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January 31, 2022

Previous Events

Regenerative Futures Retreat

Saturday Feb 5th, 2022
at ChoZen Retreat

ChoZen is an eco-retreat sanctuary nestled along the banks of St.Sebastian river & nature preserve. Our aim is to build a sustainable future for people and the environment in which we all coexist in harmony. Come experience the deep, healing power of nature and community. Take a journey along the ChoZen path with us.

Co-creating a Regenerative Future

The worlds of architecture and design, climate science, and cryptocurrency converged at ChoZen Retreat in central Florida this February, birthing a vision for what is possible for the future of our planet, and our species.

Anchored with keynotes from Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), and Marc Collins Chen, founder of Oceanix, the Future of Cities Regenerative Futures retreat brought together luminaries from every corner of the globe for catalytic conversations around regenerative placemaking. 

Content centered around joint project Oceanix, the floating-city brainchild of Ingalls and Chen, which has been blessed by the U.N. Habitat committee as a possible solution to managed retreat, the impending phenomenon of population migration away from coastal lowlands to higher inland ground as a result of sea level rise. Presenting a vision not only for a new type of habitation, but also a new type of society–Ingalls and Chen sparked the imagination of attendees, ranging from entrepreneurs and investors, to real estate developers and technologists. 

Additional talks were given in-person by Xavier Hawk, CEO of Phireon Global Partners, Crypto-pioneers Amanda Cassat and Sam Cassat, currently the founder & CEO of Serotonin, and the founder at Aligned Capital, respectively, David Gong, policy researcher at CBRI, and Dr. Sarah Manksi, technologist, scholar and professor at George Mason University. Together, the group explored how blockchain technology provides new tools for reinventing our present societal systems of power, sovereignty, and the transfer of wealth, and could empower a new world governance system piloted by an independent city such as Oceanix.

Ximena Caminos, founder and artistic director for the Reef Line, and Chris Castro, the director of sustainability for the City of Orlando, joined to converse about the role of both technology and art in shaping regenerative spaces right here in Florida. Dignitaries Victor Kisob, former UN Assistant Secretary General, and Mayor Park Heong-Joon of South Korea, also joined to offer thoughts on how governments can support progress and innovation being pioneered in this arena.

A closing talk from Daniel Schmachtenberger inspired listeners to imagine what is possible when reinventing civilization itself–and forming an order built on a decentralized, digital governance system by which individuals could be held organically accountable and in balance with one another.

SESSION I Introduction to Regenerative Futures  

ABOUT: Our first session kicked off an introduction to regenerative futures, highlighting the vision of a regenerative future in Florida, a region with at-risk geography to sea-level rise and flooding.  With the devastating effects of climate change, declining biodiversity, and widening inequality globally, inclusive and effective tools like regenerative placemaking are needed as catalysts towards a sustainable future. The conversation touched on global environmental challenges, and identified place-based and community-driven solutions. We discussed how we can take concrete steps towards effective cultural, political, and ecological changes were answered.

Welcome by Tony Cho, CEO of Future of Cities. Introduction to regenerative placemaking as a tool for urban transformation within the built environment. Lead discussion into what regenerative futures are and the vision of a regenerative future in Florida.

Transition by Victor Kisob,  former UN Assistant Secretary-General and former Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat who discussed the global challenge of doubling the built environment in the next 40 years and what this means for coastal cities like Lagos, Nigeria or Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, both projected to have over 50 million residents by 2060.

Final discussion about some global regenerative solutions by Bjarke Ingels of Masterplanet and Bjarke Ingels Group, his vision and some sample global projects. 

Open discussion with in-person and virtual attendees.

About the Speakers: 

Tony Cho: Tony Cho is the founder and CEO of the Future of Cities Platform, a multi-faceted organization aimed at impacting the lives of 1 billion people through innovations in the built environment. Cho is also the founder of Metro 1, a forward-thinking real estate brokerage, management and development firm focused on shaping neighborhoods and developing sustainable cities in South Florida for more than 17 years. The company has completed over $3 billion in real estate transactions since 2005 and has been recognized every year since 2011 as one of the top 25 commercial real estate firms by the South Florida Business Journal. As an entrepreneur and early pioneer in Wynwood, Mr. Cho served as a founding member of the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID), and championed the progressive rezoning of the area — known as the Wynwood NRD (Neighborhood Redevelopment Plan) — which transformed blighted streets into a diverse, 24-hour mixed-use arts and entertainment district. Mr. Cho is the founder of the Magic City Innovation District, which is transforming 18 acres of industrial warehouses and land in Little Haiti into a center for innovation, jobs and creativity. This 8,000,000 square foot, multi-year, mixed-use project will help spur economic, social, and cultural growth while providing an access point for jobs in an underserved community.

