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Do we need Chief Metaverse Officers?

Will 2023 see the rise of the Chief Metaverse Officer…?

A Chief Metaverse Officer is typically responsible for the development and maintenance of a company’s presence along the metaverse continuum – from virtual worlds and digital twins to AR-powered activations, immersive experiences, and extended reality.

As the Metaverse has begun to grow, larger organizations with more complex metaverse operations have begun hiring dedicated professionals who are responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization’s metaverse presence. However the role of the Chief Metaverse Officer remains a controversial one… or is it just the naming?

I am very much looking forward to debating with Jay Short, Daniel Colaianni, and Vasilapostolos Ouranis about the role of the Chief Metaverse Officer. Together we will address the following:

– What is actually a Chief Metaverse Officer?
– How does a day in the life of a Chief Metaverse Officer look like?
– Is the role a long-term position or will it eventually branch out as Metaverse expands?
– What are career paths to becoming a Chief Metaverse Office?
– Is there a true need for the role or has it been established as a way for companies to promote their work in the Metaverse?

Join us for another exciting Great Debate with AIXR – The Academy of International Extended Reality on January 17 at 11am (PST). The event is online and free.


Looking Back at 2023 (…from Year 2033!) 

The Burgeoning Reality Continuum

A future-backward perspective by Sylvia Gallusser, Global Futurist @Silicon Humanism, Metaverse Business Strategist @Accenture

When I look back to the year 2023, I can think of a distinctive emerging trend that really caught my attention.

Disclaimer — I might be biased here as my focus is on technology and I am both a futurist and a technology strategist.

I would say that one of the biggest evolutions brought by the early 2020s is what we called “the metaverse” and more generally Extended Reality and a new generation of Internet powered by artificial intelligence, 5G/6G, edge computing, as well as blockchain and web3 technologies.

Early experimentations

By the early 2020s, the word “metaverse” had become sort of a buzz word, as speculative fiction, mostly dystopic had come up with this idea of a virtual world, in which individuals could adopt new identities and be whoever they want to be, play all day long in VR headsets, earn virtual goods in gravity-defying environments, all this on a background of climate crisis and social chaos leading people to search for escape in the virtual.

There had been many early experimentations with 3D rendering, virtual reality, digital twins, and the rise of virtual worlds.

1. Thomas Furness who was known as the grandfather of VR had developed advanced cockpits for fighter aircraft while commissioned in the Air Force in the 70s and 80s. He was also a founder of the Virtual World Society and candidly dreamt that this technology would one day solve our deepest societal problems.

2. NASA had already pioneered the use of digital twin technology during its space exploration missions of the 1960s. NASA had notably developed a digital twin to assess and simulate conditions on board Apollo 13.

3. The first consumer virtual world Second Life had been launched in 2003 and still counted 70 million registered accounts early 2023.

The 2020s renaissance

But three factors accelerated the development of a more mature form of metaverse in the mid-2020s and brought us a new version of the internet.

1. The pandemic had been a catalyst, bringing most activities that we used to conduct in real life to the virtual realm. In 2020, as billions of people retreated to their homes under lockdown and shelter-in-place policies, they had no choice but work from home, learn from home, shop and consume from home, socialize from home, entertain and leisure from their living rooms, consult physicians and therapists from their desktop, love each other from a distance, and depart online. Naturally, distant technology usage (such as web conferencing systems, streaming services and virtual reality applications) exploded over that time. But on top of technology, those times were also very creative times, where people would return to hobbies, felt the need to express themselves, and produced lots of artwork and virtual applications.

2. The gaming industry had been an immense driver and the phenomenon had been also amplified with the pandemic — 2 billion users joined Roblox over the pandemic years. (In April 2021, Roblox hit a milestone of 202 million monthly active users). Around the same time, Fortnite counted 400 million registered players. But most importantly, these players were not passive, many of them were actively creating digital assets, avatars, accessories, marking the beginning of the creator economy. This trend was very quickly leveraged by fashion brands who started launching activations on those gaming platforms and address new communities in addition to their traditional audiences.

