BY MADUABUCHI EFEGADI
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is embarking on an ambitious new journey to harness the potential of the metaverse as a platform for collaborative, inclusive and effective international action known as Global Collaboration Village (GCV), the international organisation for public-private cooperation said Monday at its annual meeting 2022 in Davos, Switzerland.
The annual meeting is the focal point for leaders to accelerate the partnerships needed to tackle global challenges and shape a more sustainable and inclusive future. This year’s gathering is under the theme, “History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies”, with 450 sessions bringing together global leaders from business, government and civil society.
In collaboration with Accenture and Microsoft, the WEF is building the GCV as the virtual future of public-private cooperation. It will provide immersive spaces where stakeholders can convene, create and take action on the world’s most pressing challenges.
According to Klaus Schwab, WEF’s founder and executive chairman, since its 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 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 GCV 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,” Schwab said.
Julie Sweet, chair and CEO of Accenture added that, “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.”
In futurism and science fiction, the metaverse is a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal and immersive virtual world that is facilitated by the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets.
A statement posted to WEF’s website said, “sales of virtual plots in the Metaverse had already topped $500 million by early 2022.”
What’s the Global Cooperation Village about?
The incoming Global Collaboration Village 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. WEF, in collaboration with Accenture and Microsoft, presented the overall concept and architecture of the GCV, as well as a proof-of-concept of the experience and functionality, at the annual meeting 2022 in Davos, Switzerland.
This launch is the first step on a new journey. The Forum will continue to develop the GCV, together with a founding partners group, over the coming months and years, with the aim of turning the metaverse into a place where international cooperation can be strengthened and re-energized.
In addition, WEF is launching a new initiative on defining and building the metaverse, which convenes more than 60 leading companies from technology and other sectors alongside experts 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. This initiative and the GCV will help shape the foundations of the metaverse to truly create an equitable, interoperable and safe digital environment from the onset.
WEF aims to be a pioneer within this new space, and bring together others to co-create within it. Key aims of the Global Collaboration Village include: Global cooperation – to create a new virtual space where global interaction can be enhanced and cooperative solutions found; Interactivity – to provide immersive experiences to foster a better understanding of key global challenges; Inclusivity – to offer a collaborative public space where broad participation in discussions about pressing global issues is both encouraged and enabled; and Impact – the platform and all of its goals are geared towards catalysing more effective individual and collective action following the Forum’s mission statement and commitment to improving the state of the world.