Victor Kisob: Victor Kisob is the former UN Assistant Secretary-General and former Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat where he provided global leadership in promoting socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements and adequate housing for all. As cities face unprecedented demographic, economic and spatial challenges, Mr. Kisob worked closely with government leaders at both the regional, national and city level to implement the United Nations’ New Urban Agenda. He held this position from 2018 to 2021. Mr. Kisob has more than three decades of service in human resources management, spanning international affairs, policy, strategy, operations, and partnerships. He has extensive international experience, and was previously stationed in Israel, Palestine, Austria, Somalia, Zambia and Ethiopia. 

Bjarke Ingels: Bjarke Ingels founded BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group in 2005 after co-founding PLOT Architects in 2001 and working at OMA in Rotterdam. Bjarke defines architecture as the art and science of making sure our cities and buildings fit with the way we want to live our lives. Through careful analysis of various parameters from local culture and climate, everchanging patterns of contemporary life, to the ebbs and flows of the global economy, Bjarke believes in the idea of information-driven design as the driving force for his design process. Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine in 2016, Bjarke has designed and completed award-winning buildings globally. Alongside his architectural practice, Bjarke has taught at Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, and Rice University and is an honorary professor at the Royal Academy of Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen.

SESSION II Emergent Technology Solutions: The Promise of Blockchain, DAOs and Web3 as tools for a more equitable, resilient & Regenerative Future. 

ABOUT: The promise of blockchain to decentralize and democratize access to real assets, including real estate has the potential to dramatically disrupt the built environment and help to create a more equitable future for all of humanity. DAOs, NFTs & Web3 offer new opportunities for co-designing regenerative futures that allow for more inclusive participation and full transparency. In this session, experts explored current ideas, thinking and platforms that are accelerating this transition from the current paradigm to a new paradigm with the potential to dramatically impact our future.

Xavier Hawk CEO of Phireon Global Partners

Amanda Cassatt – Serotonin Co-founder & CEO 

Sam Cassatt – Founder at Aligned Capital

Dr. Sarah Manski, Assistant Professor, Business/Global Affairs at GMU researching the Political Economy of Blockchain Technology

Open discussion with virtual and in-person attendees

About the Speakers: 

2:00pm – 2:20pm

Xavier Hawk

CEO of Phireon Global Partners

Xavier Hawk is a Wildly Charismatic Genius CEO of Phireon Global Partners & host of BASELINE, who architected the world’s first stable priced multi asset backed crypto currency and negotiated the first Blockchain for a nation.  He is an entrepreneur, blockchain expert, permaculture design expert, complementary currency consultant, renewable energy advocate, artist, and humanitarian.  A keen speaker and advocate of sustainability projects, humanitarian causes, and complementary currencies, Xavier has shared his vision and expertise across a range of key media platforms around the world, including; magazines, radio and television. He has spoken about Blockchain technology on stages in LA, San Fran, NY, Miami, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Melbourne, and Tel Aviv.

2:20pm – 2:40pm

Amanda Cassatt

Serotonin Co-founder & CEO

Amanda Cassatt is an explorer of technology, economics, and culture. An early crypto entrepreneur, she helped bring Ethereum to market as ConsenSys’ Chief Marketing Officer from 2016 through 2019. During that time, Amanda also created Ethereal, the crypto cultural event series that hosted some of the first NFT galleries and popularized Ethereum from SXSW to Davos.  Amanda currently serves as CEO of Serotonin and President of Mojito. She was included on both the Forbes and Inc. 30 under 30 lists in 2016, and speaks at events from TechCrunch Disrupt to the WEF. Her work on Ethereum and NFTs has been covered in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Rolling Stone.

2:40pm – 2:55pm

Sam Cassatt

Founder at Aligned Capital

Aligned capital a new investment firm designed to anticipate civilization-scale, evolutionary changes in human behavior, and to invest in their core technologies.

2:55pm – 3:10pm

Dr. Sarah Manski

Assistant Professor, Business/Global Affairs at GMU researching the Political Economy of Blockchain Technology

Dr. Manski is a scholar of technology, political economy, commons economics and globalization at George Mason University. She studies uses of technology for popular sovereignty. Her research is situated at the intersection of global business, new technologies, and social enterprise concerning commons-based peer production, self-sovereign identity, generative value accounting, supply chain transparency, and strategic approaches for constructing a 21st century technological commonwealth. Dr. Manski is a widely cited author, speaker at technology conferences globally, advisor to and the Civana Foundation, affiliate researcher with the P2P Foundation and the George Mason University Center for Social Science Research (CSSR), and Expert Reviewer for the National Science Foundation’s SBIR program.

SESSION IIISustainable Solutions for a Resilient Florida /Sustainable Policy Framework + OCEANIX + ReefLine

ABOUT: In our final session, we discussed and explored sustainable solutions and progressive policies right here in Florida and projects like OCEANIX as potential solutions. As a state on the frontlines of rising sea levels and flooding, Florida has been home to many innovative solutions to improve flood resilience.

