Patri Friedman of Pronomos Capital — The Future of Charter Cities, Governance, and Markets

I have this idea of law as code and city as product. If you look at what a legal system or institution is, it's very much like code; It's information, it's processes.

In this episode, we talk with Patri Friedman the Founder of Pronomos Capital.

Pronomos Capital is using the lessons of Silicon Valley to create a new model for urban development where the city is the product. Their portfolio founders work in partnership with countries to create new communities that seek - through good governance - to emulate the economic success of Dubai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Singapore.

In this episode, we talk about the creation and development of charter cities around the world; Patri's over 20 year journey to make the future charter cities a near reality; and the role that cryptocurrency and other technologies have played to help accelerate the change.



  • Can you tell us about the future you’re building at Pronomos? [00:22]
  • Tell me more about some of the possibilities that are unlocked with the development of these charter cities and these new forms of governments. [03:03]
  • Your approach is different than the norm, that we can explore alternative models. [08:09]
  • Shift in mindset from the government is an entity to the government should serve us and experiment with that idea in different cities [10:12]
  • What are some of the technological innovations or governing structures that you are most excited about? [11:25]
  • What does a roll-out of this look like? Where are we right now? What are the phases to get to this world where we can start experimenting with these different models and having all these things start to come to fruition? [17:35]
  • Is that your long-term goal? [23:46]
  • How might the cities being supported by their host countries affect geopolitics? And what role might citizenship play there? [24:02]
  • How do we get to this desired state when the competition is the US government who has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo? [28:39]
  • Do you see charter cities coming arise in the US or in US territories? [33:12]
  • What are some of the other changes we’ve seen over the last 10 years that have started to make charter cities more feasible? [38:52]
  • Why did you decide that this was the thing you wanted to spend your life working on? [42:11]
  • How does knowing it’s actually going to happen feel for you? [45:51]
  • Does it feel relaxing to know you’re going in the right direction? [47:49]
  • What other opportunities do you see for people to take big risks and go build some of these moonshots? [48:23]
  • What should people know about the future that you’re building that you don’t often get to talk about? [52:24]

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