THE CODE TO METAVERSE DAVOS EVENT
Wednesday, 25th May | 8.30 to 11.00 pm CET
“Human identity has a value, which has been and will continue to be exploited unless we reverse the recent trends in technology. Placing the power back into the hands of the humans engaging with the Metaverse will enable them to realize the true value of their identities, in ways they never thought possible.”
The Code to the Metaverse
As your earliest ancestors made discoveries and decisions about the physical realm they inhabited, they crafted their existence in the universe—the tangible, physical world. Today, you are living in the birth of a new world of sorts, and you are not unlike the first humans on planet earth. You are a co-creator of this new digital world called the metaverse. However, there is an enormous difference between humanity’s existence in the physical world and our existence in the emerging digital world. One phrase captures this difference: speed of progress. Your earliest ancestors made painstakingly slow progress over decades and centuries to reach the modern society we live in today. You and I live in a technologically advanced world that allows us to craft our digital existence in rapid fashion—in a matter of months and years. Certainly, in the span of a single lifetime. This has an incredible upside and a frightening downside. You should know the difference.
One critical subplot to the global pandemic is that the very thing we hoped would save us – technological innovation – has fallen short. But our inability to stop COVID-19 any sooner has not been a technological failure. The real failure is that our global wherewithal is more clearly fractured than it has ever been. Humanity has the tools for the current solution we seek, and many others. We just haven’t figured out how to work as one. But there is still a straightforward way to solve both current and future challenges.
In our bestselling 2019 book, The transHuman Code, we offered the world a carefully curated take on the essential conversations that will determine whether our relationship with technology will upgrade or undermine our humanity. It ignited a global dialogue. Now it’s time for the next step: taking tangible action to ensure that the highest human values are coded into the technologies that are defining how we will live in what is now commonly called “the metaverse”—the digital existence which will increasingly define the way we work, communicate, relate, and live as global citizens. We will detail these critical actions through a 12-part multi-media series that convenes today’s brightest minds and most important resources to deploy human-first decisions and human-centric technology from 2022 forward.
This time, we are not merely curating conversation. We aim to identify and ignite the technological tools and solutions required right now to lay a foundation for the metaverse (our digital world) that will promote the greatest common good for the universe (our physical world). We call this collective effort, “The Code to the Metaverse.”
As a reader, you can encounter “The Code” episodes in three ways, concurrently:
First, you can view them through the lens of a citizen of the physical universe, who wants humanity to flourish through the upholding of our highest values, and the triumph over our greatest struggles.
Second, you can view them through the lens of a beneficiary of the digital metaverse, who enjoys its many benefits but also understands that technology can do great harm if not stewarded well.
Third, you can view the episodes that follow through the lens of a fellow innovator, whose ideas, convictions, and actions will help usher in the brightest future for the human experience on the whole, in physical and digital realms.
Our intention is to make it clear which topics (and their primary industries and mainstream manifestations) must be the focus of our metaverse resources right now. Some will be obvious to you; others might surprise you. Technology is a visible force and an invisible one. We must be aware of both, to ensure human values remain at the helm. A powerful cautionary tale of what happens when human values aren’t at the helm of technological advancement comes from the late nineteenth century.
It started in 1895, when a German mechanical engineer named Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays. This discovery set in motion a string of more advanced discoveries that would eventually lead to an awful, irreversible reality in our world. Roentgen’s discovery prompted the French chemists Pierre and Marie Curie to discover radioactivity three years later. Roughly a decade later, New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford and English radiochemist Frederick Soddy discovered that radioactivity was the result of atoms splitting. These three discoveries alone changed the course of human history for good. But because human values were not the highest consideration, the same discoveries were unknowingly permitted to darken the world forever.
