Koktail 2024 Future List Honourees - "Celebrate You!"

Koktail Magazine

15 Feb 2024

Koktail revealed its highly anticipated 2024 Future List 100 on the 12th February, and hosted a special event inviting all of our Future Listers from the past four years all dedicated to making Thailand a better place.


Dress Creatively, Celebrate Impactfully

The official celebration took place on February 12, 2024, at the Sky Room, 10th floor, Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel with fabulous views of the Chao Phraya River.

The event was filled with a relaxed and enjoyable ambiance, and the dress code encouraged attendees to sport their best slogan t-shirts with prizes up for grabs for the most creative and impactful t-shirt slogans.


Connecting Minds for Thailand's Growth

Guests were delighted in an evening of networking, forging new connections, and celebrating with like-minded individuals who are contributing to Thailand's growth. The festivities included a wonderful selection of canapés and soft drinks courtesy of Avani + Riverside and fine wines from Siam Winery.


As part of the celebration, honourees from Future List 100 engaged in thought-provoking discussions centred around the theme,


"Forget about soft power, what is Thailand’s hard power?"


Here are some highlights:

“My background's in academics, so I tend to see things through that lens. Soft power is kinda like the opposite of hard power – think military or economic might. It's more about cultural influence, attracting people without needing force.


On the flip side, hard power's all about military muscle, government control, and economic dominance. It often means using force to keep things in order, which isn't always the norm.”

Said Poonperm Vardhanabindu, Sustainability Product Development Manager, Bureau Veritas. (Future List 2024)

 “I believe that 'Morlam' represents a form of soft power that deserves support to reach a global audience. Currently, it seems to only appeal to a specific group, but with further development or recognition as a global heritage, it could become widely recognized.


Regarding hard power, I believe that people with disabilities possess immense abilities nowadays, yet they are not sufficiently promoted. If people with disabilities in Thailand could succeed in various fields, it would bring immense benefits.”

Said Bunrod Arreewong, co-founder, Poocao channel. (Future List 2024)

“In Thailand, soft power is intricately tied to our rich cultural heritage, which has been evolving for over a thousand years. It encompasses the traditions, arts, and values that define our identity as a nation.

On the other hand, defining hard power in Thailand is more complex. While it traditionally involves military strength and coercion, Thailand is also known for its ability to find compromise and resolve conflicts peacefully. We possess a subtle yet influential form of hard power, like unstoppable waves that shape our nation.”

“Through my photography, I aim to capture the beauty and diversity of humanity, showcasing the soft power of connection and understanding that transcends borders.”

Said Jatenipat “JKboy” Ketpradit, portrait photographer. (Future List 2024)

“To me, soft power is the perception and influence a country exerts without direct coercion. It's about how other cultures perceive and resonate with you, your values, and your creations. Soft power cannot be forced upon others; it arises organically from the capabilities and creativity fostered within a nation. For example, investing in the arts, supporting creative individuals, and promoting innovations indirectly contribute to soft power. Enhancing translation capabilities, as seen in promoting Thai literature, is one such avenue.


On the other hand, hard power involves the use of force, whether military, economic, or diplomatic, to assert influence or dominance. It can also manifest in presenting a consistent and strong image to the world, delineating values and alliances.”

Said Philip Cornwel-Smith, writer of Very Thai and Very Bangkok and a monthly column writer for www.koktailmagazine.com. (Future List 2023)

“Soft power, to me, encompasses cultural elements that influence perceptions of a country, such as iconic clothing like Thai elephant pants or renowned cuisine like Thai food. Just as Korea's K-dramas, food, and pop stars shape global perceptions, these cultural exports play a significant role in influencing how Thailand is perceived internationally.

On the other hand, hard power is characterised by a country's strong and assertive stance. It is often rooted in its cultural identity and economic strength. China, for instance, is known for its robust culture and economic dominance.”

Said Tharit "Chef Yakup" Tangsongsirisak, chef/owner, Fat Lamb Bangkok and Halal Restaurant of the Year awardee. (Future List 2024)

“Regarding soft power, I see it as a subtle approach to achieving goals indirectly, encompassing various methods and strategies.

Hard power, on the other hand, is more challenging to define. I believe it could involve authority or mechanisms that enforce change

through more forceful means. In the context of Thailand, it might relate to legislation or policies aimed at bringing about significant improvements.”

Said Cherry Khemupsorn Sirisukha, founder, Sirithai. (Future List 2024)

This event was made possible by the generous support of Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel, Asia Pillars, McGuigan, Flight24, Siam Winery, and Mercedes-Benz.

DJ Mizuyo provided the musical backdrop, spinning tunes from the "Global Funk" genre, adding to the event's fantastic ambiance.