Advisory Board

Zoltan Istvan, M.A.

Zoltan Istvan, M.A. is an American-Hungarian Transhumanist, Journalist, Entrepreneur, Political and Presidential Candidate, and Futurist. He is the Author of The Transhumanist Wager and the documentary Immortality or Bust.

At the age of 21, Zoltan began a solo, multi-year sailing journey around the world. His main cargo was 500 handpicked books, mostly classics. He’s explored over 100 countries — many as a journalist for the National Geographic Channel — writing, filming, and appearing in dozens of television stories, articles, and webcasts. His writings have appeared in a blog of the San Francisco Chronicle and Outside.

His work has been covered in publications such as The Huffington Post. In addition to his award-winning coverage of the war in Kashmir made into a documentary, Pawns of Paradise, he gained worldwide attention for pioneering and popularizing the extreme sport of volcano boarding.

Read “Killing Fields” Lure Tourists in Cambodia, Facing the Bull: The Most Dangerous Eight Seconds in Sports, and Filmmaker Courts Danger to Document Longest Running Conflict in History. Watch Kashmir Documentary Highlight Video: Pawns of Paradise.

Zoltan later became a director for the international conservation group WildAid, leading armed patrol units to stop the billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. Back in America, he started various successful businesses, from real estate development to filmmaking to viticulture, joining them under ZI Ventures. Read About his work at WildAid.

In 2016, Zoltan ran for US President. He is the Founder of the Transhumanist Party and ran a successful and widely viewed 2016 US presidential campaign as the party’s nominee.

His 2016 presidential campaign was based on the promotion of transhumanism. He wanted to raise awareness of issues related to transhumanism and encourage society to embrace radical science and technology. Zoltan ran for the Transhumanist Party, emphasizing the importance of:

  • Supporting scientists working to overcome human death and aging.
  • Encouraging the use of radical technology and science.
  • Establishing safeguards against the potential dangers of such technology.

On November 14, 2015, after months of traveling across America on the Immortality Bus campaigning for US President, Zoltan put the finishing edits on the Transhumanist Bill of Rights upon the steps of the US Supreme Court in Washington DC. The next day, surrounded by supporters, filmmakers, and machine-gun-toting Capitol police threatening arrest, Zoltan read out loud the Transhumanist Bill of Rights and then posted it to the US Capitol.

While some spectators considered it a joke, and the document didn’t stick well to the Capitol in the weather, the Transhumanist Bill of Rights has gone on to become one of the most important futurist documents, praised and criticized by dozens of major media outlets and scholars.

In 2018, he was an endorsed Libertarian candidate for California Governor. He emphasized science, technology, longevity, transhumanism, and Libertarian values in his California gubernatorial run, along with support for basic income. He suggested basic income could be paid for without raising taxes through a Federal Land Dividend. Read Why I’m Running for California Governor as a Libertarian and I Became a Pot Felon at 18. I’m Owed More Than an Apology.

He also ran as a Republican against Donald Trump for the US Presidency in 2020, getting 6th in the GOP Primaries. Read Donald Trump faces presidential challenge from transhumanist cyborg.

Over the last few years, Zoltan has consulted for the US Navy and the Government of Dubai as a futurist, appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience (and many other shows), and gave many speeches, including at Microsoft, the Global Leaders Forum, Congreso Futuro, the Financial Times Camp Alphaville, and BMW World.

Zoltan was the only presidential candidate to be interviewed by the underground mega-group Anonymous. He created the Longevity Peace Prize at an XPRIZE Visioneering event. Read Rich people shouldn’t be the only ones who get to live forever.

His award-winning 2013 novel The Transhumanist Wager was a #1 bestseller in Philosophy and also a top 5 Amazon book. It’s been compared in reviews to Ayn Rand’s work over a thousand times. It’s being taught in various colleges and high schools around the world as a warning and inspiration about the future.

