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Flying from London to Austin, we were delighted to host the second in our series of events ‘looking beyond the hype’ of the metaverse.

Convening experts from all over the world, we took to South by South West to look at the ‘Now, Near and Next’ of the Metaverse Economy.

With UK House as the backdrop, each of the six conversations were spearheaded by a leading expert in their respective field and explored potential applications of the metaverse across: the arts, education, commercialisation, gaming, design and the workforce.

Read the full SXSW roundup here.

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Opening the event Here East CEO Gavin Poole, addressed the UK House and encouraged our roundtable attendees to consider what power the metaverse and digital convergence holds in shaping the next generation over the span of the next decade.

The discussion covered the scope of the metaverse in key sectors of the UK and global economy and the steps needed to fuel its future sustainably and securely and, how we cultivate the talent pipeline to deliver on its growth potential - with guests from Nokia, Paramount Global, CNN Technology, StorytechParks Arizona, VNTANA, Shatterproof Films and Epic Games.

The event was a roaring success with over 60 guests in attendance, spearheaded by our wonderful Moderators, Camille Baker, Jessie Contour, Lemuel Williams, Fred Schmidt MBE, Tom Hostler, and Ahna Boley.

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The roundtable event was an insightful exercise and a unique opportunity to share, learn and collaborate. These principles - inherent in the operations of SXSW - are very much aligned with our own values at Here East.

It’s all semantics

“The Metaverse is just a marketing term for interconnectivity; virtual twin for the real world; operations and legal issues are the new problems to solve as the tech improves”

  • Fred Schmidt, MBE, Capital Factory, commenting on gaming within the metaverse.

“What is the point of a Virtual Twin?

It is about creating empathy in the way you communicate with partners to bridge what you're trying to design and what they’re visualising.

Then, it is how we take experiences beyond what's possible in the real world and into a truly exciting era of extended realities and possibilities.”

  • Tom Hoster, Squint/Opera, commenting on commercialisation in the metaverse.

“It’s also about education.

Having an entire company put on a virtual headset and jump into a virtual world is great but you're naturally going to have some that just have no idea how to move around.

So, how do we educate them slowly? So that adoption actually happens and the technology gets taken on by that organisation?”

  • Ahna Boley, Double A Labs, commenting on the future of work in the metaverse.
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We were also delighted to give guests an exclusive ‘first-look’ at phase one of our Virtual Twin of the Here East campus. Still in the early stages of developing the model, we are working in conjunction with SquintOpera to develop the real-time 3D prototype to open up our campus to prospective tenants and partners across the globe.

Thank you to all that attended our roundtable sessions and Virtual Twin ‘first-look’ event and networking. We were delighted by the stellar contributions offered by our roundtable guests and brilliant moderators.

Read the full SXSW roundup here.

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