Skip to main content
real-talk- metaverse

Real Talk -
Make sense of the metaverse

Prepare for an immersive future

The metaverse. Is it a place in virtual reality? Is it a new economy? Is it a new technology? With so much talk, it can be hard to pin down what it is exactly. Yet early versions of the metaverse have been creeping into our lives for years – such as virtual spaces like Second Life, multiplayer online games like Fortnite, and mobile AR games like Pokémon GO. And our physical and digital realities are continuing to fuse each day. This means today, tomorrow or a decade ahead, there’s heaps of potential to enhance consumer experiences, improve productivity at work and transform collaboration.

Together, let’s make sense of the metaverse.

Watch on demand

Lessons from the first famous metaverse

Philip Rosedale, Inventor, entrepreneur and founder of High Fidelity and Second Life

Second Life is sometimes described as the first metaverse, although its founder, Philip Rosedale says its genesis was “just as a place where you could build things” in a virtual environment. Fast forward 20 years and many of its most loved qualities – like freedom to roam the world, interact with others, build content, and join a thriving online economy – sound extremely familiar. Join Philip Rosedale as he talks about the evolution of the metaverse and shares lessons from his own journey with Second Life and why people must come before brands.

Gen Z, pop culture and the metaverse

Gen Z is the first digitally native and truly global generation. They already access the whole world via their devices, uncovering an international melting pot of culture. And whether they realize it or not, their behaviors and attitudes are beginning to shape the early metaverse and will significantly influence its development. Insights from our expert panel expose how this generation is impacting the future.


  • Emma Chiu,Global Director, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence
  • Stephen Johnson, Head of Qualitative Research, Ipsos Media
  • Lauren deLisa Coleman, Power trends analyst, author, speaker, and entrepreneur

Watch on demand

New ways of working in the industrial and enterprise metaverse

From product design to training, technologies like digital twins, VR, AR and AI are already combining to change the way we work. This is the dawn of the industrial and enterprise metaverse and has the potential to deliver tangible productivity and cost improvements across the board. Hear from our panel of experts about practical use cases and what the metaverse will really mean for business.


  • Philip Rosedale, Inventor, entrepreneur and founder of High Fidelity and Second Life
  • Simon Crownshaw, Worldwide Strategy Director, Media and Entertainment, Microsoft
  • Philipp Landgraf, Head of Technology, Holo-Light
  • Gilberto Serra, Head of Digitalization, Nokia People Services

Meet our speakers

Make sense of the metaverse

Philip Rosedale, Inventor, entrepreneur and founder of High Fidelity and Second Life

Philip Rosedale, Inventor, entrepreneur and founder of High Fidelity and Second Life

Philip Rosedale is the Founder of Linden Lab, parent company of Second Life, an open-ended, Internet-connected virtual world and pioneering metaverse. Following Second Life, he worked on several projects related to distributed work and computing. Excited by innovations in these areas and the proliferation of new VR-enabling devices, he re-entered the virtual worlds space in 2013, co-founding High Fidelity, a company devoted to exploring the future of next-generation shared virtual reality. Philip rejoined Second Life in 2022, as Strategic Advisor, focused on helping to shape and build a better metaverse.

Prior to Linden Lab, Philip created an innovative Internet video conferencing product ("FreeVue"), which was later acquired by RealNetworks, where he went on to become Vice President and CTO.

Emma Chiu

Emma Chiu Creative Innovation Director, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence

Emma Chiu leads creative innovation at Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, the agency’s in-house futures and innovation think-tank. She curates all visual content, leads creative consultancy, presents across all Wunderman Thompson verticals and she heads up creative execution of Innovation Lab projects. Emma provides strategic insight and trend consultancy for brands including Northwell, Shiseido and Unilever.

Emma is on the board of advisers for Digital Hollywood’s Influencer Awards. She was also part of the Color Awards judging panel and often speaks at international conferences, including SXSW Interactive, Pause Fest and The Media Summit.

