Nordic Virtual Worlds Network Research_Feb 2011


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My keynote presentation on virtual worlds and research by the Nordic Virtual Worlds Network research project ( to the MIT Research Group in February 2011in Sweden at the School of Business at Stockholm University.

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  • Before we start there is a nice article on In world business models and second life.
  • Explore how entrepreneurs and SMEs globally are using and could use VWs to improve their competitiveness. how both formal and informal work and business processes, such as product and service design, customer and supplier interaction, learning and training, may be transformed and made more effective through the use of VWs. To create a Virtual Center for VW Entrepreneurship & Innovation to stimulate and facilitate networking and knowledge and resource sharing among Nordic individuals and organizations interested in VWs. We also plan to connect these Nordic actors to leading VW actors in other global areas, especially Silicon Valley, to improve knowledge transfer as well as business opportunity development
  • RT: the 3D internet characterized by …. (next slide)
  • While many definitions of VWs, these are the characteristics that I find relevant to the study of virtual entrepreneurship. Persistent, computer-simulated, immersive environments ranging from 2D "cartoon" imagery to more immersive 3D environment world exists regardless of whether users logged in Users can manipulate and/or alter existing content or even create customized content Shared space or co-presence numerous users, or ‘avatars’, simultaneously participate, interact, and share experiences through gestures, text chat, and voice Socialization/community formation of in-world social groups such as teams, guilds, clubs, cliques, housemates, neighborhoods, etc the world allowed and encouraged
  • In many ways, education hasn’t changed much since students sat at the feet of Socrates more than two millenniums ago. Learners still gather each autumn at colleges to listen to and be questioned by professors. But the Internet has caused sudden shifts in other industries, from the way people read news to the way they buy music or plan travel. Might higher education be nearing such a jolt? Aside from the massive dent put in their endowments by Wall Street’s woes, colleges and universities mostly have been conducting business as usual. Costs have soared compared with general inflation, but students still flock to classes. Many have theorized that the Internet could give education a rude shock. Recently, an opinion piece by Zephyr Teachout, a law professor at Fordham University in New York who once served as an Internet organizer for presidential candidate Howard Dean, put the possibility in dramatic terms. “ Students starting school this year may be part of the last generation for which ‘going to college’ means packing up, getting a dorm room, and listening to tenured professors,” she wrote in The Washington Post. “Undergraduate education is on the verge of a radical reordering. Colleges, like newspapers, will be torn apart by new ways of sharing information enabled by the Internet.” She’s not the first to see newspapers moving from print to online and wonder whether something similar could happen to colleges. Online newspaper readers tend to seek out individual stories, not what papers as a whole have to say. Might finding the right class online become more important than which institution was offering it? What happens if colleges or even specialized online-only education companies provide essentially the same Economics 101 course? Does geography cease to matter and do low-cost providers win out? Some think it could happen, perhaps sooner than expected. “Three years ago nobody thought the newspaper industry was going to collapse,” says Kevin Carey, policy director of Education Sector, an independent education think tank in Washington, D.C. Today, a college education is more than twice as expensive as it was in the early 1990s, even after adjusting for inflation. “ It’s getting worse all the time. There’s no end in sight,” Mr. Carey says. Colleges “have set the bar pretty low for competitors” through a lack of competition, he says. At the same time, many potential students are being underserved. “We need more institutions that are good at serving working students, immigrant students, low-income students, students who are basically going to college because they want to get a credential and have a career,” he says. Carey points to the fledgling company, which offers college courses in subjects from algebra to business statistics, English composition, and accounting. Students can take as many courses as they want for $99 per month, the company’s website says. The price includes 10 hours each month of one-on-one live support and a course adviser. Passing courses results in “real college credit” from one of several colleges affiliated with the program. About 30 percent of the undergraduate credits given each year at US colleges and universities derive from only 20 or 30 introductory classes. It seems logical, then, that these could be turned into “commodities” sold at the lowest price online. “ Econ 101 for $99 is online, today. 