OEB Annual Debate: "This House Believes Education Should Move to the Metaverse"
Date Thursday, Nov 24 Time – Room Potsdam I
"The metaverse has been described as the next evolution of the internet or Web 3.0. It offers an ‘extended reality,’ in which people can socialise, work and learn.
Is it the future for education – a brave, new, digital world where every experience is an immersive learning opportunity and students’ grades are higher than ever before? Or is it a dangerous distraction from the essential discipline and structure of traditional education?"
Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández
Co-Chair Education Committee / Founder and CEO, VRAR Association / ONE Digital Consulting, Spain
Carlos is an Engineer from the Madrid Polytechnic University, and has an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Babson College and a Post-graduate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Maryland University, Digital Marketing for International Business Development and ITC & Gis by Siemens Data-Technic Schule. Carlos is Founder and CEO of ONE Digital Consulting, and over the last 10 years he has successfully led a range of institutional/national/European projects, and has received a range of international awards for his educational innovation activities. With more than 30 years’ experience in Innovation Consultancy and Smart Education, leading multinational organizations (SIEMENS, Sagentia, Cap Gemini, eLearning Consulting). He is President of VR/AR Association Madrid Chapter, and Co-Chair of VR/AR Education Committee since 2017, where he coordinates the Experts Sessions, Forums, Case Studies, Best Practices and Collaboration activities worldwide. Today, with more than 600 active members and more than 100 on-line sessions around XR in Education Is one of the references organizations in XR in Education Worldwide. He is one of the Immersive Learning Founding Members, ICICLE X-Reality for Learning and Performance Augmentation SIG, Principal Member of the Metaverse Standards Forum, and founder Member of Smart Cities Standards Experts Group of AENOR. He is Independent Expert Evaluator in XR Projects for several international institutions, European Commission and Alberta Innovates Carlos is working for several International Experts Committees in XR in Training, Education, Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Smart Cities, and Principal Member of XR4Europe, Educators in VR, where he is main speaker, Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN), principal member. He is working as a consultant and advisor of several Education Institutions in Europe, and leading the implementation of Smart Education Labs for the Ministry of Education of UAE. Author of many publications and articles about Innovation and Advanced Technologies. White Paper “Best Practices in VR in Education” and “State of Art of XR in Education” by VR/AR Association. During these last years, he has shared his business work, with the delivery of more than 100 conferences on XR in Education, Augmented Education and MetaEducation, and the development of immersive experiences with ONE XR Studio, with artists like Ouka Leele and the Creative XR Arts Explosion, La Escuela Internacional de Música Reina Sofia and the “Music 5 Senses” experience, or the Metaverse of the Islamic City of Cuenca. Currently, he is involved in a new Innovative Project about “Creating Immersive Experiences with 5 Senses around creative arts and music for education”.
Christina Yan Zhang
CEO, The Metaverse Institute
Christina is a pioneer in the metaverse. She started her master research on the topic in 2006 using metaverse to develop international strategies for universities worldwide. In 2012, she completed a PhD in using digital twin services in the metaverse to simulate and augment construction, engineering and architecture projects. Christina is an award-winning business leader who has 16 years’ experience turning forward-thinking ideas into ultra-high growth business with global impact. She has extensive experience working with government ministers, universities presidents, and business CEOs on industry, innovation and skills strategies. She worked for QS, the leading world university rankings agency, between 2013 and 2020, leading China business. Starting from scratch, Christina grew the UK-headquartered firm’s profile and commercial success in China. In January 2016, China’s Vice Premier highlighted the use of QS rankings in a keynote speech, with the rankings impacting 5 years funding allocations to 3005 universities across China with 48 million students, and an annual budget of £150bn. Christina was the first Chinese elected to the national executive of the UK National Union of Students (NUS) since its foundation in 1922, and represented the interests of one million international and EU students studying at 600 UK higher and further education institutions who contribute £30bn a year to the UK economy. She has sat on 20+ advisory committees for UNESCO, the World Bank, the Commonwealth, the EU, and UK Governments. She led many successful global campaigns including the future of work and skills, equality, diversity, inclusion, and international strategy. She led a successful campaign against the Home Secretary Theresa May's proposed legislation to restrict foreign students' visas, which persuaded the Minister to abandon some of the proposed policies. Christina also contributed to the establishment of the Commonwealth Students Association, representing 2 billion youth across 54 countries. Between 2012 and 2013, she worked in the UK Parliament developing policy for the Shadow Business Secretary’s team. For two years Christina contributed to the BBC as a campus journalist. She has seven years’ experience as a TV presenter for People’s Daily Online, interviewing heads of state and the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies on global issues. As a bridge-builder between the government, business, education, and innovation sector, she regularly meets with top leaders, is a frequent keynote speaker at high level events, and is interviewed by top media.
