The Sunwater Institute
The Sunwater Institute

Big Ideas for Prosperity

Create, discuss, and implement fundamental ideas that advance liberty, knowledge, and power for individuals and society


About Us

Mission and Vision

Our mission is to foster the creation, discussion, and implementation of fundamental ideas that advance liberty, knowledge, opportunity, and power for individuals and society.

Our vision is a society, founded on the principles of individual liberty, striving toward its maximum potential.  

Activities

  • Research
  • Publishing
  • Events
  • Engagement

Research Areas

  • Property Rights
  • Decision making and electoral design
  • Neurolaw and culpability
  • Safety net philosophy and design
  • Technology enabled government
  • Government aims and measures
  • Knowledge creation and use
  • Rules complexity
  • Transparency

Research Areas

Property Rights

Property rights are the cornerstones of free societies and the foundation on which the market operates. Sunwater seeks to understand how property rights are defined and understood over time, how well governments enforce the rights imbedded and implied in constitutions, and how new technologies create or threaten rights that should be protected. Of further interest is the dynamic created when states with different property right definitions engage in trade. We seek to answer the question of how property rights should be defined and enforced to maximize value for individuals and societies, and how states of differing property rights should engage in mutually beneficial trade.

Group decision making and electoral system design

Groups leverage elections to choose leaders, laws, and rules. Sunwater conducts and sponsors research on electoral systems, builds electoral models, and helps design the right electoral systems for the right situations. Our research interests cover the role of quality and structure of information in an election, technology impact, decision support, option creation and option number, voter number, vote number and allocation, timing, time horizon, and biases. Sunwater seeks to answer the question of how electoral systems can be better designed so that they maximize the value of social decisions.  

Neurolaw - free will and culpability

Rights, law, and regulation, and sentencing are based on a view of independent individuals with free will. Neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, genetics, and other research fields, however are presenting a more complex view of individual behavior that has implications for government and lawmakers. Sunwater seeks to draw from these advancements and present guidance to lawmakers on how and how not to take these considerations into account when creating rule systems.

Government transparency and transparency regulation

Transparency into government activities and disclosures forced on institutions and individuals must be balanced against privacy and property rights. Sunwater seeks to understand what information the government should release and in what form, what information the government should force others to release and in what form, and where the privacy rights of individuals and firms should override transparency. Our question is how and how much should government disclose its affairs and how and how much and in what form should it force disclosure in the market and society?

Safety net and entitlement design

Safety nets and entitlements have become expensive, arbitrary, and destructive redistribution schemes that violate property rights and create perverse incentives. Sunwater seeks to conduct and support fundamental research on safety net and entitlement design. What moral considerations justify taxation and redistribution? What types of policies provide measurable long term benefit to individuals and society? In what form should the safety net value be delivered? How should the costs and benefits to recipients and society be objectively measured?

Knowledge creation, codification, and use

The advancement of scientific knowledge in society is critical to the notion of progress. However, relatively little effort has been made into understanding how this knowledge is created, how it is codified, and how decision makers leverage this information. Sunwater seeks to understand the knowledge creation process and explore ideas on how knowledge can be more efficiently created, codified, and used in society, science and government.

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Contact Us

Greencourt Innovation Center

North Bethesda Warehouse District

The Sunwater Institute

12358 Parklawn Dr, Rockville, Maryland 20852, United States

Hours

Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm

Saturday: By appointment

Sunday: By appointment

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