One of these ideas is that of a floating city which may seem like a utopia, but today, the first self-sustained and resilient floating city is on the way in Busan, South Korea. OCEANIX is a UN-backed project that is proposing a floating, sustainable urban infrastructure to host 10,000 people on the water. Is this the future of resilience in Florida? Join Chris Castro, Director of Sustainability of Orlando, Marc Collins Chen, Co-founder and CEO of OCEANIX, and Mayor Park Heong-Joon of Busan as they delve deeper into sustainable solutions for climate resilience.

Chris Castro, Director of Sustainability City of Orlando, introduced the latest sustainable breakthroughs for Orlando and Florida at large and set the stage for other demonstration projects. 

Marc Collins Chen, Co-founder and CEO of OCEANIX City, introduced OCEANIX City and the Busan, South Korea, sustainable floating city prototype project.  Floating cities are a new approach to flood resilience, climate adaptation and community development.

Ximena Caminos, Founder and Artistic Director of The Reef Line – introduced The Reef line, a unique project that brings attention to and mitigates the dangers of climate change in Miami Beach, while simultaneously enriching the city’s vivid art scene.  

Mayor Park Heong- Joon of Busan, South Korea, spoke about his vision for his city, which is a candidate for Expo 2030, under the theme “Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future.” He also discussed the importance of attracting innovations such as blockchain and floating cities to Busan.

Daniel Schmachtenberger, founder of The Consilience Project, spoke on the opportunities of prototyping closed-loop, full-stack civilizations from scratch on the ocean, before becoming an interplanetary species.

Tony Cho: Closing – Why Florida can lead regenerative future urbanization to connect to the land, ocean and space.

Open discussion with in-person and virtual attendees.

About the Speakers: 

5:15pm – 5:30pm

Chris Castro

Director of Sustainability City of Orlando

Chris Castro is an award winning sustainability professional, eco-entrepreneur, and community organizer with a passion for accelerating the transition to a smart, resilient and sustainable future. Chris is most notably known for his work as the founder and president of IDEAS For Us, an international nonprofit and United Nations accredited organization working to develop, fund, and scale environmental solutions around the World; and co-creator of the renowned ‘Fleet Farming’ urban agriculture program that started in Orlando. Chris is currently the Director of Sustainability and Co-chair of the Smart Cities initiative for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City of Orlando.

5:30 – 5:45pm

Marc Collins Chen

Co-founder and CEO of OCEANIX City

Marc is an entrepreneur and former government Minister of Tourism of French Polynesia. He has over 20 years of experience leading startups. Marc co-founded OCEANIX in 2018 and has the distinction of organizing the first ever International Conference on Floating Cities to address the impact of sea level rise on Island Nations. He is a frequent speaker at international conferences and media platforms. Marc studied engineering and business management at the University of Texas at Austin. Marc has a cosmopolitan background — born in Hawaii to a Chinese mother and American father, raised in Mexico City, and moving to his ancestral home of Tahiti after college.

5:45pm – 6:00pm

Ximena Caminos

Founder and Artistic Director of The Reef Line

A cultural entrepreneur, Ximena Caminos is a creative powerhouse. Internationally renowned as a non-traditional curator, she’s a cultural agitator who pioneered new ways to approach and discuss contemporary art and cultural manifestations at large. She has been appointed Artistic Visionary Planner for The Underline, the largest public art project in the US as well as Former Artistic Director and Chair of Faena Art and Partner and CCO of the multi-awarded Faena Districts. In 2017 Caminos founded the cross-disciplinary cultural platform HoneyLab.  She is a member of the New Museum Leadership Council, Founding Member of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Latin American Circle, an XPrize Ambassador and the recipient of many awards, amongst them the Knight Foundation Arts Champion Award, Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Award, and the Blavatnik Family Foundation Grant.

6:00pm – 6:10pm

Mayor Park Heong-Joon of Busan

South Korea

is a South Korean journalist, educator and politician. He was a former professor of the Sociology Department and Graduate School of International Studies at Dong-a University. He has been the Mayor of Busan since 8 April 2021. Park represented the Grand National Party (GNP) in the National Assembly as the Member for Suyeong from 2004 until in 2008. He served as the Secretary-General of the National Assembly from 2014 to 2016. He also served as the Senior Secretary to the President for Political Affairs from 2009 to 2010 under President Lee Myung-bak. Prior to his political career, Park worked as a journalist of JoongAng Ilbo and Monthly Mal.

6:10pm – 6:40pm

Daniel Schmachtenberger

The Consilience Project

Daniel is a founding member of The Consilience Project, aimed at improving public sensemaking and dialogue. The throughline of his interests has to do with ways of improving the health and development of individuals and society, with a virtuous relationship between the two as a goal. Towards these ends, he’s had a particular interest in the topics of catastrophic and existential risk, civilization and institutional decay and collapse as well as progress, collective action problems, social organization theories, and the relevant domains in philosophy and science. He is motivated by the belief that advancing collective intelligence and capacity is foundational to the integrity of any civilization, and necessary to address the unique risks we currently face given the intersection of globalization and exponential technology.