In Pictures: A Roundtable Discussion On The Purpose, Possibilities And Problems Of The Metaverse

By Chong Seow Wei

From how much the metaverse will impact our lives to whether it’ll stay truly decentralised, these topics and more were discussed during a Mastermind event we organised last week

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Cover  Samantha Hum and Stephanie Dickson at the latest Gen.T roundtable event with VisitMonaco, held at private members' club 1880 in Singapore on September 16

At the latest Gen.T Mastermind event on September 16, guests engaged in a candid discussion about the metaverse. 

They exchanged views on the technological concept, which was first described in a 1992 science fiction novel but only became a buzzword worldwide last year when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg rebranded his company to Meta. 

Read more: What Is The Metaverse And Why Is Facebook Betting On It?

In the months since Zuckerberg’s announcement in October 2021, there have been countless debates about the purpose, originality and promises of the metaverse—from how it will disrupt global retail to whether it’s just a hyped-up concept by Big Tech to cash in on.

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Above  Manila Di Giovanni, founder and CEO of DWorld

Jointly organised by Gen.T and VisitMonaco, the Mastermind session featured a guest speaker: Manila Di Giovanni, the youngest tech founder based in Monaco. The 21-year-old runs DWorld, a company building a virtual economy for the Principality of Monaco—the first of its kind in the world. 

During dinner, Di Giovanni shared that she believes the metaverse will become a reality in three years. This is much sooner than the five to 10-year timeline that Meta posited. She also showed the other guests a video clip of the prototype her company had built for the Monaco project. 

Other guests in attendance at the dinner included Eugene Soh of Dude Studios, Joseph Khan of Enjinstarter, Stephanie Dickson of Green Is The New Black, Errol Lim of Jublia, Anna Vanessa Haotanto of ABZD Capital and Vincent Ha of Lyte Ventures.

Read more: In Pictures: A Roundtable On Building An Agile Mind, Body and Business

The topic of what made the metaverse valuable also came up and guests had differing views. Some believe it was the real-life benefits of gaining access to something deemed exclusive in the physical world, while others think the physical-virtual connection may become less relevant in the future. There are, after all, more people spending real money to buy clothes for their avatars.

There were also conversations about whether the metaverse is actually a game, how long a person would be willing to spend their day in the metaverse, and if a fully decentralised metaverse is still likely with cybercrimes becoming more rampant and sophisticated over time. 

After two hours, dinner came to a close with the room still buzzing with chatter as guests exchanged contact details and social handles to keep in touch. 

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