificielles.
La première Conférence internationale sur les îles flottantes a débuté hier, organisée par le Seasteading Institute, qui œuvre depuis bientôt dix ans à la création de cités flottantes. Tahiti est pressentie pour accueillir un prototype à échelle réduite, si le gouvernement donne son accord à ce projet pilote, d’ici à la fin de l’année 2017. Plus de 100 personnes de 15 pays, et de nombreux auditeurs polynésiens sont venus écouter les premiers des 35 conférenciers.
Tahiti Infos, le 15 mai 2017
Les trois jours de conférences sur les îles flottantes organisées par The Seasteading Institute ont débuté ce lundi à l’hôtel Le Méridien. Le vice-président de la Polynésie, les promoteurs du projet d’île flottante en Polynésie ainsi qu’une pléthore d’invités internationaux ont enchainé les présentations. Toutes les conférences sont gratuites pour le public et diffusées en direct sur Internet.
PanAmPost, 11 April 2017
Joe Quirk has been described as a “seavangelist”; in his work with The Seasteading Institute, he argues that new floating nation states, facilitated by the institute’s innovative technology, will revolutionize the world. Founded in 2008, with a philanthropic grant of $500,000 by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, the Seasteading Institute (TSI) presents a libertarian vision of the future where this new technology will provide an opportunity for new societies to offer the greatest degree of economic, political, and social freedoms to their citizens…
Private Cities and Seasteads: Escape into No Man’s Land and on Artificial Islands? Liberalization Pressure Through Competition
Peculiarly Free, March 31, 2017
“Freedom and prosperity on artificial islands:
“Economic history has shown that decentralized coordination has produced a wealth of achievements, while centrally controlled systems have produced few …”
Libertarian Institute, 27 March 2017
For sure the concept of seasteading is a bit of an ideological Rorschach test, and that is at least a considerable part of its charm. Quirk and Friedman have their own ideas but never presume to know what is best for everyone. Instead they’re leaving humanity with the intellectual scaffolding to challenge existing orders. With seven hundred million people dreaming of life somewhere else, crying in the darkness of what amounts to a grand DNA lottery (most of us just happened to land on this side of the gated community), the time to take Quirk and Friedman seriously is right now…
Wall Street Journal, 24 March 2017
“New city-states in international waters could eventually house as many as a billion people.”
La Dépêche de Tahiti, 21 March 2017
Devant des chercheurs, les représentants du Seasteading Institute ont mis en avant les indéniables opportunités de recherche scientifique et sociologique et demandé leur collaboration sur toute la durée du projet. Ils sont finalement tombés d’accord sur le principe de la création très prochaine d’un comité directeur scientifique, baptisé Polynesia First.
Reuters, 20 March 2017
When former Google software engineer Patri Friedman came up with the idea of building floating islands, he had in mind an unusual buyer: Libertarians, seeking freedom to live beyond the reach of governments.
But his futuristic plan has now found a new, motivated and very different audience – small islands halfway around the world that are slowly being submerged by sea level rise.
The Pacific nation of French Polynesia, looking for a potential lifeline as global warming takes hold, in January became the first country to sign an agreement to deploy the floating islands off its coast.
“Dreams belong to those who want to move forward and make them happen,” said Jean-Christophe Bouissou, the country’s housing minister, at a San Francisco ceremony where he inked a memorandum of understanding with The Seasteading Institute…
ABC Australia, 14 March 2017
Do you love the ocean? Are you an innovator? Are you sick and tired of old models of government that are stuck in the last century?
If you answered yes to the above, consider seasteading; it’s like Waterworld but without the mutants.
The idea is to build politically independent countries that float on the ocean, and the concept might not be as far-out as you think…
ABC Lateline, 13 March, 2017
Imagine a cruise ship that never docks which hosts a tiny nation – independently governed and welcoming to innovators. Margot O’Neill explores the brave new world of seasteads.
