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CASE STUDY World Economic Forum

The metaverse meets public good

Unveiling a new platform for action with the World Economic Forum


An inspiring vision for a more unified future

We are all familiar with the metaverse and have almost certainly engaged with at least one iteration of the “internet of place” in our personal or professional lives. Though the metaverse hype may have had its ups and downs, the real power of the full continuum of extended reality technologies lies in the their ability to establish new ways of working and problem solving.

That’s where the World Economic Forum sees unprecedented opportunity. Its leadership, in partnership with Accenture and Microsoft, set a course to harness the promise of emerging metaverse technologies to enhance human interaction and cooperation, foster empathy and awareness around social causes and more. The ultimate destination: The Global Collaboration Village.

The Village is being designed as a purpose-driven platform for the “the future of public-private cooperation,” where leaders and changemakers anywhere can find the tools and resources to collaborate and take decisive, impactful action against pressing problems in the real world.

The technology that bridges the gap between our virtual and physical worlds is crucial. But the thing that truly makes the metaverse stick is its ability to drive value to a diverse set of stakeholders—from consumers to businesses and industries, and now social good, too.

Assembling a team for modern collaboration

It all started with a sketch from Professor Klaus Schwab—engineer and World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman. The sketch mapped the layout of a virtual world, which would host a town hall, collaborative centers representing the World Economic Forum’s platform initiatives, and five campuses for different stakeholders.

That framework was presented to Accenture, given its proven experience in this space, and Microsoft, with the question: How can we leverage the metaverse to reimagine the future of public-private collaboration and catalyze impact in the physical world?

To take on this challenge, and demonstrate the art of the possible, Accenture assembled a multidisciplinary team of strategists, technologists and researchers invested in the Metaverse Continuum. This unified team worked together—remotely and in VR—to bring the Village vision to life, and debuted a proof of concept (hosted on Microsoft’s Mesh platform) to World Economic Forum partners during the Annual Meeting 2022 for testing, experimentation and discussion.

With early engagement proven and the desire to see more, the joint team was given the green light to continue building the broader Village, to include the Business Stakeholder Campus and an Ocean Hub, ahead of the next Annual Meeting in January 2023.

Laying the foundation for a purpose-driven metaverse

One goal for the Annual Meeting 2023 was to inspire people with a glimpse of the game-changing value the Village may offer. Davos attendees who “dove” into the Ocean Hub voiced that the metaverse experience helped bring ocean causes to life. This reaction is precisely why Professor Schwab sees the Village as the technology to “unite people across borders, support the exchange of ideas and revolutionize progress.”

Soon, the platform may host cultural events, conferences and even virtual art and museum exhibits. More than 130 organizations have joined the as Village Partners and are meeting bi-monthly as committed allies in this effort. In addition, a working group has been convened to address issues of trust, security, identity, safety and governance in the metaverse, and ultimately help formalize a universal code of ethics for this new frontier.

The launch of the Village is the first step in a long journey to extend the World Economic Forum’s reach and engagement—making impactful solutions-oriented opportunities accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime, 365 days a year. As we look to solve pressing global challenges together, the Village presents a unique opportunity to partner in more compelling and meaningful ways. That’s a (virtual) reality worth fighting for.


Kathleen O’Reilly

Global Communications, Media and Technology Industry Practices Chair

David Treat

Global Metaverse Co-Lead and Innovation Incubation Group Lead

Mark Curtis

Global Sustainability and Thought Leadership Lead – Accenture Song

Katie Dunn

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy

Karen O’Regan

Head of Strategy – Accenture Ireland