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Metaverse: the opportunities of the future, an inclusive vision from C Minds and Meta

Constanza Gómez Mont, Founder and Principal, C Minds; and Daniela Rojas, Project Coordinator, C Minds

  • From the C Minds' Eon Resilience Lab, with the support of Meta, we conducted 7 dialogue spaces on metaverse issues with more than 40 experts from 13 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to explore the opportunities and challenges of this platform in the region, and how to address them.

  • From these conversations, we created a report on policy recommendations for decision-makers to develop and deploy the metaverse responsibly.

  • "Metaverse: the opportunities of the future" is the first effort to compile a Latin American and Caribbean perspective on the metaverse.


 

C Minds, through its different laboratories such as the Eon Resilience Lab, always seeks to be at the forefront of new technological developments, taking a perspective of responsible use and social impact from the Latin American context.


Although the concept of the metaverse has been around since the 1990s, it increased its position at the center of the conversation from October 2021, when Meta changed its name to show its new priorities. With this, new questions and reflections arose about how this platform could impact the lives of users.


With this in mind, we generated a multi-sector collaboration to address this new area of opportunity. With the support of Meta, the C Minds' Eon Resilience Lab held seven dialogue spaces with more than 40 experts from 13 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss the opportunities and challenges that the metaverse could bring to the region, and how to address them in order to develop the metaverse responsibly.


Within the dialogue spaces, specialists in technological development, interoperability, investment, entrepreneurship, privacy, ethics, philosophy, human rights, e-commerce, and economics, among others, explored and reflected on the opportunities and challenges from different angles to imagine potential scenarios of what the metaverse could bring to the region, prior to the development and mass deployment of this technology.


The spaces had an audience of more than 2,500 attendees in real-time and more than 1,000 views on YouTube (as of June 2023), reaffirming the interest in this topic in the region. One of the spaces was a face-to-face workshop with people representing civil society groups, for example, focused on women, people with disabilities, migrants and refugees, LGBT+ community, among others.


Series of online dialogue spaces from April to July 2022.

From these spaces, a report was developed integrating the learnings and observations commented on in the different conversations with the objective of helping to inform public policy initiatives in Latin America on the metaverse, concentrating the knowledge and considerations of specialists in human rights, economic development, governance, privacy, security, inclusion, and diversity, among others. In addition, it seeks to promote a more equitable distribution of the benefits of new technologies at the global level.


This exercise also contributed to highlighting the voice of these Latin American and Caribbean experts, strengthening not only the nascent metaverse community in the region but also adding different regional perspectives to the international conversation.

"We are at a key moment to have these conversations holistically and from the region, we need to stop seeing ourselves as a user region and become more involved in the development and deployment of the metaverse so that it is truly inclusive and addresses the needs and contexts of the region".

Daniela Rojas Arroyo,

Project Coordinator from C Minds' Eon Resilience Lab


On 7 June, the C Minds and Meta team presented this report with a curated group of more than 40 people from industry, civil society, government, and academia, and the open call participation of several people virtually. During the event, there was a panel discussion with 4 of the experts who were part of the dialogue spaces to talk about the exercise. This panel included Elena Estavillo, Director of Centro-i para la Sociedad del Futuro; Gabriela Acosta, General Director of #VRFESTMX; Paola Cicero, General Director of the Office of Commissioner Javier Juárez of the Federal Telecommunications Institute; and Santiago Mejia Rendón, Social Ecosystems Leader of Ashoka Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.


Presentation event launch event metaverse report: the opportunities of the future, 7 June 2023

This report concludes that metaverse technologies can be a catalyst for economic and social development in the region, as well as a tool to address current public issues, as long as they are human-centered. Therefore, the report includes nine policy recommendations:

  1. Stimulate infrastructure development and investment to address connectivity and access challenges.

  2. Generate local talent to foster economic opportunities and local solutions.

  3. Facilitate inclusive feedback channels to foster responsible development and use of the metaverse.

  4. Visibilise and promote current use cases of the mixed reality ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean.

  5. Lay the foundations for a flexible framework that facilitates the economic flow between the virtual and physical worlds.