Architectural Digest, February 24, 2017
The California nonprofit organization—which has currently raised about $2.5 million from more than 1,000 interested donors—is spearheading a plan called the Floating City Project. The blueprint is to build a cluster of buoyant dwellings that showcases innovations in solar power, sustainable aquaculture, and ocean-based wind farms. Recently, the French Polynesian government signed a historic agreement with the Seasteading Institute to work together on a legal framework to allow for the development of the Floating Island Project…
Dutch Water Sector, February 22, 2017
The government of French Polynesia signed an historic agreement that allows the development of the first floating city in a lagoon off its most populated island of Tahiti.
The agreement was signed with the Californian Seasteading Institute in January. Dutch company Blue21 is involved in the engineering of the modular floating platforms for such a city in the Pacific Ocean.
Studies into the project should reach completion by 2018 and parties hope to be able to start construction of the world’s first floating city by 2019. The costs for a first pilot are estimated between 10 and 50 million US dollars…
Spiegel Online, February 16, 2017
“Bold visionaries dream of founding new nations with their own legislation.”
Maritime Executive, February 12, 2017
Days after signing the MOU Bouissou expressed his global vision for a floating innovation hub on TNTV in Tahiti. Speaking on behalf of “Polynesian youth who want to get involved in these research fields,” he said:
“Polynesia is the haven where all things are possible. It is the Blue Frontier in the Great Pacific. It is also a country which had shown that its population wishes to forge ahead.”
New York Times Australia, January 27, 2017
Mr. Hencken said that he expected the project to eventually include dozens of artificial islands and that similar projects could someday be built in other atoll nations or coastal areas threatened by rising sea levels. He added that the cost of housing would decrease as the so-called island platforms became cheaper to manufacture.
“I certainly don’t think this is a project that is exclusively for the wealthy,” he said, adding that his background was in social justice activism.
La Dépêche de Tahiti, January 26, 2017
“Young people immediately understand the value of the concept and they contact us by saying “What can I do?” At first, they will be able to do internships with us. But I know that eventually we will hire highly qualified Tahitians.”
“What is the nest step?”
“It is divided into three points ….”
BBC, January 17, 2017
French Polynesia has signed an agreement that supporters hope could pave the way for autonomous floating cities around the world.
The tiny Pacific state signed a memorandum of understanding with California’s Seasteading Institute in San Francisco on Friday.
It outlined objectives the institute must meet to get possible go-ahead for its first “seastead” community, off the island of Tahiti.
Plans for world’s first ‘floating city’ unveiled: Radical designs could be built in the Pacific Ocean in 2019
DailyMail, January 17, 2017
The experimental floating landscapes could test new ideas on how to feed the hungry, cure the sick, clean the atmosphere and enrich the poor, for example.
French Polynesia, a collection of 118 islands in the southern Pacific, is interested in the project as the area is at risk from rising sea levels.
If inhabitants disagree with the city’s government, they could paddle their colony to another city, forcing governments to work to attract citizens.
IFLScience, January 17, 2017
“The government of French Polynesia…expressed interest in the project as rising sea levels is a very real threat to them and a permanent floating city could be an innovative way to deal with future displacement…
The city must benefit the local economy and it must prove environmentally friendly. If these can be met, draft legislation will be drawn up next year and construction is expected to begin in 2019.”
EcoWatch, January 17, 2017
In an effort to adapt to climate change, French Polynesian government officials signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” with San Francisco’s Seasteading Institute to jumpstart the development of the world’s first self-sufficient floating city.
“The possibilities are endless,” Hencken said.
ABC Australia, January 16, 2017
After signing a memorandum of understanding with the French Polynesian Government, it is hopeful construction can start by 2019.
The institute’s executive director, Randolph Hencken, told Pacific Beat finding a host nation was a significant milestone.
He said the next steps involved economic and environmental impact studies as well as legal investigations to figure out the special governing framework the institute believes is crucial to the ongoing success of its floating communities.
Reason, January 13, 2017
Joe Quirk has a fascinating and convincing book on Seasteading out in March (co-written with Seasteading Institute founder Patri Friedman) in which the ecological and business advantages of using the ocean are frontloaded, just as they are in the agreement with French Polynesia.