Roentgen, the Curies, Rutherford, and Soddy all won Nobel Prizes. But Soddy’s work on radioactivity was left unbridled. Soon, nuclear weapons were being created in a secret lab in Germany. America responded with the Manhattan Project, a secret nuclear weapon facility of its own. You can see where this is going. On August 6 and 9, 1945, the U.S. dropped their nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, effectively ending World War II. The human loss in Japan was stupendous, but the damage had begun fifty years earlier, when the world allowed a string of advancements to elevate technology above humanity. We still feel the consequences of that tragic oversight today, as nuclear weapons remain a global threat.
To avoid another catastrophic consequence, humanity must have more than a few hundred thousand savvy tech entrepreneurs making decisions. We are each a stakeholder in the creation of humanity’s metaverse, and by proxy our entire shared existence, by the choices we make every day. And it would be a mistake to conclude that the collective efforts of Humanity 1.0 have been a failure.
To date, technological advancements have produced benefits like stem cell research, electric cars, and 3D printing. But like all operating systems, humanity’s OS eventually couldn’t keep up. Truth be told, an upgrade was needed more than a decade ago, as platform companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon were rapidly expanding, and big pharma was hedging its lifechanging discoveries by storing them in corporate silos. We didn’t see the danger in continuing to operate on Humanity 1.0 back then. We didn’t broadly acknowledge the dire need to upgrade our technological governance until a pandemic hit and our frailties were laid bare.
We can now see that the OS on which the world has been running is outdated. It cannot efficiently account for a world in which realities like AI, machine learning, and gene editing exist. It does not efficiently operate in a world in which identities can be stolen, national voting systems can be hacked, and global news can be fabricated. Humanity’s current OS is spinning as we consider the wisest upgrade. We still have a say in what features the update will deploy.
Humanity 2.0, as the Vatican has aptly named it, must bring the world current with the latest advancements and threats that exist in the metaverse being constructed every day. There will be bugs in our new operating system. Humanity 2.0 won’t be without new deficiencies and disappointments for which we hadn’t planned. This is the nature of progress.
But the upgrade will also introduce us to efficiencies, safeguards, and advances we hadn’t imagined were possible. Yet, this wishful upgrade will only happen through global, codifiable standards for humanity in the metaverse, which will point our progress to the future we desire. This is as true for defeating a current pandemic as it is for refreshing the systems and functions by which an upgraded humanity must operate.
Through dialogue with today’s brightest minds and institutions, the United Nations, World Economic Forum, and the Vatican, The Code to the Metaverse will explore how our digital existence will be constructed and experienced, individually and together, on a daily basis, for the year ahead and in the decades to come. We’ve mapped these topics along a continuum of our interaction with them, and they us, over the course of a typical twenty-four hours in the metaverse.
WIRED founder Kevin Kelly calls technology “humanity’s accelerant,” but this is only an accurate description if protecting and elevating our highest human values remains the purpose of our progress, especially when it comes to the following topics and how you and I choose to experience them in our rapidly expanding digital landscape:
Nourishment in the metaverse…
We’ll explore how your sources and ongoing provision of food, water, and communication with others can be improved in the metaverse.
Livelihood in the metaverse…
We’ll explore how your mode of transportation, jobs, ongoing education, and utilization of money can be improved by how you operate your life and work in the metaverse.
Fulfillment in the metaverse…
We’ll explore how your health can be greatly improved while the cost of staying healthy can be decreased in the metaverse. We’ll also look at how your core communities can be not only expanded but strengthened in the metaverse.
Longevity in the metaverse…
We’ll explore how your ability to innovate will skyrocket in the metaverse, along with your risk for personal and professional damage, without wise stewardship of personal security and government oversight.
The transHuman Code was a pioneering exploration of our near future, introducing individuals, organizations and initiatives that were on the forefront of the technological revolution. Intentionally, the book posed as many questions as it answered, in an effort to kickstart the conversations so necessary for the advancement of a most bountiful future for all.
The Code to the Metaverse will expand these conversations, giving you early access to the unprecedented digital tools that will ultimately define your life in and through the metaverse.
Join us, as we decipher the present moment and reveal the code to a common abundant goal, ensuring the highest human values, and richest life experiences, are embedded into today’s biggest technological wave.