  6. Form multi-sectoral working groups with marginalized communities to co-design inclusive policies.

  7. Promote and ensure a metaverse approach from Latin America and the Caribbean.

  8. Promote the adoption and protection of Human Rights from a multi-sectoral perspective of open collaboration.

  9. Generate training materials and spaces for public servants at all levels of government.


Team presentations at the launch of the report Metaverse: the opportunities of the future, 7 June 2023


This is the first effort to compile a Latin American and Caribbean perspective on the metaverse. This compilation of visions and knowledge is valuable and necessary so that the opportunities and challenges facing the region can be a starting point for future reflections and the development of public policies based on local contexts and needs. To this end, these types of initiatives and exercises must continue to be promoted in order to truly create and foster a future where these technologies are harnessed to create more inclusive, just, and promising paradigms.


Read more about the event in El Economista (video y press realese), Forbes, Milenio y Reforma.


From C Minds we would like to thank the Meta team, Erick Ortíz, Communications Manager; Glenda Michel, Public Policy Manager for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean; María Cristina Capelo, Security Policy Leader in Latin America; Mónica Estrada-Tanck, Privacy and Public Policy Leader; Paula Vargas, Director of Privacy and Public Policy in Latin America; and Tungjen García, Innovation Communication Manager in Latin America for supporting projects like these to generate new spaces for reflection and multidisciplinary and multisectoral debate.


We would also like to thank all the people who participated as speakers in the series of dialogues. Their valuable contributions were part of the inputs for the development of the Report "Metaverse the opportunities of the future". These individuals include: Antonio Da Rocha, Director of Augmented Education at PleIQ; Carolina Aguerre, Co-Director of the Centre for Studies in Technology and Society; Chelceé Brathwaite, Professor at the Shridath Ramphal Centre, UWI; Daniel Granatta, Professor and former Director of Creativity at Platzi; Elena Estavillo, Managing Director of Centro-i for the Future Society; Eve Logunova, Founder and CEO of Evenness; Enrique Siqueiros, Professor of Technology Ethics at Universidad Panamericana; Gabriela Acosta, Managing Director of VRFESTMX and MUV; Jennifer Samaniego, Educational Innovation Analyst at the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja; Juan Gustavo Corvalán, Director of the Innovation and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Buenos Aires; Juan Manuel Escobar, Managing Partner Aroa Studio and President of XRCOL; Karina Pedace, Executive Secretary of UNESCO's Network of Women Philosophers of Latin America; Katitza Rodriguez, Director of Global Privacy Policy at the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Kayla S. Grant, Senior Associate for Competitiveness, Technology and Innovation, IDB; Lucía Bellocchio, Director, Trend Smart Cities; Luiza Brandão, Director, Internet and Society Research Institute; María Mesa, Partner and Chief Growth Officer, Alternova; Mario Valle Reyes, Co-Founder and Director, Altered Ventures; Mauricio París, Managing Partner, ECIJA; Nikolai Layne, Founder, Laissez Faire Associates; Omar Vanegas, Managing Director of Allbreaker GM; Paola Cicero, Director General of the Office of Commissioner Javier Juárez of the Federal Telecommunications Institute; Rodrigo González, Managing Director and Architect of Minverso; Saiph Savage, Director of the Civic Innovation Lab at UNAM; Santiago Mejía, Social Ecosystems Leader at Ashoka Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean; Theo Priestley, Managing Director, Metanomic.


And we also thank the organizations that were part of the in-person workshop, which were key to analyze from different perspectives how the metaverse can be built from the diverse and inclusive: Aimée Vega, Researcher and Coordinator of the Feminist Research Programme at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Sciences and Humanities (CEIICH) of UNAM; Alex Orué, Global Programme Coordinator of It Gets Better Project; Ana Mercedes Saiz Valenzuela, General Director of Sin Fronteras; Angie Contreras, Member of Cultivando Género; Jumko Ogata, Freelance anti-racist educator and consultant; Gerardo Talavera, General Director of Casa de Refugiados; Laura Vélez, Fundraising Officer, Museum of Memory and Tolerance; Lorena Méndez, Assistant Director, Fundación Humanista de Ayuda a Discapacitados (FHADI); Mariana López, Researcher, Centro de Investigación en Tecnologías y Saberes Comunitarios (CITSAC); Mildred Pérez, Editorial Director, Homosensual; and Santiago Mejía, Social Ecosystems Leader, Ashoka Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, Ashoka Mexico and Central America.

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