Mega investor Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and early investor in Facebook, has donated $1.25 million to the Seasteading Institute, the brainchild of Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer and grandson of economist Milton Friedman. The Institute is a non-profit that wants to create seasteading communities — floating cities — to peacefully test new ideas for government.
In a new Details interview, Thiel talks about the future: “Forget startup companies. The next frontier is startup countries… One of the things that’s endlessly dazzling and mesmerizing is this question about the future – what the world is going to be like in 20 years, and what can or should we do to make it better than the default track that it’s on.”
“The vision of seasteading is an urgent one,” states the Seasteading Institute’s website. “We can already see that existing political systems are straining to cope with the realities of the 21st century. We need to create the next generation of governance: banking systems to better handle the inevitable financial crises, medical regulations that protect people without retarding innovation, and democracies that ensure our representatives truly represent us.”
“Big ideas start as weird ideas,” said Patri Friedman. “The ultimate goal is to open a frontier for experimenting with new ideas for government.”
Ken Howery and Sean Parker have also invested in the Seasteading Institute.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.