As the forces of the Metaverse take hold, the impact will be felt most in changes to our culture and to our community—or what we do and how we live. Students and industry leaders alike will need to not only know what the metaverse is, but be armed with the tools to address pressing questions as we shape it. The Collaborative does what SPS does best—teaching, experiencing, researching, influencing—and creating value for the Metaverse.
A Four-Lens Approach
Teaching: Exploring Opportunities and Threats in Their Totality and Translating Ideas in Pragmatic and Dynamic Paths
Our success will be demonstrated in our students: acquiring a strong working knowledge of and experience with the Metaverse; engaging leadership in conversations critical to the Metaverse; and understanding the changes and implications of their actions. Through the experiences we create for them, students will learn to think inside the Metaverse and translate what they are learning into choices and actions that contribute value to their respective professions.
Working with experts, the “Teaching It” team is developing a range of modules and courses including subject matters (VR, NFTs, combining the physical and virtual worlds, etc.), philosophical and ethical issues, and strategic leadership—and execution. Courses for students range from one-week boot camps to focused subjects. Courses for cohorts afford executives the opportunity to sign up for certificates, as well as testing the Metaverse in their organizations together.
Experiencing: Building more personal viewpoints and greater fluency when evaluating opportunities and threats— and understanding the extent of the new degrees of freedom or new possibilities.
The "Experiencing It" team is modeling its work after a chemistry lab. What experiments do we need to perform to test our thinking? The lab setting will include holding classes in and conversations on the Metaverse, where students can try out ideas and dig deep on what matters. For example, tourism students will be able to prototype a Metaverseinspired marketing campaign for the City of Reno, and take their proof-of-concept to the city’s trustees to better understand what it will take to make the idea real.
Researching: Documenting on-the-ground stories and developing actionable insights from unpredictable patterns, unintended consequences, and best practices.
As the Metaverse evolves, we will need to get early reads on how technology, like using VR as a tool for autistic children or virtual immersion for travel customers, is impacting our lives, decisions, and communities. This will require translating and testing the impact and boundary conditions of any given scenario—across global industries—to better understand what needs to change to be successful in the Metaverse.
The "Researching It" team will build on a spoke-and-wheel model, capitalizing on department-specific work,while translating lessons across areas. To keep pace with and monitor the changes occurring across industries, the team is conducting surveys with executives, holding listening workshops with experts and thought leaders, and conducting wide-ranging literature scans to stay on top of any and all disruptions and shifts that impact our Metaverse efforts. We are also actively observing the social ecology—how we, as individuals, interact with the environment around us, and how these interactions are shifting, affecting society and the broader environment in which we live.
Influencing: Developing thoughtful perspectives and curating integrated conversations
These conversations will act as a fundamental lens through which we can observe events as they happen and rapidly make connections to other inspirations recently uncovered. This will allow us to ask the questions, "What new technologies are emerging, how are they being applied, and what does the scale up of this technology mean to our lives?"