Seasteading as a humanitarian cause


This is the man that seasteading need. Listen to him define the notion of CHANGE.

Why not contact him to build a refugee island? Keep in mind that Naguib Sawiris is no stranger from building 'things" from scratch. He develop El Gouna Resort on the Red Sea coast, built on 10 km of beach with 17 spectacular hotels, a town of 24,000 residents spreads across islands and lagoons.


Umm, if they are dying at sea, then wouldn’t they die trying to reach his island?

(Jonas Smith) #3

I don’t think the main issue is finding a place to put them once they arrive in Greece, Italy, or Turkey. The issue is getting them safely out of Syria.

It would be better to use this money to pay the smugglers getting the people out of Syria. Right now I think the smugglers are charging a few hundred dollars per person. To make the most profit they are piling people into boats that are too small and unsafe. In the case of Alan Kurdi the smuggler abandoned them in the middle of the crossing.

I’d put out a general notice that I would pay any smuggler $500 for every Syrian refugee that made it safely to a foreign shore. For the $100Mil that Mr. Sawiris is paying for that island he could pay to have 200000 refugees smuggled out of Syria. And if you count the cost of all the infrastructure you’d have to build, you could probably pay for a hundred thousand more.

The countries where these refugees are going…Canada, Germany, the UK, Austria…are rich enough to handle them. It’s getting them out of Syria and to their destinations safely that’s the hard part…


<-cough-> News here is the UK accepted 300 of them.


You tell that to the Greeks, Italian, Germany, Spain, etc, or, better off, you tell that to the US of A, "I don’t think that the main issue is finding a place to put the Mexicans, Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, Haitians, etc, and let me know how many friends you made there…

My point (with this thread) is that seasteading can have many “applications”. We shouldn’t limit ourselves @ “new forms of government” or “floating co-ops”. Seasteading is a BIG idea. The more “diversified in applications” the better the chances for seasteading to become a reality.

What I’ve noticed is that we have somehow become blinded and one sided by what seasteading should really be, and what the real seasteading potential is. We started talking in terms of “my seastead”, “my seasteading ideals”, we formed “camps” like “mobile” vs “stationary” seasteads, we moved towards absolutist lines of thought such “politically independent floating jurisdiction”, “total sovereignty” or nothing else, “anything other than a $500 Mil floating city start up it ain’t real seasteading”, etc, etc.

Where in this present reality, we didn’t even reach the point of a “humble beginning”…


How will you sneak into Syria and export those who want to leave onto boats or other floating platforms, and teach them how to live indefinately on it when maybe they have never seen a boat before? You going to disperse them across the Mediterranean, and make the problem of feeding them and performing other services (like teaching them to swim) all the more difficult as they are spread in lots of 5 to 20 all over the sea? And do you have enough boats? Or will you warehouse them in cruise ships?

How willy ou supply food and fuel?

I just did some math, and if it’s true each human needs an acre to suply food and fuel and place to put “waste”, then your seastead to host a single year of refugees will need to be a square 17.6 miles on each side, and covered with fertile dirt, and housing. What’s going on in Lybia lately? Any chance of taking over 50 square miles there , adding irrigation? It’s close enough to Egypt and Italy for resupply. And it’s not got to be built first.

Ok, if they need only 1/4 acre, your seastead needs to be 4.4 miles on each side. Either way, it’s a wet dream for TSI cgi artists, and won’t get built.

SHEESH, TSI wants to charge $100k per apartment on a seastead. So for 200,000 refugees that’s $20 Billion. And more high strength concrete and rebar than they have ever poured in Syria since time began.

And to give each resident 10amps@120vac, you need a 250MW power plant, and dailey refuels for it.


How we gonna built and provide the same services for non-refugees, “regular seasteaders”?

That’s beyond the topic at hand,…

All I’m trying to say here is that seasteading COULD be a humanitarian cause and COULD work in solving refugee problems IF interested parties (countries who have refugee problems nowadays) are willing to pay for it.

And lets forget about what TSI wants to change for an apartment. A refugee family of 4 can be housed in a $3K decent dwelling, for the time being…there are thousands right now living in $50 tents, if any.


I have lived in significantly worse. I don’t think living on a boat would have helped.

(Jonas Smith) #9

So you mean using seasteads to house refugees? Housing at sea will always be more expensive than housing on land. I don’t see any floating city as a solution to finding homes for hundreds of thousands of displaced people.

As I said, better to just help the refugees get where they are going safely and avoid loss of life. The MOAS has helped save over 11000 lives already with only a few million in donations. Rather than buying an island, or building a floating platform, to stick the refugees on, sink $100M into buying a few more of these patrol systems…

During May to October of 2015, MOAS will anchor the Phoenix in major migrant shipping lanes. From there – using Remote Piloted Aircraft with sonar, thermal, and night imaging – the crew will monitor the area to locate migrant vessels in distress. The moment one is located, the appropriate official Rescue Coordination Centre will be informed.

The MOAS crew will then assess the migrants’ needs using two RHIBs (rigid-hulled inflatable boats) stocked with water, non-perishable food, life jackets, blankets, and medical supplies available for speedy distribution.

