The metaverse is a virtual world where the physical meets the digital. It is the idea of a new digital world that merges with the real world. It does not consist of monitors and keyboards, but gives the user the feeling of a real, physical interaction in the digital world. Users can interact with each other and with digital objects in a shared space. This trailblazing technology has the potential to change the way we live, work and play.

One of the most important ways for companies to benefit from the metaverse is to create value for the society, companies and their customers. This can be through immersive experiences, such as virtual reality shopping, multisensory experiences or gaming. Companies that invest in this technology now will be well positioned to reap the potential benefits in the future.

The digitalswitzerland WEF 2023 Lunch, hosted by Wipro, was a meeting of industry leaders and experts in the field of the metaverse. The event addressed the topic of “Creating Value in the Metaverse“, taking place in Davos. It provided an excellent opportunity for digitalswitzerland members to learn from some of the most respected industry leaders.

The event featured keynotes and a panel discussion with influential figures in the metaverse field, including Angie Gifford of Meta, Yat Siu of Animoca Brands, Efsun Erkiliç of Refik Anadol Studio, Isabel Steinhoff of Dimenteers, Srini Pallia of Wipro, Eric Saracchi of Firmenich and Cathy Hackl of Journey. After the welcome by Marc Walder, founder of digitalswitzerland and René Mulder, CEO Wipro Switzerland, the guests were guided through the event by Stefan Metzger, CEO of digitalswitzerland.

The event also gave participants the opportunity to network with other industry leaders and experts. Overall, the digitalswitzerland WEF 2023 Lunch was a valuable opportunity for participants to gain a deeper understanding of this exciting new field.

Angie Gifford of Meta, a company that is developing a metaverse platform that allows users to create and share virtual experiences. “The metaverse is the next evolution of the internet”. Anyone talking about the digital world of the future can not avoid the Metaverse. Here, products can be experienced – independent of space and time. Interactions can be made more authentic in the metaverse, but without replacing the real world. We want people to have a better experience online, not more time online. Education opportunities in this space are exciting and the ability to share data in virtual rooms for example.

Angie Gifford, Vice President EMEA at Meta & Supervisory Board Member
Yat Siu, CEO Animoca Brands

Yat Siu of Animoca Brands, a company specialising in the development of digital collectibles and gaming experiences, sees ownership as the foundation of the metaverse. He kicked off his talk with the vita questions: Do we actually own the rights to our digital existence? Do we actually own our digital assets? AI and Deep Learning offer great value, but there is a catch. Who owns the data? It is important to understand the value of data. Do we own the rights to our digital existence? To quote George Washington: Freedom and property rights are inseparable.

Efsun Erkiliç, Partner at Refik Anadol Studio

Efsun Erkiliç of Refik Anadol Studio, a company that creates immersive, data-driven art installations, sees the metaverse as a way to create new forms of expression. “We want to create public art. As artists, we are interested in people. The pandemic made us realise that we already live in a digital world. Our research and practice focuses on people and puts them at the centre of everything we do. Efsun believes that the metaverse will allow artists and creators to push the boundaries of what’s possible, creating new ways to tell stories and express themselves.

Isabel Steinhoff, Transformation Expert and Metaverse Entrepreneur, Dimenteers (centre)

Isabel Steinhoff of Dimenteers, a company supporting leaders to become pioneers in the metaverse. “Businesses must first educate themselves and then engage with the amazing customer experiences. You need to communicate, move and shake up the possibilities from the top down. Explore and be vulnerable. If you do this, you can open up new possibilities for your company”.

Srini Pallia, CEO, Americas & Member of Wipro Executive Board (centre)

Srini Pallia of Wipro, a leading global technology, consulting and services company, sees the metaverse as a way to create new opportunities for innovation and value creation. The metaverse is not just about customer experience, it’s about the way we do business – it’s a game changer.

Eric Saracchi, Chief Digital and Information Officer at Firmenich (right)

Eric Saracchi of Firmenich, a company that specialises in creating and producing flavours and fragrances, sees the metaverse as a way to create new opportunities for customer engagement. The metaverse is a conversion of senses, not technology. The motto in exploring the possibilities of the metaverse: be curious, be foolish and embrace the technology. We need to be fast and furious.

Cathy Hackl, Founder & Chief Metaverse Officer at Journey

Cathy Hackl of Journey, a company that specialises in creating virtual reality and augmented reality experiences, sees the metaverse as a way to create new opportunities for storytelling and brand building. Cathy states that it’s important to build towards the long-term, not just the ‘hype cycle’ surrounding the metaverse.

Overall, these leaders in the metaverse space see the technology as a way to create new opportunities for value creation, innovation, and revenue generation. They all have different perspectives and specialities, but they all see the metaverse as a powerful tool that companies can use to create new forms of value for their customers.

View more images of the event here and read about our eSustainability Breakfast Event, which took place at the Palantir Pavilion.

Photography by Moritz Schmid of Chilyvent.