In my world, a group of scientists decide that they have had enough of the current world. They decide that it's too late to fix the current system, so they set out to start a new one from scratch. Unfortunately, they are stuck trying to find a good place to start building.

My question is, where do we put our brand new idealistic society? I've been reading about the Derinkuyu underground city and while their motives are up for debate, I'm especially curious if something similar could work in modern times. On the other hand, would an underwater city be a practical solution? Both of these situations allow seclusion from the outside world but I'm curious if anyone can think of a more realistic solution.

Key criteria:

  1. They want to be secluded but not necessarily completely separate from the rest of the world and would like to trade and have a say in global matters as need be (they are not a cult or a terrorist group).

  2. The story is set ~20 years from now. Lab grown food, 3D printing, clean energy production and robotics are mature and common place. Space travel is still in its infancy, but we are in the process of building a base on Mars (robotic crews are currently building the base before humans arrive)

  3. In my mind, the question basically comes down to this. What is the most reasonable place to put a micro-nation that isn't outrageously expensive, can be done with modern or easily foreseeable technology and provides seclusion without completely separating them from the outside world?

EDIT: I've decided to make the group hardline science idealists. They would want to be reasonably secluded so that they only have to interact with other nations when they want to. Check out the revised criteria above.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I'm curious to see what answers people come up with, but my instincts say that the correct answer is very specific to the ideals of the society. As a general rule, if there's a perfect place to set up a society based on any arbitrary ideals, that place has been colonized. What you're looking for is likely tightly entwined with the actual ideals. A back-to-basics society is going to need to look for land which is farmable, while a ivory-tower-science soceity is going to need seclusion so that interactions with the world occur on their terms. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 2:12
  • $\begingroup$ Don't mix science based with hard science, please. $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ I am afraid that his question is far to general. Wihout specifics of your new society, who formed it, from what existing groups, why they formed, etc, anything we could say about their eventual location of settlement is just a guess. Therefore, I'm voting to close as opinion based. $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ E.g. within the Matrix? More constructively, though, I recommend that you simply choose a location. Then, over the course of your story, you can explore the benefits or lack thereof from that location, and perhaps stage a few attempts to relocate. Utopia worlds are very difficult unless you know quite a bit of metaphysics, psychology, and are somewhat renowned. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 0:55

4 Answers 4


If it were my ideal society I would just convert New York City into its own country, but you said we have to build a new one, so I suggest seasteading, or "Libertarian Island" as it is mocked in the press. Peter Thiel put his libertarian island off the coast of San Francisco, in international waters but in the shadow of a first world nation.

A floating island in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean sounds nice. Or float the island into that Pacific garbage patch and base your entire society off recycling the world's garbage. You would never run out of resources.

  • $\begingroup$ The garbage patch is super thin. Thats why it was never collected - you just cannot grasp it. And as long as you can't stand your full weight on a single empty bottle you are pretty much doomed $\endgroup$
    – BlueWizard
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 20:07

Take over an Indian reservation

These places are legal mess when it comes to sovereignty. If your group can take over a reservation your group could find itself under the protection of the United States while still maintain your group's sovereignty. Depending on the reservation your society would not have to answer to any states or local governments, it would still need to answer to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, but that is manageable.

Lawyers and Loopholes

The greatest challenge with this is getting the reservation and it still be recognized as one. Likely your group will need a set of skilled lawyers working with a tribe that no longer really cares about their reservation, likes your group and is willing to work with you, or already has direct ties with your group (as in one or more of the people in your group are from said tribe).

I should warn that it is possible that your group will need to resort to underhand tactics for this to work.


Being located in the United States means your society would only have to deal with one country rather than a planet full of countries each with their own agenda. You will have easy access to rest of the world through the United States and can get a wide variety of tourists by being in the states.

  • $\begingroup$ Reservations aren't known for being located in desirable places... Often it more or less seems that they were placed where they were because no one else wanted that particular scrap of land. $\endgroup$
    – apaul
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 3:22

Vancouver Island.

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It has a moderate climate. It has rich natural resources including fish, good soil and plenty of fresh water. It has elevations high enough that sea level change will not swamp you. It is not populous. It is close to stable, tolerant countries which is some insurance against a collapse of civilization and refugees overwhelming your settlement.

Also, there is, possibly, Bigfoot.


In a story scenareo I worked up in middle school or high school, without access to extraterrestrial locations as yet, they started with a floating platform in the middle of the ocean. It became an artificial island, being build downward by layers.

This was before I heard about micronations as a real thing. And there are questions here aready with answers discussing where to start a new country.


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