3. The third decisive element was the strategy of one major tech player which had enormous consequences. Facebook, a well-known social media company with 3 billion monthly active users (at a time where the world population reached 8 billion), had decided to invest heavily in the metaverse. After acquiring Oculus — a startup leading in immersive virtual reality technology — for $2 billion, the company launched its own metaverse platform and changed its name to Meta. The move was controversial, it brought a lot of confusion around the naming of the metaverse — other players in the field (Snap, Google, Apple, Ubisoft) would not openly call their own initiatives metaverse even though they dealt with bringing extended reality experiences to their audience. Moreover, the amount of the investment led to an impressive debt and a series of layoffs, that other players in the industry engaged in as well.


The interesting part of the story is that despite such backlash, the renaming of the tech giant to Meta triggered a wave of investment in the metaverse from myriads of companies: collections of NFTs were minted and dropped, XR applications were launched, in-game activations triggered increased brand awareness. There was an atmosphere of FOMO (fear of missing out) — everyone wanted to be part of the adventure and jumped on the bandwagon.

Another major metaverse growth factor was the role played by companies from adjacent industries. The metaverse was not just pushed by the tech and gaming industry. Players from consumer goods, fashion, entertainment, music, travel, beverages, the quick service restaurant industry, developed not only brand activations in the metaverse but their own platform. It was a decisive moment when Nike purchased RTFKT, created a metaverse division, and launched its .Swoosh platform which contributed to power the creator economy. From there it made sense that each and every company, institution, community could become a major metaverse builder.

And it was one of the most exciting aspects of those times. It was a very creative time, marketing departments felt new energy, artists released their creativity, individuals felt like they belong and were part of something bigger. Hopes in more diversity and equality were carried out through those new technologies.

Use cases as major growth factor

Nonetheless, beyond the hype, it took a while for purposeful use cases to develop. The metaverse was bringing a lot of potential, but it required strong strategic thinking for companies to really embrace what such new technology could bring in terms of value for the customer and the business.

The metaverse turned out to be much more than just another marketing tool. It could enhance the employee experience, especially learning, onboarding, worker-assistance, coaching. In the health industry, it could support patients with distant treatment, check-up, follow-up, physical therapy, counseling, prevention, and awareness. Healthcare providers were able to create more authentic and immersive relationships. In the education system, teachers reached out to children in more memorable ways, though it took a while for public schools to be adequately equipped.

In the corporate world, the metaverse proved to be a fantastic tool to improve enterprise processes, factory operations, supply chains. We could translate a fast-food restaurant’s drive-in operations, an electric car charging station, hospital patient management or airport traffic into a digital twin to improve operations and anticipate maintenance. That was truly fascinating, and I was exceptionally lucky to be part of such projects at Accenture by then.

Towards metaverse 2.0

Today it makes sense that we connect in multimodal-multisensory ways, but before this first version of the metaverse, the internet was still mostly flat, based on text, image, and video.

1. The first internet in the 1990s had been based on data (gathering and organizing information around search).

2. The second generation of the internet had focused on people with the rise of social networks from 2003–2005 on.

3. The third generation included objects and offered more interactivity with IoT (internet of things).

4. Following that, the metaverse was about to bring an internet of places (with geospatial computing, 3D representation, replicas of the world and augmentation with overlayed content) as well as an internet of ownership (brought by web3, decentralized blockchain-based protocols and technology, a tokenization of the transactions, and creator platforms).

5. And now in the 2030s, we advance one step further with an internet of senses, that goes beyond sight, vision, and sound, to include haptics, aromas, neurofeedback. Most materials have become connected and have flexible form factors. Multisensory experiences are part of our daily routine. Reality and Virtual have blended into a large continuum of experiences. After a massive backlash of completely locked-in VR experiences, the convergence of augmented reality (from our phone) and virtual reality (those 3D immersive worlds that could be accessed from VR headsets) has brought an integrated spectrum of reality, or Reality+ as the philosopher David Chalmer (and Matrix) had anticipated.

