Joseph McKinney

Managing Director

Joseph McKinney launched his career in electoral politics by participating in local, state and national political campaigns. In 2014, Joseph entered the blockchain space and was shortly thereafter introduced to key leaders in the Zone development sector.

In 2015, Joseph founded the Startup Societies Foundation, a nonprofit Zone policy think tank, the mother organization of the Institute for Competitive Governance. . Under his leadership, SSF hosted over 100 speakers at dozens of sold-out conferences. He also serves as CEO of Nuhanse Network and is currently writing his first book on innovative Zones.

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Tom W. Bell

Academic Director

Professor Tom W. Bell earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1993, then practiced law in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., before serving as a policy director at the Cato Institute.  

In 1998, he joined the faculty of Chapman University, Fowler School of Law, where he teaches all of the first-year common law courses and electives in high-tech and intellectual property law.  

Bell has published papers on copyright, Internet law, polycentric law, prediction markets, and the Third Amendment (the one about quartering troops).  His books include “Intellectual Privilege:  Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good" (Mercatus, 2014) and “Your Next Government?  From the Nation State to Stateless Nations” (Cambridge University Press, 2018).  

Bell also advises companies developing special economic zones on the design of their legal systems.


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Lotta Moberg

Lotta Moberg is a senior macro analyst on the Dynamic Allocation Strategies team at William Blair. She has Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University, where she also taught classes in economics. Lotta has previously worked for the Swedish foreign ministry in Russia, the Swedish Defense Forces in Kosovo, and the World Bank as a consultant. She has published in several economics journals, including the Journal of Institutional Economics and the Review of Austrian Economics. Lotta wrote her PhD dissertation on special economic zones and is the author of the book "The Political Economy of Special Economic Zones." She has also researched areas such as tax policy and municipal bankruptcy.

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Alex Tabarrok

Alex Tabarrok is Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a professor of economics at George Mason University. He specializes in patent-system reform, the effectiveness of bounty hunters compared to the police, how judicial elections bias judges, and how local poverty rates impact trial decisions by juries. He also examines methods for increasing the supply of human organs for transplant, the regulation of pharmaceuticals by the FDA, and voting systems.

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Patri Friedman

Patri Friedman founded The Seasteading Institute in 2008 with seed funding from PayPal founder Peter Thiel. He also founded the annual Ephemerisle floating festival. Friedman, the grandson of economist Milton Friedman, currently works at Google, runs a micro-venture capital fund, and lives with his family in San Jose, California.


Nathalie Mezza-Garcia

Nathalie has a trajectory in academia in the field of complex systems, applied to the study of self-organizing, post-statist and anarchic societies. Besides her role as a seavangelesse, Nathalie is currently doing a PhD at the University of Warwick in the UK. Her PhD case study is the Floating Island Project in French Polynesia.