Huffington Post, December 10, 2016
“Apart from experimenting with innovations in governance, [Executive Director] Hencken is also excited about the potential for seasteading to serve as a platform for developing tools to help with climate change adaptation as well.
Low-lying islands in the Pacific, like Kiribati and parts of French Polynesia, face the imminent threat of disappearing because of sea level rise. Hencken believes that seasteading offers one practical solution for these places to create new, resilient territory on which to continue to exist … Hencken looks forward to working with French Polynesia’s youth in building new ocean tech that can benefit the island nation and subsequently be spun out to places in need of new land. He said that once they’ve built a successful pilot, he can imagine deploying similar seasteads to places like Miami and Bangladesh.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune, December 8, 2016
“A proponent of seasteading recently suggested to me that offshore housing could provide a financing base to change the economics of desalination. Plans to turn ocean water into drinking water have long been considered costly and inefficient. But man-made islands with desalination plants financed with the proceeds from offshore housing sales on those same islands might change the economics; the reclaimed water could supply these sea cities, thus offering a live experiment for a more sustainable water future.
Seasteading also could mitigate climate change. Sea-based cities would provide a dry run — OK, a wet run — for the not-so-distant future, when rising sea levels inundate California’s greatest coastal cities, forcing millions of us to learn how to live on the ocean. In this way, cities on the sea would ease today’s housing problems — while furthering our climate change leadership and preparations for a watery future.”
La Dépêche de Tahiti, September 21, 2016
Last Friday, President Édouard Fritch, surrounded by his ministers Teva Rohfritsch (Blue Economy and Digital Strategy), Jean-Christophe Bouissou (Tourism), Tearii Alpha (Housing), Patrick Howell (Health) and Albert Solia (Equipment) Gaston Tong Sang and Mayor of Makemo, Félix Tokoragi, received the delegation of the Seasteading Institute.
The presentation was considered “professional and elegant”.
For its part, Polynesia could be the laboratory and showcase that the concept of seasteading needs to find a second wind. The fenua has many assets: the Honotua cable, a good level of public safety, a quality medical supply, and skills.
French Polynesia could become home to the Seasteading Institute’s first floating city after presidential meeting
Factor, September 19, 2016
From an engineering standpoint, the location is ideal due to its range of protected waters while the Polynesian people would benefit from the economic possibilities offered by the Seasteading as well as the potential solutions it offers to rising sea levels.
Former Minister of Tourism for French Polynesia Marc Collins expressed his support for The Seasteading Institute’s vision.
“More than most nations, our islands are impacted by rising sea levels, and resilient floating islands could be one tangible solution for us to maintain our populations anchored to their islands. For many Polynesians, leaving our islands is not an option.”
Radio1 Tahiti, September 16, 2016
“After having visited several places, such as the Raiatea-Tahaa or Tupai lagoons, and Phaeton Bay, the delegation presented its concept to the government, which can also address the problems of rising water levels linked to global warming. After a long exchange, President Edward Fritch agreed on the project’s interest, since it can provide an opportunity for economic development for French Polynesia.”
Will cities of the future FLOAT? $167 million project using concrete platforms could be home to 300 people by 2020
DailyMail, July 8, 2015
If waking up to a sea breeze and panoramic ocean views is your idea of heaven, you might consider moving to a floating city.
A group of marine biologists, nautical engineers and environmentalists backed by Paypal founder Peter Thiel, plans on building a floating city, or ‘seastead’ as soon as in 2020.
While this may be an ambitious plan, the group has settled on the design and believes semi-independent cities would be the perfect place to try new modes of government and agricultural methods, for example, in a bid to work out how to tackle the world’s problems.
The Tom Woods Show, March 20, 2015
Libertarian talk show host interviews The Seasteading Institute Seavangelist Joe Quirk.
Reason, February 23, 2015
The Seasteading Institute’s reality TV show gets a mention in Reason.
Dutch TV, January 25, 2015
This Dutch documentary is the most daring and honest portrayal we’ve seen about the emerging Silicon Valley ethos. It features seasteading, the 6 Californias Initiative, Burning Man, Googleplex, Draper University, Elon Musk, and Peter Thiel’s most provocative declarations. Seasteading is featured from 0:50 to 2:50, and again at 40:00. Narration in Dutch but interviews in English. It’s worth watching the entire 48-minute documentary.
KIJK Magazine January 2015 Issue
This Dutch documentary is the most daring and honest portrayal we’ve seen about the emerging Silicon Valley ethos. It features seasteading, the 6 Californias Initiative, Burning Man, Googleplex, Draper University, Elon Musk, and Peter Thiel’s most provocative declarations. Seasteading is featured from 0:50 to 2:50, and again at 40:00. Narration in Dutch but interviews in English. It’s worth watching the entire 48-minute documentary.
Real Clear Radio Hour, December 6, 2014
“Joe Quirk of the Seasteading Institute, who proudly dubs himself a “Seavangelist,” describes how floating communities would encourage governments to act more like companies rather than monopolies and treat citizens more like customers whose loyalty they must earn. Using the cruise industry as a model, Quirk predicts seasteading will become a reality for “aqua-preneurs” by the year 2020.”
Power & Market, October 21, 2014
The recent Power & Market Report weekly podcast features an interview with our Executive Director, Randolph Hencken, talking about seasteading and how it can help improve our governments.
Factor, October 20, 2014
The Seasteading Institute, the most high-profile organisation involved in the development of floating cities, has announced that it has begun testing the technology that forms the basis for its planned floating metropolis.
Next City, October 1, 2014
“With the technology and market demand in place, it’s political will and ownership issues that are holding development back. People have trouble imagining an urban future where city halls can be swapped for theaters on opening night, or entire Olympic villages can simply be towed around the world instead of rebuilt every four years.”
Monocle, July 14, 2014
Audio interview with Joe Quirk starts at 24:30, when “we go offshore in San Francisco to explore the seasteading scene”. You may need to download the interview to listen.
e27, July 10, 2014
The Director of Communications at the Seasteading Institute Joe Quirk provides insights into the possibilities of seasteading and how Asia Pacific can benefit from it.
Bloomberg TV, June 10, 2014
Patri Friedman, Chairman of the Seasteading Institute, and Randy Hencken, Executive Director, discuss the feasibility of floating cities with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.”
Bloomberg Pursuits, May 27, 2014
The year is 2024, and Friedman lives on a so-called seastead, a waterbound city of some 1,000 people who produce their own food, their own energy and—most important—their own laws.
[Interestingly, Bloomberg changed the article’s title for their on-line re-publication, and doubled the number of times the word “libertarian” is used.]
PanAm Post, May 6, 2014
Latest Research Affirms Market, Practical Design, Feasible Host Nations:
A market for residential seasteads exists, so says the Seasteading Institute in their newly published “Floating City Project” report (PDF). The 134-page publication — prepared between March 2013 and March 2014 and released on April 25 — is an initiative that seeks to establish the world’s first seastead within territorial waters of a host nation.
The authors, led by Randolph Hencken, set out to establish “the feasibility of developing a floating city before the end of the decade.” In addition to the presence of considerable market demand, they conclude that (1) a practical design can be built to match the market’s price point and (2) it is likely that the Seasteading Institute can reach a deal with a host nation.
The Adam Carolla Show, April 30, 2014
“Joe, I like you, because we’re simpatico on this whole part about competition…I don’t know why we think people, the government, or anyone is going to do the right thing without the incentive and the competition…This whole seasteading thing, man, that just takes it to a whole new strata. That is just absolutely amazing. I love that—I love that—I just love that idea. The book is going to be published in about a year.”
The Adam Carolla Show won the Guinness book of World Records most downloaded podcast. Comedian, entrepreneur, and author Adam Carolla converted to seasteading live on his show. Adam got so excited about competitive governance on the oceans during his interview with me he skipped the news section.
How to Fail to Turn Adam Carolla into a Seasteader.