To my mind, what was particularly enthralling is that this new version of the internet, the metaverse and its multi-modal-multisensory ultimate version, really came to life with use cases, with concrete applications and the desire to solve real-life issues — when the metaverse stopped being the creation of a small elite to be adopted by a larger audience all over the world.

After all, a pandemic, gaming, and a big player’s renaming were not enough to make a change. The true drivers were the invention of meaningful use cases and the participation of all to this immense and global effort. I really remember the early 2020s as years of immense human suffering, a giant and scary unknown, disruptive technological advancement, and fantastic creative energy stemming from all this incredible human resilience.

You can read the full article in the IMCI Magazine, January-February 2023 issue –

A Metaverse Christmas?

Despite the cost-of-living crisis, the Meta Quest series performs well when it comes to tech gifts this Holiday season after recent price drops around Black Friday and the launch of the latest Quest Pro. If this series of device opens the door of the more and more mainstream “metaverse”, parents are being urged to familiarize themselves with the potential risks of virtual reality (VR) ahead of Christmas.

This past week, The Safety Metaverse Week led by the XR Safety Initiative, organized a full program of conference to explore and prepare for the challenges of these new immersive technologies, from Human Rights in the Metaverse to Child Safety, Communities and Safe Spaces, Immersive Healthcare, and closing with Policy, Trust and Governance. The panels are available in replay on the XRSI YouTube channel.

In a recent episode of Informing Choices, Futurists Sylvia Gallusser and Steve Wells imagined how Christmas and Holiday celebrations might look like in 2040: How will we celebrate Christmas in 2040? Will we still have a traditional dinner at home with family or share virtual activities in the metaverse with friends and celebrities? What gifts will be popular and how will they get delivered? And how will Santa look like in 2040 – more diverse, rebranded, sponsored, holographic…?

In the episode, we start by scanning over two futures-thinking related concepts (the Advent’s “waiting/looking forward” time, and Charles Dickens’ “Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come”).

We then introduce four alternative scenarios of Christmas:

1- Outsourced Christmas (Growth Scenario)
2- Escape Christmas (Decline Scenario)
3- Snowbound Christmas (Constraint Scenario)
4- Choose Your Own Christmas (Transformation Scenario)

Let’s engage on how 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, and the emergence of the metaverse.

Introducing the Metaverse – the need for use cases solving real-life problems!

This past month, I have been busy giving conferences, presentations, podcasts, pitches, and client demos, with a common goal: educate about the metaverse, open possibilities, raise awareness about risks, and overall prepare for the future. 

I have to admit, the best part is when you actually give a taste of the metaverse. When you give it to see, to hear, to feel, to sense… When users are effectively presented with immersive experiences, they start imagining real-life use cases, and this is when the true potential of the metaverse begins to grow roots!

Let’s forget a bit about best-selling metaverse dystopias and think about how extended reality can best serve concrete use cases – from collaborating with international teams on designing new vehicles, to sharing a concert with loved ones living on the other side of the world, to reviving lost memories and healing thanks to VR physical therapy.

What use cases are you most excited about?

An Ethical Metaverse

The ethical implications of the Metaverse are far-reaching and complex. We certainly shouldn’t underestimate them, but also not turn them into showstoppers as we build the next generation of the Internet. Considering risks, potential harms, and unintended consequences is the first step in creating a responsible metaverse!

I’m very much looking forward to exploring the topic of Metaverse Ethics and Responsible Innovation this Tuesday October 11 with Aaron PulkkaElijah Claude and Felix Hartmann under the thought leadership of my brilliant colleague Nick Rosa!

This #InsightsLive Webinar will investigate the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of Metaverse ethics.

