Joe Quirk: Why We Love French Polynesia


and our last guest and I like to alike he likes to definite definite himself like a sieve Angeles for suspending Institute and volunteers is an odor which bought from Patrick Freedman of the ceiling and I just read a little book it’s possible to catch it and buy it on Amazon our floating nation will restore the environment and rich the poor cue the six and liberate humanity from politicians just been deeply involved in sitting and spreading the message seems to first learn about about it in 2011 is going to talk about why we love French Polynesia ladies and gentlemen please welcome Joe quick hi everybody french polynesia we are grateful for your hospitality and all we’ve learned from all the beautiful people we’ve met and I assume this is my clicker oh I’m C Vangelis to the seasteading Institute yeah ohana a mangu ito tato Fabray raha [Applause] eta Mahana if you think my Tahitian pronunciation is bad you should hear my French Cemal TSE own luk Thep l vu deadly air entendre mum francais someday I hope to speak these languages as well as a toddler as an author of books I like to think of myself as an expert in words but in French Polynesia I’m learning a whole new way of communicating that has nothing to do with words I was very moved to meet mayor sylveon Telugu Atia mayor of riot iya and I’m committed to mispronouncing all the words until I get it right when we came to visit her she personally placed a flower lei is that I pronounced it over each of our shoulders one at a time and kissed both our cheeks then she took us into her office and she personally poured all our coffee and I said this is a very special place I assumed that if I ever meet Trump he’s not going to put flowers over my I assumed Hillary is not going to pour my coffee then mayor sylveon sat us down in her office and her first question was what can this floating island do for the future of the youth so they can be proud and we heard the answer Monday in the voice of alexandrine Wong who coordinated our events and speaks to the media I was amazed by her impassioned speech Monday about why her generation needs seasteading and you’ve seen her around here she’s never getting off the phone she’s always arranging things she’s running around she’s making things happen and when I went to visit her in Silicon Valley in the middle of the night she was doing the same thing she was on the phone didn’t have time okay Joe Thanks go do that thing I told you okay okay even Pascal’s intimidated by her and you got to ask why is she so motivated and she said in her speech quote I truly believe our generation is destined to heal everything that’s been destroyed and here’s why I believe her two days before on Saturday we went on a guided tour of the sacred space of far 1/2 a and this gentlemen survey gave us a long tour and it was fascinating he showed how every element of the old buildings integrates into the mountains it integrates with the stallers it integrates with the rocks it integrates with the plants they thought it all out ahead of time and our friend Oliviera if I’m pronouncing his name right translated the Tahitian for us any quoted earth day is saying Polynesians didn’t just want something and build it we’d listen to nature and we let nature tell us what to do and that night I was sitting up late with my siste at her friends Shannon Riley and Greg DeLong who spoke earlier and we were talking about this experience and it was dark and we were sitting under a gazebo and we were thinking about everything ever they had to say and Greg said in the silence we have things to learn from the Polynesian culture let nature tell us what to do that old Polynesian lesson is what the new world is learning to do its what Karina South Esk wants to do the vegan engineer from Holland and I’m sorry Kenny at Karina I can’t pronounce polish either it’s what Bart Rothman wants to do her colleague who designed the cset after the local flower the TRA it’s what route grid graph wants to do and I can’t pronounce the Dutch either root Kurt is the first ceased debtor featured in my book with Karina who proposed floating sustainable societies when we knew nothing about each other and Rutger is battling bone cancer right now so he couldn’t be here but it’s hard as with us these are the world leaders in environmentally sustainable floating real estate and they’re in this room they already built the floating pavilion in Rotterdam if you don’t like its location you can move it and put it where you want it’s completely sustainable it runs on solar and it’s no threat to the environment so once we had Bart Rutger and Karina on our team we knew we had all the elements we needed to concentrate BlueTEC innovation in one floating community we have the engineering innovations we have the legal innovations from Tom W Bell and others we had an eager community of aqua panels the only thing that was missing was the place so C centers dreamed of a magical place that would fulfill all of our requirements and we imagined this place before we knew about it we needed shallow calm seas with a variety of natural wave breakers we needed a beautiful and safe location for potential residents we needed business leaders who would understand what we called the blue economy and we thought we made that word up we needed government leaders who understood the power in small steps toward autonomy and most of all we needed a marine culture with perhaps a history already friendly to switching among islands and founding new societies and where could we possibly find a place like this we searched for years Mark Collins reached out to us and invited us to come visit so he could show us that French Polynesia had everything we need and I thought he was over selling it I was like this is too good to be true once they arrived here I learned he was under selling it and if I may quote from what he said back at the beginning Polynesian culture has a long history of seafaring across the Pacific Ocean that will contribute to this ambitious project more than most nations our islands are impacted by rising sea levels and resilient floating islands could be one tangible solution for us to maintain our populations anchored to their islands for many Polynesians leaving our islands is not an option so we said Wow okay so our team of ten we arrived in French Polynesia and I remember we said to markets like okay who do we