[FUTURE OF METAVERSE] How Will The Metaverse Evolve Our Human Experience?

If you are curious to explore “How the Metaverse will evolve our Human Experience“, have a look at the presentation Metaverse Futurist Sylvia Gallusser gave at APF’s Global Virtual Conference dedicated to the “Futures of Human Experience.”

  • First we introduced the Metaverse beyond Meta, acknowledging the role Meta has played into galvanizing the ecosystem, but also detailing the different layers of the Metaverse Engine, aka the Building Blocks of the Metaverse.
  • We zoomed on Go-to-Metaverse Strategy with a few Metaverse Brand Activations that are inspiring for brands willing to develop an Omnichannel Strategy and reaching a GenZ audience, such as Coca Cola, Nike, and Gucci.
  • We then focused on the many Metaverse Activation Levers to evolve our Human Experience, from Embodiment, Universality, and Self Expression, to Prosperity, and Empathy.
  • We discussed the necessity and ambition to build an Ethical Framework and define a Governance for the Metaverse, with a focus on Safety, Privacy, Equality, Diversity, Mental Health, and Cognitive Biases.
  • We finally introduced great Strategic Foresight frameworks to think about Future Scenarios of the Metaverse, wondering about driving dimensions such as Convergent/Separate and Open/Proprietary, and the conditions for a Mindful Metaverse.

The replay of all the talks are available on APF EXPLORING NEXT event platform.

Thank you so much APF for hosting such conversations!

[METAVERSE ETHICS] Extended Reality (XR) and the Erosion of Anonymity and Privacy

The IEEE Global Initiative published an enlightening report on Ethics of Extended Reality (XR).

Here are the main insights:

  • More and more, devices will pack sophisticated hardware to sense the world around them:
    • LiDAR sensing, camera arrays, microphone arrays, directional microphones.
    • Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms allow XR devices to position themselves in the world and render experiences from the user perspective.
    • Worldscraping: Planet-Scale AR consortium by Niantic, AR APIs and services from Microsoft (Mixed Reality ToolKit), Apple (ARKit), and Google (ARCore) contain capabilities for topological mapping, scene understanding, classification, world positioning, and geometry generation/capture.
  • At the XR user level: 
    • Movements and physical actions: Optical and inertial tracking of head/body/limb movements, EMG neuromotor input, sensing of facial expressions, auditory sensing of speech and nonspeech activity.
    • Neural activity: EEG for brain-computer interfaces
    • Context: Location tracking, Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), and machine learning-driven analysis of optical data
    • Physiology: Eye/gaze tracking, HRV sensing, and other biometrics 
  • Combined with cloud computing and machine learning, both the benefits and drawbacks of this technology will be unleashed on a societal scale. 
    • Machine learning algorithms and AI-driven approaches can be trained and employed to predict/infer information about identity, behavior, activity, internal state, and make decisions based on computed data.
    • Decision-making behaviors could be constructed based on the availability of XR requisite sensing: brain activity, optical tracking (body language, facial expressions, micro gestures), contextual information (instrumenting everyday actions and behavior), physiological sensing (arousal, fatigue) can lead to a detailed multi-sensory model of a user’s mental state and personality. 
    • Such algorithms are offered to developers as services that can trivially enhance the capability of an application to process sensed data (Microsoft Cognitiv Services, Apple’s CoreML, Amazon’s AWS-driven AI/ML services, Google Cloud).
    • The algorithms are subject to significant issues such as algorithmic bias and false positives.
  • It might instigate digital harms for both users and bystanders, from violations of anonymity, privacy, and identity to mass distributed surveillance and behavior nudging.
    • Bystander privacy: XR applications and platforms will be able to instrument the actions, attitudes, and emotions not just of the wearer, but of all those within their sight or within the sensing range of their equipment and its networks. It includes identity recognition (violating the right to anonymity) but also physical and mental privacy (heart rate monitoring, audio capture, etc.)
    • Differential privacy focuses on the problem of sharing data about a group publicly but withholding information about individuals, such that any single individual’s data is not enough to adjust the data set in a manner that would allow their identity to be inferred.
    • Mental privacy: in biometric psychography, biometric data is used to identify a person’s interests. As a consequence, mental privacy is eroded as well, from low-level brain activity data to inferred behavior and intent.
    • Surveillance: The natural limits of human memory ensured a degree of privacy. Persistent, ubiquitous recording by electronic devices, XR applications and platform owners, however, can collect perfect memories in a centralized database to be potentially used by corporate and state actors, enabling cybersurveillance (in VR), and surveillance/sousveillance (AR).
    • Manipulation: User behaviors or thoughts could be anticipated and manipulated to the benefit and desire of a third party (the XR platform, apps on the platform, governments), which undermines the right to agency, or reverse engineering fixed action patterns. It could reinforce existing bias toward “othered” groups or manipulate how we think about a politician or political party. 
    • Super-sensory attacks: Supersensory capabilities (super-hearing, supersight) and memories can help to overcome impairment but also support sophisticated shoulder-surfing attacks.
    • Future use: if this data has been captured by said third parties, further processing and insight into users lives and behaviors might be generated far into the future, constantly refining a digital twin of their identity.
  • Neuro-rights refer to human rights set within neuro-technologies, aiming to enshrine protections regarding identity, agency, mental privacy, exposure to algorithmic bias, and access to augmented intelligence/mental augmentation.

Reco #1: XR stakeholders should actively develop and/or support efforts to standardize differential privacy and/or other privacy protocols that provide for the protection of individual identities and data.

Reco #2: XR platforms should seek to adopt voluntary proposals such as neuro-rights to help ensure that the mental privacy of users is not violated.

Reco #3: XR platforms should disclose (in plain language) and give users agency over what personal data is being captured, how this data is processed and to what ends, and for how long it (and its processed outputs) is retained.

Reco #4: Individuals should have the right to decide how their identity (or representations such as digital twins or augmented appearance) is perceived and appropriated by others in XR.

Reco #5: Where some aspect of bystander data is legally permissible to be captured and processed, bystanders should be made aware that this capture is occurring and should have the capacity to revoke implicit or assumed consent for capture.

Reco #6: Platforms should refrain from enabling the persistent pseudo-anonymous identification or tracking of bystanders and their associated data. Where there is a risk that requested sensor streams enable such tracking and violation of bystander privacy, such streams should be obfuscated by default (making bystanders unrecognizable). 

Reco #7: The right to privacy should be extended to protecting real-time surveillance of homes, businesses, and public spaces.

Reco #8: Capture and processing of non-personal real-time data regarding public and private spaces needs to be regulated in the same way that personal data is through GDPR.

Reco #9: Where there is a risk of infringing on the privacy of others, any augmented intelligence or perception application should require the consent of the sensed others or provide mechanics such that others in the environment are made aware of, or can automatically opt-out of, such activity.

Reco #10: Where there is a genuine need for powerful augmented perception approach that introduces a privacy concern (such as impairment), use of this capability should be sufficiently visible to bystanders that it cannot trivially be misused/abused.

Reco #11: XR Platforms need to adopt rigorous control over what sensor APIs applications can utilize, and how said data is protected from unintended or unanticipated processing. Where risky requests for access occur (e.g., requesting data that, in composite, could enable additional biometric processing), these risks should be mitigated against (e.g., informing users, denying access).

Reco #12: Users should be given the tools they need to retain agency over their device, its sensing activity, and client applications using this data. This includes requiring informed consent for risky sensor data and providing continual awareness and feedback regarding device activity.

Reco #13: Companies should strive to adopt leading guidelines regarding XR privacy protections and standards and enforce those standards on their app stores and platforms.

Reco #14: Industry, legislators, and researchers need to define an Extended Reality Privacy Rights Framework that can inform future legislation and provide voluntary standards for XR privacy protections as a stopgap.

Reco #15: Given there will be shortcomings in legislation and guidelines, the rights of victims of digital harms and privacy violations should also be addressed.

[METAVERSE STRATEGY] Go-to-Metaverse Strategies & Metaverse Brand Activation

Listen to Futurist and Metaverse Strategist Sylvia Gallusser’s latest podcast episode in the New Abnormal.

The New Abnormal,Sylvia Gallusser ‘Go-to-Metaverse Strategies & Metaverse Brand Activation’

Link to the episode

[FUTURE OF METAVERSE] Why You Need A Go-to-Metaverse Strategy!

What is a go-to-metaverse strategy?

Every business needs to define its go-to-market strategy, when it penetrates a new territory, usually characterized by a new market environment – an addressable market, possibly new customer behaviors and needs, local competitors, suppliers, potential partners, specific regulations, and further entry barriers (Porter’s forces). A go-to-market approach will allow the company to identify its strengths, weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats in this new market (SWOT analysis), and define a clear positioning for the company. Market validation will ensure product-market fit in this new territory.

Similarly go-to-metaverse strategy describes the need for a plan as a brand aims to enter the metaverse. 

