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Videos from the Future of Free Cities Conference

April 12, 2011

Future Free City?

I thought the conference came off quite well, despite the inaccessibility of the island of Roatan. Once you get there, you can relax in the beauty of the place. The island has its charms. I even discovered a new tropical drink. It’s called the Monkey La La. (Come on, it’s fun to say.)

Upon returning to the U.S., the customs officials at San Francisco Airport didn’t like the fact that I had just arrived from Honduras without any checked baggage. “Why were you in Honduras?”

Me: “I was attending a conference on the ins and outs of creating a free economic zone in Honduras.”

Customs: “????”

Me: “To alleviate poverty, to provide an end around to a whole host of corrupt institutions, the government of Honduras is in the process of creating a city that would have business friendly laws and regulations.”

Customs: “?????!!!!????”

Me: shrug.

Customs: “Mr. Gibson, do you mind stepping over here and putting your bags on the table…”

Thanks to the internet, you don’t have to deal with such nonsense. The wonderful folk at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin video taped most the talks at the conference. Michael Strong kicked things off with “Marketing Free Cities as a Mainstream Solution to Global Poverty.” Here’s Kevin Lyons talk on underthrowing the state one contract at a time. (I’ll come back to the concept of “underthrowing” in a future post.) Here’s Patri’s take on competitive governance and seasteading. And here’s Jason Sorens on “Secession as a Continuum.”

Jason has given what I think is a fair assessment of the conference, but I think he should have had more Monkey La Las.


One Comment
  1. prakash permalink
    April 14, 2011 5:54 am

    A general question to the team here.

    Where do you think there is a point of diminishing returns with regards to free trading zones?

    With a mostly unfree China, a single hongkong, or 3 (HK, Shanghai, Shenzhen) can become very rich indeed. But with economic freedom increasing in the world, is just having freedom and a business friendly climate enough to attract capital? What can provide good risk adjusted returns to that capital ?

    Let’s say the Honduran city takes off. Due to the presence of latin america as a base, it prospers for a while until others come up. Then what? It relies on path dependecy to survive?

    Alternatively, consider the scenario where India had better economic freedom for the past 30 years or so. Would Singapore or Dubai have taken off at all?

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