Veerappan (Veera) Swaminathan is the founder and director of consultancy firm Sustainable Living Lab, currently operating in Singapore, India, and Indonesia. Veera is interested in overcoming sustainability challenges through technology. He is currently working on an artificial intelligence (AI) fluency project to encourage innovation within companies to meet the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, and to prepare people for an aging society.
KrASIA (Kr): What is the root of your dedication to addressing sustainability and giving back to communities?
Veerappan Swaminathan (VS): There are a few reasons. One is that my parents didn’t restrict me from doing what I wanted to do. They also instilled a value system in me. When I was younger, my father and I chanced upon a SGD 50 note.
We waited for a couple of hours for someone to come looking for it, but they didn’t, and we decided to donate it. One lesson was that if you get some unexpected fortune, then the best thing is to do some good, instead of self-enrichment. Of course, over time, your thinking develops. You start to understand that some problems can’t be solved by charity. With a more sophisticated world view, you understand how issues can be systemic. I do what I do because I can’t picture myself doing anything else, at all. I’m not giving up anything to do my job. These are decisions that make me very happy.
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