There is still some debate around an exact definition of the metaverse. We focus here on the metaverse as persistent, immersive, 3D virtual worlds enriched by web3 technology and features (cryptocurrencies, NFTs, DAO…)

The metaverse can be respectively seen as a new technological tool, a new medium, a new social media platform, or a new distribution channel. Hereby we are prone to assimilate the metaverse as a new market or a new conquerable territory. This new territory characterized by a set of market specificities – an audience of GenZ-Millennials and their “avatar” counterparts; new behaviors as early adopters explore social interaction, identification, creation, collaboration, monetization; new players on all layers of the metaverse; new business models derived from token-based economics and direct-to-avatar revenue streams; emerging regulations and ethics to safeguard safety, privacy, and mental health. Considering all these dimensions will contribute to building the foundations of a go-to-metaverse strategy.

Why would you need a go-to-metaverse strategy?

As a brand, you might want to consider the following arguments as to why to engage with the metaverse.

  1. Similarly to a new market, the metaverse opens new business strategy options. Entering the metaverse can offer an instant opportunity, such as a platform to launch a new product or promote an event, a digital campaign turned 3D, or a short-term partnership with another brand. But actively inhabiting the metaverse can also enable extending an online store, replicating a full physical store, developing an aggressive customer acquisition strategy, becoming the core piece of an omnichannel strategy, or even evolving the core business. It should here be noted that deciding not to enter the metaverse for the time being is a perfectly valid strategic option.
  2. Investing in the metaverse is costly, therefore you will want to build a go-to-metaverse plan not to burn resources in the initiative by blindly replicating what other players do. Too often brands are led by their competitors’ PR and loosely copy-paste their initiative with an in-house brand coating, which does not always serve well a long-term strategy and drags costs along the way. We recommend to tailor the metaverse experience to the overall brand strategy and to adapt it to the audience. Ask yourself: what do you want to achieve by entering the metaverse?
  3. The metaverse ecosystem is still in the process of being built. As the boundaries and game rules are still being defined, you will need to identify the strategic players in the field, competitors, potential partners, possible new entrants, as well as the role you want your brand to play in future scenarios. 
  4. A strategic foresight approach gives us agency. As we plan ahead, we need to define an action plan, a timeline, a budget, resources, partnerships, key objectives, risk assessment. Envisioning possible metaverse futures related to your business (e.g. future of fitness in the metaverse, future of entertainment, future of food services…) and identifying opportunity areas in those futures are foresight tools we use to help you backcast and build a full-scale go-to-metaverse action plan.

Go-to-metaverse strategy and metaverse activation: What is the difference?

Go-to-metaverse strategy covers the overall approach, the foundations, the directions, and the business planning as to how to engage with your audience in this new market environment. 

Metaverse activations are concrete actions that you will conduct in the metaverse, from launching a limited-time campaign to fully building a 3D branded world.

For example, Gucci has extended its omnichannel strategy to this new medium, through a set of metaverse activations: In 2020 Gucci created in-game items to equip avatars in Tennis Clash, The Sims, Animal Crossing; they later launched a SDK for users to create personalized avatars; they have developed brand activations on multiple platforms, from Pokemon Go (in partnership with The North Face), to Roblox (with their Gucci Garden), and The Sandbox (where they have acquired a plot of land). On all those platforms, in all those instances, they convey their brand identity through their signature graphics and design.

We here introduce the concept of Metaverse activation levers, which are an intermediary step for you to derive implementations of your strategy, and reciprocally to connect your metaverse activations to your overall go-to-metaverse strategy.

Metaverse activation levers range from educating on a topic, raising brand awareness, creating fan engagement, and launching new products, to offering promotions, constituting a new channel for physical distribution, or even transforming the core business. 

For example Steve Aoki’s Aok1verse acts on the levers of fan engagement, launching new titles, offering promotions and perks, as well as transforming the core business of doing music by including the fans in the creation process. 

Depending on the set of levers activated, we identify five types of go-to-metaverse strategies:

  • Evolving the core business (fan engagement + product launch + promotion + business transformation): Snoop Dog, Ubisoft, Disney, Atari, Ikea
  • Launching and promoting new products (fan engagement + promotion + product launch): Chipotle, Adidas, Warner Music Group, Coca-Cola, Wendy’s
  • Engaging fans and bringing new audiences in (brand awareness + fan engagement): Nike, Gucci, Heineken, Nerf, Barbie, Burberry
  • Raising awareness (educating + brand awareness): Lego, Carrefour, Hyundai, P&G
  • Augmenting physical distribution (promotion + distribution): McDonald’s, Panera, Walmart, Tiger Beer.

Note that we expect more strategies to emerge in the upcoming months and years.

Metaverse Activation Levers and Go-to-Metaverse Strategies – Benchmark

You might want to start thinking about your own objectives and strategy, as you reflect on the possibilities offered by the metaverse through all those levers.

How to create your next metaverse activation?

Given the specificity of the metaverse as a territory under construction, we have built a methodology at the intersection of business strategy and strategic foresight. 

A metaverse activation is the result of bringing together four components:

  1. Go-to-metaverse strategy: reviewing and understanding all strategic options in the realm of the metaverse, investigating metaverse activation levers, connecting strategic goals and activation levers.
  2. Brand strategy: prioritizing your brand strategic goals, expliciting your brand’s identity, story, and values, gathering your current digital assets.
  3. Technology adoption: understanding the different metaverse platforms, as well as web3 capabilities, features, business models, questioning what is available, what is feasible, what is viable.
  4. Futures envisioning: envisioning the future of your industry in the metaverse, projecting your brand’s customer journey in the metaverse, imagining a day in the life of your customers, identifying areas of opportunities for your brand in such futures, as well as including ethics in designing your future metaverse activations.

How to find your brand-metaverse fit?

Iterations among those four inputs will guide you towards finding your brand-metaverse fit. Our in-house methodological framework and workshop facilitation can help you through this ideation process and the crafting of your first metaverse activations.

Contact us.




[METAVERSE] The Future of Beauty and Virtual Living

What an enthralling conversation we had with Gina Clifford on the first episode of the newly-launched The OmniFuture podcast dedicated to Virtual Living!

> We scanned over centuries of beauty representation before projecting ourselves into the future of beauty and fashion.

> We wondered what could be the next step of our human relationship to beauty, and how technology is molding our beauty artifacts and representations. What does meta-beauty encompass?

> We discussed the growing role of social media, avatars, digital artifacts, NFTs and the metaverse, as we spend more and more time in virtual worlds.

> We covered ethics, diversity, go-to-metaverse strategy, and more…

“Beauty has gone from translating in exterior artifacts (figurines, jewelry, clothes) to being applied to the surface of the body (makeup, tan, face powder, eyeliner, tatoos) to becoming interior (through plastic surgery and cosmetic prosthesis). So what could come after? Virtual is the answer. We now are trying to transcend the body itself to have beauty artifacts apply even closer to our identity, our true self, our soul… you name it! As if we wanted to gain full control over our physical and virtual representations. As if we wanted to absorb and completely merge with our chosen aesthetics. This transcendence of beauty takes the form of augmented and virtual beauty enabled through AR/VR technology and the ecosystem which is now being built around it – with Web3 and the metaverse.”

Listen to the podcast on your favorite platform!


The OmniFuture podcast is an audio production by Howard Fields and Grey Swan Guild.

[Future of Work] Silicon Humanism at the HR Hacking Global Online Conference

THE FUTURE OF WORK IS NOW! Join Silicon Humanism at the #HackingHR 2022 – Global Online Conference, March 7-11. Futurist Sylvia Gallusser will be participating in two panels:

– Understanding the ins and outs of how to address #mentalhealth in the #workplace, with Minola Jac

– Understanding the principles of #strategicforesight or how to become an #HRfuturist, with Candace Giesbrecht, CPHR, ACC

The Hacking HR 2022 Global Online Conference “HR Innovation and Future of Work” is the one HR event of the year you can’t miss!

We want to equip you with the tools, information, ideas, stories, knowledge, content, data, experiences and actionable insights. We want you to succeed.

Enrique Rubio has prepared a comprehensive program including: 80+ Certificate Tracks (with three panels each one), Presentations, Roundtables, networking and a lot more. In addition to the main conference, we are integrating the HR Tech Week dedicated to help HR Technology companies connect with investors and potential buyers.

The BIG theme of the conference is “THE PATH FORWARD”: imagining the future, together, and designing how to make it happen from HR.

Join us here: https://lnkd.in/gWgK-jz

[Metaverse] 8 Strategies to Building the Metaverse

Are we heading towards a betterverse? What role will humanism play in the new technological landscape, now that web3 opens new possibilities? As we dig into this topic, we wished to offer a panorama of the Metaverse(s), underlining the multiple ways to conceptualize it, the different value propositions brought by big tech players, and the diverse strategies to building it.


