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Creative Entrepreneur in Residence programme: Who’s Afraid of the Metaverse?

The Metaverse is widely discussed as the next seismic shift of the digital age. A persistent and connected 3D virtual world where we can work, shop, socialise and consume culture – as avatars of ourselves and using immersive technologies such as AR and VR.

In contrast to previous shifts – such as the internet and social media – initial public response is rather more hesitant and sceptical. Is this informed by growing awareness of the effects that our digital lives are having on our wellbeing? Do we instinctively feel that this is a step too far from our physical reality and selves? Or, will the Metaverse inevitably become the next digital playground for consumers, creators and entrepreneurs, backed by the tech giants and driven by data?

In this set of talks we will look at the Metaverse’s often dystopian origins; hear from innovators who are already working creatively and commercially within it; understand the urgent need for safeguarding standards; and identify opportunities for researchers as the technology develops.

Speakers include:

  • Catherine Allen, founder and CEO of Limina Immersive and a UK leading expert in immersive technology. Her background includes producing BAFTA winning AR and VR experiences, operating the UK’s first VR cinema and authoring some of the most influential immersive industry reports. She recently received an honorary doctorate from the University of Warwick for her work in widening the appeal of immersive technologies, is a frequent media commentator on the industry’s big issues – and is currently an adviser for the NSPCC and the Government’s Online Harm Bill.
  • Alex Lambert, a digital Creative Director who has made over 75 AR and VR projects for some of the world’s biggest brands – both independently and for creative technology production company Happy Finish. He was recently involved in the first Metaverse Fashion Week in March 2022 which included brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana and Selfridges
  • And Tim Powell, the University of Reading’s Creative Entrepreneur in Residence.

After the presentations, there will be an opportunity for further conversation over drinks. A calendar invite will follow.

We are aiming to schedule our talks and workshops on different days and at different times of the day, to accommodate a variety of working patterns. The next session will be a lunchtime workshop in the w/c 21st November.

If you would like to come, please RSVP to Preeti Trichur p.trichur@reading.ac.uk so we can arrange catering accordingly.


19 October 2022
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Bulmershe Theatre, Minghella Studios
Bulmershe Theatre, Minghella Studios, University of Reading, Shinfield Road
Reading, RG6 6BT United Kingdom
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