APAC Digital Identity unConference 2023 (Thailand)

Like every time, AYANWORKS is proud to sponsor the IIW Spring (April 2024) and DICE (June 2024). We are eager to meet everyone in person!

APAC Digital Identity unConference 2023 (Thailand)



Our founders attended the inaugural APAC Digital Identity unConference that took place in Bangkok, Thailand. It was an exciting one as expected that aimed to promote innovation and collaboration among new digital identity businesses and initiatives in the APAC region. Open Space unConferences is a participatory event where attendees co-create the agenda together live each day of the event. The focus is on discussing the subject with professional colleagues from a variety of identification sectors, there are no keynotes or panels.

Secure and interoperable identity is necessary for engaging with people to benefit on the problems in today’s world such as tracking trade, supporting labour markets, and crossing borders for a variety of reasons. Significant investments have been made into the development of interoperable standards, protocols, systems application layers, conceptual use cases, and more.
APAC Digital unConference is one such newly initiated forum where people from the region have a platform come together, brainstorm on such problems to find solutions to with the emerging trends & technologies and most importantly, to collaborate — eventually, get benefitted.

People behind the idea — unConference -
The people behind the idea of the APAC Digital Identity unConference are passionate professionals who believe in the importance of digital identity and its impact on society. The Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) had a major inspiration for the APAC Digital Identity Conference. The APAC event was organised and hosted by the two IIW facilitators and producers, Kaliya Young (Identity Woman), and Heidi Nobantu Saul, in partnership with a nearby business, Newlogic. IIW is being facilitated & organised since year 2005 by Phil Windley and Doc Searls besides these two veterans.

The opportunity was to conduct an event for the APAC region in the same Open Space unConference style as the Internet Identity Workshop.

The new way of ‘Being Involved’! -
The new way of being involved is what makes the unConference unique. Unlike traditional conferences where attendees sit through pre-planned sessions, the unConference is a participant-driven event that empowers the attendees to take ownership of the agenda. It is a platform to share knowledge, ideas, and best practices in an open manner. All the sessions were led by experts in the field and moderated by volunteers from the community. The unConference is an event where the participants have the freedom to create their own agenda and ask questions, connect with others, and contribute to the conversation.

Glimpses of the topics covered -

APAC 1.webp

APAC Digital Identity unConference 2023
The sessions were highly interactive, and participants had the opportunity to exchange answers to questions and get feedback.

Glimpses of the topics covered at the UnConference:

Day 1, Thursday, March 02, 2023:

  1. Standards for Distributed ID for Asia
  2. Sri Lanka Digital ID
  3. Open Discussion: Navigating, Recognition Across Borders
  4. What Constitutes Indigenous ID in SSI Approaches
  5. Decentralised Identity Foundation (DIF) Ecosystem
  6. Pictures as Identifiers
  7. How Cloud Wallet could act as a bridge in the SSI space
  8. DCDR — Data-Centric Digital Rights
  9. Singpass — Singapore’s National Digital ID
  10. “Not QR” Codes + Civil Registration + Vital Statistics

Day 2, Friday, March 03, 2023:

  1. (ToIP) Digital Trust Ecosystems
  2. Identity & Domain Names
  3. Whiteboard Session: Elements That Make APAC Trust Framework
  4. Building Open Source Communities + New Ideas
  5. Verifiable Identity: Social Media — “The Bali Process” Context
  6. Blue Economy and Regional paperless trade
  7. NFTs as an Identifier — Pro’s Con’s Is it worth it?
  8. Verifiable Credentials — Exchange Protocol and Wallet Interaction

Key Takeaways -
There have been several key takeaways from the unConference. However, some of the key ones include -

1. There was a unanimous vote to have APAC level collaboration to draft a APAC Digital ID Trust Framework. This group can have the participants of the working group shared diverse operating realities, their learnings and interests in building a coherent method to trust each other’s digital identity systems. As a key conclusion on this, it was agreed to house meetings for this group under one of the Trust Over IP Foundation (TOIP) working groups.

2. It was encouraging to see that a few countries in the APAC have already embarked on the journey of building Digital Identities infrastructure for the nationwide benefit of its citizens. Couple of the examples were -

  • Ujjwal Deep Dahal, CEO of Druk Holding and Investments Limited (DHI) — Bhutan’s investment arm, updated about Bhutan just launched a new national digital ID system (NDI). Bhutan NDI is Bhutan’s new National Identity System, developed by Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) for GovTech Bhutan. The NDI will have citizens eight years old and above enrolled into it. Apart from the ID card, the NDI wallet will carry other information including health, tax filings, education and census records as well as revenue and bank statements, and business documents.
  • Singapore (they are implementing SingPass). The representatives from the Singapore government who attended the unConference stated that with SingPass, the citizens can access over 2,500+ services by over 800+ government agencies and businesses at their fingertips
  • Sri Lanka government also leveraged an India based open source platform, MOSIP, to implement Digital identity management for its citizens.

3. Decentralised Identity Foundation (DIF) and Trust Over IP Foundation (TOIP) are the forums where most of the innovation is happening — innovation in terms of tech stack , frameworks, libraries and standards for Decentralised Identity, Trust Frameworks, Governance Frameworks, Trust Ecosystems, et. al. It was an opportunity for the first time attendees of such Digital Identity unConference to get first hand update about these two forums.

4. We urged the facilitators that the next APAC event should be hosted in India. Considering the vast diversified demography spawning across technology enthusiasts to unicorns to startups to government representatives to people from all walks of life, there will potentially be a huge attendance for the event

Benefit to participate in future -
Everyone should participate in the UnConference, especially those who are interested in digital identity, including individuals, practitioners, researchers, regulators, implementers, government leaders, technologists, digital and privacy rights activists. The UnConference is an excellent opportunity where individuals representing various standards, initiatives, and businesses can congregate, exchange knowledge, form relationships, and advance the cause

Proud Sponsors -
AYANWORKS was honoured to be one of the sponsors of the inaugural APAC Digital Identity unConference. Companies that sponsored the event besides AYANWORKS included gluu, Newlogic and Open Development Initiative. Over the past 4 years, AYANWORKS has been working in the core Decentralised Identity solutions space and delivering solutions to our global clients. With this experience at our strength, we strongly believe that such events are essential to bring awareness, do more evangelising and move forward in the new digital era followed by innovation, building digital identity infrastructure and developing secure, dependable digital identification ecosystems.

APAC 2.webp


Summing it up!
To summarise, the APAC Digital Identity unConference is a great place to network, learn, and add to the conversation about digital identities. We invite everyone to take part in upcoming activities, all future APAC Digital Identity unConferences and keep promoting innovation in the Digital Identity space.

See you all in the next such event in APAC.. hopefully in India 🙂!!

© 2015 - 2024 AYANWORKS Technology Solutions Private Limited