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This Week in the Metaverse (W47.2022)
The Big Read - state of women representation in metaverse leadership; Latest on Into The Metaverse Podcast; Other News from Around the Metaverse
Welcome to Letters - commentary, analysis and ideas from Into The Metaverse.
The Big Read - State of women representation in metaverse leadership
Latest on Into The Metaverse Podcast
Other News from Around the Metaverse
Let’s dig in!
(1) The Big Read: State of women representation in metaverse leadership
In a research published by McKinsey they found “an already discernible gender gap in the metaverse, similar to the gap that exists in Fortune 500 companies and start-ups, where less than 10 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women,2 only 17 percent of venture capital (VC) dollars go to women-led and women co-led companies,3 and just 15 percent of VC general partners in the United States are women”.
According to McKinsey’s data, women are spending more time in the metaverse-type platforms than men are and are more likely to spearhead and implement metaverse initiatives. However, McKinsey claims, just as in the tech sector as a whole, women represent a minority in the metaverse economy as both the entrepreneurial capital and the CEO roles in the metaverse space remain disproportionately reserved for men.
Why It Matters
The metaverse has the potential of adding a whole new layer of economic activity to the global economy, potentially making a profound impact on innovation, creativity and wealth creation. This in turn highlights the importance of ensuring a multi-stakeholder approach to building and realizing the metaverse. While McKinsey’s research shows early indicators that women may already be a powerful metaverse user base, they are underrepresented in leadership roles in what could surely impact what the metaverse becomes. Therefore, per McKinsey, addressing the existing gender gap in leadership roles while the metaverse is still in its formative stage is therefore of paramount importance, and to do so, industry stakeholders will need to engage a range of different voices and infuse diverse leadership into the companies and coalitions shaping the metaverse.
As a father of a 16 months old girl, I am not only committed to help building a metaverse that will respect, enable and inspire her and her generation, but also, and perhaps more importantly, ensure that the way we are building the metaverse will provide opportunities for women to help shape what it becomes - today and in the future. I’m proud of the type of organization we’re building at Supersocial where women serve in both leadership and managerial roles, as well as my work on Into The Metaverse where multiple female leaders have contributed their perspectives about the metaverse - among them: Saro McKenna (Alien Worlds), Angela Dalton (Signum Growth Capital), Christine Renee Perry (Skale Labs), Marja Konttinen (Decentraland), Taylor Monahan (MetaMask), Tami Bhaumik (Roblox), Candice Beck (Chipotle).
There is no reason why women should not have a growing leadership role in shaping what the metaverse becomes. The best time to ensure it happens was yesterday. The next best time is every day afterwards.
(2) Latest on Into The Metaverse Podcast
Listen to episode 33 with Esther Wojcicki on Raising a Generation of Super Children.
Esther is a journalist, educator, and vice chair of the Creative Commons advisory council. She is the founder of the Palo Alto High School Media Arts Program in Palo Alto, CA. and the Co-Founder of Tract Learning, which publishes the web app Tract, a peer to peer, project-based, gamified learning platform for kids 8 years and over. Esther’s book, How To Raise Successful People, is a best seller!
We cover in detail how technology is rapidly changing every aspect of our lives and what the future of workplace looks like, but at the same time the education system lags behind and continues to struggle with these rapid changes and preparing children for the future.
And as long as the parents are convinced that the best way for kids to learn is the old way, nothing's gonna change because power lies with the parents and the parent groups, and that's one of the reasons why I think parents should band together and then have conversations with their school board, their superintendent, and see what ways can they.
Allow for kids to become technically sophisticated, computer literate and learn the four Cs, which are, as I said, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. So if you just look at the traditional curriculum, where is collaboration? It's like an individual thing.
Everybody's supposed to work by themselves. Where is critical thinking? Well, you might get critical thinking in math problems, but you need to have critical thinking in problems that are facing the world, not just in the math problems. Creativity. People don't wanna be creative because they're afraid to take a risk and they'll get a bad grade and then they won't get into college.
The one thing Esther wants the listeners to take from our conversation:
Don't do for the kids. Anything that they can do for themselves, that's wonderful, and that means they can do a lot of things for themselves and we will empower this generation so that they can take the serious issues into their own hands and help solve them.
(3) Other news from around the metaverse
The real future of the metaverse is not for consumers (link, paywall) - Nokia’s CEO, Pekka Lundmark shares the case for an enterprise-focused metaverse → on episode 22 of Into The Metaverse, Rev Lebaredian (Nvidia) and I cover in detail what an industrial metaverse could look like and what it could for creators, brands and businesses.
SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest telco company, launches Ifland, its own version of a metaverse platform (link) → my take: with the growing popularity of platforms like Zepeto in Asia, this bet from SK Telecom seems to be more of a direct competitor to Zepeto than to platforms like Roblox.
There’s No Fixing Meta’s Metaverse, Scrap It, Start Over (link) - provocative yet reasonable argument that suggests Meta should redesign and rebuild their metaverse project → complement this item with reading my recent letters on Meta: A Perspective on Meta's Metaverse Creation Efforts & One Year Since Facebook Became Meta.
The metaverse will be a digital graveyard if we let new technologies distract us from today’s problems (link) - “If we build new technological worlds at the expense of addressing today’s problems, the metaverse won’t be a shiny new utopia, it will look more like a digital graveyard, full of the lost memories and copies of a world we chose to ignore.”
Bob Iger returns as Disney CEO, replacing Bob Chapek after a brief, tumultuous tenure (link) → my take: Iger’s return will not only aim to reestablish Disney’s core business of branded content but also reimagine what its theme park should become in a future where technology enters every aspect of consume experiences with the emergence of the metaverse.
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Into The Metaverse is a multi-segment podcast show that covers companies, technologies and trends through deep interviews with the brilliant minds who build, create for, and invest in the metaverse.
Into The Metaverse covers companies, technologies and trends that are bringing this promise to life. Yonatan Raz-Fridman “Yon” (founder & CEO of Supersocial) interviews the brilliant minds building for, and investing in, the Metaverse.