A Vision For A Global Collaboration Village

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By Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

Many heralded the advent of the internet and the spread of information communication technologies as the enablers of a “global village” that would unite people across borders, support the exchange of ideas and revolutionize progress. Until now, that promise has yet to be fully realized.

While the internet, and later video conferencing, has brought us together in virtual spaces, human connection has been missing. Instead of generating trust, the foundation for any partnership, the internet has had the deleterious effect of increasing polarization. In recent years this division has accelerated, as misinformation too often has run unchecked.

We are now at the beginning of a transformative technological development that could address this divide.

Metaverse technologies

Metaverse technologies allow us to be immersed in virtual three-dimensional worlds that offer people the opportunity to see, understand and imagine our world in a new way. This may sound like science fiction to some, but certainly not to the more than 3 billion people globally who play video games regularly.

This new form of technology-enabled human interaction is on track to become ubiquitous in our personal and professional lives. Billions of dollars are being invested into developing the metaverse, which is projected to become a $800 billion market by 2024. Business executives, government officials and civil society leaders must come together to define and build an economically viable, interoperable, safe, equitable and inclusive metaverse.

As always there will be first movers, bystanders and those who are slower to adapt to change. And as we see with every breakthrough technology, there will be leaps forward and setbacks along the way. To create mass adoption, the metaverse must show that it is not just a replacement for what we already do but that it enables us to do things in new and more effective ways.

A new global village

The capabilities of the metaverse create the conditions to make extraordinary progress in global interaction and collaboration. That’s why we established the Global Collaboration Village, the first global, purpose-driven metaverse platform. Created to enhance more sustained public-private cooperation and spur action to drive impact at scale, this global village will not replace the need to meet face-to-face but will instead supplement and extend our ability to connect regardless of where we are physically located around the world.

The immersive nature of the Global Collaboration Village has the potential to create a powerful and efficient means to drive global progress. Inclusive and responsible by design, it will be a creative place to imagine alternative futures, explore ideas and systems transparently and safely, and envision what the future of engaging multistakeholder collaboration could be.

For example, people will be able to “dive in” to an interactive ocean experience that reveals the importance of safeguarding our ocean and challenges us to picture the positive impact we could have through collective action. Instead of telling us how important mangroves are for coastal ecosystems, it invites us to witness and experience the power of restoration and conversation for ourselves – all while engaging with global experts and innovators who are on the physical frontlines of this work.

The Annual Meeting 2023 will be an important milestone as we launch our prototype of the Global Collaboration Village in partnership with Accenture and Microsoft, and supported by a consortium of leading global corporations, governments, international organizations, academic institutions and NGOs.

As technology continues to evolve, we must come together to shape and grow this global village and realize the dream of instantaneous, inclusive and impactful cooperation.



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