The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Tuesday launched a metaverse platform Global Collaboration Village, in partnership with Accenture and Microsoft. The platform is a working prototype where organizations can agree metaverse and learn about, create solutions for some of today’s pressing challenges.
The village was built using Microsoft Mesh, which is an immersive update to its Teams collaboration software, and harnesses the power of the metaverse to create co-presence and connection for a more diverse and physically dispersed audience.
The immersive nature of the Global Collaboration Village has the potential to create a powerful and efficient means to drive global progress. Inclusive and accountable by design, it will be a creative place to imagine alternative futures, explore ideas and systems transparently and securely, and envision what the future of multistakeholder collaboration might be, the WEF said.
“With the Global Collaboration Village, we are creating the first public application of metaverse technology, building a truly global village in virtual space. Supported by a unique range of public and private sector partners, the Village will use the frontier capabilities of the metaverse to find solutions to address the big issues of our time in a more open, inclusive and sustained way,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and executive chairman of the WEF.
The virtual village includes a series of initial immersive spaces that can be accessed via a VR headset or handheld device. These include:
A town hall: the “Virtual Congress Center” of the Forum for future sessions or meetings, such as plenaries, workshops and bilaterals.
Collaboration Hubs: Virtual collaboration spaces for Forum’s immersive storytelling and thought leadership, intended to inspire collaboration, experiential learning, and real-world impact on global issues. For example, in a virtual ocean hub, participants can dive into the depths of the ocean and explore why and how marine ecosystems need to be protected to preserve both land and water life.
Stakeholder Campus: Forum partners can shape their presence, convene stakeholders, and collaborate with others to innovate and find solutions to global challenges.
Julie Sweet, president and chief executive officer of Accenture, said, “The metaverse will profoundly change every part of every business, connecting our physical and digital worlds, and over time will enable companies to create innovative new consumer products and services, transform their production and operations, and reinvents the way we collaborate and work”.
“We believe the metaverse has the potential to fundamentally change the way we communicate and collaborate, transcending the limitations of the physical world to provide enhanced connections for all. The Global Collaboration Village, powered by Microsoft Mesh, is a great example of how we can use metaverse technology to bring people and communities together in new ways,” said Brad Smith, vice president and president of Microsoft Corporation.
WEF and metaverse
The WEF said the metaverse, which allows people to interact with others in a computer-generated multi-dimensional, multi-sensory virtual environment, could impact the multi-billion dollar market, with billions of users over the next decade. This new form of technology-enabled human interaction is well on its way to becoming ubiquitous in our personal and professional lives. Billions of dollars are invested in the development of the metaverse, which is expected to become an 800 billion dollar market by 2024.