Meet Debra Anne — The Partnerships Manager of Guild of Guardians
We’re on a mission to onboard hundreds of millions of gamers into digital ownership via NFTs by building the world’s most popular mobile RPG where players can turn their passion for gaming into real assets.
It’s a bold ambition, and bold ambitions require relentless focus, teamwork, and some of the best talents in the industry. In this ‘Meet the Team’ series, we take a behind-the-scenes look at the team who are passionately building and spearheading the next frontier of gaming.
Guardians, say ‘Hello’ to Debra Anne, the BOSS Partnerships Manager of Guild of Guardians! Debra’s inevitable transition from traditional finance to web3, was catalysed by her passion for shared economies and the decentralisation of power.
An advocate for mental health and neurodivergent perspectives, Debra brings an authentic openness and positivity that truly embodies the Guild of Guardians team spirit 🖤
Tell us about yourself, Debra!
Hi everyone! I’m Debra, Partnerships Manager for Guild of Guardians 👋
I was born in Singapore and raised in multiple cities worldwide, as my family moved around a lot. I don’t have strong roots in any one city, but the beauty about that is I feel at home anywhere — a global citizen who has a thirst for knowledge and loves to explore and learn. I’m excited to see where life takes me next! (cc-coughh, straya?)
Having grown up with undiagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), I strongly advocate for inclusion and support for the neurodivergent community as we traverse a neurotypical society. Growing up in an Asian household, mental health stigma was evident. I’ve made it a point to be my advocate and the voice of others, as ADHD is a common mental health issue that often goes undiagnosed. The stigma around mental illness is still an issue in certain diverse racial and ethnic communities. It can be a significant barrier to people accessing mental health services. One of the best ways to reduce this stigma surrounding mental health is to encourage and have open conversations about it. This, in turn, empowers individuals struggling with mental health issues to seek the support they need.
Living with ADHD is not disabling. On the contrary, my incredible memory (for the most insignificant things), quick thinking, and ability to see things from different angles have benefited me in many different scenarios throughout life. In other words, I’m thriving with ADHD 😄
You’re the Partnerships Manager for the Guild of Guardians — What exactly does your role entail? And what does a day in the life at Guild of Guardians look like for you?
In my role as Partnerships Manager at Guild of Guardians, I support, develop and manage relationships with existing, new, and strategic partnerships with brands and businesses that share our values and want to partner with us as we build towards being pioneers in the web3 gaming space. A large part of my role is focused on establishing a comprehensive understanding of our current partner’s objectives and effectively aligning this with our own goals to drive overall success for all parties.
Ultimately, our goal is to create an engaging and fun experience for our players and onboard web3 gaming to the masses, and that takes partnerships with other companies outside of blockchain gaming. It’s my job to make sure that all parties are getting the best out of the partnership, and honestly, it’s a very rewarding position.
You transitioned from traditional Banking and Finance to consulting at Big tech and now to Web3. What was that transition like?
I wish I could say I am one of the lucky ones who knew exactly what they wanted to do as soon as they began their careers. Sadly, I didn’t. I knew I had a passion for investing, so I doubled down on a finance degree and joined a bank as soon as I graduated. After many years in the space, I was given the opportunity to join one of the biggest tech companies as a partnerships manager — and of course, I jumped at the opportunity! In hindsight, I now realise that what I was looking for all along was to be a part of something larger than myself, something that would inspire the next generation and better the lives of everyone. And that is exactly where I am today 😄
How do you think blockchain will change how web2 companies operate in the future?
Wow, there are so many ways. Let’s see. Improved security, better transparency, and safety from third-party and government intrusion to start with. Blockchain adoption can potentially disrupt traditional business models and revolutionise lending, security, consumerism, business models, and digital property, opening up ways for web2 organisations to redirect resources toward more value-generating ventures. With the adoption of Blockchain, web2 companies can also potentially experience improved efficiencies through the streamlining of processes and automation via smart contracts, reductions, and savings in overhead and transaction costs. This is, by the way, just the tip of the iceberg of its wider capabilities, and I can go on forever..
What is it about Guild of Guardians that excites you?
What excites, inspires, and motivates me? The builders, creators, contributors, investors, players, and pioneers that make up one of the largest gaming communities out there — The GOG Community! I am amazed and inspired by their unwavering passion for contributing to the betterment of Guild of Guardians! I’ve never encountered a more active, passionate, and engaged community, they’ve provided valuable feedback on improving gameplay, and grown the community from within, and their honesty and positivity about their experiences truly inspire me.
What are some ways web2 companies can partner with web3 companies, and why are partnerships so important for Guild of Guardians?
When it comes to partnerships, I think they’re extremely important for Guild of Guardians. Simply put, Partnerships bring about access to new markets, new communities, and new frontiers. Leveraging on the strengths and capabilities of partners from different parts of our ecosystem is one of the most strategic ways for Guild of Guardians to scale innovation and solve the complex challenge of onboarding billions to true digital ownership via NFTs.
There is a multitude of ways in which web2 businesses can partner with web3 companies. Immersive digital worlds are continuing to attract and engage people in new ways. Brands can think of partnerships that open their consumers to new ways in which they can interact, connect and explore. Our most recent partnership with eight of the most prominent Esports teams worldwide is a great example of this. Esports fans will now be able to represent their teams in-game via digital assets, this opens up a new and enhanced way of engagement between fans and their favourite pro teams. How friggin’ cool is that?
We’ve talked a lot about you as a partnership manager! Tell us what you’re passionate about! 😄
I’m passionate about all things web3.
Web3 gives everyone ownership & control over their data and content and creates a direct relationship with their communities, fans, and supporters, without the need for extraction intermediaries, by replacing these centralised entities with decentralised networks that distribute value to participants, creators, users, and developers.
I believe that in the right hands (with the right amount of oversight), it can be used to create a decentralised economy that is autonomous and free-market driven. Now, what does that mean? Imagine a world where all the value that is being created can be shared amongst people rather than the owners, shareholders, employees, or large corporations. Highly-engaged players can drive the strategic direction of games they play through Decentralised Autonomous Organisations, i.e. DAOs and gaming guilds. The community can benefit from the monetary value accrual of being early adopters of GOG’s digital assets, with those values rising as Guild of Guardians’ popularity increases. It’s exciting, isn’t it?
How can we connect with you?
We hope you enjoyed getting to know our Partnerships Manager, Debra Anne. Stay tuned for the next edition to learn more about the people behind the game Guild of Guardians.
Until next time.