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Game Over for Nation States?

Technology Is Making Country Borders Less And Less Relevant

August 14, 2017, Marianna Mäki-Teeri

Ray Kurzweil, one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists, stated in a recent interview that we are going to witness the end of the nation state as we've known it. He believes that the elementary particles of the classical world order are about to change as technology will keep on making our borders less and less relevant. If this means game over for traditional nation states, what’s going to replace them?

Kurzweil believes that we’re heading towards a one world society. As he puts it: “We’re building up a world culture, a world legal system. Nations are still powerful, but I think they are going to continue to get less influential”.

Kurzweil has an impressive track-record of predicting the pace of technology and the world of tomorrow; and steadier international interdependencies and technological development aren’t the only signs supporting his statement.

The decreasing importance of physical country borders impacts also on the identities of an ever growing portion of people. Recent studies have shown that more and more people consider themselves global citizens and link their identities primarily to the world around them instead of a single nation state.

Last year, the results of a global survey by GlobeScan revealed for the first time in 15 years of tracking that nearly one in two people (49%) perceive themselves more as global citizens than citizens of their country. Similarly, a study published by Word Economic Forum indicated that young people in the 18-35 age group most often define themselves as global citizens (36%).

So far the discussion around global citizenship has not spread to widely supported ideas for forming a global state or legislative entirety, instead it has concentrated on a global sense of community, cooperation, and activism. However, there already exist at least one option for the global citizens who wish to be a part of a post-nation state nation without geographically restraining boundaries: Bitnation.

Bitnation is a virtual nation whose decentralized governance relies on an open-source movement and a peer-to-peer system operated by a blockchain-based technology. Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, CEO of Bitnation, among many other blockchain enthusiasts believe that the rise of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies is the beginning of the end of the nation state.

Do you think we are going to witness the end of current nation states? And if so, what would be the next best alternative?


Are you interested in future trends, developments, and other phenomena? Futures Platform's foresight radar includes all trends in this blog and hundreds more. Check it out here: Futures Platform


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