Digital globe in cupped hands


Inaugural NYU SPS Metaverse and Cities Summit

The Metaverse and Cities: Embracing and Shaping the Connection Between Our Virtual and Physical Worlds

April 27 - 28, 2023

NYU SPS Metaverse Collaborative hosted the first NYU SPS Metaverse and Cities Summit in conjunction with Sharing Cities Alliance and Cornell’s Jacob’s Urban Tech Hub. The event featured high-level discussions with leaders from NYC, Reno, Amsterdam, Singapore, Charleston, Rotterdam, Walmart, Mastercard, PwC, and more on the economic and social opportunity for web3 and metaverse technologies within cities, along with real-world examples of the use of the technology by municipalities and discussion of the Metaverse City Accord.

April 27-28, 2023


DAY-1: NYU Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life - Grand Hall

DAY-2: NYU Kimmel Center - Room 914



Welcoming and Fireside Chat

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Angie Kamath, Dean NYU School of Professional Studies, and Matt Fraser, Chief Technology Officer and Head of the Office of Technology City of New York kick off the Summit with a fireside chat. Dean Kamath interviewed CTO Fraser on New York City’s strategy and focus with Web3 and the Metaverse. CTO Fraser emphasized the criticality of access in the city’s strategy.

The Metaverse, Citizens, and Services: Reaching, Serving, and Building Trust

Thursday, April 27, 2023

"Metaversing" city services can fundamentally shift the accessibility and level of engagement with citizens. Moderated by Harmen Van Sprang, panelist David Shin, from Seoul and Singapore, Jorge Ventura, Director of Economic Development of the City of New Rochelle, and Roland van der Heijden from Rotterdam discuss what has worked for their cities and share lessons learned from their experiences.

The Metaverse and Workforce Development: Building and Supporting Human Capital in Our Cities

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Anna Tavis, Chair of Human Capital at NYU SPS, moderates a discussion between Richie Karaburun, Clinical Assistant Professor, Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, NYU SPS, and Roberto Hernandez, US Customer Strategy & Experience Leader / Global Metaverse Leader at PwC, about their experience with the metaverse and the potential for utilizing the platform for recruiting, onboarding, and training employees.

The Metaverse and Community: Creating Engagement with Art and Destinations

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Robin Raskin, Founder at The Virtual Events Group, moderates a discussion between Rehana Scwinninger-Ladak, Head of Interactive technologies, Digital for Culture and Education at the European Commission; Toni Sikes, Co-Founder and CEO at CODAworx; Snow Yunxue Fu, New Media Artist and Assistant Arts Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts; Richie Karaburun,; Pierre Gervois, Crypto-Poet, Award-Winning Filmmaker, and Adjunct Professor at NYU SPS; and art collector Sylvain Levy on how public art engagement can be enhanced by using the metaverse and NFTs to reach and build new communities and provide flexibility in where and how art is viewed in public spaces.

The Inclusion Challenge: Focusing on Micro-segmentation and Personalization

Thursday, April 27, 2023

The Metaverse Collaborative at NYU SPS’s Founding Director Elizabeth Haas moderates a discussion between Karen Baker, Founder and President of Boathouse; Dele Atanda, CEO of metaMe; Annelise Finegan, Academic Director & Clinical Assistant Professor of Translation at NYU School of Professional Studies; and Dennis Crowlely on how city leaders can ensure inclusive access to the metaverse, reach underserved citizens, and make sure "no one is left behind."

Introduction to InCitu: Preparing for the NYC Tour

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Dana Chermesh-Reshef, Founder and CEO at inCitu, provides an overview of InCitu and its mission to use Augmented Reality to foster urban change in preparation for a tour of NYC using the app.

The Metaverse and Sustainability: Working on a Shared Vision

Friday, April 28, 2023

Greg Lindsay leads a discussion with Amy Jaffe, Director Energy, Climate Justice, and Sustainability Lab at NYU SPS; Carolyn Kissane, Associate Dean of NYU Center for Global Affairs; and Paul Turner, Founder and CEO at Virtual America on using the metaverse to spearhead conversations that address sustainability issues.

The Metaverse and a Creator Economy: Driving Economic Development, Branding, and New Capability

Friday, April 28, 2023

Rustom Dastoor, Executive Vice President, Head of Marketing and Communications for North America, MasterCard, leads a conversation on the economic and branding benefits to a city from opportunities identified in the metaverse. Panelists Kyle A. Shephard, Director of Intergovernmental Relations City of Orlando; Richie Karaburun, Clinical Assistant Professor, Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, NYU SPS; Aik Van Eemeren, Chief Technology Officer, Gemeente Amsterdam; and Ernest Chrappah, Acting Director of Buildings, Washington DC Government discuss new sources of commerce and funding, and new sources of employment and capability.   

Reshaping a City

Friday, April 28, 2023

Peter Hirshberg, CEO, Chairman of Maker City, and Chairman of Gray Area, shares lessons learned from The Maker City, San Francisco, and San Diego.

The Metaverse Momentum Index: Translating Findings into Opportunities

Friday, April 28, 2023

Vanja Bogicevic, Clinical Assistant Professor, Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, NYU SPS, presents initial findings from the NYU SPS Metaverse Momentum Index.

Metaverse Entrepreneur Panel

Friday, April 28, 2023

Ewen Cameron leads a discussion with NYU alumni and metaverse entrepreneurs Billy Huang and Jack Cameron, co-founders of Insomnia Labs, about what attracts entrepreneurs to your city and lessons learned from Paris, Dubai, and New York.

Metaverse and Cities-What the Future Holds

Friday, April 28, 2023

Reno Mayor and U.S. Conference of Mayors President Hillary Shieve discusses what is in store for the future of the metaverse and cities.

Sharing Cities Alliance
Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech