Seasteading 2009 Conference: Wrap-Up Newsletter

Seasteading 2009 Conference: Wrap-Up Newsletter


We at The Seasteading Institute would like to thank all of you for attending our second annual conference!  We had a wonderful time, and know that many of you did as well.  We’ve been very happy to hear how pleased you were with the event.


Your Feedback, and Changes For Next Year

The feedback we’ve been hearing has been great!  Of our 27 survey respondents so far, everyone has rated the conference a 4 or a 5 (on a scale of 1-5), and everybody has reported that they felt the conference was a fair or good value for the price.  We’re extremely happy to hear that people felt the conference was worth their time — it certainly was for us.

Based on your feedback, here’s are our main takeaways for next year:

  • Schedule the conference over a weekend.  Seasteading is still a pursuit of personal passion for most of us, as opposed to a job, so it’s costly for attendees to take time off work. 

  • Create more opportunities for networking.  We will likely provide breakfast and/or lunch, and allow for a longer lunch break, and see what other ideas we can come up with.

  • Effective workshops require much greater preparation on our part, and stronger facilitation.  Response to this year’s workshops was lukewarm.

  • People enjoyed the reception a great deal, but some found it too crowded.

  • There were not enough submissions for unconference talks (especially lightning talks) to justify the amount of time we devoted to them.  We need either greater participation (i.e. more talks for the community to choose from) or less time devoted to this portion of the conference.

  • Those who participated in the seasteading simulation game enjoyed it a great deal and found it a nice change of pace.

  • People loved being on a boat for the members’ dinner.  And so did we!

There was a fair amount of feedback from people who preferred a single track of talks to two simultaneous tracks, but there is obviously an inherent trade-off between the length of the conference and how much content is single-tracked vs. double-tracked.  This is especially true in light of the fact that there were advocates for having more coverage of almost every type of topic (political philosophy, engineering, business models, etc.)  We think it’s probably not yet time to lengthen the conference to 3+ days, so we’ll likely continue to have double-tracked content next year — although we’ll also continue to put videos of the talks online afterward so that you can catch ones you miss.

If you still have additional feedback, please fill out the survey, especially if your perspective is not reflected in the changes we are already planning.  We’ll do a final review of the survey results at the end of next week.  Additionally, we are exploring the possibility of doing a future conference on a cruise ship, as suggested by Terry Floyd in his unconference talk.  If you’re interested in the idea, please fill out his survey to give your feedback.

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to provide input!


Volunteer Gratitude


Many volunteers donated their time to help make this event happen.  Cheryl Cline, Neil Laughlin, Chris Rasch, and Max Marty spent much of their free time before and during the conference helping make things run smoothly.   Special thanks to Jason Sussberg, a Stanford film student, for donating his time, equipment and expertise to capturing the conference and editing the video for distribution.  Deep and heartfelt gratitude to our other volunteers:  Wayne Gramlich, Gayle Young, Lasse Birk Olesen, Ben Lavender, Rebecca Reagan, Desiree Dudley, Ligaya Tichy, Brian Hill, Eelco Hoogendoorn, Michael Hartl, Saurabh Nirantar, and Steve Hogan.  Because of you, we had an awesome event!

We would also like to give special recognition to Cheryl Cline, Lasse Birk Olesen and Ben Lavender for exceptional volunteer service to The Seasteading Institute (not just related to the conference) in 2009.


Conference Media

We will be posting 1 or 2 videos a week from the conference starting later this month.   There were a lot of great talks to see, and this is your chance to catch any that you missed!

If you post your photos from the Seasteading Conference, please tag them with “tsi2009”.  There are some already up on Flickr with the tsi2009 tag.

Here are some post-conference thoughts from various blogs:



For those of you who couldn’t attend Ephemerisle, you’ll be happy to hear the event was a big success! Attendee feedback was extremely positive, with people expressing an increased optimism for the plausibility of seasteading, and greater enthusiasm to contribute to the movement.   Another benefit was that all of us — TSI employees, volunteers, and community members — gained a lot of firsthand experience about living and surviving on the water, and about doing so together as a community.

We are preparing for a much biger event next year.

For much more post-Ephemerisle coverage (media, blogs, photos, videos), please see the Ephemerisle wiki:

QUOTE: “TSI has now demonstrated to me, and to the world, that they are capable of action.” – Jeff L. Jones, Ephemerisle attendee.


1 thought on “Seasteading 2009 Conference: Wrap-Up Newsletter”

  1. I think there is a bug in your RSS feed.  Lately, when you post a new blog entry, an old one from 2008 will also show up in the feed as new.  This time the blog entry titled “Weekly Snippets, 4/28/08” showed up, with the same timestamp as this one.

    On a more on-topic note, I wasn’t able to make it this year but I am definitely looking forward to attending next year.  Thanks for posting videos of this year’s conference.

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