Emma is the former art director of Monocle, leading the art direction and design for the international Monocle brand. She also led project collaborations with brands including, ANA, InterContinental, Mandarin Oriental, Turkish Airlines and UBS.

Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson, Head of Qualitative Capabilities, Media Development, Ipsos UK

Steve is the Head of Qualitative Capabilities for the Media Development division of Ipsos UK with 18 years’ experience in the research industry. Over that time has designed and delivered high quality research projects that have provided actionable, impactful insights to the world’s leading media and tech companies. He specialises in designing innovative methods that utilise new technology and is part of the Ipsos global steering committee on research on, and in the Metaverse. He has a deep knowledge of the tech landscape, gaming and the Metaverse and has run multiple projects in the space.

Lauren deLisa Coleman

Lauren deLisa Coleman, Power trends analyst, author, speaker, and entrepreneur

Lauren deLisa Coleman is at the forefront of helping to define and design this exciting, new space.

Future Media architect, author, speaker, and entrepreneur; Lauren is an expert at deciphering and forecasting power trends, innovation, and public sentiment within the intersection of popular culture & emerging tech - Artificial Intelligence, 5G, Web 3 - and the impact of such on business and governance - with a unique focus on Millennials+ as well as diverse demographics. She helps brands and politicos understand how to create messaging and content that better resonates with today’s tech-savvy, pop culture Millennials consumers/constituents and influential demographics of color by providing forecast & insight into cultural trends, attitudes, and behavior as it all intersects with emerging tech usage, that is, Future Media.

Through the lens of what she calls "the rise of the leaderful"; a cultural shift exemplified by a new spirit of increased individual empowerment via a decentralized, networked, Future-Media driven era, she provides a unique voice as a visionary. Her work is based on her team's micro-sociology research, her books "Rise of the Smartpower Class"(Amazon Best: "New Media Studies"), and the 2016 update of that book, "America's Most Wanted: The Millennial”, and via her background as a successful, international digital entrepreneur previously collaborating with clients from Snoop Dogg to Microsoft leveraging content strategy, pop culture trends, and technology through her previous startup, Punch Media Group as well as an MTV Networks vet.

Lauren has written and continues to write for numerous media outlets on emerging tech and popular culture such as Forbes, Daily Beast,, The Next Web, Business Insider, Moguldom,, and Campaigns & Elections, and more. She is also a guest commentator on MSNBC, among other media outlets.

She is the current founder of Lnk Agency, a diversified concept marketing and media production company fostering innovation in marketing and communications strategy with ventures integrating music, film, post-cable television, technology, politics for the new GenZ/Millennial tech class and DEI initiatives and counts as its clients’ companies from WarnerMedia (now WarnerMedia Discovery) to Microsoft.

A massive proponent of supporting the new majority in the powerful realm of Future Media, Lauren also recently launched an innovative non-profit and movement entitled GameChange to ensure that this new area is inclusive of a variety of top minds.

She is at work on a new AI-driven media company and speaks professionally on the above around the world.

Lauren is an alum of Columbia University and is currently pursuing study at Harvard Business School.

Simon Cronshaw,

Simon Crownshaw, Worldwide Strategy Director, Media and Entertainment, Microsoft

Simon Crownshaw serves as Worldwide Media and Entertainment Strategy Director for Microsoft. He provides leadership and direction to teams across studios, broadcasting, sports, interactive and live events and the solutions that power those focus areas. In addition to supporting the hundreds of global customers and helping them harness the power of Microsoft to enable media workflows, he is focused on media cloud adoption and the critical data, AI and metaverse elements that will redefine content creation and delivery in the future.

Simon has almost 20 years of experience across all elements of the digital media landscape. Before joining Microsoft, he led technical solutions and strategy at multiple studios including the Walt Disney Company across production, postproduction, and the entire media supply chain. He has also been involved in cutting edge solutions that have leveraged game engine processing, and advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning. His philosophy is civilized content creation and to enable creative talent to be able to use whatever technology they want wherever they want to use it.