visit first and he said TAVR Rauf rich the minister of the blue economy and economic recovery and I was like you have a minister of the blue economy and economic recovery is like yes we’re going to go visit them right now so the first person we meet already has a title that describes what seasteading is and the meeting that first day went so well we start panicking and acting like a PR firm trying to control the message we’re like okay let’s prepare a statement run it through a couple of iterations we’ll take a few days and Table Rock Ridge was like no I’m going to speak to the people this is how he looks at you when he talks at you and the next day the announcement was out he put his reputation on the line I met with the SI setters I liked the project and this experience of polynesian unguarded open-hearted honesty spontaneous honesty it never stopped later we met with president fridge and several government Manek mayors and ministers in the presidential palace and we gave a two-hour tour you know featuring the legal innovations and the engineering innovations there it is thank you and the economic innovations that we plan to bring to French Polynesia and this was my view of them before we got to speak you know they were listening very intently and being very quiet and I was like do they like us do they think we’re crazy like that wasn’t this week wait that was my deal that was when it was going very well that was when I got really scared no that was when I got really scared and so they didn’t make a sound the entire time they were like this just like focused and then I had to go up and speak and then we sat down and then I was like I’ll here’s where they tell us thank you very much go home instead they took turns just speaking from the heart one after another on camera it was unbelievable they didn’t hold back they didn’t wait for consensus they didn’t check the polls they didn’t ask a team to prepare language for them it was like right there on camera they all spoke from the heart and teary alpha the second man on the right he concluded with this great quote he said as Minister of land affairs I believe it is time to look to the sea and Felix toca Wragge the mayor of mokemo he gave this spontaneous and passion plea right in front of the Japanese documentary team filming the proceedings and he said he deals with sea-level rise three months he says his people’s water tables are turning the salt water and he says he’s worried about climate refugees and we heard that and we knew we had to act fast so the president’s special advisor Terri Nunn fat the second man on the left he arranged for us to meet jean-christophe we sue and other government ministers and they came to San Francisco where our occupant or friends showed them some of the blue technologies we’d like to develop and feature on floating islands and I’m a great admirer of Jean jean-christophe busu because the day he returned to French Polynesia reporters placed to the camera in his face and he gave a spontaneous interview live no edits speaking from the heart and I love it so much I’ve listened to it over and over 20 times and I don’t even speak French but I did get the translation and I want a quote from it so the interview has said what do you think of the skeptics mr. bliss ooh and he said and I quote dreams belong to those who want to move forward and make them happen many could not imagine us walking on the moon others that we can travel to Mars and still others cannot imagine that tomorrow we will be able to find solutions to the problems facing Island communities by building ocean platforms Polynesia is the haven where all things are possible it is the blue frontier in the great Pacific it is also a country which has shown that its population wishes to forge ahead we have solutions to bring the world that’s my favorite part the Lela Lulu called these seas Dead’s islands of excellence and I can’t resist in quoting him even though you just heard him a few days ago he said let’s own the oceanic intellectual space we look to seasteading as a chance to build these capacities seasteading is capable of solving the grand challenges facing the oceans problems that used to be only addressed by nation-states we’re lucky here in French Polynesia because we have a very visionary government who sees the problems early and the opportunities which is why we are here so why are we in French Polynesia entrepreneurs create prosperity by solving problems the one of the biggest problems in the world is sea level change and the technologies for adapting organically to sea level change are intimately linked to economic and social development French Polynesia is happily situated right in the center of the blue frontier and because it has every conceivable type of wave breaker lagoons at holes and then very quickly you get to the deepest depths where you can experiment and come back it’s in an excellent position to lead the world in the technologies for adapting to sea-level change and for creating innovative societies of the future and French Polynesia controls an area the size of Western Europe you want to talk about a new world this is the undiscovered continent and I think it’s time to draw a new map of the world with French Polynesia as the center of it 50 years ago Westerners paid money just to read about stories about Tahiti this unreachable paradise that only the bravest sailors too could get to well look at us we’re all here French Polynesia has 53 airports it took me seven and a half hours to fly here from LA eh that’s how long it takes to fly from New York to London Auckland New Zealand is five hours away Air Tahiti Nui sponsored our trip to French Polynesia and this is a photo taken by Pascal I appreciate it features my book and we spoke to CEO Michelle Monde Voisin and master communicator Toria colas hope I’m pronouncing that right and he pointed out that that Polynesians are the original sea stutters Polynesians they sailed from island to island trying new societies and discovering new ways of livings together and just as I feature something in my story at the end of my book about Westerners moving west on the western frontier and trying new societies and discovering how democracy works and discovering all these things that ended up changing the world by the same token Polynesians moved east on the blue frontier sparking an evolutionary process that created a very special kind of