TSI July 2009 newsletter

Welcome to the Seasteading Institute’s July 2009 Newsletter!

July Highlights

Fundraising Drive For New Projects

TSI needs your help. We have some great ideas about how to advance the vision of seasteading, but our financial resources are limited. We can’t depend on our single major donor forever, so we need to pull together as a community to independently fund important initiatives. Each of these projects will help us answer an important open question about seasteading, and the sooner we can get them funded, the sooner they can get started. The new projects are:

Oceanography Research
Structure Research
Residential ShipStead

More details at Vote With Your Wallet.

Ephemerisle Registration Open for October 2-4, Website Updated!

We’re excited to announce that registration for Ephemerisle is now open! Ephemerisle is our floating festival to be held October 2-4 on California’s Sacramento River Delta. We’ve got some fun stuff planned, and this is largely a participant-driven event, so expect to see some cool things, big and small, from your fellow attendees.

Ephemerisle will be an awesome community-building event and a great way to introduce the concept of living on the water to people who wouldn’t otherwise have experience with it. Importantly, Ephemerisle is also a first incremental step towards seasteading — we intend to stretch Ephemerisle every year, growing it in size and duration, and also moving it further and further out towards international waters, until it becomes a de facto seastead city. This will be a long process — but it starts this October.

The Ephemerisle website has been significantly updated with details about the event and registration links. We’ve worked hard to make the event affordable; 100 tickets are available for only $20 each, with more tickets available at higher prices.

We hope to see you there!

Hiring: Director of Engineering, Director of Development

We have an ongoing search for a Director of Engineering at TSI. This person will provide vision and management for all of TSI’s technology initiatives, such as seastead designs and prototypes, and have some involvement with hands-on execution. We also have a new position for a Director of Development, who will provide vision and management for all of TSI’s fundraising, community and awareness projects. These are paid, full-time position on TSI’s Executive Staff, reporting to the Executive Director. We are now offering $1,000 referral fees for each of these positions, if you refer a candidate who is hired.

Building Seasteads

We are carefully investigating cheap, incremental paths to start building actual seasteads.

We believe the best way to start is by better understanding our design requirements, and that means better understanding the physical environment in which the first seasteads will operate. A well-chosen location will greatly reduce our engineering challenges. If we can find locations in international waters with low waves and/or shallow places to anchor, our task will be much easier. So while we eventually want seasteads that can operate anywhere in the ocean, establishing seasteads in a limited geographic area could be an important incremental step to advance the seasteading sector technologically, economically, and socially.

To this end, we have recently begun fundraising drives for an oceanography research project and a structure research project. We need your help to make this happen — if you want to make physical seasteads a reality sooner, please click those links and consider donating to those projects.

In addition, we have an ongoing $20,000 TSI Grant Program for those interested in prototyping small seasteads on their own.

Also as noted in the highlights, we have an ongoing search for a Director of Engineering. We are offering a $1000 referral bonus.


As noted in the highlights, we have recently begun a Residential ShipStead fundraising drive. We are raising $4,000 to hire an intern who will research and publish a more detailed business plan which we can use to decide whether or not to proceed with the project.

Awareness and Community

Membership Program

Since our Membership Program was launched on April 15th, 48 pioneers have signed up! Please join them to support the long-term future of seasteading.


Ephemerisle: As mentioned above, our Ephemerisle website has been significantly updated with many more festival details. Only 2 months until the big event!

Conference: Our second annual conference will be September 28th-30th, immediately preceding Ephemerisle. We have confirmed many more speakers, including Peter Thiel, David Friedman, Paul Romer, and Michael Strong, and others. We’ll soon be finalizing our venue and featured speaker list, and will send out a special announcement when we have done so.

New York City:

  • Michael Solana and Jennifer McGillan are organizing a New York City seasteading meetup group! They have a Facebook Group you can join. The first meeting will be Friday August 7, 7PM, at Gossip Bar (733 Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen). Patri will be in attendance.
  • Patri will be speaking at the NYC Junto on Thursday, August 6th.





Selected blog posts from July are linked below.


Writing intern Will Chamberlain has written almost 10,000 words of the first draft of the new version of the book, which will be typeset in LaTeX. We are targeting a full draft by the conference. We are still soliciting feedback, go here to vote on key sections for the new book.

Fundraising & Administrative

Our major fundraising initiatives were noted in the highlights at the top of this newsletter:

Thanks for reading! As always, if you get this by email, you can read it online on our blog.


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