Objective

The objective of the UN Virtual Worlds Day is to highlight the transformative power of virtual worlds, including the metaverse and spatial computing, to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will be achieved by bringing together policymakers to discuss how to regulate and safeguard the virtual worlds and metaverse, and by showcasing the latest technological advances such as VR, AR, metaverse and spatial computing, and their real-world applications relevant to the SDGs.

Where

The UN Virtual Worlds Day will take place in Room H on the 1st floor of the ITU Montbrilliant building

The Metaverse Exhibition which is part of UN Virtual Worlds Day will take place on the 2nd floor of the ITU Montbrilliant building

Remote participants: https://remote.itu.int

Key Outcomes

1st UN Executive Briefing on Virtual Worlds and the metaverse

1st UN Executive Briefing on Unlocking the potential of virtual worlds and the metaverse for the SDGs.

Read online.

Launch of the Global Initiative on Virtual Worlds – Discovering the CitiVerse

Event Highlights

Launch of the UN Virtual Worlds Hub

Programme

The opening remarks will feature senior representatives of the UN and will set the context for the day’s discussions.

  • Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Secretary General, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  • Seizo Onoe, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU
  • Sameer Chauhan, Director, United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC)
  • Karima Cherif, Head of Communications and Outreach, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
  • Dmitry Mariyasin, Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
  • Mounir Tabet, Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA)
  • Radia Funna, Futurist and creator of the xHuman theory and Chair of the 1st UN Virtual Worlds Day 

This high-level segment will feature senior government and corporate leaders who are actively working on policy and regulatory challenges posed by the metaverse and virtual worlds.

Moderator: Rebecca Mukite, Head of Public and International Relations, Uganda Communications Commission

11:10 – 11:40 Coffee break

This event brings together youth to leverage their ideas and virtual world technologies in particular spatial computing and metaverse to create innovative solutions for the SDGs. It provides an exclusive opportunity for young innovators to harness the potential of virtual technologies and innovative approaches to generate actionable insights, propose practical solutions, and foster a collective vision for creating smarter, more sustainable cities and communities.

Moderator: Nevena Alexandrova, Agricultural Extension Officer, Policies and capacities for Innovation Unit leader, Office of Innovation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

12:25 – 12:30 Launch of the Minecraft Education Challenge

Moderator: Nevine Tewfik, Senior International Relations Expert, Egypt 

  • Isabelle Hupont, Scientific Officer, Joint Research Centre, European Commission
  • Jonathan Birdwell, Global Head of Economist Impact’s Policy and Insights team
  • Michele Zilli, Principal of Immersive Technologies, TUI Group
  • Manuel Barreiro, CEO & Founder, Aston Group
  • Stela Mocan, Manager, Technology & Innovation Lab, World Bank
  • Neil Trevett, Vice President Developer Ecosystems, NVIDIA & President of the Metaverse Standards Forum

Questions & Answers

Moderator: Franca Vinci, Head of Learning Services, UNICC

13:45 – 14:30 Lunch Break
Light lunch will be served on the 2nd floor of the ITU Montbrillant building

14:30 – 15:15 Safeguarding the Virtual Experience: Safety, Privacy, and Accountability in Virtual Worlds

The session will focus on identifying challenges and opportunities related to privacy, accountability, safety and security in these virtual spaces. This panel discussion will delve into the unique aspects of virtual worlds such as online communities and spatial computing, and will address the measures and safeguards that need to be in place. 

Moderator: Anamaria Meshkurti, Tech Investor and Strategic Board Member, AMVS Capital

Questions & Answers

15:15 – 16:00 Virtual Horizons: Unlocking the Potential of the Virtual Worlds for the Sustainable Development Goals

Dive into the cutting-edge realm of virtual worlds as we unveil the transformative power they hold in advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This session, “Virtual Horizons,” will showcase a selection of pioneering UN projects harnessing the potential of virtual environments to drive positive change. Through immersive presentations and interactive demonstrations, participants will gain insights into the innovative ways the UN is utilising virtual technologies to foster global collaboration, raise awareness, and enact real-world impact.

Moderator: Bilel Jamoussi, Deputy Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU

  • Nevena Alexandrova, Agricultural Extension Officer, Policies and capacities for Innovation Unit leader, Office of Innovation, FAO
  • Tom Wambeke, Chief Learning Innovation, International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITCILO)
  • Cristina Bueti, Counsellor, ITU and Okan Geray, Strategic planning Advisor, Digital Dubai
  • Mounir Tabet, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNESCWA
  • Igor Litvinyuk, Secretary, UNECE Group of Experts on Energy Efficiency
  • Jaimee Stuart, Senior Researcher, United Nations University (UNU) and Auxane Boch, cyberpsychologist and research associate, Technical University of Munich (TUM)

Questions & Answers

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee Break

16:30 – 18:00 Imagining Tomorrow: Exploring the Potential of Virtual Worlds to Advance the Sustainable Development Goals and Discover Opportunities in the Future Landscape

This session will gather diverse perspectives on the future of virtual worlds and their alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will explore how virtual worlds can be used to envision and plan, emphasising the intersection of emerging digital technologies, diplomacy, and global challenges. The session will explore potential ways for future approaches to leveraging the virtual worlds, including spatial computing and metaverse, and aims to push the boundaries of imagination and innovation, fostering a world better prepared to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. Join us as we explore the UN and World Bank’s strategic foresight initiatives, offering a unique perspective on shaping the future landscape and contributing as a vital input to the UN Summit of the Future in September 2024.

Facilitated by:

  • UN Futures Lab/Global Hub
  • World Bank ITS Technology & Innovation Lab
  • UN Development Coordination Office (UNDCO)
  • International Training Centre of the ILO (ITCILO)

18:00 – 18:30 Digital Transformation for Hydrology and Water Resources: A look into the future

Moderator: Hwirin Kim, Head Hydrological and Water Resources Services Division, World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

  • Johan Stander, Director Services Department, WMO
  • Stefan Uhlenbrook, Director, Hydrology, Water and Cryosphere Branch, WMO
  • H.E. Mr Seong Deok Yun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva
  • H.E. Mr Febrian A. Ruddyard, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the UN, WTO and other International Organizations in Geneva
  • Ian Lisk, President, WMO Services Commission
  • Monique Kuglitsch, Innovation Manager, Fraunhofer HHI
  • Seizo Onoe, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU

18:30 – 18:40 Closing Ceremony

The Conference Chair will present the closing remarks, summarising the day’s discussions and outlining the next steps.

19:00 – 21:00 Cocktail Reception
Cocktail Reception will be served on the 2nd floor of the ITU Montbrillant building