If we encounter someone who needs urgent medical care, or a vessel in danger of sinking, we will stabilize the person or vessel until public authorities arrive and better care becomes available.


You gonna house SOMEBODY, no matter what. Why not refugees? Oh, let me guess, it’s better to “house” rich people first?

[quote=“i_is_j_smith, post:9, topic:1091”]
Housing at sea will always be more expensive than housing on land.
[/quote]Not true. I can buy a houseboat tomorrow for $10k with all amenities of a “regular house”, drop the hook 50 yards (or 2 miles) from shore and live rent free. Where on land you gonna do that for $10k in US?

Well, a multi billionaire is willing to pay up to $100 Mil for a deserted, rocky, empty, “nothing on it” Greek island and then develop it to house refugee. If they won’t sell it to him, maybe he might consider building a floating one…

I’m not saying that it will house ALL refugees or that it will solve refugee problems worldwide, but it could be a beginning.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #11

desperate people looking for a better life have always been a “great asset” in frontier development - seasteading is in its core a “unleash potential - technology” and a “opening space technology” so the idea may not be too far fetched after all…it is not about “doing something with these people” it is about enable desperate people to do something for themselfes. A terrain and materials to build with - may be enough for a start.


What if you build your seastead off the coast of Syria or Turkey. ISIS certainly doesn’t have a navy, and you can make it close enough that the trip isn’t so dangerous (or pick up the refugees yourself). This also means that if the fighting in Syria ever stops, people will be closer and can return if they so wish (you never know). Also, countries that have money but don’t want to let refugees in can help pay, essentially taking their share but keeping the refugees elsewhere. Also, helping the refugees settle near their original homeland helps stem the flow of migrants all over the place. Don’t know how much, but it’s probably better than settling them on the far side of the world.

(Matias Volco) #13

People has been moving and displacing each other for hundreds of thousands of years, but it was only 5,000 years ago that the people living in the coasts of the South China Sea (like the aboriginal people from Formosa/Taiwan) found an awesome solution to their dilemma of extinction by the new conquerors (Modern Chinese) or in the best cases forced assimilation or hiding in the mountains: instead they used their outrigger sailing canoes to opt out:

Along with the Phoenicians in the West, the technology to survive and thrive across oceans has already been discovered a few millenia ago. The only element missing for greater numbers of people of all backgrounds to “opt out” is the permanent base at sea, the floating harbor.

Perhaps the billionaire and the refugee have more reasons in common to push into the frontier than the well seated first world urban dweller.

If you have protected waters outside a burocrat’s control then you can offer safe harbor to a diversity of floating shelters that might not otherwise withstand the open ocean.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #14

It is probably about creating a space of hope and chances for people looking for a better life. In its core seasteading has been described as a “unleash potential technology”…


I guess my biggest problem with putting the homeless and the refugees on a seastead are the logistics. Building a platform does nothing to handle sanitation/wastes, provide water, or feed them, so now there is that to contend with, along with shelter, medical issues and more.

It’s part of the problem I continually see with the design contests. Build it and assume something will be done.

(Mark A Peaty) #16

I mention again my proposal to create very large floating islands made of insulated ice. I see no reason why one of these cannot be, eventually, a couple of hundred kilometres across. I believe straddling the equator would be the safest place to start but as construction techniques improve they could be shifted to other parts of the ocean.


Going to need a LOT of insulation, refrigeration, and a nearly unlimited supply of energy. Better off, energy-wise, in the Arctic. Even then and there, will need a nearly unlimited supply of energy, and a lot of insulation.

Figure out how to maintain an ice-cube, in a tub of warm water, then work your way up.

(Chris) #18


It would be more fitting, safer, and in the long run less expensive to get ISIS out of Syria.

How many refugees would the smugglers try to pack into the rickety boats then?

Everything is easy when you are spending someone else’s money.

Exactly, Take whatever cost it would be on land and multiply by about 10 and that is what it would cost for a seastead to do it.

Again, everything is easy spending someone else’s money.

And when that 100 ft wave hits?

If I’m gonna house somebody, I’d probably house myself first. I only have my own money to spend and not someone else’s

Gonna have any electrity? Gonna maintain that boat or just let the bottom rot out? Are you planning on air dropping food to all 200,000 of these little boats?

More like an ending, even buying the island is cheaper and that is a really bad idea.

Here’s an idea, instead of paying smugglers, pay the refugees $500 for every ISIS head they bring in.

Then ISIS would have a seastead.

Exactly! The only people that think this could work are people that haven’t really thought about what it would take.

Pykecrete has been talked about since WWII and has been shot down since the steel needed for refrigeration would actually be more steel than just building the boat out of concrete. And unless you have a supply of limitless energy it’s gonna melt.


(Nick Gencarelle) #19

I agree it is a start and if the billionaire is willing to invest in the idea then maybe lots of the kinks can be worked out and in the interim many people can have a safe haven and learn how to grow food and raise fish and live in a sustainable fashion. Yes putting it near shore would be viable possibly-putting some UN type police on it as well.

(Larry G) #20

Do some research on the history of UN policing efforts before you suggest using them.