Phygital, Interoperable, Immersive: Visions for the Metaverse | Part Two

Reflecting on the metaverse with the team from Journee: Christian Mio Loclair, Ida Kymmer, and Thomas Johann Lorenz

We continued exploring the advent of the metaverse during week two dedicated to the subject. This time we focused on the vision carried out by the team over at Journee—The Metaverse Company.

Christian Mio Loclair, new media artist, scientist, and co-founder of Journee, believes that the internet could be a great contribution to humans and economies, but it isn’t, for now. In his voice note he says that a simple proof of that is the fact that many of us can’t remember a crucial internet encounter. Why is it so?

Because with today’s internet, the paradox is that we are closer than ever, but we never felt further. We meet, but we don’t care. It’s not beautiful. And from an economic perspective, in a weird way, every economy, every brand is just “many humans,” so they end up having the same problem. We want brands to be remembered — but today, very often, we can’t remember what anyone is standing for; we are lacking a fundamental understanding of culture in which we listen to each other, notice each other, and care, across all domaines.

So why does the internet today need an update? Because it’s not made for humans or brands. It’s not business-for-all. And the reason metaverse could be a solution is because of its opportunity to become beautiful, in comparison to the internet today, in order to prevail.

We can build virtual rooms where we slow down the internet, where we can stay for a while, breathe in, breathe out. Meet someone, speak, learn from each other, exchange, and tackle new giant challenges together.

Seeing that design is at the centre between culture and business, we need to design an internet that focuses exactly on that: we meet and learn from each other, side by side. And maybe in ten years we might wake up in a new beautiful business reality.

Greg Sherwin, who contributed to week 3, commenting for Christian Mio Loclair’s words in our Discord space

But this need for an update scares a lot of users. “And what if the shift from today’s internet to the metaverse isn’t as drastic as the hype makes it feel like?” asks Thomas Johann Lorenz, the co-founder and managing partner of Journee. Instead, what if it comes as an organic shift? “What if in 80 months time you’re still spending 8 hours a day on your mobile phone and notebook, browsing the web, but that web experience will simply feel different?” he asks.

Imagine an e-commerce experience. Instead of just listing the products, you would be able to dive into the product’s history, interact with influencers, speak to a brand representative before adding the product to your bag? Or, if you’re watching a Rolling Stones concerts on Youtube, you could either passively view it, or change to “active mode,” enter the concert virtually, and do a “stage dive” together with Mick Jagger and thousands of others. And what if during a recruiting process you could hang out in a virtual company world with your potential colleagues?

All of that is already happening today, Thomas says, without a disruptive jump, and it only proves the organic, iterative movement towards a more interactive, more experienced, and more human internet.

Today there may be opposing views on what the metaverse should become, says Ida Kymmer, strategic business development manager at Journee: “those who believe in the open metaverse that is decentralized and uses cryptocurrencies, and those who focus entirely on virtual experiences with no belief in blockchain technologies.” But these technologies are interdependent: “the transition of the internet we are witnessing and building is both about a more beautiful and 3D way of experiencing the internet, as well as it is about decentralization and ownership of digital assets,” Ida says. It’s blockchain that allows users of virtual worlds with solutions to ownership and transferability. And soon users will be able to seamlessly bring their digital assets across different experiences, which is an example of interoperability, which is a term we will explore more with our contributors from next week: Ryan Mullins, CEO of Aglet, a location-based gamified Web 3 commerce experience, and Sasha Wallinger, head of Web3 and metaverse strategy at Journey (not to confuse it with Journee!).

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Katia Zoritch, writer at the House of Beautiful Business

Beautiful Business in Web3 is the first community-run, asynchronous conference on the future of humanity, technology, and business in a decentralized world. It is run by the House of Beautiful Business in partnership with Hotwire, a global PR and communications consultancy.

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Journal of Beautiful Business

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The House of Beautiful Business is a global platform and community for making humans more human and business more beautiful. www.houseofbeautifulbusiness.com.