The Seasteading Institute March 2010 Newsletter
A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching. Sivananda
Table of Contents
- Double Your Donation
- Engineering Research Published
- 2010 Ephemerisle: Save the Date!
- Hired! Two heavy hitters join the TSI team
- Ephemerisle Community Advisory Group
Awareness & Community
- Special Thanks
Double Your Donation
Double your donation today! Board member, donor and all-around good guy Peter Thiel has generously agreed to match your donation dollar-for-dollar. Every donation will be matched up to $100,000.
If you’ve already given, thank you and please consider an additional gift. If you’ve not yet given, please consider doing so now.
By making a gift today you will make the dream of seasteading that much more of a reality.
Engineering Research Published
Our first major research effort, an high-level seastead engineering paper spearheaded by Eelco Hoogendoorn, is now published in a preliminary form on our website. Considered a draft open for community discussion, the research covers a wide variety of topics basic and important to seasteading, from ocean condition contingency planning to platform manufacturing. A future paper will examine specific seastead designs in more detail.
You can find this and all future reports on our newly established Research page on www.seasteading.org
Ephemerisle 2010: Save the Date!
Had a blast at the first Ephemerisle last year? Were you or your friends “totally thinking of going”, but didn’t? Here’s your chance to start planning now to come to our second annual Ephemerisle festival, held in the Sacramento River Delta.
Save the Date!
Ephemerisle 2010 starts at noon on Thursday, July 22nd, and ends at noon on Sunday, July 25th.
An exact location is still being pinned down. While the water levels last year ranged a rather tame 3 to 10 feet, this year, waters may vary from 7 to 37 feet in the areas we are considering. Weather is expected to be rather warm, reaching 90 degrees F during the day and staying reasonably warm (though occasionally meriting sweaters) at night.
Tickets will be limited this year and are expected to sell out, based on last year’s attendance and this year’s expectations. We’ll be inviting TSI members, artists, volunteers, and builders first before opening registration to the general public.
If you’d like to make sure you’re among the first to know when tickets are available for Ephemerisle 2010, go get on the Ephemerisle Announcement List, a Google Group we use to release event information. And if you’re already on it, good work! Notices will come more often as we plot out the event in earnest.
Think you might like to help out? Many hands make light work! Volunteers of all kinds are always needed and warmly rewarded. If interested, send an email to with the word “Ephemerisle” somewhere in the subject line.
New Hires: Dana Harrison (Ephemerisle Event Manager) and Kris Jensen (Director of Development)
In February, we focused our attention on bringing new talent and experience into our midst. The Seasteading Institute is pleased to announce that we have an excellent Director of Development now with us and an absolutely fantastic Ephemerisle Event Manager, both of whom are as brave as they are bold.
Kris Jensen: Director of Development
Kris comes to the Seasteading Institute with over 10 years of successful fundraising experience. Prior to the Institute, Kris worked at Swords to Plowshares raising money to assist veterans in their transition from combat to community. As the Vice President of Development for Avenidas, Kris raised money to support older adults on the mid-Peninsula and as Director of Development for the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Kris worked to ensure that everyone had access to the food they need.
Kris’ interest in the Seasteading Institute stems from a passionate desire to, as Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Kris believes that the status quo just isn’t working and that seasteading offers an opportunity for the exploration of multiple solutions. And, true to his Nordic roots, Kris is drawn to the ocean and the adventures that await.
A Bay Area native, Kris graduated from San Jose State University and lives deep in the woods above Cupertino with his wife, a family of deer, several coyotes and a couple of bobcats. When not at work, Kris enjoys cooking for family and friends, wood working and gardening. Kris is also working toward a certificate in Permaculture Design.
Dana Harrison: Ephemerisle Event Manager
Dana Harrison comes to The Seasteading Institute as Event Manager of Ephemerisle based on her lifelong interest in creativity and innovation in different forms and contexts. In the first 18 years of her corporate career she was the first manager to automate a department at the Bank of America, and was part of the team that invented the electronic brokerage industry at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. She then moved into the more alternative world, where she served as a core organizer for The Burning Man Project for 8 years, co-founded a nonprofit (Planet Care) which provides humanitarian and medical relief to refugees from Myanmar, established a live-work and performance space in Oakland called the Oakland Noodle Factory, and produced an original rock opera called “How to Survive the Apocalypse: A Burning Opera” — all while maintaining a business consulting practice on the side.
Dana is excited by the opportunity Ephemerisle offers to create an experiential bridge to the long-term future of seasteading, to help build a new creative community from the inside, and to play with the balance of freedom and structure. Her person mottoes are “Be clear about your intent, and align your action with your intent”, and “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution”.
The Seasteading Institute is proud and excited to have Dana and Kris aboard!
Ephemerisle Community Advisory Group
We held out first-ever Ephemerisle Community Advisory Group meeting on Monday, March 1st, inviting a small group of 2009 attendees to come and share their thoughts about how TSI and the community together can make Ephemerisle 2010 the most fun, interesting, and rewarding event it can be.
Lots of great ideas, stories from the 2009 Ephemerisle, wishes for 2010, and hopes for the character of our fledgling festival were all aired, resulting in excellent discussions and emerging imaginings. Dana Harrison pointed out likely locations on our map of the Delta, as everyone floated their ideas of how best to structure the next Ephemerisle event for best mobility, opportunity, and community integration.
