Accenture, MS, WEF dabble in the metaverse

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Accenture and Microsoft have embarked on an ambitious project, partnering with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to explore how the metaverse can be leveraged to shape innovative solutions to critical global challenges.

The trio unveiled two initiatives at the WEF Annual Meeting in Switzerland, saying they are seeking to deepen the understanding of metaverse technology across the globe and how its potential may be harnessed for social good.

They are also seeking accelerated development of global guidelines on the use of the metaverse.

Accenture, Microsoft and WEF introduced the Global Collaboration Village, a virtual reality platform that will provide governments, business and individuals the space to discuss the world’s most pressing challenges.

The parties presented the overall concept and architecture of the Global Collaboration Village, as well as a proof-of-concept of the experience and functionality.

Among the key aims of the platform is to create a new virtual space where “global interaction can be enhanced and co-operative solutions found”. It will provide immersive experiences to foster a better understanding of key global challenges and offer a collaborative public space where broad participation in discussions about pressing global issues is encouraged and enabled.

Another initiative on defining and building the metaverse was unveiled and is backed by more than 60 leading technology companies, joined by other experts from different sectors to accelerate the development of governance and policy frameworks for the metaverse.

The two initiatives will help shape the foundations of the metaverse to create an equitable, interoperable and safe digital environment from the outset, said WEF.

The metaverse – referred to as the next evolution for social connection – is a virtual reality (VR) space where users in different parts of the globe can interact with each other and with virtual beings in a computer-generated environment.

The metaverse made its debut in the public domain last year, after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg bet his resources on the metaverse strategy as the next big thing in social media technology.

Locally, the metaverse and non-fungible tokens market is expected to gain popularity this year, as more local companies dabble with immersive technologies to deliver operational and revenue improvements.

Accenture, Microsoft and WEF say the Global Collaboration Village platform will bring together key global stakeholders – international organisations, governments, partner companies and civil society organisations – “to imagine alternative futures, explore ideas in an immersive way and envision what the future world could be”.

Commenting on the Global Collaboration Village, Julie Sweet, chairperson and CEO of Accenture, says: “While the metaverse is only in its early days, it already holds great promise, not only for redefining how organisations work and interact but also for fostering effective public-private partnerships.

“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.”

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.

“Since our founding in 1971, the forum has served as a platform where business, government, civil society and other stakeholders can come together to address critical global issues.”

The three organisations says the Global Collaboration Village is the first step on a new journey, and will continue to be developed with the aim of turning the metaverse into a place where international cooperation can be strengthened and re-energised.

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