Stranded Technologies
Stranded Technologies Podcast
Ep. 26: Mark Lutter on How Charter Cities Can Propel Economic Growth and Technological Progress

Ep. 26: Mark Lutter on How Charter Cities Can Propel Economic Growth and Technological Progress

Niklas speaks with Mark Lutter. Mark is the Founder and Chairman of the Charter Cities Institute, a non-profit which is building the ecosystem for charter cities. Mark has a PhD in economics from George Mason University.

Mark also has a podcast called the Charter Cities Podcast, a fantastic listen to learn about this fascinating movement.

Mark and Niklas start by talking about how they both became more motivated to pursue experimentation to fix or build alternatives to government institutions as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, and how they hope charter cities can propel new technology development such as biotech and longevity or drone delivery.

Mark talks about charter cities, how to finance them and the many other challenges involved in building them. First and foremost, charter cities are a political challenge and require local partnerships and buy-in from national governments.

Mark believes an optimistic scenario could lead to charter cities having 3 million residents in ten years with growth rates 1-2 percentage points higher than the surrounding region.

Charter cities have a very long time horizon and are up against the inherent stability of existing institutions: people typically don't move unless there is a really strong motivation such as political or religious persecution, or instability.

This stickiness of existing institutions is something Mark believes is often underestimated by proponents of "network states" such as Balaji Srinivasan. While charter cities have overlaps with network states, Mark believes there is not enough migration flow out of developed countries with bad institutions - the much stronger force pressure to migrate is from developed to developing countries.

Mark cautions against claiming the sacred concept of political sovereignty and instead opts for partnerships with governments. He sees the biggest potential for charter cities in Africa, because of the strong urbanization rates

Mark is a key thought leader in the charter cities space, and achieved tremendous success in increasing awareness and developing the right templates through the Charter Cities Institute - it was fascinating to have Mark on to share his learnings!

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Stranded Technologies
Stranded Technologies Podcast
Niklas Anzinger talks and writes about his experience as a VC based in Prospera Honduras, competitive governance and how it can unblock "stranded technologies" that are held back by bureaucracy and overregulation.