From Metaverse mindset to impacts with SDGs

June 22, 2022

By Dr. Shirley MC Yeung

Previous studies proposed that a mindset that revolves around sustainable development along with an entrepreneurial spirit and design creativity contribute to innovations and transformations.  Under the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has experienced change in different ways, which lead us to re-examine “sustainability”. In addition to vigorously advocating for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), there is a need for new ways of designing, re-designing, re-learning and collaborating within diversified industries, for example, fast fashion and training services, to stay connected across organizational boundaries. It is now time to explore systems thinking, innovations, and transformations with resilient skills to engage, design and re-design supply chain/logistics modals to conserve resources under a low-touch and creative economy mentioned by UNESCO, 2021.

The Artaverse event launched June 3- 12, 2022 in Hong Kong covers different aspects in creative economy, for example, art and cultural business, entertainment and music business, and innovative technology applications. The event engaged celebrities, industry practitioners, young people and the community, exploring a disruptive business model with futures of education. This triggers the author to link up the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals (SDGs), including economic (SDG#9 – innovations and SDG#12 – responsible production and consumption), social (SDG#3 – wellness, SDG#5 – gender equality and SDG#16 – peace) and environmental (SDG#13- climate change and SDG#17 partnership) for measuring the impacts on selected goals.

Based on a recent paper from Bamakan et al. (2022) that NFT “NFT has widely attracted attention, and its protocols, standards, and applications are developing exponentially. It has been successfully applied to digital fantasy artwork, games, collectibles, etc. However, there is a lack of research in utilizing NFT in issues such as Intellectual Property.” (Bamakan, et.al., 2022, p.1)

“NFTs seem inextricably intertwined with digital collectibles, and many brands’ first step into the NFT waters has thus been to launch their own collections. These early efforts range from exclusive releases of Campbell’s soup can art and Coca-Cola digital apparel to generative art of burgers from White Castle.” (Sundararajan, A. 2022)

The Study

Stage 1 – April, 2022 – Quantitative Analysis on Metaverse Mindset

In April 2022, a metaverse mindset survey has been provided to attendants of Metaverse Mindset Training conducted on 15th April. 49 surveys have been collected to analyze for a picture of the understanding of metaverse mindset of respondents. Most of the people who know what Metaverse Mindset is think that a 3rd space is needed for new services in a new economy. The rest of them believe that a 3rd space creation is needed for communication and education. Only one person thinks that the Metaverse is already serving the purpose of the aforementioned aspects.

For the room for improvement in communicating on metaverse mindset, we can see that most of the respondents believe there are still a lot of room to improve and to be created in the metaverse.

Metaverse Mindset Questionnaire Summary
Responses: 49

  1. Do you know what “Metaverse Mindset” is?
  • 27 (55.1%): Yes
  • 22 (44.9%): No

Numbers of people who know and do not know what Metaverse Mindset is are similar.

If Yes: Which of the following do you think is needed?

  • 10 (41.7%): I think creating a 3rd space is needed for new services in a new economy
  • 7 (29.2%): I think creating a 3rd space is needed in communication
  • 6 (25%): I think creating a 3rd space is needed in education
  • 1 (4.2%): In fact, Metaverse already included both things mentioned above, there are even other aspects like gaming, etc.

The rest of them believe that a 3rd space creation is needed for communication and education. Only one person thinks that the Metaverse is already serving the purpose of the mentioned aspects.

We can see that most of the respondents believe there are still a lot of room to improve and to be created in the metaverse.

If No: Which one of the following choices is your understanding metaverse mindset?

  • 11 (37.9%): Describe future internet use with shared and 3rd virtual spaces linked into a bigger space like a universe
  • 10 (34.5%): Mixture of online and offline interaction
  • 8 (27.6%): Creating 3rd Space

Those who claim they do not know what Metaverse Mindset is, have mixed views among the three options provided, which shows they are still confused about the true meaning of the Metaverse Mindset.

  1. If free training on Metaverse Mindset is available, will you join?
  • 41 (83.7%): Yes
  • 8 (16.3%): No

The result of this question shows that the majority of the sample group is open to learning more about Metaverse Mindset.

If Yes: Will you join with:

  • 32 (78%): Peers
  • 5 (12.2%): Parents
  • 4 (9.8%): Teachers

Most of the participants who are willing to join a free training on Metaverse Mindset with their peers.

If No: Reason for not joining:

  • 5 (71.5%): Not Interested
  • 1 (14.3%): Don’t know too much about it, it may contain potential risk
  • 1 (14.3%): Too busy

For those who are not joining, most of them are not interested about the idea of Metaverse Mindset. We can see that those who are not interested in it are also not willing to learn about it.

What kinds of projects would you like to have on the 3rd space creation, excluding wearing goggles?

  • 24 (49%) Art / Entertainment related 3rd space
  • 15 (30.6%) Learning and Teaching related 3rdspace
  • 10 (20.4%) Services/ Products Demonstration related 3rd space

Half of the participants believe the possibility of Metaverse is the most prominent in the Art and Entertainment industry, where the rest of them see the potential in teaching and product demonstration. We can see that as the whole idea of Metaverse is still early and developing, the possibility of application is still beyond imagination.

Phase 2 – Qualitative Analysis on Creative Apparel Industry

To determine related factors that were connected to the dependent variable, Blockchain Governance, a study was performed. Nine articles published from 2018 to 2022 were studied. Several related factors were discovered, including Sustainable Resources Management, Privacy of Sensitive Data, Proof of Consensus Mechanism, Proof of Distributed Ledgers, Economic Sustainability, Social Sustainability, Technical Sustainability, Programmable Economy, Political Sustainability, Ecology Sustainability, Proof of Ecosystem, Proof of Works and Partnership Mechanism.

By using Nvivo, a text search was conducted for the factors above to acquire a more accurate point of view regarding the keywords’ relationships to the topic. The search result showed that some of the keywords such Sustainable Resources Management, Privacy of Sensitive Data showed up more frequently with 541 and 276 times respectively, while Partnership Mechanism was cited less often. (Table 1).

Table 1. Findings of the keywords search

FactorsSourcesReferences
Sustainable Resources Management9541
Privacy of Sensitive Data9276
Proof of Distributed Ledgers9202
Proof of Consensus Mechanism8186
Economic Sustainability9177
Social Sustainability9158
Technical Sustainability9134
Political Sustainability9111
Programmable Economy8107
Ecology Sustainability8104
Proof of Ecosystem892
Proof of Works875
Partnership Mechanism635

By further investigating the interrelationships among the factors, it appears that some keywords such as Sustainable Resources Management, Privacy of Sensitive Data, and Proof of Distributed Ledgers connect the most to the topic of Blockchain Governance. A graphical depiction was created from the data based on the findings. (Figure 1).

Conclusion and Discussion

With the innovative use of NFTs and emerging technology of blockchain shown in the exhibitors in the Artaverse Event in June, 2022 and a preliminary research study in metaverse mindset and creative apparel industries, there is room for future study on the use of metaverse mindset in entertainment, communication, education and product and service demonstration industries.

Moreover, clear guidelines with blockchain governance mechanism and impacts measurements on linking up virtual and physical worlds from different industries with talent development in related areas are expected to ensure the production and consumption of virtual assets (NFTs) are responsible (SDG#12) and have been clearly understood from the communities with the use of innovative technology (SDG#9) so as to align with the researching findings of Sustainable Resources Management and Privacy of Sensitive.

References


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https://en.unesco.org/news/international-year-creative-economy-sustainable-development

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