wealth a kind of spiritual wealth a very special culture we’re all experiencing right here and after Correa explained all that Torreya and Michelle started telling us about all these practical applications of seasteading that we had never thought of we had never even imagined it and I’ll give you just one example SOTA raya pointed out that the marina’s are maxed out dockings for cruise ships or at capacity and Torreya said that we need infrastructure to receive the tourists but we don’t want to impact the natural beauty of the coast which is the reason the tourists come this is a conundrum how do you solve this problem Turay has suggested that these deads provide a mobile floating solution cruise ships could pull up offload tourists and increase the structure of reports without harming the priceless beaches and Tahiti coastline is some of the most valuable coastline in the world and sea Stead’s increase the amount of coastline in Tahiti so this is an immediately viable option that could create great prosperity for locals you could solve food from these platforms you could sell performances you could sell art and by floating sea setters absorb the risk and we put French Polynesia on the map as the coolest place for the blue economy and for innovative solutions to sea-level change so what that’s just one example of what Torreya colossus is suggesting to us and it’s an example of how Silicon Valley is not bringing solutions we’re co-creating solutions with french polynesian i mean look at this picture there’s the sea Staters being quiet or engineers taking notes and Michelle is doing all the talking French Polynesians already have solutions they call them seat setters for their services and we need to learn what those solutions are and after the meeting Toria texted mark Polynesians are Steve debtors and Mark loved that text so much he featured on the slide in his talk and I’m sorry I photographed that as well as I pronounced mark so let me tell you why I’m excited about the special governing framework so I’m from San Francisco and when I get off that floating city and get on that land city my cost of living goes up my chances of being mugged ticketed panhandled tax they all go up by orders of magnitude and why is that that floating the city has a special governing framework French Polynesia has already innovated in providing platforms for special governing frameworks so this ship it’s named after the artist Paul Gauguin he famously painted the French Polynesian people because they were so beautiful inside and out and I Randolph Hanken researched the following facts and when I list you these facts I want you to ask what country does this temporary floating city belong to so the Paul Gauguin sails between Indonesia Fiji and French Polynesia it flies the flag of the Bahamas its owners are registered in the Cayman Islands and Delaware the crew is hired from all over the world the passengers pay in the US currency and legal disagreements between the passengers in the ship owner are settled in the jurisdiction of French Polynesia so what kind of floating community is this is it American is it French Polynesian is it Bahaman Baja manian we’re all in the same boat and we’re all going to have to get used to mispronouncing each other’s names the cruise ship is a temporary floating community and the sea stead is a permanent floating community I very much appreciate what vice-president Taber Roerich said in his opening talk at this conference I make it to quote wrong because I’m translating from the French but he said the floating project is quote the first manifestation of the communal will of French Polynesia and the seasteading Institute and more importantly he stressed it’s designed to quote convince little by little and that is exactly right we don’t have to start big we can start very small just three little practice islands to demonstrate that this will be beautiful and prosperous and make Polynesians proud and we don’t need any money we’ll pay for it ourselves we only ask or your hospitality and your blessing and before the decade is out we want the world looking out at a lagoon here and seeing the worlds first see stead in French Polynesia and their breath is taken away when they see a microcosm of what the future is going to look like and if we can do that we can persuade people to take the next step this will be one small step for French Polynesia and one giant leap for mankind and if we are successful French Polynesia becomes a leader in a brand new industry exporting our technologies around the world and this would turn French Polynesia’s brain drain into a brain game look at all the brains in this room that French Polynesia is already poised to gain our Dutch engineers Bart and Karina compiled this data the orange dots are the places experiencing rapid population growth and the blue dots are places with population growth plus risk of floods or sea level rise and these communities all over the world can be served by the technologies developed in French Polynesia here’s a to president you know president fridge shaking hands with our vice president strategy Nicholas German oh and this is just after president fridge told us through a translator quote it would be wonderful if we could work with the seasteading Institute to bring sustainable development and economic activity to French Polynesia and he concluded quote let’s create the future together we can’t do it without you and we humbly ask for your blessing on this small project you are our hope so I want to conclude this is Diana bond a seasteading volunteer and she started out as a stranger who volunteered to edit my book and she volunteered to perform a tremendous amount of research on behalf of seasteading and she basically made my book a lot better and she just hustled and hustled and hustled she was like the Alexandrian of the United States and I finally just emailed her I’m like why are you so motivated to help me like I don’t even know you I’ve never met you and it turns out she has some Native American blood and she sent me this old prophecy of the Hopi Tribe without comment when the earth is ravaged and the animals are dying there will come a new tribe of peoples from all cultures who believe in deeds not words and they shall make the earth green again that’s us Maru Roja thank you for listening thank you so much Joe [Applause]

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