How to Run a Metaverse Economy

- PST

Dirk Lueth
Upland, Co-founder & Co-CEO

Dirk is a serial entrepreneur and an early adopter of blockchain and related technologies, based in Silicon Valley. He co-founded European and US-based companies in the FinTech and digital media spaces, including the Financial Times Deutschland and Forbatec which has been acquired by SunGard (today NYSE:FIS). Dirk mentored over 30 startups through his work at international startup accelerators in Silicon Valley and is a frequent speaker/panelist focusing on topics about the metaverse, blockchain, and platform economics. He has studied Business Administration in Frankfurt and Paris and received a Ph.D. from the European Business School in Germany where he wrote his doctoral thesis about private and state-controlled currencies. 

Cathy Hackl
Futures Intelligence Group, Chief Metaverse Officer & CEO

Cathy Hackl is a globally recognized metaverse expert, tech futurist, and top business executive with deep experience working in metaverse-related fields with companies like HTC VIVE, Magic Leap, and Amazon Web Services. She’s the CEO of the Futures Intelligence Group, a leading metaverse consultancy working with the world's top brands on metaverse growth strategies, NFTs, gaming, virtual fashion, and how to extend their brands into virtual worlds. She’s a sought-after consultant, speaker, and media personality. Hackl was recently featured in 60 Minutes+, WSJ, and WIRED's coverage of the metaverse and is a contributor to Forbes. She has written two books and is writing an anticipated book on the business opportunities of the metaverse titled The Metaverse Economy. Hackl has been dubbed the Godmother of the Metaverse and is one of the top tech voices on LinkedIn. She's also the host of Adweek's Metaverse Marketing podcast and the dean of the Republic Realm Academy. BigThink named Hackl one of the top 10 most influential women in tech in 2020 and in 2021 she was included in the prestigious Thinkers50 Radar list of the 30 management thinkers most likely to shape the future of how organizations are managed and led.

Yat Siu
Animoca Brands, Chairman of the Board

Yat Siu is a technology entrepreneur/investor based in Hong Kong. He is co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands, a company focusing on leveraging popular brands, gamification, AI, blockchain, and mobile technology to make engaging apps ranging from games to fitness solutions.

Yat began his career at Atari Germany in 1990. In 1995 he moved to Hong Kong to establish Hong Kong Cybercity/Freenation, the first Asian free web page and email provider. In 1998, Yat set up Outblaze, an award-winning pioneer of multilingual white label web services. He sold Outblaze’s services business to IBM in 2009, and pivoted Outblaze to become a conglomerate specializing on cloud, AI, blockchain, and mobile software.

Yat is a director for TurnOut Ventures, a partnership between Outblaze and Turner Entertainment that brought to prominence the hugely popular emoticon character Tuzki. In 2017 he set up the Dalton Learning Lab, an afterschool lab environment that supplements Hong Kong students with skills not emphasized by the local education system, including divergent thinking and design thinking. He is the founder of ThinkBlaze, the research arm of Outblaze investigating socially meaningful issues in technology. 

Yat has earned numerous accolades including Global Leader of Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum, and Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the DHL/SCMP Awards.

A classically trained musician, Yat is a member of the advisory board of BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) and a director of the Asian Youth Orchestra.

Tommaso DiBartolo
University of California Berkeley

Serial Entrepreneur and Startup Investor, Author, Advisor, and Faculty at the University of California Berkeley. Tommaso has built four tech startups from scratch and has two exits under his belt.

Tommaso is passionate about sharing his lessons learned from nearly two decades of entrepreneurial tech expertise as a frequent global keynote speaker and as an advisor to some of Silicon Valley’s most renowned startup accelerators such as Google Launchpad, Draper University, and The Alchemist.

He is a faculty member at UC Berkeley running a class on entrepreneurship and serves the roles of guest lecturer at Stanford University.

Based in Silicon Valley, Tommaso speaks 7 languages, is the author of “How to growth Hack your Startup”, “The Metaverse Economy” and is writing on his third book on “How Corporation in Traditional Industries Drive Innovation”.


The economics of running a virtual world within the metaverse will be a complicated matter. Game worlds and virtual worlds are complicated enough on their own. But what happens when you make the worlds interoperable and users can migrate among them? In this session, we'll talk about making the right choices in designing a metaverse economy in a conversation with Cathy Hackl. How do you get started with experiments? How do you predict user behavior? What stages do these economies have? What are the pitfalls to avoid?