Virtual Worlds Facilitation Role

Catching up on coverage of last weeks Metaverse U Conference in Stanford I was struck by Millions Of Us founder Reuben Steiger recommendation to read The Future of Work by Thomas Malone (2004). For those unfamiliar with earlier works by Peter Drucker, Charles Handy or a number of organisational thinkers it serves as a useful conversation starter. Personally I would recommend Giving Notice by Freada Kapor Klein as a more current and relevant reference point for those trying to understand the future direction of the work space.

Rivers Run Red CEO Justin Boddington recently remarked that 60% of the queries they have received of late related to internal communication projects. Organisations cannot be something on the outside they are not already on the inside as many early entrants to Second Life have learned. With two of the Metaverse Development Company founders who brought many of the early entrants into Second Life awakening to this fact that is a very good thing.

PA Consulting and The Sunday Times recently teamed up to host a conference titled Getting Real About Business in Second Life. Claus Nehmzow of PA Consulting moderated a panel with Randy Sisks of Cisco, Pascal Spelier of ABN Amro and Dominic Rushe of The Sunday Times. The event was recorded and is viewable in four parts. Runtime for each video is under 10 minutes.

Part one and two provide business presentations from each of the panel on their experiences in Second Life todate. Part three covers the following topics from the Q&A – virtual worlds v video conferencing, partnering through Second Life, communication methods and integrate channels. Part four covers the following topics from the Q&A – entry costs, focus groups, confidential meetings, recruitment and the future of virtual worlds.

Over the next five years most businesses will have a virtual world presence just as they have a website today. As the above example demonstrates some of the more forward looking organisations are already experimenting with early virtual world offerings. While only at the very beginning of the beginning of our transition to a Meta Age virtual worlds represent a unique facilitation role for organisations of all sizes and sectors. Interesting times indeed.

AMD Open Architecture Challenge

One of our mantras here at Mobil Avenue is that social computing is not about the technology but rather what people actually do with the technology. A great example of this is the Open Architecture Challenge. It was conceived by Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of Architect for Humanity, and supported by AMD’s 50X15 initative.

Three community partners were selected from 108 applicants across three continents. For-profit non-profit initiatives on sites in Napo Province (Ecuador), Sanfe Bagar, Achham (Nepal) and Nairobi (Kenya) will give their respective communities the opportunity to help themselves.

Entrants to the challenge are not required to hold any formal qualifications and are invited to develop a design for one, two or all three sites. Closing date for entries is Febuary 29th with funds of up to $250k being made available for the chosen designs. All entries will be made available in the public domain at the end of the challenge to share all concept designs for use elsewhere.

One of the entrants is Studio Wikitecture who over the last year have been using virtual world Second Life as a platform to explore the concept of open source architecture. Theory Shaw SL / Ryan Schultz RL and Keystone Bouchard SL / Jon Brouchoud RL are harnessing the collective intelligence of 40+ “architects” from around the world utilising technology developed in collaboration with i3Dnow. Hat tip to Roland Legrand for bringing this wonderful initiative to our attention.