WEF to explore metaverse opportunities

By Raffaele Redi

World Economic Forum will launch a community focusing on metaverse values in 2023

The Congress Centre of Davos, Switzerland, venue of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) at night                                 
People in emerging nations are more open to the potential of the metaverse, according to a survey for the WEF – Photo: Shutterstock

The World Economic Forum (WEF) says it is bringing together leading voices from the private sector, civil society, academia and government to explore opportunities in the metaverse.

WEF will curate a multistakeholder community focusing on metaverse governance and economic and social value creation over the next year.

However, emerging countries are far more open to the potential of the metaverse than wealthy ones, according to an Ipsos survey commissioned by the organisation, which has been meeting in Davos this week.

According to the survey, opinion was divided about the metaverse and extended reality. However, most respondents would expect apps using the metaverse to change their daily lives over the next decade.

According to findings, half of the adults across 29 countries are familiar with the metaverse, with a similar number having positive feelings about engaging with extended reality (XR) in their daily lives.

Excitement about metaverse is higher in emerging countries

However, the survey showed that anticipation about the digital technology era is significantly higher in emerging countries than it is in most high-income countries.

More than two-thirds of people in China, India, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Colombia say they feel positive about engaging with XR, compared with fewer than a third in Japan, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada, France and Germany, as researchers explained.

“Unsurprisingly, younger adults are the most familiar with – and look the most favourably on – new technologies. Also,those with a higher level of education are more positive about the metaverse,” said Ipsos researchers.

“Despite the varying levels of enthusiasm and awareness, respondents are widely expecting apps using the metaverse to increasingly have an impact on people’s daily lives over the coming decade. The biggest changes are likely to be felt in virtual learning, entertainment and virtual work settings, people feel,” they added.

The 29-country survey was conducted by Ipsos from 22 April to 6 May 2022, among 21,005 adults aged18 to 74 in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, 21 to 74 in Singapore, and 16 to 74 in 23 other countries, via Ipsos’s Global Advisor online survey platform. A total of 1,000 people were interviewed in each country.

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