In a lively celebration of community and innovation, Sathorn BKK made its grand debut at Bangkok Design Week 2024 on January 27. The launch event, titled “Sathorn BKK: More Than A Business District.”, featured an insightful panel discussion at the Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC). This engaging forum set the stage for a dynamic exchange of ideas, aiming to activate the Sathorn community brand, transforming it from its traditional business hub perception into a vision of a multifaceted urban neighbourhood brimming with creativity and culture.
Created by Universal Admedia as an initiative to capitalise on the community brand opportunity, the Sathorn BKK brand manifests as a community platform championing the rich tapestry of the historic neighbourhood. This initiative reflects a bold redefinition of the Sathorn brand, transcending its identity as Bangkok's central business district. Over the years, Sathorn has evolved into a nexus for an eclectic mix of residents, visitors, and businesses ranging from real estate and finance to embassies. The Sathorn BKK brand’s mission is to interweave the unique essence of Sathorn into Bangkok's broader narrative, highlighting its vibrant potential for contemporary urban living.
The launch at Bangkok Design Week 2024 marked a significant milestone for Sathorn BKK. The festival, a beacon of Bangkok’s creative and design prowess, attracted over 5,000 attendees from diverse backgrounds, including creators, entrepreneurs, designers, and academics. This international gathering provided a pivotal platform for Sathorn BKK to engage in essential discussions about the city's future and its role in fostering urban innovation and cultural dynamism.
The inaugural panel, steered by Universal Admedia and Sathorn BKK’s Creative Director, M Aroonrut, was a melting pot of visionary ideas. It featured esteemed industry leaders like Duangporn Songvisava (Chef Bo) of Bo.lan, Thomas Santiwarodom of Mod Kaew Wine Bar, Tatchai Nakapan of the Supanniga Group, and Ben-David Sorum of BY.SORUM. Their collective insights shed light on Sathorn's influential role in shaping the success and character of Bangkok.
In the heart of the panel discussion, the speakers shared their personal journeys and inspirations behind establishing their businesses in Sathorn. "When we moved to Sathorn," Santiwarodom said, "it's much more family-friendly. It wasn't intentional to become a family spot, but Sathorn itself is kind of shaping the place into one."
They spoke passionately about how the neighbourhood’s dynamic character and evolving landscape had significantly shaped their business identities The panellists expressed a collective desire to see Sathorn flourish with more cultural, communal, and creative spaces, fostering a community that blends business with art, sports, recreation, and lifestyle. Delving into the nuances of opening a restaurant, they discussed the intricate thought processes involved, from conceptualisation to realisation, emphasising the importance of understanding the local palate, cultural context and sustainability. “What is missing from the F&B industry is environmental awareness as F&B produces a large amount of waste. We have been doing a zero-waste campaign or managing kitchen waste in the best way possible. I believe that F&B will become more sustainable as consumers and entrepreneurs become more aware of how it impacts the environment.” Chef Bo Songvisava said
Comparisons were drawn between Sathorn and other vibrant neighbourhoods globally, highlighting similarities in cultural richness and entrepreneurial spirit. In his remarks, Tatchai Nakapan, CEO of Supanniga Group, compared Shibuya and Sathorn Soi 10-12: “Both are small neighbourhoods, but full of charisma, built by entrepreneurs passionate about their businesses.” he said.
The session was enriched with valuable advice for aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs, emphasising the importance of resilience, adaptability, and staying true to one's vision in the face of challenges. This exchange of ideas not only celebrated Sathorn's unique qualities but also provided insights into the broader narrative of urban development and entrepreneurial success. “Sathorn is an unpolished gem that needs to be brought back to life,” added Ben-David Sorum.
Sathorn BKK's launch at Bangkok Design Week 2024 was not just an event – it was the dawn of a new era for the Sathorn community. As the platform introduced itself to both local and international audiences, it established foundational connections that promise to propel Sathorn into a future where business, culture, and community harmoniously coexist.
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