Mark Zuckerberg has been vocal about his investment in the future of the metaverse (up to changing his company’s name), expressing that “It won’t be built overnight by a single company. We’ll collaborate with policymakers, experts and industry partners to bring this to life.” His intention looks good on paper: “The metaverse is a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you. You’ll be able to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create and more. It’s not necessarily about spending more time online — it’s about making the time you do spend online more meaningful.”

In this vision, Meta presents the metaverse as a sort of 3-dimensional version of the current web, an umbrella for a variety of VR-centric sub-worlds and social networks (note that Meta owns four of the top six social media platforms) and accessible through the Oculus VR headset (Oculus was acquired by Facebook in 2014).

Meta revealed financials for its metaverse business for the first time a few days ago. Its Reality Labs reported massive losses, reaching more than $10 billion in 2021. Mark Zuckerberg is seemingly unfazed, having previously announced the concept would cost $10 billion in 2021, then more in future years, as he expects the metaverse to lose money for the foreseeable future. Meta executives believe it could take up to 15 years to fully realize their vision.

Recent patents filed by Meta indicate that the metaverse might be filled with hyper-personalized ads and could include eye-tracking and face-tracking technology.

(Sources: “Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse business lost more than $10 billion last year, and the losses keep growing”, February 2022, “Building the Metaverse Responsibly”, November 2021)


Epic Games announced a $1-billion funding round (in April 2021) to support its long-term vision for the metaverse including an additional $200-million strategic investment from Sony Group Corporation. Whereas Meta believes social networking to be the most natural on-ramp to the metaverse, another driving force to the metaverse has been gamingFortnite and Roblox (Roblox considers itself the “shepherd of the metaverse”) have demonstrated how gaming can flow into purely social interactions as people often stop playing the game to hang out. MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) and persistent universes have been a subject of study for anthropologists for a while now. Field studies and monographs based on immersion in virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft underline the establishment of specific language and behaviors, social norms, rituals, and even rites of passage (such as weddings).

In addition to accelerating the development of connected social experiences in Fortnite, Rocket League and Fall Guys, Epic’s investment is destined to empower game developers and creators with Unreal EngineEpic Online Services and the Epic Games Store. This metaverse approach is driven by a holistic gaming experience, on top of which creativity and co-ownership play a crucial role. The balance of power is being slowly displaced from “brands over consumers”, to “consumers as co-creators”.

The market for digital artifacts is becoming quite active, both from the involvement of brands such as Nike and all major luxury brands offering virtual fashion items within the games, but also from myriads of digital studios and independent creators designing and now selling their own digital artifacts as NFTs.

If Fortnite, which is a natural part of the emerging metaverse, is not based on decentralized technology, Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney yet underlines the importance of building an open metaverse, to counter the threat of a “metaverse run like an Apple ecosystem, governed by one central company, and more powerful than any government”.

(Sources: “Announcing a $1 Billion Funding Round to Support Epic’s Long-Term Vision for the Metaverse”, April 2021, “Silicon Valley is racing to build the next version of the Internet. Fortnite might get there first”, April 2020)


Niantic’s CEO, John Hanke, has been advocating for a Real-World Metaverse, which is less of a VR-closed environment (he considers a metaverse seen through a Virtual Reality headset a “dystopian nightmare”), and more of a truly Augmented Reality with physical-digital spaces merging.

“AR is where the real metaverse is going to happen,” Hanke declared to Wired. “At Niantic, we believe humans are the happiest when their virtual world leads them to a physical one. Unlike a sci-fi metaverse, a real-world metaverse will use technology to improve our experience of the world as we’ve known it for thousands of years.” The Pokestops in the Game Pokemon Go are based on landmarks, usually featuring a photograph and occasionally an advertisement.

Niantic has been building its landmark database and building its 3D mapping by asking players to scan these landmarks using the smartphone camera. A new feature rewards players with bigger and better items. This incentive to collect real world visual data is a major step for Niantic to realize their vision for the “real world metaverse”.

By layering information over the real world through smartphone apps, an AR-based metaverse removes any need for expensive VR equipment, plus it allows users to still experience the world we live in through natural sensory input: “I’m talking about embellishing things selectively, like planting flowers in boxes along the street”. Opposed to VR hardware that block out the users’ senses and replace the input with digital artifacts, John Hanke believes in the idea of “using digital tech to reinvigorate the idea of a public square, to bring people off the couch and out into an environment they can enjoy. There’s a lot of research that supports the positive psychological impact of walking through a park, walking through a forest.”

(Sources: “The Real World Metaverse”, December 2021, “AR Is Where the Real Metaverse Is Going to Happen”, November 2021)


Microsoft’s vision is closer to a mixed-reality platform at the service of gaming and business applications. As described by Cecilia D’Anastasio in Wired, Microsoft’s metaverse is a “sci-fi skin over its manifest-destiny aggregation of platforms and products, which include its operating system (Windows), servers (Azure), comms network (Teams), hardware (HoloLens), entertainment hub (Xbox), social network (LinkedIn), and IP (Minecraft)”.

According to Azure’s Corporate VP, Sam George, the solution resides in converging the physical and digital with digital twins, mixed reality, and metaverse apps. The environment is already in use for many industrial applications. “Digital twins enable you to create rich digital models of anything physical or logical, from simple assets or products to complex environments. This initial binding of the physical and digital is foundational to enabling metaverse apps.” From there, the possibilities look endless: “One of the most powerful things you can do is interact with the digital model overlaid onto the physical environment in mixed reality. You can get rich metadata and insights into anything you’re doing in the physical world from this digital copy. You can also interact in pure virtual space, even over distances with colleagues and experts anywhere in the world.”

On top of that, Microsoft just announced a $69 billion deal to buy gaming giant Activision Blizzard. “This acquisition will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console, and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.” Activision Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft, has earned well over $8 billion in lifetime revenue from the game.

(Sources: “Converging the physical and digital with digital twins, mixed reality, and metaverse apps”, May 2021, “Microsoft’s metaverse vision is becoming clear — and makes sense”, January 2022, “Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard to bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone, across every device”, January 2022)


Linden Lab offered an early implementation of metaverse under the form of a persistent 3D world. Philip Rosedale launched Second Life in 2003, as an immersive digital platform in which users can build worlds, create art, and buy and sell digital goods. Despite a spike of traffic in 2007, Second Life faded into the background, while still maintaining a loyal base of enthusiasts.

In January 2022, Philip Rosedale announced he would rejoin Linden Lab as a strategic advisor, which has been interpreted as a strong message to the tech world to prevent the “Facebook-ization of virtual reality”: “Big Tech giving away VR headsets and building a metaverse on their ad-driven, behavior-modification platforms isn’t going to create a magical, single digital utopia for everyone. Second Life has managed to create both a positive, enriching experience for its residents — with room for millions more to join — and built a thriving subscription-based business at the same time. Virtual worlds don’t need to be dystopias.”

Unlike the ad-auction business model implemented by Facebook or Google, Second Life chose to earn revenue “from charging people what’s basically a property tax if they choose to own land in Second Life. The rest of its money it makes from small fees on transactions. If somebody sells digital goods to somebody else through the Second Life marketplace, there’s a small fee that Second Life charges the seller.” However, if the atoms in Second Life have a stamp on it to trace ownership, they are not stored on blockchain like NFTs, but in a public database: “That information contains who created it, who presently owns it, and, if it’s for sale, what the price is and what you’ll be able to do with it once you buy it. It’s very similar to the metadata associated with an address on a blockchain. But we store it in a central database, so people have to trust that Linden Lab is going to keep that database up to date.” As such, Second Life’s version of metaverse is not a decentralized one as web3 is advocating for.

(Sources: “How to Build a Better Metaverse”, January 2022, “Second Life’s creator is returning to advise the original metaverse company”, January 2022).


Crucible believes in the inevitability of an Open Metaverse, and works to build tools and communities to bring it to reality the right way. According to Ryan Gill, co-founder of Crucible, “the internet up until this point has been developed and architected by web developers, and the Metaverse is just saying that it’s going to start being built by game developers.”

Crucible uses decentralized Web3 protocols and technologies such as blockchain to verify digital ownership and protect the privacy of the user. The Open Metaverse Interoperability Group works on building protocols to bridge the gaps between virtual worlds and making the metaverse more secure and diverse.

According to Ryan Gill, “The level to which the metaverse is going to be important to the lives of the people on Earth is immense, and the influence it will have is far too great for one company, or a couple of companies, to own in the same sort of consolidated way that other markets have. So we need to embrace more open standards and protocols.”

Crucible also pushes the idea of Self Sovereign Identity as a single-sign-on: “SSI is the gold standard for the way digital identity works. In the real world, SSI has really gotten its foothold in many industries like government and banking, but we are the first people to bring it to gaming. We prove our identity in the world through credentials, and typically on the internet, that is your email. SSI is a blockchain- based credential that proves your identity. It’s the perfect use case for avatars and the way that digital identity is becoming this cultural movement about expression.”

