At the annual conference 2022 in Davos, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum launched “Defining and Building the Metaverse,” a new endeavor to establish an egalitarian, interoperable, and safe metaverse. This initiative brings important stakeholders together to create an economically sustainable, interoperable, safe, and inclusive metaverse.

Members have agreed to recommend governance structures for a secure and interoperable metaverse.

Furthermore, by creating a platform for global leaders in business, civil society, and government, the effort will exchange and accelerate discoveries and ideas that bring the metaverse to life. By participating in the initiative, members help to define and construct the metaverse. According to research, the metaverse will be an $800 billion business by 2024.

Policy Frameworks

The initiative engages stakeholders to identify key themes along two tracks:

1. Metaverse Governance

Members of the Metaverse Governance Committee have agreed to suggest governance structures for interoperable, safe, and inclusive metaverse ecosystems. This includes establishing a balance between regulation and innovation in order to foster interoperability while protecting user privacy and safety.

2. Generating Economic and Societal Value

Members will collaborate to share and accelerate thoughts and solutions for bringing the metaverse to life. They will find aspects and use cases that create economic opportunities and map different value networks and business strategies across sectors.

Outlooks of Prominent Figures about the Initiative

The Defining and Building the Metaverse initiative provides the industry with an essential toolkit for ethically and responsibly building the metaverse. This will help ensure that we can fully harness this vital medium for social and economic interconnectivity in an inclusive, ethical and transformative manner,” said Jeremy Jurgens, Managing Director, World Economic Forum.

The metaverse is the next inevitable step in the evolution of the internet but will require comprehensive collaboration between all ecosystem stakeholders to make it an open, safe and secure environment. This forum initiative is a robust start to addressing the key technology and policy fundamentals to enable the metaverse to fulfill its boundless potential,” said Cher Wang, Founder and Chairwoman of HTC Corporation.

While the metaverse is in its nascent stage, we believe it has the potential to deliver enhanced connections for everyone. As an industry, it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure this new paradigm is developed in a way that is accessible for everyone, puts the needs of people first, enhances human connection and is developed securely with trust built-in by design. For this reason, we are proud to participate in this cross-industry collaborative body that will define the standards for the metaverse,” said Brad Smith, President and Vice-Chair, Microsoft Corporation.

As part of Sony Group, our goal is to get closer to people, and Sony Interactive Entertainment approaches the Metaverse with the mission to further imagine the ‘best place to play.’ We envision a virtual world that will captivate our fans, excite global creators, and bridge these two vast communities in bold new ways. Now, with an anticipated growing community of users engaging within the Metaverse, governance is a critical and shared responsibility of all its participants. An accessible, safe, and inclusive Metaverse will require new ways of thinking and democratization and strong commitments from all involved,” said Stephanie Burns, SVP, General Counsel, Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Taking active steps to form a strong foundation for metaverse development is one of the key tasks humanity has to fulfill this decade. We are proud to be part of the World Economic Forum’s metaverse group and give our insights and suggestions regarding these topics, particularly that of interoperability. We are keen to develop further decentralized ways to allow users to move freely between virtual reality worlds and keep their digital identities and belongings truly theirs,” said Artur Sychov, Founder and CEO of Somnium Space.

At Magic Leap, we are excited about how technologies like augmented reality will transform the way we live and work, especially in growing fields like healthcare, manufacturing and the public sector. To realize the potential of these technologies, a thoughtful framework for regulation that protects users and facilitates future innovation is required, supported by all stakeholders, including businesses, consumers, government, NGOs and academia,” said Peggy Johnson, CEO of Magic Leap, Inc.

The metaverse is at an early stage in its development. Done well, the metaverse could be a positive force for inclusion and equity, bridging some of the divides that exist in today’s physical and digital spaces. That’s why the Defining and Building the Metaverse initiative will be so valuable. Tech companies mustn’t shape it on their own. It needs to be developed openly with a spirit of cooperation between the private sector, lawmakers, civil society, academia and the people who will use these technologies. This effort must be undertaken in the best interests of people and society, not technology companies,” said Nick Clegg, President of Global Affairs, Meta Platforms, Inc.

As a company that has inspired and developed generations of kids through physical play, we are uniquely positioned to help develop kids in the digital worlds of tomorrow. As the metaverse evolves, it reshapes how people meet, play, work, learn and interact in a virtual world. To us, the priority is to help create a world in which we can give kids all the benefits of the metaverse – one with immersive experiences, creativity and self-expression at its core – in a way that is also safe, protects their rights and promotes their well-being,” said Julia Goldin, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, The LEGO Group.

Animoca Brands is pleased to be a part of the inaugural metaverse initiative launched by the World Economic Forum, and we look forward to a dialogue with our industry colleagues as we navigate the potential of true digital ownership in the open metaverse,” said Yat Siu, Co-founder and Chairman, Animoca Brands.

In these early stages of development of the metaverse, it is important to define the operating principles, standards and ways of working as we go forward. Frameworks that account for openness, interoperability and safety are fundamental to the long-term sustainability and success of these shared ecosystems and communities. We look forward to contributing to the World Economic Forum’s committees for this new initiative,” said Nuala O’Connor, Senior Vice-President & Chief Counsel, Digital Citizenship, Walmart Inc.

The rapid advancement and adoption of the metaverse will create unforeseen complexities in governance, ethics, social and industrial effects. Thus, the need for collective intelligence to anticipate, analyze, design, experiment on and constantly revise governance measures and frameworks will be crucial. It will be an honor for us from CJ Group to make contributions along with dedicated and leading colleagues from around the world to the World Economic Forum’s metaverse initiative,” said Dr. Cha Inhyok, Chief Executive Officer, CJ Olive Networks & Group Chief Digital Officer, CJ Corporation.

WEF Conference 2022

The World Economic Forum has been the intergovernmental organization for public-private partnerships for almost 50 years. The Annual Meeting provides a focal point for leaders to enhance the collaboration required to address global issues and construct a more inclusive and sustainable future. The Annual Meeting 2022 and its 450 sessions, themed “History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Industry Strategies,” bring together world leaders from business, government, and civil society.