21st Century Galveston©

Architect for the Future of Coastal Cities
Think Tank and Force Multiplier Incubator

“Throughout history, speculation has spurred beautiful, revolutionary science—opening our eyes to entirely new universes. I’m not talking about science that takes baby steps,” says Dr. Eric Haseltine. “I’m talking about science that takes enormous leaps.”


Galveston Island is 6,000 years old*. Uniquely, even though it is a small island, Galveston is a formidable center of commerce and a hub for research and development in the Medical Industry and the Blue Economy. City leaders are reinventing Galveston as a highly-rated center for tourism while preserving the charm of small, united neighborhoods. With 50,000 inhabitants, it is a perfect venue to discover and test new global technologies required by coastal cities in the 21st century.

21st Century Galveston (21st) is a new organization committed to defining the 21st-century technologies that coastal cities require to address the challenges posed by rising waters. What are the solutions for the socio-economic and geopolitical issues we will face by the years 2050 and 2075? What do we do with 110 million inhabitants that will be affected by rising tides in the United States alone? 21st Century Galveston is not just about Galveston; Galveston is a petri dish for testing new 21st-century technologies.

21st will postulate what the next 50 to 100 years will bring, not as a predictor, but through a forum of great minds bringing best-in-class research to define:

“What occurred to get us here”
Defining the past and control points

“We are here”
Compiling current data

“Where we will be”
Forums for thinkers, researchers, and technology developers defining solutions today for coastal city issues of 2050

First forum slated for September 25, 2024


21st Century Galveston is the research base for new technologies that will define the future of coastal cities and the health and well-being of their inhabitants. Our findings will be replicable and shared globally through our “Council of Advisors.” We will launch the first forum in 2025-2026.


As a coastal think tank, 21st Century Galveston works to bring to light our island’s and wetlands’ greatest issues in these uncertain times.

We will engage global expert leaders and researchers to provide and announce impactful solutions, and define actionable technologies and socio-economic programs that are replicable in all global coastal cities. Defining best practices, optimal timing, and sustainable costs for these new solutions will always be the goal of 21st Century Galveston.

We will involve students and professors in identifying the global impacts on Galveston over the next 50 years.

21st Century Galveston, by distinguishing the disciplines of arts and sciences, will invite experts to discuss the latest technologies to sustain and improve coastal environments, infrastructure, tourism, education, social issues, medical technologies, and transportation. Through best process methods and best-known practices, data will be mined and cataloged through IDEF1X.

21st Century Galveston will define and design an implementable “Urban Machine.” We intend to define the potential of the island’s future and discover and offer the implementation of sustainable new technologies that can be replicated in the 35 other coastal states (http://www.coastalstates.org/) and globally. 21st Century Galveston will provide the framework to disseminate this information locally and globally, defining the information infrastructure required to provide a basis for rational decision-making processes.



Spatial – Geophysical, Urban Planning, Geological, Meteorological, Transportation, Energy

Biological – Oceanography, Medical, Land, Water, Air

Social – Education Systems, Planning

Governmental – Strategies for Disaster Response, Programs for Relocation

Technological – Wave-based Turbines for Power Generation, New Types of Sea Walls, Ecologically Defined Barrier Islands, Architecture and Engineering for Protective Shells, etc.


I. Compile Data
II. Generate and Organize the Information in Time and Space as Minable Data through IDEF1X
III. Define Future Technologies and Sponsor Summits
IV. Implement Information through Proof of Concept
V. Council of Advisors

Galveston will be the center of change for these conversations, serving as the “venue for big thinkers to think big.”

21st Century Galveston will be that unique center for visionaries who are designing future technologies for coastal cities worldwide. In well-publicized summits that are part think-tank and part laboratory, our members—corporate and government leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, and academics—will explore emerging and potentially disruptive technologies to assess their impact on future coastal cities, policy, and society. Four times annually, with a wide-angle view, 21st Century Galveston will scan the future for unanticipated sources of change and evaluate their transformative promise. In dynamic, interactive sessions, debate will be stimulated and ideas will flourish.

Comparable Think Tanks

Stockholm Environment Institute 

Managing environmental systems

Growing populations, rapid urbanization, and increased consumption put unprecedented pressure on land, water, and air resources. We show how to manage these resources together to protect food security, human health, and biodiversity.

Reducing Climate Risk

Emissions of greenhouse gases are built into our economic systems. Our research shows the benefits of a low-carbon future and describes how we get there by mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Transforming Governance

The social, institutional, and political setting is vital for improving livelihoods, sustainability- ability and resilience. We provide insights into good governance for sustainable develop- ment in the face of social and ecological change. 

Rethinking Developement

The global economy has brought welfare and prosperity to the world. But it has also depleted natural resources and vital ecosystem services. We set out alternatives for a sustainable future, from the planetary scale down to local, on-the-ground solutions. 


Texas Beyond History

Measured in geological time, Galveston Island is a very young landform that had not yet begun to form as recently as 6,000 years ago, during the mid-Holocene geological period. Compared to today, 8,000 years ago sea levels were considerably lower by perhaps 5-10 meters (16-33 feet). At this time, the Texas coastline and earlier barrier islands were considerably farther out into the Gulf by an estimated 55 kilometers (34 miles) at the west end of Galveston Island. An ancestral Galveston Bay existed as a much narrower and deeper feature that formed as sea levels climbed in the early Holocene and flooded the deeply incised valleys of the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers.