He also sits on the boards of MovieLabs, Hollywood Professionals Association, and the Entertainment Technology Center at USC.

Simon is a champion and advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in the technology and media industries. He is also helping the industry examine a more focused effort on sustainability with clients across the world.

Philipp Landgraf

Philipp Landgraf, Head of Technology, Holo-Light

Philipp Landgraf is the Head of Technology at Holo-Light, a company that is providing the most powerful streaming platform for Augmented and Virtual Reality. He’s responsible for the Industrial Metaverse XRnow, a platform tailored precisely for scaling XR use cases and business models. Philipp has a master’s degree in physics from the Technical University Munich and is an expert in XR software and hardware development as well as cloud and edge computing in the enterprise market. For Philipp, the Metaverse will be the next big step for the digital society - empowering people to seamlessly create, build and operate in the digital space.

Gilberto Serra

Gilberto Serra, Head of Digitalization, Nokia People Services

Over 20  years of experience in learning business, Gilberto is currently in charge to incubate, prototype & develop extended reality tools and solutions for impactful learning products.

Nishant Batra

Nokia host: Nishant Batra, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, Nokia

Nishant is a global leader with broad experience in strategy and technology development and portfolio management, as well as in having significant profit and loss responsibilities across the telecom and enterprise sectors. He has been intimately involved in bringing cutting-edge products to market across industry domains and has a deep understanding of the silicon, software and system requirements necessary for innovation.

At Nokia, Nishant is the Chief Strategy and Technology Officer (CSTO) with responsibility for corporate strategy, technology architecture and pioneering research at Nokia Bell Labs; Nokia’s information technology (IT) infrastructure and digitalization initiatives; centralized security domains; and Nokia’s venture capital activities.

His function lays the path for Nokia’s future technology innovation and identifies the most promising areas in which Nokia can create new value. By setting the company’s vision and understanding the evolving market and business dynamics, Nishant is responsible for developing a coherent business-strategy, technology and architecture vision across the company and implementing it in partnership with the Nokia Business Groups. Furthermore, he is responsible for establishing a solid research foundation on which Nokia innovates new products and for providing the critical support infrastructure that ensures all Nokia business units can deliver that vision properly and securely.

Prior to joining Nokia in 2021, Nishant worked at Veoneer in Sweden, a worldwide leader in automotive technology, where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. Before this, he spent 12 years at Ericsson holding several positions, most recently as Head of Product Area Networks.

Nishant holds an MBA from INSEAD; a master’s degree in Telecommunications and a master’s degree in Computer Science from Southern Methodist University in the US; and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Applications from Devi Ahilya University in India. Nishant is based in Espoo, Finland and has lived and worked in Asia, Europe and the US.

Amber Mac

Event moderator: Amber Mac


Amber has keynoted more than 400 events around the world and has moderated sessions with: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; former FBI Director James Comey; business coach Tony Robbins; famed astronaut Chris Hadfield; and many other notable leaders. In 2010, she wrote the national bestselling business book Power Friending (Portfolio: New York) and in 2016, she co-wrote the Amazon bestseller, Outsmarting Your Kids Online.

Amber has hosted and co-hosted a variety of podcast series, including The AI Effect (presented by Accenture), Marketing Disrupted, The Feed, commandN, and The Amber Mac Show. She is a regular business host and expert for Fast Company, CNN, Bloomberg, CBS, BNN, CTV, The Marilyn Denis Show, and SiriusXM (where she co-hosts #TheFeed). Plus, in 2018, she was named one of DMZ’s 30 inspirational women making a difference in technology.

Amber Mac started her career in San Francisco and Boston during the dot-com boom. As a strategist for Razorfish and Director of Marketing for an e-procurement software company, she spent four years in the technology start-up trenches. Amber left the start-up world to join Microsoft to build one of the first female-focused lifestyle portals. In 2006, she started her own digital agency. The company’s first client was world-renowned business coach, Tony Robbins, and now includes Microsoft, Google, GE, Paypal, Nintendo, Canada Goose, and Fast Company, and many more leading organizations.