Sebastien Borget, CEO of The Sandbox, also supports the idea that the metaverse isn’t about competition but about a future that is open and decentralized.

(Sources: “The Open Metaverse”, September 2021, “The metaverse is too important to get wrong, so it needs to be open”, November 2021)


Google was among the first companies to launch augmented reality glasses with its Google Glass (2013–2014) which didn’t gain widespread consumer interest nor adoption. Since then, it has been quietly investing in the Metaverse, although it refers to this as immersive, ambient computing. According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, “Computing over time will adapt to people more than people adapting to computers. You won’t always interact with computing in a black rectangle in front of you. Just like you speak to people, you see, and interact, computers will become more immersive. They’ll be there when you need it to be.”

AR headsets, internally codenamed Project Iris, are expected to be released in 2024. The device will use outward-facing cameras to blend computer graphics with a video feed of the real world, creating a more immersive, mixed reality experience than existing AR glasses. Google is keeping the project secret and no clear go-to-market strategy is defined so far.

(Sources: “Sundar Pichai thinks of the metaverse as more immersive computing with AR”, November 2021, “The Metaverse Set Off A Battle Between Tech Giants Google, Apple, Microsoft And Meta To Build Virtual And Augmented Reality Headsets”, January 2022)


While Meta publishes its $10 billion losses on the metaverse, while Epic Games continue to lead the way with Fortnite, while Linden Lab’s founder Philip Rosedale returns to Second Life, while Microsoft invests in Activision, while Google secretly speeds up the project, while Niantic’s John Hanke states “The future that I am describing is the one that’s going to win”, Apple appears “perfectly happy to let the metaverse pass it by”.

So far, its vision is closer to Niantic’s one: Apple (which now counts over 14,000 ARKit apps in its App Store) has already spent a lot of resources on building software to make it easy for developers to implement augmented reality, focusing mostly on the phone and tablet spaces. Apple is said to be working on releasing its own headsets in 2022. These devices could include eye tracking and cameras blending VR and AR together. We wouldn’t be surprised if in a couple of years, Apple comes up with a whole new transverse ecosystem, a neatly designed integrated cross-device extended-reality user experience, with the same surprise effect as for the launch of the first Macintosh computer and first iPhone.

(Source: “Why Apple is perfectly happy to let the metaverse pass it by”, January 2022)

And we are personally looking forward to a metaverse that goes beyond a VR-headset encapsulated world and a phone-based augmented reality, and incorporates smartly with our homes (mirrors, screens, walls, windows, appliances, monitors, furniture…) as mixed-reality equipment! What about an IKEA-led metaverse?


Of all these conceptions of the metaverse, these corporate visions, centralized, decentralized, AR-VR-MR-based, with their experimental governance and business models, we cannot predict which one will dominate. However we believe that this profusion of innovation and healthy competition, with a focus on interoperability, safety, security, wellness, responsibility, and inclusion, will bring many options to a diverse audience looking to engage always further with technology, with each other, and with the exterior world around.

(Sources: “What is the metaverse?”, November 2021, “Is Metaverse singular or plural?”, January 2022)

These nascent metaverses are exciting, fascinating, opening new possibilities. But they also make us wonder about the world(s) we are going to live in a few decades, and specifically how we can remain human and respectful of each other in such future(s).

Read more about “The Future of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging (DIEB): in web3 and the Metaverse”, February 2022, by Sylvia Gallusser and Antonia Nicols, a publication by Grey Swan Guild.

Read more about “Humanism at the core of web3 and the Metaverse”, January 2022, by Sylvia Gallusser which raises the question: “Are we heading toward a ‘betterverse’?”

Sylvia Gallusser will be a speaker at web3summit in San Diego (May 18-20).

[Metaverse] 10 Reasons to believe in the Betterverse…

We are sharing 10 reasons to believe the metaverse can be built for better… This is an excerpt from the latest issue of the Grey Swan Guild’s news wrap. Read the full article here: The Future of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging (DIEB): in web3 and the Metaverse from lead editors Sylvia Gallusser and Antonia Nicols.

1. Built with all humans in mind… provided we all take part in it, not just the big platforms!

In “The Drum’s Metaverse Deep Dive”, Rosie Copland-Mann argues that diversity and inclusion shouldn’t be left to the platforms building the metaverse. As of now, only 24% of game developers are women, Black and Hispanic workers remain underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce, and facial-analysis software shows an error rate of 0.8% for light-skinned men, compared to 34.7% for dark-skinned women.

If the metaverse is meant to offer “shared virtual spaces for humans to connect, interact, express themselves, and transpose activities from the physical world”, we should design it with humans in mind. Virtual worlds do provide us with palettes of fictional characters that don’t exist in real life — however users should equally be given the tools to create avatars closer to their IRL self. In fact, not all people have access to avatars reflecting their identity, so they end up representing themselves as characters, aliens, or animals through necessity. Bitmoji and Meta Avatars have started offering ranges of skin tone, body shape, physical ability, age, but many companies are lagging behind, not providing non-binary options, skin tone variations, hair textures, etc.

Luckily some communities are paving the way by launching initiatives enabling representation and inclusivity, and democratizing digital fashion, art, and self-expression in the metaverse, such as The Institute of Digital FashionWorld of WomenDigi-Gxl.

(Source: ”Why diversity must be built into the fabric of the metaverse”, January 2022)

2. An opportunity for change for traditional brands

Whereas some brands still display traditional mindsets, a new wave of creatives start to write the new rules, such as 18-year-old trans artist Fewocious, who sold their life story through NFTs for $2.1 million.

The rise of this new media is an opportunity for brands to hire, empower, listen to, and learn from a diverse pool of creatives. In addition to offering nontraditional shopping capabilities, beauty brands will use the metaverse to expand their networks and build stronger, more engaged audiences. For example, events will no longer be exclusive to people living in metropolitan areas. According to Brooke Ozaydinli, host of the Naked Beauty Podcast, “Creators like Doniella Davy, the lead makeup artist for Euphoria, can offer looks that your avatar can try on and wear in the metaverse. A hair artist like Nikki Nelms, who creates elaborate looks for Solange and Janelle Monáe, may offer the opportunity for avatars to rock her hairstyles in the metaverse.”

(Source: ”Beauty and the Metaverse May Collide Sooner Than You Think”, January 2022)

3. A new market for providers focusing on DIEB

Tafi, a provider of advanced avatar creation and NFT tools, consults with a broad range of ethnic and cultural experts and organizations to improve representation, remove unconscious bias, and pursue more inclusive avatar standards.

According to Tafi COO, “When Tafi designed its tools and collections for avatar creation, we made sure all content, regardless of gender norms, was interchangeable. Users can place a wedding dress or tutu on masculine characters, or a very formal tuxedo on feminine characters. Our flagship prototype characters, Victoria and Michael, are updated periodically; in a recent iteration Michael is in a wheelchair, and Victoria is deaf. We worked with a leading American Sign Language institute to create sign language animations, so Victoria could actually communicate in sign language. We also worked with an artist who is deaf to create realistic hearing aids.” Technologists are invited to connect with communities and DIEB-specialized players, as a new market of “DIEB providers” emerges.

(Source: ”The Metaverse should be a beacon of diversity”, December 2021)

4. Metaverse accessibility

Tech-cessibility was a key word at the latest CES in January:

  • Biped’s smart harness for blind and visually impaired people, using 3D cameras to monitor the environment and detect obstacles, warning the wearer of potential collisions using 3D sounds transmitted through bone conduction earphones;
  • Samsung’s smart TVs include accessibility-enhancing functionalities such as a voice guide, an avatar sign language guide, SeeColors to optimize color calibration for people with color viewing deficiency, and auto caption position;
  • OrCam won a CES innovation award for its camera that clips to glasses to help visually impaired people identify and interpret facial expressions.

Now how does it translate in the metaverse? In “My Metaverse Day”, Vesa Nopanen aka “Mr. Metaverse” suggests accessibility ideas for developers and platform builders to create, such as: a universal translator, simultaneous captioning and translation of speech, a simultaneous sign language avatar, an audio guide to describe surroundings, muting of other audios, adjustable Spatial 3D audio settings to concentrate on closer people instead of hearing background noise, ability to create an avatar’s voice and type what the avatar says to others, etc.

(Source: “Metaverse increases equality, accessibility and inclusivity”, January 2022)

5. Crypto empowering those excluded from traditional financial systems

Whereas two billion people worldwide don’t have access to financial services, the larger crypto space has become a place where marginalized communities have empowered themselves, both socially and financially.

A poll published in August 2021 by USA Today / Harris Poll found that 23% of Black Americans and 16% of Hispanic Americans own cryptocurrencies. By comparison, only 11% of white Americans own any digital coins. Another finding of the poll is that 25% of LGTBQ Americans own crypto, compared to 13% of the general public in the U.S.

