My journey to Zuzalu wasn’t simple. My 3 a.m. prepare to the airport was canceled, and my flight was delayed. The climate was too unhealthy to land the airplane in Montenegro, so we have been diverted to neighboring Croatia. It took a taxi, a ship, and a golf buggy to get to my condo on this “pop-up metropolis neighborhood” in a resort on the shore of the Adriatic Sea.
Zuzalu is the brainchild of Vitalik Buterin, the creator of the cryptocurrency Ethereum. However the co-organizers of the occasion stress that it’s a collaborative endeavor. One of many organizers, Janine Leger, who works on the blockchain platform Gitcoin, says the group desires Zuzalu to be a decentralized neighborhood, with little to no hierarchy.
Solely individuals who aren’t status-oriented have been invited, Leger advised me. Individuals who didn’t slot in, or who bothered attendees, have been despatched packing. “There was a really excessive bar to entry and a low bar to exit,” she mentioned. As we talked, Leger made it clear she was not notably completely happy about my presence. After I requested her what the spotlight of the occasion was for her, she advised me it was the dearth of media protection. I bought the impression that Zuzalu, for all of the purported lack of status-seeking, is a really unique occasion.
The resort itself is a luxurious growth that was constructed from scratch round a decade in the past. What was solely not too long ago a wild shoreline now contains round a billion euros’ value of residences and inns organized over round 2.7 million sq. miles of land, principally steep hills.
All the pieces was extremely clear and felt very upmarket. I didn’t see a single piece of litter and even any bugs throughout my keep. The resort felt very a lot designed for the wealthy. Zuzalu attendees can get round utilizing free golf buggies, pushed by resort workers who will be summoned through WhatsApp.
I used to be only a customer to Zuzalu for a number of days. The residents will keep for 2 months. Every week of the occasion has a special theme, starting from artificial biology to public items. I arrived in time for the longevity biotech convention.
There’s no agreed gown code at Zuzalu. Some folks have been strolling round in fits, others in shorts and flip-flops. However there have been lots of people sporting garments with logos, firm names, and slogans emblazoned on them. All over the place I went, I noticed “Longevity” stickers that had been slapped on hats, baggage, tops, and laptops. I noticed folks sporting T-shirts that learn “Molecule,” “Say endlessly,” and “I sequenced and analyzed my genome. What about you?”