Unreasonable at Sea: Entrepreneurs Set Sail to Change the World

Unreasonable at Sea is a radical experiment in transnational entrepreneurship, design-thinking, and education, designed to scale-up effective technological solutions to the greatest challenges of our time.
Working directly with technology based companies and entrepreneurs who are passionate to tackle the world’s toughest problems, Unreasonable at Sea is a unique mentor-driven accelerator programme that will place all entrepreneurs on one ship to set sail more than 25,000 nautical miles while visiting 13 countries over the course of 100 days.

Aligning the tech-entrepreneurs with some of the world’s greatest mentors, and facilitating meetings and exposure in 13 countries around the world – the expedition aims to rapidly upscale solutions to many of the world’s most pressing challenges and have a profound impact on transformation and sustainable development. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, George Kembel, Jigar Shah, HRH Prince Fahad Al Saud, Gregory Miller, Matt Mullenweg and Megan Smith are among the esteemed and experienced mentors who have signed up to join the voyage.

Unreasonable at Sea is also supported by a range of partners including Semester at Sea, Stanford’s d.school and the Unreasonable Institute, which comprise the founding partners.

The itinerary includes 13 countries globally, of which several Africa cities will be visited:

  • Cape Town, South Africa: 25-30 March
  • Port Louis, Mauritius: 18 March
  • Takoradi, Ghana: 6-7 April
  • Accra, Ghana: 8-10 April
  • Casablanca, Morocco: 18–21 April

The Green Africa Directory asked Daniel A. Epstein, Unreasonable at Sea’s co-founder, “Why is Africa important to Unreasonable at Sea?” Epstein responded that “Many of our ventures already have operations in Africa and they are leveraging their technologies to combat some of the most challenging social and environmental challenges on the continent. That said, I believe that Africa is critical for any technology company that is looking to scale international. There is no question in my mind that Africa is the rising continental powerhouse of our time and that it is on the fringes of coming online in a BIG way. Mobile proliferation is growing exponentially and at a rate faster than anywhere else on earth. 10 of the 20 fastest growing economies are in sub-saharan Africa alone. If a tech entrepreneur is thinking about the future, they must be thinking about Africa.”  

unreasonable at sea deaftronics-solar ear

Solar Ear – Solar Powered Hearing Aids

The 11 for-profit, technology based companies selected to take part in this unique eco-adventure, all have a core product or service aimed at tackling major social and environmental challenges. These 11 companies have generated tens of millions of dollars in revenue, are already impacting millions of individuals directly with their technologies, and have achieved operational scale in over 30 countries. The group is comprised of teams coming from 10 countries and 5 continents. Their expertise ranges from astrophysicists, to artificial intelligence, to biological, mechanical, software, medical and electrical engineers, to graphic designers, industrial designers, scientists, doctors, and operational masterminds. What unites them is a shared belief that their technology will help define progress in our time and a common eagerness to experiment in what it takes to scale globally.

The 11 selected Unreasonable at Sea companies include:

  • One Earth Designs – Harnessing the sun to bring clean energy to three billion people
  • The IOU Project – Taking Artisans’ Jobs Back From Machines
  • Damascus Fortune – Spaceships From Carbon Emissions
  • Aquaphytex – Combating The Water Crisis
  • Protei – Ocean Drones For Oil Spills
  • Prakti Design – Unlocking The Global Stove Market
  • Solar Ear – Solar Powered Hearing Aids

Why is this unreasonable? “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man [and woman],” said George Bernard Shaw. According to Unreasonable at Sea, if George Bernard Shaw is right and all progress depends on the unreasonable person, then we cannot afford not to bet on unreasonable people.

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