44:00: Polite discussion about algae and blue technologies.
How to Turn Adam Carolla into a Seasteader.
1:00:52: I accuse Adam Carolla of plagiarizing Robert Ballard, the discoverer of the RMS Titanic.
1:02:10: Adam Carolla brings up Waterworld, a sore point for seasteaders.
1:02:33: I call Adam and Bryan “old fucks.”
1:02:25: Adam realizes seasteading will be like the TV show The Love Boat, which is not a sore point for seasteaders.
1:02:51: Quirkstradamus predicts the ocean future.
1:03:30: Adam Carolla’s conversion moment.
1:03:59: Adam Carolla rants about competitive governance in the film industry using the metaphor of floating feces.
1:06:00: Adam Carolla makes sexy sound as seasteading slides into his soul.
1:06:56: Adam Carolla, author of President Me, promises a dinghy in every garage and a squid in every pot.
And the best part? If President Carolla fails in his duties as President of Carollastead, we can always leave.
Modern Farmer, March 19, 2014
Besides Blue Revolution Hawaii, a venture called the Seasteading Institute is the most serious U.S. player in the ocean colonization movement. “[Seasteading] will catch on as people discover you can farm the ocean just like you can farm the land,” says Charlie Deist, research coordinator for the Seasteading Institute. “You can have a relatively pure version of homesteading.”
Based in the Bay Area, the group is suffused with the big talk and zeal of a startup, as well as some of the funding — PayPal founder Peter Thiel has given them well over $2 million. Their dreams are grandiose and ideologically driven; John Locke and the right to individual liberty feature large. The institute believes the first ocean settlements will exist by 2020, and has partnered with an upscale Dutch design firm to facilitate that vision.
Blue Revolution Hawaii is more motivated by science than politics, and the group has yet to attract a wealthy patron. But what it lacks in capital, it makes up in know-how. Blue Revolution’s brain trust includes experts in oceanic energy, mariculture (aquaculture as practiced in the ocean) and more traditional, land-based farming. This loosely aligned cluster of men believes that the building blocks already exist for a necessary transition to the ocean.
Tyee, March 1, 2014
About six years ago, a group based in California’s Bay Area, led by the grandson of U.S. economist Milton Friedman, began designing and raising money for a floating ocean city-state, whose citizens could harness the sea to solve hunger, cure sickness and fix climate change. “There’s a rich history of people imagining a better society… on the ocean,” the Seasteading Institute’s Joe Quirk told me recently in San Francisco. “The difference now is that the technology to do this is at hand.”
NPR’s Marketplace, February 11, 2014
Does Silicon Valley exhibit the qualities of an island? An outpost with its own rules? Or, insular and cut off from society? The popular radio show Marketplace recently covered this theme in a six minute segment connecting the vision of seasteading with recent developments in the Bay Area technology hub. The segment covers both Blueseed’s concept for an visa-free technology startup incubator, as well as the broader idea of seasteading as explained by the Institute’s executive director, Randolph Hencken. Far from seeking to insulate themselves, Randy notes, inhabitants of floating cities will be the kinds of people who want to do good things for humanity.
Business Insider, November 16, 2013
1. Peter Thiel isn’t trying to create his own private country. Thiel is outspoken on his Libertarian views and he’s a major supporter of seasteading, but it’s because it allows for new kinds of freedom for anyone who wants it, not because he wants to rule over a private island.
2. Seasteading is not about creating tax havens. It’s about experimenting with new ways to live. Sure, taxes would probably work much differently, but by no means is this the focus.
3. A seastead would not be some sort of lawless Wild West town on water. Hencken offered the example criticism of building codes – they’re fairly niche rules that all would agree matter for safety’s sake. While a seastead might not have explicit building codes written on paper somewhere, no one would be allowed to build something deemed unsafe.
Seasteading disrupts politics the same way that tech startups disrupt larger companies that aren’t nimble enough to stay innovative. It’s clear to see why Patri Friedman, co-founder of the The Seasteading institute, calls the idea “an apolitical solution to politics.”
