About Causal Islands

About Causal Islands
Causal Islands Toronto, April 2023

We believe the future of the Internet and equitable access to computation at scale demand a distributed and decentralized web. And all systems have limits that must be navigated.

Information traveling at the speed of light hits a physical limit: a causal island. We experience these causal islands in our distributed systems as latency — a function of our proximity to data centers, to each other, and to the quality of our connectivity.

Novel approaches to the Future of Computing — programming languages, networks, interfaces, hardware, and more — end up stranded on similar causal islands. They propagate within different industries, disciplines, and communities at uneven speeds.

We’re gathering the brightest minds to challenging your idea of what’s possible, and bridging those islands together. Learn from diverse and unique perspectives across disciplines, discover exciting new areas of research and development, and make plans for ongoing collaboration.


Causal Islands was founded in 2023 by the team at Fission. The team ran a full conference in Toronto, in April 2023, and a small community edition in Los Angeles in March 2024.

When Fission shut down in April 2024, several people reached out to ask about keeping Causal Islands going. Orion Reed wanted to host one in Europe, and Boris Mann joined him to help with operations and hand over of knowledge. Very quickly, a team volunteered to support and organize Causal Islands Berlin, slated for October 2024.

Discussions around San Francisco, Vancouver, and Bangalore are beginning as well.


The Causal Islands Discord chat remains active for both open discussion and getting involved with support, sponsorship, or organizing.

The Github repo /causal-islands has resources and source code for a number of shared projects.

Follow the Causal Islands social accounts:


Boris Mann is taking the lead in forming a non-profit collective or co-operative to serve as backend for Causal Islands events for infrastructure and fiscal hosting. We will look to recruit board members and other others to support and guide the organization over time.

Regional events will have hosts and organizers and perhaps evolve some of their own non-profit or other structures over time.


Strange Loop in St. Louis is definitely an inspiration for Causal Islands. Their about page has a number of principles listed that are great guidelines for technology events of all kinds. This guideline for in-person conferences is very relevant:

Reasonable length. 2-3 days is the sweet spot for a conference. 1-day conferences are not worth the travel time. Conferences longer than 3 days are not sustainable - if you're doing it right you can't soak in any more information at that point anyways.