Eric Matzner

Environmental Defender. Biohacker. Futurist.

Eric takes a hands-on approach to try and bring forward a better future for humanity. He works at the edges of science to accelerate the development and implementation of the technologies needed to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Eric is currently 100% focused on helping humanity scale to the tens of gigatonnes of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) per year required to prevent catastrophic climate change. As of 2022, Eric is working on a stealth company developing a novel methodology of scaleable carbon dioxide removal.

He is also continuing CDR activism and climate action through his think tank Climitigation, from which Eric co-founded and spun out the coastal enhanced weathering CDR non-profit, Project Vesta.  Prior to that, Eric worked as an advocate for increasing human life span and enhancing the human mind through his company Nootroo.

Accelerating Innovation Before It Is Too Late

“Many of humanity’s technological achievements come as reactive innovations from problems reaching a tipping point. The DARPA robotics competition came in response to no robot being able to turn a valve to prevent the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s meltdown. When it comes to tipping points for climate, we cannot wait until after they occur to act. We must take direct action to pre-emptively mitigate and prevent the worst ravages of global warming-induced climate change, and we must act now before it is too late.”

-Eric Matzner

Project Vesta

Launched in 2018, Vesta is a gigatonne-scale potential CDR project that places sand composed of olivine on beaches and in coastal areas. The continuous and free power of wave energy is harnessed to accelerate (enhance) the weathering rate of the this magnesium-silicate mineral, which reacts to bind carbon in solution for thousands of years, also contributing to a counteraction of ocean acidification. This pilot project is the world's first demonstration of Coasteal Enhanced Weathering (CEW).

Olivine in Oceans

Taking into account the footprint of limited transport and grinding, each 1 tonne of olivine can technically remove around 1 tonne of CO2.

This is a nature-based process that is essentially accelerating the Earth's natural regulatory mechanism of the longterm carbonate silicate cycle.

Current Status:

A pilot project is currently underway on a Carribean island to determine the ecological safety, such as the risks from the release of trace metals like nickel contained in the minerals. After overseeing the launch, initial fundraising, hiring, world's first sale of CEW, deploying the pilot beach project and more, Project Vesta has spun out into own entity and is now independent of Eric's think tank, Climitigaiton.

Carbon Shift: Cash Boost for Innovative Carbon Removal 2:21
Reuters Crushed green rocks and almond shells figure in two small-scale CO2 capture projects attracting funding that might have been spent on carbon offsetting in the past.

“CarbonCycle” Art Installation at Plant Home EcoFestival 1:00

Parody of “SoulCycle” where the bike powers a rock tumbler as the instructor encourage participants to pedal faster to accelerate the carbon cycle to sequester CO2. pH reactive dye turns increasingly pink as the mineral de-acidifies the water, demonstrating a small-scale version of Project Vesta.

Stealth CDR Company

Eric's current project is a stealth carbon dioxide removal company, founded to create a novel, permanent, and inexpensive method of CDR that has no unreasonably insurmountable scaling limitations to reaching gigatonne scale per year levels, while at the same time is not solely dependent on revenue from the carbon dioxide removal credit market.

A new type of CDR Company

Olivine in Oceans

As our second forray into the CDR field, this time as a company instead of a research focused non-profit, we have been able to design in a compelling, high-growth business model so that the entity is not solely reliant on the current carbon dioxide removal credit markets in order to scale up.

Designed from the ground up, to bring carbon from the sky down

That said, our methodology and CDR process has been developed from the ground up to meet the most desired characteristics of the major carbon dioxide removal markets, including: net-negative lifecycle efficiency, longterm permanence, verifiability, low price, highly-scaleable, and more.

ADVANCING

SCIENCE

Towards the Mind

“There are three ways to contribute to scientific progress. The direct way is to conduct a good scientific study and publish the results. The indirect way is to help others make a direct contribution. Journal editors, university administrators and philanthropists who fund research contribute to scientific progress in this second way. A third approach is to marry the first two and make a scientific advance that itself expedites scientific advances. The full significance of this third way is commonly overlooked…

And some scientific instruments, such as the thermometer, the microscope, and the computer, have proved enormously useful over a wide range of domains. Institutional innovations — such as the peer‐reviewed journal — should also be counted. Those who seek the advancement of human knowledge should focus more on these kinds of indirect contribution. A “superficial” contribution that facilitates work across a wide range of domains can be worth much more than a relatively “profound” contribution limited to one narrow field, just as a lake can contain a lot more water than a well, even if the well is deeper.

No contribution would be more generally applicable than one that improves the performance of the human brain. Much more effort ought to be devoted to the development of techniques for cognitive enhancement, be they drugs to improve concentration, mental energy, and memory, or nutritional enrichments of infant formula to optimize brain development. Society invests vast resources in education in an attempt to improve students’ cognitive abilities. Why does it spend so little on studying the biology of maximizing the performance of the human nervous system?”

“Imagine a researcher invented an inexpensive drug which was completely safe and which improved all‐round cognitive performance by just 1%. The gain would hardly be noticeable in a single individual. But if the 10 million scientists in the world all benefited from the drug the inventor would increase the rate of scientific progress by roughly the same amount as adding 100,000 new scientists. Each year the invention would amount to an indirect contribution equal to 100,000 times what the average scientist contributes. Even an Einstein or a Darwin at the peak of their powers could not make such a great impact.”

-Nick Bostrom
Future of Humanity Institue, University of Oxford

Three Ways to Advance Science (2008)

Prior to his work in climate, Eric was more widely known for his past work as a biohacker, futurist and in his advocacy for human cognitive enhancement and life extension. As part of that work, Eric was focused on optimization and pushing his boundaries, with a specific focus on increasing input and output (I/O) speeds and he is able to type at over 150 wpm and read at over 1000 wpm.

