Technology, Order and Disorder

Samir Saran
President of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF)


Ubiquitous and universally accessible global technology platforms threaten to undermine social and political cohesion, and limit the effectiveness of an international rules-based order, Dr Samir Saran argues.

Global tech companies operate beyond the control of individual nations, and impose different concepts around societies’ agreed understanding around rights such as freedom of expression. The light-regulation of US-based tech companies compares with the operation of Chinese tech firms operate in the service of the country - but both have their drawbacks for other nations. How should states deal with the threats these platforms pose, and how can they defend themselves in an era of cyber conflict?

Speaker profile

Dr Samir Saran is the President of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), India's premier think tank, headquartered in New Delhi. His research focuses on issues of global governance, climate change and energy policy, technology and media, and India's foreign policy.

He curates the Raisina Dialogue, India's annual flagship platform on geopolitics and geo-economics, and is the founder of CyFy, India's annual conference on cybersecurity and internet governance. He spearheads the foundation's efforts to foster new international partnerships and incubate young leaders networks and youth-led conversations globally.

Dr Saran is a member of the Regional Action Group of the World Economic Forum (WEF), a part of WEF's Global Future Council on Geopolitics; and served as a Commissioner of The Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace. He is a member of the Board of Directors at ORF America.

Samir has authored four books, edited journals and publications and written several academic papers and book chapters in the field. He is featured regularly in Indian and international print and broadcast media. His latest publications include The New World Disorder and The Indian Imperative with Shashi Tharoor (Aleph Book Company, 2020) and Pax Sinica: Implications for the Indian Dawn with Akhil Deo (Rupa, 2019).