The Transhumanist Wager follows from a life philosophy Zoltan calls Teleological Egocentric Functionalism (TEF). Zoltan summarizes the Transhumanist Wager as follows:

“TEF is predicated on logic, a simple wager that every human faces: If a reasoning human loves and values life, they will want to live as long as possible — the desire to be immortal. Nevertheless, it’s impossible to know if they will be immortal once they die. To do nothing doesn’t help the odds of attaining immortality — since it seems evident that everyone will die someday and possibly cease to exist. The most logical conclusion is to try to do something scientifically constructive to ensure immortality beforehand.”

Zoltan believes that the Transhumanist Wager is a call to action for all of humanity. He argues that we must use all our resources and knowledge to overcome the challenges of aging and death. Only then can we achieve our full potential as a species.

In 2019, an award-winning feature documentary four years in the making called Immortality or Bust, which covers his historic bus tour across America on the Immortality Bus, came out on Amazon Prime.

Zoltan is the creator of the concepts of Theistcideism, Omnipotism, the AI Imperative, the Singularity Disparity, Speciation Syndrome, Post-earthism, Delayed Fertility Advantage, the Three Laws of Transhumanism, and Jethro’s Window, a possible solution to the Fermi Paradox. Zoltan is also a popularizer of AI Day, the transhumanist olympics, cryothanasia, a robot AI President, and quantum archaeology (technological resurrection). Read Q/A on Q.A.

He authored an article entitled Transhumanism and Theistcideism for publication in Pandeism: An Anthology (2017). Zoltan wrote the short fictional story The Jesus Singularity on a religious AI that goes rogue and destroys the world. It was published in Vice magazine.

In 2023, he published the Zoltan Istvan Futurist Collection, a seven-volume box set of his most popular opinion essays. Among the collection are The Theistcideist: A Transhumanist Explores Religion, Spirituality, and Atheism; The Remnants: Essays, Interviews & Other Writings; The Anti-Deathist: Writings of a Radical Longevity Activist; Philosophy and the Future: A Transhumanist Examination of Where We’re Going; The Futuresist Cure: Notes from the Front Lines of Transhumanism; Upgrading America: The Political Writings of Zoltan Istvan; and A Transhumanist Journal: Writings that Launched the Transhumanism Movement.

In 2024, Ben Murnane published the book Transhuman Citizen: Zoltan Istvan’s Hunt for Immortality which is a biography and story of America’s zaniest presidential candidate. Listen to The Transhumanist Talks Episode 1: Raising Ayn Rand From The Dead.

As an entrepreneur who works in real estate, he also owns vineyard properties in Mendoza, Argentina, Bordeaux, France, and California’s Napa Valley. Zoltan also owns a 68-acre island in Nova Scotia, Canada in the Atlantic Ocean.

Zoltan frequently writes articles for The New York Times, Newsweek, Vice, Wired, TechCrunch, and other major media. He writes transhumanist-themed columns: The Transhumanist Philosopher for Psychology Today and Transhumanist Future for Vice’s Motherboard, and is a blogger for The Huffington Post.

Zoltan earned his Master’s Degree of Arts in Ethics and Philosophy from the University of Oxford in 2023. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Religion from Columbia University.

Zoltan joined the Lifeboat Foundation Advisory Board in 2013 and has been writing and posting on our Blog ever since.

Watch The Beauty of Being Alive, Transhumanist Zoltan Istvan on His Presidential Campaign, and The Current State of Transhumanism.

Listen to ‘Becoming Machines Is Part of Our Destiny,’ Says Transhumanist Zoltan Istvan and Overcoming Death with Science — with Zoltan Istvan.

Read We Need a Far Better Plan for Dealing With Existential Threat, We should embrace transhumanism; our survival could depend on it, and AI can stop government from growing, and that’s a good thing. Read Can Zoltan Istvan beat Hillary, Trump, and death itself?

Visit his LinkedIn profile, Homepage, his Wikipedia page, IMDb page, Hpluspedia profile, and HiCureSpeaker profile. Follow him on Facebook (personal), Instagram, and Twitter. Follow his Contributions on Medium.