One opinion was unanimous and unmistakable: Ephemerisle 2009 was too short! Of course, we at TSI think so too, so we’re stretching the festival to 4 days this year — Thursday, July 22nd through Sunday, July 25th.
There is so much more to explore in the coming months. If you are interested in receiving an invite to the next Ephemerisle Community Advisory Group, please send an email to with “Ephemerisle volunteering” somewhere in the subject line. We’d love to have your input.
The Poseidon Project is our medium-term strategy to build the world’s first independent seastead by 2015, which we unveiled at the 2009 conference. We are still iterating on strategy, budget, timeline, and pitch. The strategy consists of three areas of focus:
- Platform. The “Platform” track is the physical and legal foundation for the project, including the location, engineering design, legal research, and diplomacy.
- Commercial. To be economically successful, there needs to be demand for our commercial real estate and jobs for people who live on the seastead.
- Residential. We need pioneers!
Here’s a report on the main areas of progress on the Poseidon Project towards building SeedStead:
We’ve published a rough draft of our first engineering document, covering high-level considerations for seastead engineering, such as requirements, ocean conditions, and so on. A future paper will examine specific seastead designs in more detail. Community feedback is welcome!
We’ve also opened a new Research page on our website. Check back occasionally to see it fleshed out with more papers and talks both from The Seasteading Institute, from our collaborators, and from seasteading-inspired colleagues around the world.
Going forward, progress will hinge on the hiring of a Director of Engineering to sculpt the next phase of research.
Work continues on the analyzing the medical tourism business model, as well as developing vital relationships in the medical world. More news and developments next month.
Thanks to dynamo Dana Harrison, we had the opportunity to put Ephemerisle and seasteading on display at the recent Burning Man Convectional Caucus held in San Francisco on March 5th, 2010. With the help of Matt Bell, an artist and volunteer at Ephemerisle 2009, our display captured the attention of hundreds of curious conventioners, come to indulge their curiosity and leave with a brand new sense of play.
We see Ephemerisle as a powerful outreach tool, capable both of directly acquainting people with the novel idea of living on the water, and of inspiring the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things. As such, we have aspirations to booth-dom at the next Maker Faire in San Mateo (May 22-23).
In the broader TSI scope, we’re gearing up community groups, social events, and special activities in the Bay Area, holding an average of two events per month of different types. We are also forming alliances with self-sustaining communities such as WindWard, who embody a valuable form of enculturated survival knowledge that will be essential for the first pioneers aboard seasteads.
We encourage seasteading social groups to regularly meet across the world to share inspiration and ideas for the future of seasteading. If you’d like help forming a group in your own area, please contact
Awareness and Community
Awareness and Community: Events
Check out the ">The Seasteading Institute public calendar, where we list all TSI hosted and sponsored events, both singular and ongoing. You’ll find casual meetups, speaking engagements, conventions, workshops, and other intriguing community events.
And there are lots more ways to keep in touch listed on our Seasteading Social Networks page.
If you’d like to hold an official Seasteading social event or workshop in your area, send an email with your idea to
Bay Area Socials
March 14th (Sunday): Film on a Sail. Courtesy of the captains of the free yacht (This boat is real!), we’ll be throwing our next seasteading social on a boat! Even better, we’ll be projecting a couple of films on to the sail of the ship. To find out more and RSVP (very important — attendance limited!), check out the Bay Area Seasteading Meetup page.
- March 26th (Friday): Special sailing adventure hosted by Mollie Hagar of Modern Sailing School. Patri Friedman will be filmed by Jason Sussberg and his crew on this all-afternoon sailing adventure which will include a visit to an offshore oil platform. We are pleased to be able to invite a maximum of 6 current TSI members along on this outing. Please contact with the subject line “TSI sailing event” to get more information and request an invite.
- April 6th (Tuesday): Patri Friedman will be speaking at the University of California at Berkeley. For more information and to find directions, check out the events page of Students for Liberty, UC Berkeley
- March 5th: Patri Friedman gave a talk at the McLean Marine Science Center, University of Virgin Islands.
Awareness and Community: Media
- 1691 mailing list members, from 1645.
- 860 members in our Facebook group, from 807.
- 678 fans on our Facebook Page, from 632.
- 452 followers on Twitter, from 450.
- Viver no Mar: Seasteading, o projecto viável do futuro (portuguese) – March 1, 2010 – English Translation
Selected blog posts from December and January:
- Let A Thousand Nations Bloom
Awareness and Community: Book
Your input is still needed! Cast your vote for the most important topics in seasteading, and help shape the canonical seasteading book by Patri Friedman and Will Chamberlain.
We are seeking a Director of Engineering to lead The Seasteading Institute’s marine engineering research ($1000 referral bonus).
We have an opening for an Oceanography Intern to immediately begin work on the Poseidon Project, helping us research promising locations to place to first SeedStead ($500 referral bonus).
Today is the day to join a movement that will change the world! Become a member of the Seasteading Institute and know first-hand the inner workings of a life changing movement. You’ll be joining 120 other pioneers in this effort and help bring Seasteading that much closer to reality.
To our donors and members, who continue to astound us with their generosity, their volunteered insights, and the quality of their characters;
To our forum participants, who have been keeping discussions lively, fresh, and civil, helping to further the cause of seasteading on all fronts;
And to you, for reading our newsletter!
See you next month!