According to Jori Armbruster, CEO & Co-founder at EthicHub, “Traditional financial systems have excluded almost a quarter of the world population, and crypto has the potential to solve this problem.” In addition, crypto does not just mean buying and holding. It also extends to play-to-earn blockchain games, wear-to-earn from fashion brands, NFTs, and global crypto remittances.

(Source: “Building Web 3 for Everyone — Marginalized communities are defining their spaces in the metaverse”, October 2021).

6. Democratizing art through NFTs

Traditional art spaces are notoriously homogenous, with US museum collections consisting of 85% white and 87% male artists. Through NFTs, a diverse range of artists gain exposure without having to go through traditional gatekeepers.

TheBlkChain is a platform which amplifies the work of women, BIPOC and LGBTQ artists and collectors in the NFT space, providing an opportunity for diverse artists to make a living from their art thanks to NFTs. ARTXV is an NFT collective centered on neurodiversity aiming to show everyone the beauty and unique perspective of neurodiversity in the art world and to accelerate the economic independence of artists with neurodiversities such as autism, ADHD, and synesthesia. My Boss Beauties is an NFT collection that portrays a diverse range of strong women. BlackFreelancer is a global community for Black creatives to showcase their work, get hired and passively invest in crypto currencies. The blockchain provides a unique opportunity for private investors of all cultures and backgrounds to close the wealth gap through ownership and collection of NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

(Source: “The Diversity, Equity and inclusion potential of NFTs”, October 2021)

7. Building the infrastructure of a Metaverse for all

Bandwidth will become even more essential as we will need high-performance connectivity capable of supporting the demands of bandwidth-consuming applications in the metaverse. Technology such as edge computing — which can reduce network latency and improve reliability — will become increasingly important in networks that require real-time responsiveness.

Deploying infrastructure functions using virtual machine and container concepts where they can be deployed across the network at scale and in real time will be key. Classic network functions such as routing and switching will need to be fully virtualized. They need to be easily updated, upgraded, patched and deployed. All this requires proper network infrastructure investments and innovation.

According to Steve Alexander, SVP and CTO of Ciena, “The building blocks are already there for Meta to build a hospitable metaverse, and as those technologies continue to evolve — driven by an expected uptick in innovation among tech developers looking to capitalize on the metaverse emergence — Meta will have more world-building tools to work with.”

(Source: “A hospitable metaverse requires the basic building blocks of virtual life”)

8. Meta extends Black History Month into the metaverse

Meta’s first ever Metaverse Culture Series debuts this month in Horizon Worlds and Horizon Workrooms, bringing together Black thought leaders and creators from across the U.S. to explore ideas for weaving Black culture, heritage, and creativity into the fabric of the metaverse.

Meta Quest 2 users can access curated VR content on Oculus TV each week, including a look at the unsung heroes of the Black Lives Matter movement with the creatives behind “In Protest”, as well as a tour of the International Space Station with astronaut Victor Glover. “Traveling While Black”, a free VR experience from Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, explores the history of restriction of movement for Black Americans and the creation of safe spaces.

“Exhibit African/American: Making the Nation’s Table” opens Feb. 23 in New York” is an immersive artistic journey by the Museum of Food and Drink and AR creator Charles “Ceej” Johnson, exploring the stories of Black Americans who helped shape the country’s culinary culture.

“The ARt of My Roots AR effect” on the Facebook and Instagram camera is dedicated to making art and culture accessible to all, and a collection of AR effects inspired by two pieces from “African/American: Making the Nation’s Table” will be available on both platforms.

(Source: “Meta Extends Black History Month Initiatives to AR, VR, Metaverse”, February 2022)

9. Body image and the Proteus Effect

In September 2021, internal research from Facebook revealed that 32% of teen girls suffering from poor body image feel worse after using Instagram, and that extended time spent on social media leads to heightened suicide rates for girls as they enter adulthood. How can we create a foundation to the Metaverse that empowers women and frees them from body image traps and related mental health? “We’ll need an excess of tools and processes that foster nonconformity. But, because our current models for social media reward women for sexualizing themselves with both clout and cash, how can we hope to break free and build a metaverse that doesn’t just perpetuate the destructive narrative we’re all adhering to today?”

In 2007, a group of Stanford researchers discovered that the way in which users operated avatars in a simulated world would, in turn, impact their behavior back in the real world. Those who embodied tall avatars in the metaverse began to adopt a more aggressive demeanor outside of it. This so-called “Proteus Effect” shows that the way our bodies are represented in cyberspace will undoubtedly affect how we operate in our everyday lives. One major difference between web2 and web3 is that web3 allows us to be more than users: we can operate as contributors and owners of the digital spaces and actively participate in the governance of how they are created, controlled, and changed over time.

(Source: “What happens to body image in the metaverse?”, January 2022)

10. Preserving street art via NFTs

Murals and other similar forms of art are often ephemeral and generating an income from them has remained a challenge. Putting them on the blockchain can give them life after they’ve been covered up or removed. According to Independent curator Gita Joshi, host of The Curator’s Salon podcast, “NFTs now allow artists to grow an international audience, be compensated, and find advocacy for their work. As people buy real estate in, Decentraland, NFT street artists might find new opportunities as commissioned artists”.

“Murals to the Metaverse” is a first-of-its-kind collectible that has bridged murals and physical experiences with the NFT marketplace. It contains six mural NFTs by Bay Area public artists Jet Martinez, Joshua Mays, Bud Snow, Wolfe Pack, Vogue, Yabe Media, and Ruff Draft, and animated by DIY J, and representing the Bay Area’s stylistic and cultural diversity, ranging from portrait photography and pop-surrealism to graffiti and Afro-futurism.

(Source: “Finally, a Good Use for NFTs: Preserving Street Art, January 2022)

[Metaverse] Humanism at the core of Web3 and the metaverse

If Web1 represented the Golden Age of a democratized access to information, and Web2 witnessed the reign of content creation and social media platforms, Web3 will see the realm of the metaverse, connecting people, places, and things in a 3-dimensional, “phygital” (physical and digital), secure, decentralized, and AI-powered environment. All these promises give us hope that a more human-centric and inclusive internet can emerge: Are we heading toward a “betterverse?”

As new business models emerge, a whole economy is being created. While this new internet is a goldmine for artists eager to promote their artwork and make a living out of it in the form of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), some wonder how a student can earn $1 million dollars by selling a series of selfies or how a pair of virtual sneakers (by RTFKT Studios) can reach the amount of $100,000, while there are still 690 million people worldwide who are undernourished. RTFKT Studios was acquired by Nike in December 2021 for an undisclosed amount.

And what about representation and inclusion? Avatar creation and the ensuing market of digital artifacts bring along infinite possibilities of reinventing oneself, therefore opening to more gender equity and gender fluidity. Yet we already notice an underrepresentation of women, disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community. Avatars that are female, or have darker skin tones, tend to sell for less than masculine and white avatars despite being less common. To counterbalance the trend, digital design studio Daz 3D created 8,888 female and non-binary “Non-Fungible People”.

In a decentralized system still led by major business players attempting to achieve interoperability, who is handed down the responsibility? Facebook – rebranded Meta – aims to build the metaverse responsibly, collaboratively, with wellness, safety and diversity at heart. Will these intentions be enough? What governance can we put in place to make the Internet a better place? What ethical futures can we envision and contribute to building as Web3 becomes a reality?

Because the world is now phygital. Web3 only makes sense if it is built in close relationship with our physical reality. We ultimately believe that to create beautiful art and offer meaningful immersive experiences, we will always need to be in touch with our exterior world, the millions of species that exist on Earth, the treasures we discover as we explore space and the deep ocean, as well as the very specificities of real-life human interactions.

Read the full article on wagmas.xyz’s blog and join our effort at Silicon Humanism. Our Founder Sylvia Gallusser will be present at web3summit in San Diego May 18-20, 2022, and bring the topic of Humanism of web3 to the stage. web3summit is an initiative from Deborah Perry-Piscione and Val Bercovici.

[Predictions for 2022… from 1922 visionaries!] What can we learn from century-long predictions?

100 years ago, a group of deep thinkers imagined what life would be like in 2022. One of them particularly caught our attention, not only because many of his predictions proved to be accurate, but also because he got us into thinking about the role and the methods of the futurist himself.

Walter Lionel George (1882-1926) was an English writer, who made a good number of noticeable predictions as he imagined life in 2022. We reviewed some of them and clustered them around four categories, as a basis to derive learnings for our own foresight practice.

1. The Disruptive. WL George envisioned radical changes that took place. His ability to think outside of the box while interpreting signals is very inspirational.

“The people of the year 2022 will probably never see a wire outlined against the sky: it is practically certain that wireless telegraphy and wireless telephones will have crushed the cable system long before the century is done.”