We will cover questions such as:

> How much information should be made available to others in the Metaverse?
> What are the implications of sharing personal information in a virtual world?
> Should people be allowed to remain anonymous in the Metaverse?
> What are the limits of free speech in the Metaverse?
> Should there be any restrictions on the type of speech that is allowed in the virtual world?
> Who owns the virtual property in the Metaverse?
> What are the implications of restricting access to the virtual world?
> What should we be hopeful about within Metaverse Ethics?
> What can this ethical debate teach us about the future of the Metaverse and immersive technology?

Thank you so much to AIXR – The Academy of International Extended Reality for setting up the stage for this crucial debate and for inviting me to the roundtable!

The Metaverse Revolution – and our attachment to physical books!

A Must-Read! Matthew Ball‘s “The Metaverse And How it Will Revolutionize Everything” has become the go-to book for all things metaverse. Not a day goes by, without the colorful book cover brightening my LinkedIn feed! (Thought it was my turn to pay it forward).

And what an exquisite paradox that one of the #1 references to guide us into this new territory is… a physical book! – that we can actually touch and feel, in an IRL environment, leading to vibrant human conversations about our future, here at #Accenture and beyond!

Matthew Ball attempts to define emerging concepts that are often used interchangeably – #Metaverse and #Web3.

“Web3 refers to a somewhat vaguely defined future version of the internet built around independent developers and users, rather than lumbering aggregator platforms such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook. It is a more decentralized version of today’s internet that many believe is best enabled by (or at least most likely through) blockchains. This is where the first point of conflation begins.
Both the Metaverse and Web3 are ‘successor states’ to the internet as we know it today, but their definitions are quite different. Web3 does not directly require any 3D, real-time rendered, or synchronous experiences, while the Metaverse does not require decentralization, distributed databases, blockchains, or a relative shift of online power or value from platforms to users. (…)
The Metaverse and Web3 may nevertheless arise in tandem. Large technological transitions often lead to societal change because they typically provide a greater voice to individual consumers and enable new companies (and thus individual leaders) to emerge – many of which tap into widespread dissatisfaction with the present to pioneer a different future. (…)
The principles of Web3 are likely critical to establishing a thriving Metaverse.”

So where do you sit on the #MetaverseContinuum? From reality to virtual and back, in integrated fashion; From 2D to 3D, seamlessly; From reader and consumer, to builder and creator, and across business, technology, and society…

The Phygital Vertigo

After 3 years – a global pandemic, life as an entrepreneur, work-from-home – I went back to a corporate workplace last week to discover Accenture‘s gorgeous 5-floor office within the Salesforce tower in San Francisco.

I had the impression to enter the “workplace of the future”, with transparency, biophilia, community, and sustainability at the core. The design of the place is incredibly well-thought, the technology revolutionary, the views vertiginous…!

But the vertigo goes beyond the height. After having been onboarded through Accenture‘s metaverse enterprise platform #TheNthFloor, I now felt like I was extending reality by penetrating the physical version of the virtual office!

Is it how we are going to feel in a future where we start by experiencing metaversial worlds before discovering them for real?

What if we lived in a world where virtual reality was not the extension of the physical world – what if we actually flipped the relationship the other way around?

from: “physical reality > virtual reality > extended reality”
to: “virtual reality > physical reality > extended reality”

So much to envision in how this would change industries like travel, entertainment, education, food, dating… What are your thoughts?

Joining the Metaverse Continuum @Accenture

Dear friends and colleagues, I am elated to share that I’ve (re)joined Accenture as Metaverse Lead Business Strategist within the Metaverse Continuum Business Group (MCBG).

I had the exceptional opportunity to kick-off my career at Accenture Paris 18 years ago before starting my North-American journey. I am thrilled to reconnect with my roots and be a part of such an amazing company, dedicated to building the future with human ingenuity and ethics in mind!

A huge thank you to all for the support along the way, especially to my fantastic friends and family!

[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:

[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’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. "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 |

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!