Spatial Network Evangelist & Immersive Experience Designer, Spatial Network, France
Andy Fidel creates social experiences for remote communities, using digital and immersive technologies. Making local conversations, global discussions. #spatialnetworks Producing virtual events since 2016, Andy Fidel designs experiential gatherings for community and enterprise, specializing in conference extensions, virtual festivals, and metaverse education. Andy Fidel studies the impact of VR/AR on digital communications and what the future holds for human connection. What does it mean to have a virtual identity? How do you engage with a virtual community? How do we form and share meaningful stories? Our social lives are changing as immersive experiences take center stage in our new spatial reality. She coined the term, ‘Spatial Networking’ in 2016. Exploring the social side of immersive reality. Spatial networks refers to all social platforms using immersive technology (VR/AR), empowering people with tools to connect, share, and build community. Owner & host of @SpatialNetworks & @GetSocialVR on social media. Andy Fidel also leads #GetSocial, a digital network for emerging technology creators & entrepreneurs. Weekly meet-ups to discover new immersive experiences, to meet XR thought leaders, attend virtual events with opportunities for professional development. She is currently the ‘Influencers and Partners Manager’ at Rec Room. Past and ongoing collaborators include: Rec Room. LinkedIn, Scout House, WXR Venture Fund, PepsiCo, AltspaceVR by Microsoft, C2 International, C2 Montreal, TikTok Canada, Twitch, VRScout, Google VR/AR, YouTube VR Creator Lab, Verizon 5G Labs, VR/AR Association, and communities at large in the multiverse.
Director of Global Innovation, Research & Incubation, Valorem Reply, Germany
René Schulte is leading the Spatial Computing and Metaverse practice at Reply working with teams across the globe on emerging technologies. He is a creative developer, thought leader and digital content creator with a passion for UX, (Edge) Cloud computing and deep technical knowledge from more than 15 years in VR/AR, Spatial Computing technology and 3D programming. He is a frequent keynote speaker and panelist at conferences, writes articles and is the creator of the video podcasts QuBites and Meta Minutes. For his community involvement he is honored since 13 years with a double Microsoft MVP award, recognized as Microsoft Regional Director. Additionally he is an advisory board member for the VR/AR Association and XR Bootcamp.
Editor / Senior Fellow, International communications consultant and editor of the eLearning Africa Report, United Kingdom
International communications consultant and editor of the eLearning Africa Report, UK
Dr Harold Elletson is an International Communications Consultant and Senior Fellow of the Institute for Statecraft.
He is a founding director of the Africa Forum on Business, Investment and Security, a member of the steering committee of OEB, a member of the Organising Committee of eLearning Africa and a consultant to ICWE GmbH. He is also the editor of The eLearning Africa Report.
Dr Elletson was previously Director of the NATO Forum on Business and Security, which he created with support from the NATO Science Programme.
A former Member of the United Kingdom Parliament (from 1992-1997), he served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in the early stages of the peace process and was also a member of the Select Committee on Environmental affairs. He served as a member of the Lancashire Education Authority (the Education Committee of Lancashire County Council) before being elected to Parliament where he represented the interests of schools and colleges in his constituency in discussions with Ministers and on the floor of the House of Commons. He is a Fellow of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme and of the Industry and Parliament Trust.
As a communications and public affairs specialist, he has advised many leading companies on aspects of their business in challenging markets, including BP in Azerbaijan and Alstom in Siberia. He has written widely on political and historical subjects and his first book, The General Against the Kremlin, that was published by Little Brown. His journalism has been published in a variety of newspapers and magazines. Dr Elletson holds a PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Bradford.