2012 Seasteading Conference
The Seasteading Institute (a 501(c)(3) dedicated to the long-term growth of the Seasteading movement) organized the 2012 Seasteading Conference, held May 31-June 2 at San Francisco’s Le Meridien Hotel. By way of introduction, Seasteading is the establishment of autonomous, sea-based political entities to spur innovation within the government industry. The world needs a place for those who wish to experiment with building new societies. But all terra firma is claimed, making the oceans humanity’s next frontier. The sea is space to innovate better political and social systems to better serve humanity than existing governments.
The Conference attracted over a hundred Individuals from thirteen countries representing an array of backgrounds and perspectives, making for a lively and energetic affair throughout. Much to the surprise (if not disappointment) of the media in attendance, which ranged from Reuters to Mother Jones, the focus of the Conference was not politics or innovative government. Rather, it was upon what one speaker referred to as the Blue Tech revolution—the technologies, innovations and discoveries that will further unlock the oceans’ resources. The same will solve the complex challenges primarily dwelling upon the ocean presents, such as economically and sustainably harvesting food, energy, freshwater and providing safety and real-time communications. Deserts previously posed these challenges, but technology responded to produce Las Vegas, Dubai and other modern oases. What will boom towns upon the sea look like? (And can we enlist Tim Burton to design them?)
It is fortunate for humanity that an array of Blue Tech companies are competing to provide sustainable sources of seafood, energy and freshwater to the over 7 billion landlubbers increasingly in need of those resources. The Conference featured a number of Individuals from companies at the forefront of economically desalinating seawater, producing energy (including jet fuel) from surface wave action and thermal resources, and sustainably harnessing the ocean’s trophic cycle. The Conference also featured researchers, investors, Seastead entrepreneurs, maritime industry personnel, and legal commentators presenting their perspectives on Seasteading and how to solve the complex challenges lying (floating) ahead. Seasteading related forums included Evaluation of Sustainable Energy Options, Seastead Security, Liquidity on the High Seas and Seasteading Medical Tourism (one of many industries, such as the private space industry, that may be interested in truly off-shoring). Bearing additional note is that no speaker or entrepreneur uttered mention of subsidies. Each incremental step towards unlocking the ocean’s unrivaled potential to sustainably benefit humanity must stand on its own.
The Conference began with a well-attended cocktail reception. After two busy days of presentations and spirited question and answer sessions the Conference concluded with a dinner cruise in lovely San Francisco bay, leaving smiles on the faces of all attendees. A list of Conference speakers and special guests is available here.