“I suspect that those wars to come will be made horrible beyond my conception by new poison gases, inextinguishable flames and lightproof smoke clouds. In those wars the airplane bomb will seem as out of date at is today the hatchet.”

“It is likely that by that time a great deal of power will be obtained from tides, from the sun, probably from radium and other forms of radial energy, while it may also be that atomic energy will be harnessed.”

2. The Invariable. In addition to thinking in terms of radical change, WL George also spent time focusing on what has not changed. It is a good reminder that tradition and heritage are an important component of our future. This is an element that is sometimes missing in speculative fiction or science-fiction: “what we will not renounce”. 

“Many buildings now standing will be preserved. It is conceivable that the Capitol at Washington, many of the universities and churches will be standing a hundred years hence, and that they will, almost unaltered, be preserved by tradition.”

“Marriage will still exist much as it is today, for mankind has an inveterate taste for the institution, but divorce will probably be as easy everywhere as it is in Nevada.”

“It is conceivable, though not certain, that in 2022 a complete meal may be taken in the shape of four pills. This is not entirely visionary; I am convinced that corned beef hash and pumpkin pie will still exist.”

3. The Ongoing. WL George also made predictions about progress. And from his predictions, we can wonder how to project them one step further. How can we continue to draw the line from 1922 to 2022 to 2122. With two data points, what forecast can we make for next century?

“Naturally the work of the household, which is being reduced day by day, will in 2022 be a great deal lighter. I believe that most of the cleaning required today in a house will have been done away with.”

“It is practically certain that in 2022 nearly all women will have discarded the idea that they are primarily ‘makers of men.’ Most fit women will then be following an individual career. All positions will be open to them and a great many women will have risen high.”

“The year 2022 will probably see a large number of women in Congress, a great many on the judicial bench, many in civil service posts and perhaps some in the president’s Cabinet. But it is unlikely that women will have achieved equality with men.”

“Americans will be less enterprising and much more pleasure loving. They will have rebelled against long hours; the chances are that in 2022 few people will work more than seven hours a day, if as much. The effect of this, which I am sure sounds regrettable to many of my readers, will, in my opinion, be good.”

4. The Exponential. WL George made acute predictions about the growth and evolution of certain trends. However it seems that these predictions were based on more conservative growth factors than change actually happened, as if he were thinking in terms of “linear growth”, whereas what happened was closer to changes at an exponential scale.

“As regards the United States in particular, it is likely that the country will have come to a complete settlement, with a population of about 240,000,000. The idea of North and South, East and West will have almost disappeared.”

There are 329.5 million inhabitants in the U.S. (2020)

“I suspect that commercial flying will have become entirely commonplace. The passenger steamer will survive on the coasts, but it will have disappeared on the main routes, and will have been replaced by flying convoys, which should cover the distance between London and New York in about 12 hours.”

A typical London-New York flight is closer to 7 hours.

WL was not only a visionary, he is also a great teacher for current foresight practitioners!

English author W.L. George (1882-1926) was ahead of his time.

You can read more about WL George predictions for 2022 in the article “The future is now: 100-year-old predictions about 2022”.

[TOP 10 Innovations at CES 2022] Tech gets humanized!

Tech gets humanized at CES 2022! The Wunderman Thompson report of CES 2022 key trends underlines that despite a mostly digital participation (40,000 in-person participants vs. 171,000 at latest edition in 2020), technology is becoming more human-centered.

At Silicon Humanism we are particularly attentive, hopeful, and eager to follow the development of:

1. Multisensory Metaverse

  • Shiftall, a Panasonic subsidiary, presented a hot and cold simulator for virtual reality.
  • Procter & Gamble’s digital experience BeautySphere featured immersive storytelling.
  • Owo won a CES innovation award for their wireless wearable vest that makes you feel as if you are catching a ball or getting hit, and even being hugged!

2. Tech-cessibility

  • Biped introduced a smart harness for blind and visually impaired people, using 3D cameras to monitor the environment and detect obstacles, warning the wearer of potential collisions using 3D sounds transmitted through bone conduction earphones.
  • Samsung’s smart TVs include accessibility-enhancing functionalities such as a voice guide, an avatar sign language guide, SeeColors to optimize color calibration for people with color viewing deficiency, and auto caption position.
  • OrCam won a CES innovation award for its camera that clips to glasses to help visually impaired people identify and interpret facial expressions.

3. Smart Homes

  • Samsung created a customizable digital home My House accessible via the Zepeto app, where visitors can test out virtualized home products, from their Frame TV to their AirDresser clothes-sanitizing wardrobe.
  • Masonite introduced a residential smart door, complete with an integrated Ring doorbell, Yale smart lock, and lights and sensors connected to the home’s electrical system and wifi network.
  • Matter unveiled a platform for smart home interoperability, turning connected homes into interconnected homes.
  • Samsung introduced the first TV screen-based NFT explorer and marketplace aggregator in partnership with Nifty Gateway, that lets you browse, purchase, and display your favorite art all in one place.

[Future of the Home] “Encanto” or the coming-of-age tale of a house

The latest Disney movie, Encanto, is not as much driven by a princess-like character as by an enchanted home. The Madrigal house is the core character and, to my eyes, the true heroine of the movie. I won’t spoil the plot here nor reveal all the magical gifts of the Madrigal family members (fifteen good minutes of the movie explain it well enough), but what caught my attention in the movie is the journey through which the house goes, evolves and finally reveals itself. In other terms, Encanto is the downright coming-of-age tale of a house! And having studied the home of the 2020s these past years, I was delighted to find in Encanto a bewitched illustration of the future home I have been studying in depth in my foresight practice.

In the framework we developed at Silicon Humanism to underline the transformation the home is currently experiencing, we define Four Archetypes of Future Homes and emphasize how the pandemic and ensuing global crisis have crystallized these archetypes for the upcoming decade. 

“The pandemic has redesigned our home landscape, transforming our everyday environment while accentuating changes previously underway. Two levels are now morphing: the structures (home design, materials, furniture, appliance) and the intangibles (schedules, behaviors, social bonds, mental health). For most of us, shelter-in-place led to rearranging our current home and making adjustments to adapt to new requirements. The modularity of the Tetris Home helped people develop short-term resilience and sustain the peak of the crisis. Unfortunately for many, homes were under-equipped to face such challenges. When budgets are limited, stress and anxiety are over-the-roof, and mental health is seriously damaged in the context of a homelife that comes to represent a threat in itself, homes switch to take the shape of Toxic Homes. The interest for Bunker Homes has been on the rise, with a booming demand and an adaptation of the market to address that demand. If cabin fever makes it an improbable long-term solution, bunker homes have the advantage of encouraging sustainability. In the future, the most viable option is the development of Safe Haven Homes, which can offer structural resilience, embrace the outdoors and create an auspicious environment for the individuals to climb up the Maslow pyramid and meet most of their needs from physiological to security, social and self-fulfillment (hobbies, spirituality). This last archetype emphasizes our sense of looking out at the landscape and into the future.”

In the movie, the home goes through each of our identified archetypes, as it transforms from an idealized version of Smart Home to a Bunker Home, a Toxic Home, then Tetris home, and finally a future-driven Safe Haven.

Smart Home. In the first fifth of the movie, the Madrigal home is presented as an idealized version of home, whose tiles and walls are smarter than your smarter homes equipped by General Electric, Google Nest nor Alexa. The home anticipates your every step, your every move and even your every desire, be it about helping you to wake up, get dressed or set the table. But soon enough we transit from this ideal smart home (to me, a pure version of how we imagined our future home this past decade, fully automatized and serving our every need, except advanced technology and artificial intelligence would do the trick instead of Disney magic) to a scarier version of home.

cinemaonline.sg: "Encanto" to be released in cinemas 24 November

Bunker Home. Following an old-times danger that fell down on the matriarch Abuela and her descendants, the home starts to reveal some cracks. In the second fifth of the film, most of its inhabitants want to believe the home is secure and only consider the safe haven they want it to be. However a more perspicacious character (Mirabel – the etymology of mira means a look, a target, a purpose) sees through the cracks and anticipates the collapse of the home. Here we witness another parallel with the Collapse scenario foresight practitioners envision as part of their tour d’horizon. Where the viewers are led to believe the home is here to serve as a pedestal to its inhabitants’ every talent, it actually happens to be nothing more than a bunker home. A short-term solution to answer a situation of crisis, which cannot resist the passing of time.

Encanto review: Disney, Lin-Manuel Miranda deliver a musical masterpiece -  Polygon

Toxic Home. In the third part of the movie, the family crisis gets clearer contours and love-hate relationships are put to the test. Sister rivalry, imposteur syndrome, and insecurities get revealed, as family bonds are stretched to their limits. Identity crisis and soul-searching, ugly duckling feelings, the involuntary sabotage of an engagement party, and a hidden man-in-iron-mask-like character getting out of his donjon show us that the next step is about change management. No wonder that Mirabel’s symbol is the butterfly. As the butterfly effect states, “a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.” Similarly, a slight change in an apparent stable home turned it into a toxic environment in less than no time! 