Typing Speed
(Words Per Minute)
150
Reading Speed
(Words Per Minute)
1000

WHAT IS BIOHACKING?

How to Live Forever: The Morning Routine of a Biohacker 1:38
NPR wanted some tips on how biohacker and Nootroo founder, Eric Matzner, starts his day, so he showed them the Nootroo Protocol.

ABC Nightline News Feature On Nootropics 2:27
Nightline News visits San Francisco to learn about nootropics and biohacking.

BBC’s Health Episode of “Billion dollar Deals and How They Changed Your World” 3:44
The BBC came to check out what is going on in Silicon Valley with those choosing to enhance their biology and push forward science, to see if they just might end up pushing forward the world.

"I am trying to make a smarter, better populace to solve all the problems we have created."

Get ahead in Silicon Valley: take nootropic brain drugs

Nootropics are a broad category of cognitive-enhancing supplements that include a range of compounds to improve memory, focus and mood...Matzner said he wants to “get these things out to as many smart people as possible so people could get smarter and make the world better.”

'Nootropics’ gain momentum as 'smart pills’

"Eric Matzner is a Nootropics pioneer. He believes that so-called smart drugs can significantly improve your brain capacity."

Billion Dollar Deals and How They Changed Your World | Health

Eric Matzner tells me he takes 30 to 40 pills a day. He is 27 and perfectly healthy. Thanks to the pills, he says he hasn't had a cold in years. More importantly, the regimen is supposed to optimize the hell out of his brain, smoothing right over the ravages of aging, sleep deprivation, and hangovers... Matzner is the founder of Nootroo, one of the many companies now purveying nootropics, or brain enhancement drugs...

Nootropics and the Lab Rats of Reddit

“We’re talking about...a new type of biology where we’re taking these things into our own hands but also to try and proactively go from baseline to above,” said Matzner.

A real-life 'Limitless' pill? Silicon Valley entrepreneurs pursue brain hacking with nootropics, or 'smart drugs'

“Look to how you can optimize yourself,” Matzner said, using one of his favorite verbs. “The body offers plenty of weaknesses that can potentially be overcome.” Midway through the presentation, he unleashed one of his favorite theories: “If somebody invented a drug that improved the brains of the world’s 10 million scientists by 1 percent,” Matzner said, paraphrasing the Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom, “it would be like creating 100,000 new scientists.”

The Brain Bro

At an afterparty, I met Eric Matzner, a young entrepreneur who's determined to get more out of his brain. But Matzner is more than a hobbyist in human perfection. He's also an entrepreneur at the vanguard of a commercial boom in biohacking products. His company, Nootroo, sells a pair of proprietary pills that Matzner created after an extensive study of the existing literature—and no small bit of self-experimentation. He started the company, he told me, so that he could help those who might be curious but don't have the time to study up or the know-how to get their hands on experimental compounds from, say, Russia. He himself takes up to 60 different supplements a day. “But I like to tell journalists it's 30,” he said. “It makes me sound less crazy.”

Climitigation

Eric started Climitigation in 2017 as a think tank to analyze and promote the most promising technologies in carbon dioxide removal and climate change mitigation. After recognizing that some nascent technologies, such as Coastal Enhanced Weathering (CEW), had no entity working to create a pilot project to solve the research challenges in the way of implementation, so Climitigation set out to fix that. Climitigation became a “do tank” and launched Project Vesta as a non-profit to carry out the research and bring the technology up the TRL scale and across the valley of death.

We created a roadmap, as our AGU 2019 poster was titled,  to bring the technology “from the lab to the beach.” Having raised enough money to carry out the proposed experiment and having a fully staffed team of 10+ including a new director, after receiving permitting for the first beach, Project Vesta spun out of Climitigation to operate independently. Eric returned to Climitigation to help develop the next gigatonne potential scale CDR technology and continue to galvanize the world to decarbonize our economy and atmosphere.

Climitigation.org

Project Vesta

Launched in 2018, Vesta is a gigatonne-scale potential CDR project that places sand composed of olivine on beaches and in coastal areas. The continuous and free power of wave energy is harnessed to accelerate (enhance) the weathering rate of the this magnesium-silicate mineral, which reacts to bind carbon in solution for thousands of years, also contributing to a counteraction of ocean acidification. This pilot project is the world’s first demonstration of Coasteal Enhanced Weathering (CEW).

ProjectVesta.org

Nootroo

Nootropics enhance learning and memory while being protective of the brain. Nootroo formulates powerful stacks of synergistic nootropic ingredients with a focus on using only the highest quality and purest ingredients possible. Originally coined in 1972, the word nootropic means “towards the mind” from the Greek words “noos” meaning “mind” and “tropein” meaning “towards.”

Nootroo.com

Futuri.st

Futuri.st is where Eric writes his thoughts on technology and the future. A techno-optimist at heart, he focuses on how as a society we can take an active role in nourishing and guiding technology into existing vs watching it fail. His goal is to help pull the “slack” out of adoption of technology, to help us bring the future forward more quickly.

Futuri.st

Meditation Battle League

Eric is the Co-Commissioner of the Meditation Battle League (MBL), a meditation competition where players wear EEG headsets and compete “head-to-head” to “put their practice to the test.” While it sounds counter-intuitive, the MBL is about giving meditators a chance to practice meditating while under pressure.

Competitors battle in an audio “arena” soundscape such as Traffic, Office, Playground, while ambient background sounds play. With the players’ brainwaves being projected on a screen between them, as one takes the lead, in the speaker nearest them, sounds such as a firetruck in the Traffic Arena, or a fax machine in the Office Arena play loudly in an effort to distract them. At the end of the time period, the meditator with the most time in a “meditative” state (as determined by the algorithm) wins.

MeditationBattleLeague.com