Last week, Teleport’s founders took part of the symposium of the Estonia’s Friends International Meeting, “Quo vadis, Estonia?” which this year was themed around digital entity. Besides Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia, the second keynote speaker was the CEO of 21 and Teleport’s co-founder Balaji Srinivasan. The event was moderated by Teleport’s CEO Sten Tamkivi.


Photo by Raigo Pajula

You should really take the 40 minutes of your day to see Balaji speaking live about the emerging future of states and their governments (scroll down for video link), but here’s a quick recap:

Balaji gave a brief tour through some news headlines, all of which have a common theme – technology taking over functions previously performed by centralized actors. Bitcoin versus capital controls, telepresence versus immigration policy, encryption versus search warrants and many more – these examples demonstrate how technologies are taking over functions that were previously not thought of as their jurisdiction.

What does this mean? Here Balaji builds on the concept that Thomas Hobbes dubbed the Leviathan – the force that “hovers above all men and women” and makes us behave in prosocial ways. Whereas for most people the Leviathan has been essentially  the church or the state since the 16th century, Balaji argues that the network (both in the sense of the internet and in the sense of the social network) is becoming the next Leviathan. This is a gradual process, consisting of several steps, which has significant implications for any state that wishes to remain technologically competitive – such as Estonia.

You can see more at the video below to see Balaji’s introduction and full talk, starting at 53 minutes in.