Encanto, le prochain film Disney de Noël se dévoile | MOMES.net

Tetris Home. In the next part of the movie, we witness the in-action transformation of our Madrigal home. lls inhabitants need to solve their own challenges and relationship complexities to be able to achieve true co-living. If the Madrigal house doesn’t collapse, it’s because its inhabitants are resourceful as to how to save the home and because the Mаdrigаl fаmily is extremely protective of the entire fаmily. It resonates with our study of the home which underlines the importance of mental health and bonding between co-living partners as to how to make it work. The aesthetics of the home’s moving parts in this unique Disney animation style are probably the best illustration of what my idea of a Tetris home could be. 

Safe Haven. Finally, and this communal part is absolutely enchanting, the whole village joins in the effort. For a long time, villagers have been enjoying the generosity and gifts of the Madrigal family. Now the gift-giving is turned around and following sociologist Mauss’ principle of three-steps giving – gift is not a pure transactional action, but a society-defining process and a “total social fact” based on the obligation to give, the obligation to receive, and the obligation to give back – the village is now helping the Madrigal family to rebuild the home. The home is in symbiosis with its environment, including Noah’s ark inspirations and biophilic design connotations.

Walt Disney Animation Studios Introduces 'Encanto' - The Walt Disney Company
Disney's first reggaeton and 9 other things we already know about "Encanto"  - American Post

I couldn’t help but finish this note on the supporting character – but nonetheless crucial role – of the futurist Bruno (“We don’t talk about Bruno!”). He is probably closer to a prophet, a seer or an oracle, being able to envision the worst scenarios. Nonetheless, there are some parts of the character that reflect our role as futurists and foresight practitioners. 

  • First, such Cassandra’s curse resonates with our foresight practice as we sometimes tell a future no one wants to hear about nor believe in. 
  • But mostly, I was captivated by the fact that Bruno mentions that he saw two possible outcomes in Mirabel’s prophecy. Which means, it’s not about one future set in stone, but about possible scenarios of the future (as in futures thinking) and about taking action to change that course of action. 
  • Lastly, while Bruno isn’t the main protagonist of our story, he is the one who unlocks Mirabel’s quest based on the signals he has collected in the shape of the broken pieces of a fluorescent green screen. What a nice metaphor of our signal scanning technique!

[Future of Work] The Change Alchemist

We are really fond of Shobhana Viswanathan(she/her)‘s podcast series! The Change Alchemist is an invaluable source of insights on how to deal with change in our professional career and personal life, as individuals and as organizations. It’s based on conversations with thought leaders, scientists, professors, and business leaders on AI, neuroscience, psychology, and business.

Global Futurist Sylvia Gallusser was invited to talk in one of the latest episodes about what  #SiliconHumanism means (both as a concept and a mission), why we need to re-focus on ethics as we consider technological advancement, and what it means to design post-human futures. We also explore the importance of developing a futurist mindset to better accept change in our lives and we share some mental fitness tips to stretch our time horizon…

What better way to start the new year?!

[The Future of Holidays] Christmas in 2040

How will Santa look like in 2040? Will we still celebrate Christmas at home with family or in the metaverse with friends and celebrities? What kind of presents will we choose and who will deliver them? Steve Wells offers a podcast series on Christmas 2040 dedicated to exploring the future of the tradition. Global Futurist Sylvia Gallusser shares her thoughts on how we will be celebrating the Holidays and Christmas in particular in year 2040.

Listen to the podcast episode here.

First of all, it’s exciting to notice how the Holiday season correlates with futures thinking and how some Christmas concepts include foresight such as: 

  • Advent. Advent is the time of expectant waiting and preparation for Christmas Eve, symbolizing Christ’s Nativity. Practices associated with Advent include keeping an Advent calendar, lighting an Advent wreath, visiting a Christmas market, erecting a Christmas tree… All these activities are designed to help you to wait while looking forward!
  • The Ghost of Christmas Future from Charles Dickens’ book A Christmas Carol. Like the Future itself, the “Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come” is unknown, mysterious, and silent. What’s interesting to notice is that the Spirit shows Scrooge that his future is not set in stone or written on his gravestone but can be changed – by changing his actions in the present. This resonates with the futures thinking approach which is not about predicting one future and being deterministic about it, but on the opposite about preparing for the future and taking action!

Traditions and celebrations are impacted by the changes we identify in the future of the home, the future of family and social interaction, the future of consumption and retail, the future of spirituality. As we imagined what our future Holiday celebrations could look like, with a focus on Christmas in particular (which is still celebrated by 2 billion people worldwide), we envisioned four alternate scenarios.

  1. Outsourced Christmas: The first one, which is closer to a Growth scenario is about Outsourcing Christmas to have it automated and optimized. Amazon Santa makes the perfect gift choice for us based on our personal data and helps us pick out the best presents for our loved ones. On Christmas Eve, drones come down our chimney to deliver presents, with an articulated Santa’s arm. Technology is a facilitator. Our home assistant delivers the perfect Christmas dinner. Even our Christmas tree is easy to maintain: thanks to IoT, we can remotely adjust heating, watering, and air quality to save needles from falling. Of course, it includes programmable Christmas decorations.
  1. Escape Christmas: This second scenario illustrates a Decline in the importance of cultural and religious tradition. We rely on a frictionless Christmas app to manage our guest list, provide easy food options, and organize logistics, so that we don’t mentally burden ourselves as the Holiday season approaches. We still enjoy Christmas, but it has crumbled mostly into entertainment and a commercial celebration. We prefer to meet with friends than family, or to watch an immersive VR show or metaverse fireworks. We celebrate in extended reality, with half of the guests in person and half of them in their own settings. Sometimes we have nostalgia and we replay Christmas of the past show. But mainly, the family, human, and spiritual component is eroding.
  1. Snowbound Christmas: This tradition-bound Christmas is more of a Constraint scenario. The Climate change crisis will translate into winter storms, potentially power outages in areas with inadequate infrastructure. But Christmas will still be Christmas, the Holiday spirit will remain, we will still meet in person, we need human connections and contacts. In a technology-driven world, Christmas has become one of the few areas in which we still yearn for real-life interaction with other human beings (what we at Silicon Humanism call tech-free bubbles). We still play board games, we still eat and drink too much together (it’s even perhaps the only day of the year on which we still eat meat), and we still fight and hug each other for real! 
  1. Choose Your Own Christmas: This last scenario is a Transformation one. We can select all components “on demand”. The theme can be diverse and transcultural: we click on a button and our smart home, smart walls and appliance, and smart tree adapt to Christmas in Russia, in Mexico or anywhere on Earth or beyond. We can switch to a fantasy, medieval or celebrity Christmas dinner. Thanks to the Internet of Senses, we can digitally touch, smell, and taste things from all over the world. Our guests can be members of our “family by choice”, friends, colleagues, neighbors, strangers, even deceased ancestors whose spirit we bring back to life once a year for this special night. We enjoy inventive 3D-printed food. Christmas is not so much of a home-based celebration anymore. We transpose Christmas to inspiring places: we rejoice on an island in the sun, we dine among the stars at Disney’s Space 220 or in an underwater restaurant, we gather in an anti-gravity shuttle or celebrate on board Virgin Galactic’s space station…

What’s your vision of Christmas and Holidays in 2040? Share with us your future imagery and your artifacts from Christmas 2040!

[Futures Literacy] Can Futurists change the World?

Do you believe that Futurists can change the world? Then, what is their secret Innovation Experts Elodie HUGHES and Nash HUGHES asked the question to Global Futurist Sylvia Gallusser. In the latest issue of their newsletter, Sylvia tells us all about her day-to-day as a futurist, as well as about her projects and wishes for 2022! Her top priorities include: #MentalHealth #Sustainability #FuturesLiteracy #Ethics #Diversity and #SiliconHumanism

Comment vas-tu changer le monde, Sylvia, et pourquoi ? 

Mon job de futuriste ne consiste pas à prédire le futur, mais bien à le créer. Il est dans la mission implicite des futuristes de contribuer à réaliser les meilleurs scénarios que nous imaginons et à endiguer ceux qui mettent en péril nos sociétés, notre humanité et notre planète. 

Les futuristes s’appuient sur une matière première, les signaux du futur ou signaux faibles (weak signals) qui sont détectables dans notre environnement actuel. Selon la maxime de William Gibson “le futur est déjà parmi nous, il est simplement distribué de façon inégale”. Ces signaux peuvent prendre la forme d’innovations, de changements politiques, de nouveaux comportements, de phénomènes de sociétés, d’un engouement pour une nouvelle application, un produit, une chanson, une personnalité, une série télé…!

