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The Metaverse comes to Davos! Part 3!

Last week we looked into the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, or WEF23, in Davos, Switzerland, to see how world leaders in business and government were responding to the Metaverse, discussed the forum’s “Defining and Building the Metaverse” initiative to “develop and share actionable strategies for creating and governing the metaverse”.

In today's post we seek to summarize the Forum's interest in the Metaverse and begin to dissect the Forum’s “Interoperability in the Metaverse” and “Demystifying the Consumer Metaverse” briefing papers, which were both published on the back of last week's meeting.

The World Economic Forum has recently begun to focus on the potential impact of the Metaverse, which we at define as: “the hyperconvergence of the physical and digital worlds”, that is, the merging of the real world and virtual worlds to the point at which they become indistinguishable from one another, on the global economy. The Forum sees the Metaverse as a potential game-changer for the, and has begun to explore the opportunities and challenges that it presents.

One of the main areas of focus for the World Economic Forum is the potential for the Metaverse to create new business and economic opportunities. The Forum predicts that the Metaverse will lead to the creation of new industries and jobs, as well as new ways for existing businesses to operate and connect with customers. For example, virtual real estate, virtual goods, and virtual services are expected to become major industries within the Metaverse. Additionally, the Forum believes that the metaverse will provide new opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to connect with global markets.

Another key area of focus for the Forum is the potential impact of the Metaverse on the global workforce. The Forum predicts that the Metaverse will lead to the creation of new jobs, such as virtual world builders and virtual event managers. Additionally, the Forum believes that the Metaverse will provide new opportunities for remote workers and freelancers, as well as for workers in industries that have been affected by automation.

The Forum is also closely monitoring the potential challenges that the Metaverse may present. One of the main concerns is the potential for the metaverse to exacerbate existing economic inequalities. The Forum is also concerned about the potential for the Metaverse to be used for illegal activities, such as money laundering and tax evasion. Additionally, the Forum is closely monitoring the potential impact of the metaverse on data privacy and security.

The Forum’s recently published “Interoperability in the Metaverse briefing paper predicts enormous opportunities and value for “frictionless experiences”, that “enable users to move across and between the physical and digital world with relevant data, digital assets and identity(s)”, “frictionless development”, that delivers efficiencies and cost savings through the standardization of tools, and “frictionless economies”, that “allow for greater access, marketplace engagement through healthy competition, transactional efficiencies and trust”. The caveat being that these enormous opportunities requires system-wide interoperability of the Metaverse, something that the Metaverse Standards Forum is working toward.

The Forum’s “Demystifying the Consumer Metaverse briefing paper highlights Metaverse components, such as “social interaction, identity, multilateral value exchange and distribution, and a degree of immersion”, and posits that organizations and individuals will be able to take on one or multiple roles in the metaverse, from being participants to creators or providers, that the role of individual creators will be amplified in the Metaverse, that an evolving creator economy will influence value distribution in the Metaverse and offer far-reaching opportunities for businesses and individuals, and identified eight economic models to drive value in the metaverse. These are: digital products and assets, access and influence, immersive commerce, payments and currency, asset monetization, advertising and marketing, the creator economy, and metaverse-native services.

We look forward to taking an in-depth look at each of these in upcoming posts. Don’t forget to leave a comment below!

Damian Markutt/Unsplash

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