IDEF1X Integration DEFinition for Information Modeling (IDEF1X) is a data language for the development of semantic data models. IDEF1X is used to produce a graphical model representing the structure and semantics of information within an environment or system. It allows the construction of semantic data models that can support data management as a resource, the integration of information systems, and the building of computer databases. This standard is part of the IDEF family of modeling languages in the field of software engineering.

Force Multiplier Each researcher is brilliant in their own right, but together their brilliance increases exponentially; it’s a force multiplier. Force multipliers are tools that amplify efforts to produce more output.

Infinite Grid Taking the concept of the infinite grid from the development of pixel resolution, 21st Century Galveston will propose the extremes, the infinite edges, and each discipline will fill in the space in-between, considering how and where one discipline should transition to another. Just like water changes to steam when its molecules get too far apart, we will nail down the relationships between disciplines and then let the specifics take care of themselves. We don’t have all the answers yet, but doing this will help us ask the right questions.

Current Board Members

Linda Marroquin, Founder

Linda Marroquin, Founder

Fredric Scott, CFO

Fredric Scott, CFO

Potential speakers, organizations, and board members

*Dr. Eric Haseltine

Dr. Eric Haseltine spent 13 years at Hughes Aircraft, rising to the position of Director of Engineering. In 1992, he joined Walt Disney Imagineering’s research and development group, focusing on large-scale virtual reality projects. By 1998, he was promoted to Senior Vice President overseeing all technology projects, and in 2000, he became Executive Vice President. Haseltine eventually led research and development for Walt Disney Imagineering before departing in 2002 to join the National Security Agency as Director of Research.

From 2005 to 2007, Haseltine served as Associate Director for Science and Technology at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), where he was the first to hold such a role. He described this position in a 2006 US News and World Report interview as akin to being the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the intelligence community. Currently, Dr. Eric Haseltine is the President and Managing Partner of Haseltine Partners, LLC, and serves on the advisory board of TTI/Vanguard.

The Next Big Breakthrough


• Maria Ferguson executive director at the Center on Education Policy at George Washington University.
• Kevin Carey director of the education policy program at the New America Foundation.
• Randi Weingarten president of American Federation of Teachers.
• Arne Duncan Former Secretary of Education in the Obama Administration
• Joel Achenbach science reporter, The Washington Post
• Oren Etzioni CEO, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence
• Daniela Rus director, MIT’s computer science and artificial intelligence lab
• Shivon Zilis Bloomberg Beta

Urban development and poverty:

• Julián Castro former secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development; former mayor, San Antonio.
Development Innovations Group (DIG) 

Protection and Restoration

• Stan Cox senior scientist, The Land Institute, a non-profit research organization
• Dickson Despommier professor emeritus of public health and microbiology, Columbia University; author of “The Vertical Farm: Feeding Ourselves and The World in the 21st Century”
• Sabine O’Hara dean, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, The University of the District of Columbia
• Will Allen founder and CEO, Growing Power Inc., a non-profit organization based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
• Matt Matros CEO, Farmed Here, a 90,000-square foot indoor farm in Bedford Park, Illinois

Designing for Permaculture by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren
Permaculture A Way of Seeing by Joel Glanzberg
Permaculture Design and Sequence by Tim Murphy


• Greg Miller senior project manager, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Report, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
• Sean Reilly board member of the Louisiana Recovery Authority and former Louisiana state legislator
• John McQuaid reporter and coauthor of three-part series for Mother Jones and also co-author of “Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms”
• Orrin Pilkey professor emeritus of geology, Duke University. He founded the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University. He is the author of more than twenty books. Most recently, co-authored a book about disappearing shorelines called, “The Last Beach.”
• Rob Moore senior policy analyst for water programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council
• Joseph Vietri director, National Planning Center For Coastal & Storm Risk Management, and the Chief of Planning & Policy for the North Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
• Erosion on Texas’ Galveston Island still troubling
• Coastal Flooding Data
• Coastal States Organization

Future Medical Research and Development:


National Association of City Transportation Officials

• Gabe Klein former transportation head for the cities of Chicago and Washington, D.C.; author of the forthcoming book, “Start-Up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun” He is currently a special venture partner at Fontinalis FP, an entrepreneur, and advisor and board member to companies, organizations, and governments.
• Sam Schwartz author of “Street Smart: the Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars”; former chief engineer for the New York City Department of Transportation; head of Sam Schwartz Engineering.
• Tim Lomax chief research engineer at the Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University
• Ashley Z. Hand transportation technology strategists

Urban Development, Policing, Children and Human Trafficking:

• Jennifer Golbeck director of the Social Intelligence Lab and associate professor, College for Information Studies, University of Maryland; author, “Introduction to Social Media Investigation”
• Lt. James Bacon head of the Fairfax County Police Department’s child exploitation unit
• David Finkelhor director, Crimes Against Children Research Center, and professor of sociology, the University of New Hampshire
• Sheryl Gay Stolberg national correspondent, The New York Times


Linda Marroquin