Dans notre pratique quotidienne de futuriste, nous scannons notre environnement social, technologique, économique, environnemental, politique, légal et éthique (STEEPLE) et analysons ces signaux pour identifier les facteurs de changement sous-jacents (la “force du futur”). 

En extrapolant ces signaux faibles, et en nous appuyant sur la boîte à outils du futuriste (futures wheel, map to the future, four alternate futures…), nous bâtissons des scénarios. Nous nous efforçons d’éviter la dichotomie “effondrement” (collapse) versus “utopie” pour envisager plusieurs futurs possibles. Par exemple, quatre scénarios alternatifs fréquemment considérés consistent en Croissance, Contrainte, Déclin et Transformation.

Nous rendons ces scénarios les plus expressifs possibles pour donner à voir et à ressentir des futurs possibles à nos interlocuteurs (chefs d’entreprise, cellules d’innovation, éducateurs, politiques, investisseurs, etc.). Plutôt que de longues démonstrations, nous privilégions la fiction, l’art et le design pour provoquer des émotions, faire réagir face à ces futurs possibles et inciter à prendre action. 

La dimension éthique est fondamentale dans le métier de futuriste car nous avons la capacité d’inciter à prendre des décisions qui vont peser sur la construction de notre avenir collectif. Nos recommandations et nos actions se doivent donc de favoriser la construction de futurs divers, équitables, humains et durables.

“Changing the world” happens step by step and each of us can play their part. Join our effort at Silicon Humanism and engage in exciting, ethical, impactful, and rewarding projects!

Read the full interview here (in French): https://blog.lightmeup.io/focus-expert-sylvia-galluser/

Discover LightMeUp – Innovation Studio and their newsletter “Elodie & Nash presentent”: https://lightmeupinnovationstudio.substack.com/p/elodie-and-nash-presentent

[Futures Thinking] 12 Mental Fitness exercises to stretch your Time Horizon!

Global Futurist Sylvia Gallusser likes to say that “the human brain is the best time travel machine”. But this is a skill we need to develop. Here are easy mental fitness exercises she recommends to conduct in your daydreaming or everyday activities in order to stretch your time horizon: 

  1. Go outdoors: keep your brain oxygenated and invite creative flow in your thoughts by exercising outdoors, run, hike, swim, dance, bike in nature.
  1. Watch science-fiction: identify artifacts from the future that you would enjoy or dislike, objects, suits, food, expressions, body features, and imagine some you could add to fit this world.
  1. Play video games: immerse yourself in alternate reality, develop an avatar, change characters and perspectives, be aware of behaviors and rituals and how they mimic real-life, differ, or reinvent real-life traditions.
  1. Read a book… in a different language: read a book “in VO”, a language which is not your mother tongue, but that you have some basics in, enjoy new vocabulary, notice differences with your own language, cultural differences in the way the topic is addressed.
  1. Find 100 ways anything could change: imagine how a tradition, a ritual, a place, an habit, a behavior could be different in the future, for example birthday, wedding, workplace, breakfast, driving, having birth, etc.
  1. Predict the past (counterfactual memory): think about a decision you made in the past and wonder what would have happened if you had made a different decision? How would the past and present have been different as a result?
  1. Remember the future (counterfactual prospection): think about something that could possibly happen in the future, even though it has never happened before and imagine it as vividly as if it had already happened.
  1. Write poetry: play with words, describe the world in innovative ways, focus on all your senses, invent new vocabulary.
  1. Listen to the news and create mental scenarios: go beyond utopia and doomsday scenarios, envision not just one extreme scenario, but think FUTURES in plural, for example imagine four alternative futures – growth, collapse, constraint, and transform.
  1. Think in first-person: Imagine yourself in the future, with your own personality and specificities, preferences and skills, body features and tastes. How would all these be challenged and evolve? In which social environment would you live? Imagine your home, your immediate family, your neighborhood, and extend to your planet and beyond.
  1. Use your 5 senses: imagine through your five senses how it will be like in the same place in the future, how will all those components vary, colors, nature, structures, people, how will it sound, smell, will there be new tastes, will we sign to express ourselves, touch each other more or less, how will we have intercourse, how will we interact with technology, which will be our primary senses?
  1. Develop your empathy (counterfactual perspective): try to figure out how you personally would feel and do in someone else’s shoes, take a random portrait or pick a random stranger in a street and imagine their lives, what they are going to do, why they have these accessories, what their whole life looks like.

[Artifact from the Future] A Wedding Menu to explore the Future of Food!

In the latest issue of the Grey Swan Guild Newswrap dedicated to the Future of Food, Food for Thought, Futurist Gina Clifford asks:

When was the last time you sat down to eat a meal and really thought about the food on your plate? Have you ever thought, “I wonder what dinner might look like in 2050?” Will farm animals still be part of our food system or will we have successfully transitioned toward sustainable, ethical, and environmentally friendly food production? And if we do, will it be healthy, and will we actually enjoy eating it?
Unless you’ve been hiding under a very large rock, you may have noticed that billionaire entrepreneurs have started taking people on joy rides to the edge of space. By 2050, will people be trekking across Mars like Mark Watney in The Martian? If so, what might they eat and how will they produce it?
For sure, technology has a big part to play in a bountiful future of food. But as with anything else, it can also lead to unintended consequences. If you can’t think of any, we suggest you read Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.
Why does any of this matter?

The selection of articles inspired us a Wedding Menu from 2043 (supposed weddings still exist).

This menu is an “artifact from the future”. This format of fiction is designed to help us reflect on how the future could look and make us feel — sometimes triggering feelings of unease, disbelief, or even repulsion. Such images offer insights into our future everyday lives and are intended to give an immersive look at a possible future change. As such, it provokes action: Do you want to be part of such a future? What would you do to evolve our food production and consumption practices?

Note that menus are a great tool to communicate with people, and to establish a new norm. Shifting our societal norms about food is crucial in making progress with the huge impact which food has on climate change. The deeply ingrained narratives and social conventions around meat and diary are a huge barrier.

Read the full Grey Swan Guild article on their Medium page.

[Artifact from the Future] An Obituary from 2050 to explore the Meaning of Life and the Future of Death

Have you ever wondered how life on earth is going to look like in 2050? The project “One Day in 2050” features news stories from each day of the year 2050 by writers from all over the world. I contributed to the December 8 headline with a special artifact from the future – an obituary from 2050. What does it mean to be a figurehead of the first half of our century? Read my future fiction piece below!

I was especially inspired from my conversations on well-aging and intergenerational initiatives with Geeta Dhir and Rob Tyrie, on diversity and inclusion with Antonia Nicols and Sheila Mullooly, on the our future homes with Sean Moffitt and Emily Watkins, on the future of death with Victor Sarat Catalan and Agustin Borrazas.

Thank you so much Jaume Enciso Cachafeiro for launching the inspiring #onedayin2050 initiative and thank you Peachie Dioquino for the kind recommendation!

Read all the chronicles of 2050 on the One Day in 2050 website and contribute your own headline from the future!

[Future of the Home] QUIZ – What House Are You?

[TAKE THE QUIZ] “What house are you?” In which home environment do you live in and how could you futureproof your current housing? Take this fun 10-question quiz and download the report to check how resilient your home is.

Link to the quiz: https://www.tryinteract.com/share/quiz/619422358980b10018f230d0

With a Strategic Foresight and Multidisciplinary approach, we have been studying our homes and home life these past two years and published a report on “The Home of the 2020s: How to make our homes more resilient”.

We developed a framework based on Four Archetypes of Future Home:
– The Bunker Home
– The Toxic Home
– The Tetris Home
– The Safe Haven

Are you interested in the future of housing? Five options:

#1 Find out which home archetype is yours thanks to the assessment quiz.
#2 Share your results in the comments, if you wish!
#3 Download our Report on the Home of the 2020s.
#4 Consult with us at Silicon Humanism to discover how to make our future homes more resilient.
#5 Join us this Friday Nov 19, as we will present the results of our research at the #FutureSummit2021

[Future of Work] Hacking HR

The Hacking HR Podcast – Episode 318

Interview with Sylvia Gallusser – Sylvia is a Global Futurist and the Founder at Silicon Humanism. She works conducting foresight research, thinking about potential future scenarios and how to get ready for them. Sylvia has many years of experience advising Tech companies on their Strategy, Business Development and Funding.

Also available here:

🔹 Vimeo: https://lnkd.in/dFjGZmR
🔹 Anchor: https://lnkd.in/dYER9dw
🔹 Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3ky3abY
🔹 Google Podcasts: https://bit.ly/3kATo8S
🔹 Breaker: https://lnkd.in/d5zWKUA
🔹 Pocket Casts: https://pca.st/ydlfya8v
🔹 RadioPublic: https://lnkd.in/dyNK7dw
🔹 Spotify: https://lnkd.in/d2nVmjq
🔹 IHeartRadio: https://lnkd.in/dVM2jYE

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