World Economic Forum debuts metaverse for international collaboration

World Economic Forum debuts metaverse for international collaboration

With a nod to Web3, the World Economic Forum (WEF) will be taking a step into the metaverse with an immersive virtual environment to assemble private and public sector stakeholders to discuss solutions to global challenges.

The Forum announced the ‘Global Collaboration Village,’ developed in conjunction with Accenture and Microsoft, to be shown in its annual meeting. It is described as an immersive space for stakeholders from around the world — international organizations, governments, partner companies and civil society organizations — to convene and collaborate on action for pressing challenges facing the globe. Its key aims are to foster global cooperation, interactivity, inclusivity, and impact.

Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and executive chairman, comments, “The metaverse will influence the way, people, governments, companies and society at large think, work, interact and communicate for the purpose of collectively addressing issues on the global agenda. The Global Collaboration Village will be an extension of the World Economic Forum’s public-private platforms and in-person meetings and will provide a more open, more sustained and more comprehensive process for coming together.”

The concept of virtual and remote work and collaboration through the metaverse is a notion that has been pushed by evangelists of the technology. Meta’s Facebook showed off a virtual reality work app where the avatars of people assemble in a digital office and are able to cooperate on tasks. With the COVID-19 pandemic restricting physical travel and increasing concerns about the carbon footprint of air travel, the potential for the metaverse to largely replace globe-trotting conferences and meetings is offered.

The WEF says it will continue to develop the Global Collaboration Village with the founding partners’ group over the next months and years, with the goal to turn the metaverse “into a place where international cooperation can be strengthened and re-energized.” It is also starting an initiative on defining and building the metaverse, assembling 60 companies and figures from governments, academia, and civil society to “accelerate the development of governance and policy frameworks for the metaverse and strengthen economic and social value creation opportunities.”

“While the metaverse is only in its early days, it already holds great promise, not only for redefining how organizations work and interact but also for fostering effective public-private partnerships,” says Julie Sweet, chair and CEO of Accenture. “We are pleased to collaborate with the World Economic Forum and Microsoft in creating the Global Collaboration Village and pioneering a trusted metaverse space. This will complement the Forum’s real-world collaborations and invite a range of diverse stakeholders to come together to address the world’s most critical challenges and innovate a more sustainable future for all.”

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