When creating new companies has become passé, why not start creating countries? So is the case for Paypal co-founder and billionaire Peter Thiel, who is currently the Seasteading Institute's "most generous funder." His support constitutes a bold move towards creating floating autonomous states. The initiative is inspired by the idea of creating cities that are free from political agendas and social construction. These "floating cities will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government," says the Seasteading Institute. "The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world."
The Seasteading Institute was founded in 2008, with recent funding initiatives being led by Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel (who was also the first investor in Facebook). "When you start a company, true freedom is at the beginning of things," Thiel told Details magazine. "The United States Constitution had things you could do at the beginning that you couldn't do later. So the question is, can you go back to the beginning of things? How do you start over?" Creating floating cities is obviously Thiel's answer to that question.
The Seasteading Institute is passionate about remaining apolitical and hopes to overcome the many legal and logistical hurdles, and eventually witness the fruition of thousands of seasteads around the globe. Whilst Thiel remains its most generous supporter, the Institute states that "this doesn't mean that he dictates our plans."
The Institute has put out the challenge to architects and Libertarians alike, to create the world's first independent seastead by 2015. The Poseidon Award will be awarded to the first seastead which houses at least 50 full-time residents, is financially self-sufficient, offers seastead real estate on the open market and has de-facto political autonomy. In constructing the seasteads, participants should keep in mind that they can't flee rough seas and need to be able to weather a heavy storm. They should also be modular, with the possibility of expanding as the population does, be economically built and fully self sustainable.
"We're opening this new frontier because humanity needs better ways to live together to unlock our full potential" declares The Seasteading Institute.