Karndee Leopairote is also Executive Vice President, FutureTales Lab by MQDC.

How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation. 

One of the Electronic Transaction Development Agency’s (ETDA) key initiatives is rolling out the Digital ID, which is the big leap towards Thailand’s digital society. ETDA team works tirelessly with our key players in the public sector, private sector, and our startup communities to co-create a digital ID ecosystem. We have launched ‘MEiD’ campaign to communicate and build awareness in our society of the benefits and the use of digital ID and to create seamless transactions across the ecosystem. Another significant move this year, ETDA has launched ‘Open ETDA Sandbox’ and ‘Digital Service Sandbox’. Though ETDA has transformed to be a regulator for electronic transactions, we commit to embracing technological changes and driving growth in our society.

What was the most impactful project you worked on this year? 

My main role in Futuretales Lab by MQDC is to lead foresight research for our city’s well-being. We successfully launched our two streams of research on ‘The Future of Greater Bangkok’ partnered with ARUP Foresight and ‘Futures and Beyond – Navigating Thailand Toward 2030’ partnered with National Innovation Agency (NIA). Our studies have tremendous impacts in various sectors and promote awareness of future opportunities and challenges for our country.

What is one unexpected learning from 2021? 

Be even more resilient and embrace diversity! Being locked down and work-from-home almost the whole year, I learned that our society has been very resilient to unexpected disruption. We learn to look into different lenses to understand different needs in our community.

What’s your favourite memory from the past year?

Sending my daughter off to college in the USA and working under Covid quarantine for 3 weeks.

What’s a tool or technique you’re excited to explore in 2022? 

Metaverse and our well-being. For my role as a futurist in the real estate private sector, I am excited to explore technology infrastructure to build such a (virtual) place where your dreams are actualised, your fondest memories immortalised, and your creativity runs unrestrained.

As a regulator, I would like to encourage the regulating bodies to open and embrace the rise of web 3.0 and metaverse. The way we see it, in a 2 by 2 matrix. One denotes hardware and the other – software.  At the two ends of each spectrum are open and limited systems and designs. If we can agree on the standards for interconnectivity and interoperability – we will have plunged headfirst into the infinity of possibilities that is the Metaverse.

What are your priorities for 2022?

Keep on learning and staying healthy. I will continue to broaden my perspective on the endless possibilities that Metaverse technology evolution has to offer.

On a personal note, what intrigues me the most about the Metaverse is how we are at the dawn of its realisation. Of course, We all know that Metaverse already exist. But for it to be truly prevalent and accessible, many different components and actors have to come together in a shared agreement on what the Metaverse could truly become.

Who are the mentors and heroes that inspire you?

Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones! Though he is fictitious, I am inspired by his characters and traits. He is clever, witty, and resilient. Though he has been mistreated all his life, deep down he upholds the values I admire, goodness, honesty, and kind-heartedness.

What gets you up in the morning?

The curiosity of how Metaverse will transform how we live, work, learn, play, and move – reshaping our everyday livessociety, and in extension – our economies.