Interview with Zoltan Istvan
Founder & Owner @ ZI Ventures

ZI Ventures is a California-based enterprise created by entrepreneur Zoltan Istvan to combine his various companies and projects into one place. It consists of Istvan Media, ZI Collection, Zolisa Vineyards, Futurity Imagine Publishing, and New Eden Development. While Zoltan has been involved in many business endeavors, the core of his financial work revolves around real estate development, where he's been involved with many properties. In a feature on Zoltan's work, The New Yorker magazine cited Zoltan made a "small real estate fortune."
Hi Zoltan! You've worn many, many hats throughout your career. What are the main projects you're focused on today, and how have you grown your network as a Transhumanist speaker in the past year?
Well you know I've been lucky that my transhumanism career took off because I wrote a novel called The Transhumanism Wager which went on to be a bestseller and really helped promote kind of a public personality in the transhumanist world and also the science world and even though I've worn a lot of hats as a journalist for National Geographic for example, as an entrepreneur in real estate, as a director at a wildlife nonprofit you know, I'm now fully engaged sort of in the transhumanist work that I'm doing which is promoting this futurist world, these science and technology to overcome death and injury you know, essentially upgrade the human being, so you know, today, I guess I'm getting more invitations to speak places and I can actually take and especially because I'm also a father and have a family and a wife and all these other things I can't just be away all the time. So you know my network continues to grow because I think you know, I wish I could say it's because I was doing a really good job, maybe I am, but I think the network's growing because transhumanism is growing as they say you know, a big tied rate rises all boats. Well that's really what's happening it seems like the transformers community in itself is exploding in size and exploding in demand and of course as one of the most visible people of that I am getting asked to speak again and again places and talk about it, and then and write articles, and things like that. I'm really excited about that because you know I can tell you a few years ago wasn't like that, there wasn't that much demand for transhumanism voices and now there seems to be a huge demand and so in the past year it just seems to be exploding and I hope this continues we you know I hope transhumanism becomes as large of a social movement as let's say the environmental movement which now has billions of people. We think transhumanism probably will have billions of people, billions of advocates and supporters someday.
How do you balance your work as a political candidate, speaker, writer, real estate mogul, author and many more? What does your normal workday look like?
The secret of balancing work, well, to be honest, I'm always overwhelmed. I feel like I don't get enough sleep and you know, I also work seven days a week and I feel like I haven't taken a year off, I'm sorry a dead day off, like in like 10 years or something, but you know I think success comes from working really hard I always have thought that that's how my parents raised me, It's true you know, nothing beats our hard work and also a little bit of luck and you know, a day being me it's like waking up doing emails looking you know, basically I had the luck of selling or you know, having a large real estate business that generates enough money for me to kind of dedicate almost all of my time now to activism in the transhumanism world and while I still manage a couple different businesses and have some advisory roles I mean, really what I do is full time I dedicate myself to transhumanism concerns and that requires writing, that's doing interviews, that's showing up on television, it's traveling all around the world, I'm doing this interview from Armenia of all places you know, in a hotel room and so that's really my schedule is just constantly whatever comes up, whatever I can focus on in terms of promoting transhumanism, promoting the social movement that wants to overcome death with radical science and technology, that's what I do and that's really my daily life goes course I also have a wife and two kids and things like that, so I also you know, take on those roles as well, but basically you know, when you merge the political indices and you merge some of the other things that I'm doing together you know, political canvases are always about transhumanism they're always about promoting science and technology. It's all this just big you know hodgepodge kind of you know big pot a mix match of working all day to try to promote transhumanism whatever it is and I can tell you I'm always behind.
What were some of the biggest lessons you took from your time running for political office?
I think some of the biggest lessons I took from running for political office was that it's very hard to make any inroads without a lot of money and I think that's ultimately why a lot of, you know presidential candidates that actually win have billion dollar plus campaigns and the same thing that the governors run. It's really ultimately about money which is a bad thing because democracy shouldn't be based on those who are really wealthy but actually those who are, you know into the spirit of the country and to the spirit of the laws and to the spirit of you know the best for the citizenry, and I think that's that's where democracy really is getting hurt by so much, you know this emphasis on having a lot enough money to run for office and I think the other lesson of running for politics that I learned is really that if you're not on the right or the left you have a very hard time of actually making any inroads and that's too bad again, because what you really want is, you know I suppose to be able to say I really want to run for office to serve my country or serve my state or whatever position it is and to be able to just be base judge based on those that criteria and not on the criteria whether you belong to a certain group or not.
Could you please tell us a bit more about Transhumanist Party? What are the Party's main tenants and ideals?
The Transhumanist party is, you know, essentially America's first political party that is really based on science, technology, and reason and you know, most political parties are based on kind of religious perspectives, or ethnic perspectives, or whatever you know, historical perspectives, or whatever it is; I mean there's a lot of different ideas out there and I think ultimately speaking the transhumanist party just wants to use science and technology in America and the system's daily lives to improve it. It's really quite simple and nothing's changing our world more than you know science and technology and as a result you know we need some politics out there that actually emphasize those things but you won't find any politics out there that emphasizes science and technology which are literally changing our world and perhaps much more important in my opinion than taxes or Social Security or things like that, and yet nobody's talking about it. That's really what the transhumanist Party is aiming to discuss and put forth in a political way, and you know the main tenants of that are just to say health care and not health care like we provide it for everybody but really taking care of the health of American citizens. The idea that technology and science is good and should be used, that's the main tenet as well as of course the medicine modern medicine health care those kinds of things. That's a huge part of it. I think another part of this just reason based you know we really use the scientific method to, you know I said I guess apply it to our policy positions and in that sense the transhumanist party is really only the political party out there that says really using reason as a method to govern or try to govern. And that's so different than using let's say a religious perspective or something else or maybe historical perspective, I really think the scientific method and reason is the only way to go when it comes to trying to govern a nation or Governor State or wherever.
What's next for your work? What can we expect to see from The Transhumanist Party and ZI Ventures in 2019?
Well, I think for 2019 I'm hoping that transhumanism will continue to grow, if it grows so does the transfusions party, so does the movement itself so does most importantly the money going into the field of transhumanism, because in the end of the day what I'm really trying to do is advocate for transhumanism so that governments and private companies and culture and all the people around the world put more and more resources and more and more focus into the transhumanism world and the researchers and the scientists benefit from that so that they can actually change the world, because in the end of the day it's really the researchers and scientists have to come up with this stuff to make us live longer to fix our hearts with diseases, to eliminate cancer, to makes obesity doesn't take over the population, these kinds of things so we're relying on a lot of the researchers and scientists in there and how many resources they can get to do the kind of magical and wonderful work the day they do. So you know we're all benefiting clean the transhumanism party from this kind of explosion of transhumanism and on a personal note from ZI ventures the companies that I run and projects that I run you know they continue to grow a lot of them are now tied into futurist and transhumanist ideas like we have vineyards and things like that and trying to come up with transhumans labels and in my in my own personal life and that's exciting too but basically I'm now almost full-time transhumanist advocacy and public figure kind of thing going out there and a lot of my companies are trying to back the stuff that I am I'm doing so that the transhumanist future comes sooner rather than later.