Business Insider, November 9, 2013
Your hip, politically savvy friends probably say something like this with every election: “If [so-and-so] wins, I’m leaving the country.”
That might soon become so possible that they’ll have to follow through with it.
Seasteading is a Libertarian’s dream realized. It involves setting up floating cities at sea, 200 miles off the coast of a country so as to not be subject to its laws. Call it an experiment in governance, call it a way to live under a new set of rules of your own creation, maybe even a way to start your life over. You may one day be setting up your own sovereign nation.
Patri Friedman (grandson of the famed Milton Friedman) is one of the main proponents of seasteading, and he set up The Seasteading Foundation to educate people and generate interest. And there’s loads of interest. Even billionaire investor Peter Thiel, known for his outspoken Libertarian leanings, is pushing for this to become a practical reality.
There are some challenges, of course, but we already do a simpler version of this all the time. In an interview on Glenn Beck’s Blaze Network, Randolph Hencken, executive director of The Seasteading Institute, explained that cruise ships already ferry about 10 million people a year – roughly the population of Sweden – and are already practically floating cities. Cruise ships have a certain political flexibility with their dock in one country and be owned by a corporation in another.
Patri Friedman sees this as a way for people people to get to live under the system they want and to create data about whether that system actually works.
He offers the following analogy:
“Why are people using governmental systems from 1787? A car from 1787 would be a horse!”
BBC.com, November 1, 2013
The Seasteading Institute has also been dealing with the challenges faced by communities trying to live permanently on the ocean. It is an audacious but essentially pragmatic endeavour. Taking a cue from the Tanka people, the plan is locate in the protected, territorial waters of a nation willing to “host” the structures and their inhabitants. With help from the Dutch aquatic architecture firm DeltaSync, the institute hopes to design something that will meet the needs of residents, and the host nation. From a calm coastal area, the logistical challenges needed allow a community to live on the high seas can be solved one at a time.
Sensa Nostra, October 31, 2013
Randolph Hencken, 37, is the Executive Director of The Seasteading Institute, a San Francisco Bay Area-based non-profit think tank that seeks to create so-called ‘experimental zones’ on the ocean. These autonomous, floating city-states, or ‘seasteads’, would be places where new political, environmental, scientific, legal, and social policies could be incubated, free from the restrictions and interference of existing governments. He shares his personal inspiration, as well as the organization’s goals and vision for the the future of what he calls the ‘Blue Revolution’.
h+ Magazine, September 12, 2013
Humanity+, one of the leading futurist/transhumanist advocacy organizations, recently featured an interview with Randy Hencken in its online h+ publication. Jesse Barksdale, the interviewer, asked a number of questions to introduce h+’s audience to our mission, and our latest strategy for making floating cities a reality. Barksdale draws a good analogy between the entry-and-exit model of seasteading citizenship (aka “voting with your boat”) and recurring membership fees. Hencken responded with the observation that the option to withdraw one’s residence, along with the associated tax payments, directly impacts a business or government’s bottom line, whereas traditional democratic citizenship often leaves minorities completely powerless to sway policies.
The interview also contains tidbits on the early findings of our Floating City Project survey, and the most “far out” seasteading business models we’ve come across in our five years of research and movement building.
Firedoglake.com, August 13, 2013
In the wake of a depressed economy and septic political system many Americans are looking for alternatives – both for some solace in the stormy present, as well as for a vision of the future. An organization proposing one of the more radical alternatives is the Seasteading Institute. The Institute is not proposing reform nor revolution but, in essence, separation.
Huffington Post, May 28, 2013
This piece was written by 18-year-old seasteading ambassador Josiah Tullis, for the Huffington Post’s Politics Blog.
Government is a science. Political science is, according to Aristotle, the study of the state. But if governance is a science why don’t we see more experimenting with the state? Why aren’t we trying new things in government? Certainly, there’s a great handful of think-tanks and professors conducting research into public policy, but how about some good old fashioned scientific experimentation? Why don’t we model our theories of society and test out their reality in controlled environments? Why don’t we experiment with civilization and political systems? What I want to know is why, in an age of increasingly rapid progress, we haven’t created a system that allows us to actually innovate government?
