Business Education and the Metaverse
Everyone is talking about the Metaverse these days. One cannot read a business publication like Bloomberg or The Wall Street Journal without seeing articles about the transformational change that is coming with the establishment of the Metaverse.
But what exactly is the Metaverse? There appears to be no simple explanation or agreed upon definition, primarily because people and organizations are just starting to create it. So, we really don’t yet know all that it will encompass. What is emerging so far as the Metaverse suggests that it is the overlapping of digital and physical worlds largely through the use of augmented and virtual reality. The vision of the Metaverse’s various creators fundamentally seems to be to develop an advanced digital environment where people will meet, work, play and learn.
It is the concept of learning in the Metaverse that especially intrigues me. As the Metaverse evolves, I believe we are going to see increasing applications of management education in this digital environment. In the Metaverse, students will have an immersive experience that has the potential to enhance learning through the engagement of multiple senses. This video provides some clues for how Meta Platforms Inc. (formerly Facebook) sees the potential of education in the Metaverse realized:
While the video might seem futuristic, I can assure you it is not. Indeed, Stanford University recently introduced their first course taught entirely in virtual reality. In business education, it may not be too long before students can enter the Metaverse and tour the New York Stock Exchange or experience the factory floor of a large manufacturer. Our Master of Real Estate and Infrastructure students may be able see new building projects and property developments in their completed form – long before they are even built! Perhaps potential Schulich students will soon tour our two award-winning facilities and meet with our Student Services staff within this virtual world. The possibilities are endless.
As Schulich, we have some amazing thought leaders whose research looks at the ever-changing role and impact of technology on management, including the Metaverse. The Future of Marketing Institute (FOMI), a think tank located at and sponsored by Schulich, is already teaching both students and business leaders about the Metaverse. The FOMI website and its Twitter feed (@thefuturemktg) regularly post the latest research, articles, videos and commentary on how the Metaverse will transform the field of marketing and business.
While it’s too early to say how exactly the Metaverse will impact business education in the long run, early glimpses signal that exciting new possibilities are on the horizon and Schulich intends to remain at the forefront of technology-enabled learning. I look forward to meeting you personally in the Metaverse in the not-too-distant future.
Detlev Zwick, PhD
Dean, Tanna H. Schulich Chair in Digital Marketing Strategy
Schulich School of Business