On April 26, I had the privilege to speak at the vBusiness Expo in Second Life. The goal of the event was to provide a forum for discussion of virtual business and education issues actually within a virtual environment. No travel necessary. No hotel expenses or per diems. Just easy access to experts for anyone interested in using virtual environments as a platform for business.
I use the term experts not really to refer to myself, but to all the Ph.D.s, analysts and corporate directors that filled the list of speakers. Corporate representatives included: Senior Director of eBusiness for Kelley Services David Fenech; IBM’s Global Director for 3D Internet and Virtual Business Sandra Kearney; and, Fiona Gallagher who works in the global brand and advertising group of Sun Microsystems. I found myself sandwiched in the program listing of speakers between Larry Johnson, Ph.D. who is chief executive officer of the New Media Consortium and Mark Bell a Ph.D. student in the Indiana University Telecommunications department. These great academic minds were joined by Chris Collins an IT Analyst at the UCit Instructional & Research Computing department at the University of Cincinnati (better known to many of us in Second Life as Fleep Tuque) and Sarah “Intellagirl” Robbins a Ph.D. candidate at Ball State University, Muncie Indiana. There were also representatives from the non-profit sector like Barry Joseph of Global Kids, and a bevy of lawyers to talk about legal issues involving virtual worlds such as intellectual property.
I tout the diverse group of speakers and panelist because I think it illustrates the breadth of opportunities that exist in virtual world environments. From business to education to philanthropy, everyone can benefit from the ability to cross geographies and bring people together in an immersive environment. This type of conference is a great way to illustrate that.
Virtual TV magazine "LIFE 4-U" reported on the event (including a couple of shots of myself/Pyrrha Dell during my talk). And, here’s a still shot to give you an idea of what the event looked like:
If you’re interested in my own presentation about what Dell has done in Second Life, what we’ve learned and where we are looking to go, you can view the slides online. In addition, Caleb Booker is working to post audio recordings and slides from all the presenters online soon. I’ll update this post with a link as soon as I get it.