CoinDesk, May 24, 2013
Bitcoin represents more than a digital currency. For many adopters, it is a means of breaking free of government and financial institutions’ control over money.
The Seasteading Institute shares those ideals. Just as libertarians in the Bitcoin community see the currency as a way to get free of fiat and avoid the financial transaction roadblocks erected at national boundaries or through credit regulations, seasteaders put their hope into the idea of new, independent cities as a way to escape the stranglehold of government systems.
NPR’s All Things Considered, December 17, 2012
NPR’s All Things Considered is the latest prominent news show to take an interest in seasteading. Earlier today, the program aired a six-minute segment titled, “Don’t like the government? Make your own, on international waters“; we are grateful to the segment’s producer, Laura Sydell, for her more than year-long effort to put the story together. Overall, Sydell did a good job presenting our mission to NPR’s listeners. At the same time, we wish to address a few points where the story fell short.
Our biggest grievance was the segment’s failure to recognize seasteading as a movement to enable multiple competing visions of governance. Professor Holly Folk, the expert featured to provide a counter-argument to seasteading, demonstrated her incomplete understanding of our strategy by focusing on potential problems with starting a new libertarian intentional community. She alleges a desire by seasteaders to “game the global system,” and claims libertarians have “a worldview that’s going to be attractive to people who are in some ways probably not hard-wired to behave and take orders very well.” The segment contains no evidence for the first allegation. Folk’s second claim might have some validity, but only if we were advocating a single community based on a contrarian philosophy.
Another disappointment was the labeling of our supporters as “rich techies,” a framing which hardly does justice to the diverse composition of our movement. The defining feature of our local meetup attendees has always been passion for alternatives to the governing status quo, and dedication to enabling a broad range of new communities experimenting with innovative solutions. Being so close to Silicon Valley, many of our local supporters are naturally interested in harnessing recent technological progress to advance humanity in other realms, such as the rules for organizing into peaceful and prosperous societies.
Additionally, the references to profits as the motivation behind our efforts are overdone. Yes, the Institute explores ideas for making seasteads economically sustainable, but profits merely exist to signal which seasteads are meeting the demands of citizens and customers, and to encourage innovation. Seastead communities will not be “built around profits” any more than existing communities on land, which of course depend on the existence of economic opportunity to support their citizens.
As diverse as our support is, it continues to frustrate us when the media pigeonholes the concept of seasteading as exclusively libertarian. Fortunately, history will not remember us for a particular ideology, but instead for our pioneering of a movement to improve all of humanity’s relationship to its governments, and to the planet. We are hopeful our true vision will still reach many of NPR’s listeners, and we appreciate the opportunity to be showcased to their audience.
New Scientist, September 28, 2012
The vastness of Earth’s oceans and the limited extent of our knowledge and occupation of them often invites comparisons with space. But they are much more attainable than the moon or Mars. Hence the enduring fascination with “seasteading“, the idea of building permanent settlements at sea (see “Brave new sea worlds to redefine society“).
Those who push the idea are often dismissed as libertarian fantasists. The seasteading movement has its fair share of those, but it is also home to pioneers longing to conquer a new frontier.
We already have The World, a private residential yacht with permanent wealthy occupants cruising the globe. That hardly fulfils the vision of wagons rolling west. But it may be the start of something bigger. Shifting climate was what drove our African ancestors to colonise the world (see “Climate change determined humanity’s global conquest“). As climate and population pressures ramp up, perhaps the lure of the wide blue yonder will prove irresistible.
Discover Magazine, September 2012
CIMSEC, August 27, 2012
Forbes, July 30, 2012
Forbes, December 15, 2011
The Economist Technology Quarterly, December, 3, 2011
Forbes.com, November 2010; Forbes Magazine January 2011. Circulation 900,000.
Reason Magazine, July 2009. Circulation 60,000.
Wired Magazine Article, January 19, 2009, Circulation 790,000.