Come 2050, globalization and migration have reached unprecedented levels: everyone on the planet wants the best living environment. And for many that means getting to Mariarnia, a megalopolis located in the once lifeless territory of the Sahara. This is the first UN member country not to guarantee birthright citizenship. People here become citizens on a competitive basis: applicants for vacant positions must have something to contribute to this futuristic utopia. Mariarnia is the ideal place for development, creativity (what used to be called "work"), and life. Crime and prison are unknown here. If someone succumbs to weakness and commits a misdemeanor, he or she must make amends within two weeks, otherwise they are deprived of citizenship and expelled from the agglomeration. This country-corporation leads the way in every field of scientific progress: medicine, genetics, fundamental science, information technologies. All these intellectual developments are exported to the outside world.