A dive into the future? A Qatar University Professor has entered the metaverse to deliver a keynote speech.
Qatar University made history by becoming the first university to enter the metaverse— a fictitious version of the internet that functions as a single, ubiquitous and immersive virtual environment.
The metaverse, dubbed as the future of interactions, is enabled by virtual reality and augmented reality headgear, and consists of a network of three-dimensional virtual environments focused on social interaction.
The latest move was made possible through signing a memorandum of understanding with Metavisionaries —a community of change agents, thought leaders, and business experts committed to extending access to the space economy and cutting-edge technology in order to address present and future sustainability challenges.
The partnership aims to allow students to have access to space curricula as well as the latest technology, including the growing Web 3.0 space.
“The pandemic accelerated the rate of technology adoption in the education sector. Web 3.0 and the Metaverse are paving the way for education to be reimagined,” said Wasim Ahmed, CEO for Metavisionaries.
“In that sense, the partnership with Qatar University showcases the university’s determination to play a leading role in shaping and enabling the transformation to prepare future generations for the future of work.”
As part of the collaboration, a video of Dr. Omar Al-Ansari, Vice President for Academic Affairs at QU, was sent to the International Space Station through Metavisonaries’ partners, ICE Cubes and Malleth II Program.
“I am proud to be inspiring our next generation with Metavisionaries by bringing space curricula to the masses and providing them with immersive learning experiences to prepare them to create sustainable future and a better world for all,” the professor said in the video.
For the first time in history, Professor Rana Sobh, Dean of the College of Business and Economics at Qatar University (QU), entered the metaverse to give a keynote address about the future of education at the Metavisionaries launch party.
In addition to educators, the event featured space scientists like Dr. Tara Ruttley, a former NASA associate chief scientist, and Dr. James Green, a former NASA chief scientist.
“As the National leading university in Qatar and top ranked in the region, we should take the lead in pushing boundaries and keep reinventing our purpose, curricula and pedagogies to remain relevant and prepare our graduate for success in an increasingly turbulent, uncertain and challenging environment,” Dean Sobh said during her keynote speech that took place in the metaverse spaceship.
“Web.3 will play an ever-increasing role in education in the next few decades. When the history of the educational metaverse is written, we would like to be cited as one of the ground-breaking universities.”
Dean Sobh added that the College of Business and Economics is collaborating with Metavisionaries, Ice cubes, Space applications, and other international partners to launch a Global Space Sustainability challenge.
This challenge will bring together students from various disciplines and universities around the world in an effort to find ground-breaking solutions to urgent problems pertaining to one or more Sustainable Development Goals.
“We need to reimagine business and should no longer make trade-offs between profit and advancing sustainability. We can achieve synergies between the two and leverage space to help achieve that,” she explained.