201 and 301 will come,” Carey writes in an essay, “College for $99 a Month,” in Washington Monthly. “The Internet doesn’t treat middlemen kindly.” He describes an unemployed woman in Chicago who was able to complete four college courses for less than $200 on The same courses would have cost $2,700 at a local university. Of course, colleges and universities have discovered online learning themselves. They already offer thousands of online courses to their registered students. According to one recent survey, nearly 4 million college students, more than 20 percent of all students, have taken at least one online course. But colleges don’t generally offer a lower price for online courses. The reason is that the courses actually take more work to prepare and teach than similar classroom courses, says Janet Poley, president of the American Distance Education Consortium in Lincoln, Neb. Members of the consortium, made up of public universities and community colleges, find that they often must provide extra resources to faculty who are preparing to teach online for the first time, such as help from a graduate assistant or a lighter teaching load, she says. [ Editor’s note : The original version mischaracterized the role of the consortium .] Online learning at these institutions“has been growing very fast,” Dr. Poley says. Students appreciate the flexibility to be able to take courses whenever they want, allowing them to keep their jobs or avoid paying baby sitters or commuting to campus as often. What’s holding back more online courses, she says, is the lack of good broadband Internet options in some places, especially rural areas. What may be evolving, Poley says, is a “home institution model,” in which students take introductory courses online but come on campus for work in their major field and for graduate study. “ I don’t really care whether there are students on campus or not,” she says. But “I think there will still be folks who like to be in a community with others while they are learning.” Some students enjoy athletics and other on-campus activities, she says. “I don’t think people are ready to give that up.” Online courses, the latest form of distance learning, have had a reputation for being of lower quality than on-campus work, Carey says – something advertised in the back pages of a magazine. But that may be out of date. Online education is continually improving, he says. “It’s better now than it was 10 years ago.” A study of 12 years of online teaching by SRI International on behalf of the US Department of Education concluded earlier this year that “On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.” What’s more, this wasn’t true only of lower-level courses. “Online learning appeared to be an effective option for both undergraduates … and for graduate students and professionals … in a wide range of academic and professional studies,” the study said. The Obama administration has talked in general terms about online education as part of a grand plan to give the US the highest proportion of college-educated citizens in the world by 2020. The plan, when announced next year, could include funds to develop more online course materials and make them freely available. If other online education start-ups like do appear, they won’t be looking for “18-year-olds from suburban high schools who want to go to Harvard,” Carey says. Elite schools will always offer other reasons to attend, such as making social connections. “Exclusivity never goes out of style,” he says. Professor Teachout is reminded of the 19th century, when wealthy Americans sent their children off to Europe to absorb its cultural treasures on a so-called Grand Tour. “I can imagine the off-line, brick-and-mortar, elegant, beautiful MIT experience becoming the Grand Tour” of tomorrow, she says in an interview. Reaction to her article has been strong and varied. Some, including her father, also a law professor, have said, “This is horrible. This is the end of the world,” she says. Those she calls “techno-Utopians” have said, “This is fantastic!” An online learning experience for the self-motivated, organized person could be “extraordinary,” she says. And we’ve only scratched the surface. “The totally free online university that is stitched together from MIT-quality professors is going to happen very soon.” Others remain skeptical. “ I do question whether things are really as dire as she says, and whether we’re moving toward a model where the online [courses] will almost completely displace the classroom,” says Dan Colman, associate dean and director of continuing studies at Stanford University in California. He also has founded, a website that points visitors to free educational courses online. “ I think there could be a day when a lot … could be done online, but I don’t think it’s in 20 years. I think it’s further out.”
  • Virtual conferences becoming a reality Christopher J. Welch*, Sanjoy Ray*, Jaime Melendez, Thomas Fare and Martin Leach, nature chemistry | VOL 2 | MARCH 2010 | VOIP Chatrooms Wikis, blogs Social networking avatars
  • What are the 5 phases of a Hype Cycle? 1. "Technology Trigger" The first phase of a Hype Cycle is the "technology trigger" or breakthrough, product launch or other event that generates significant press and interest. 2. "Peak of Inflated Expectations" In the next phase, a frenzy of publicity typically generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. There may be some successful applications of a technology, but there are typically more failures. 3. "Trough of Disillusionment" Technologies enter the "trough of disillusionment" because they fail to meet expectations and quickly become unfashionable. Consequently, the press usually abandons the topic and the technology. 4. "Slope of Enlightenment" Although the press may have stopped covering the technology, some businesses continue through the "slope of enlightenment" and experiment to understand the benefits and practical application of the technology. 5. "Plateau of Productivity" A technology reaches the "plateau of productivity" as the benefits of it become widely demonstrated and accepted. The technology becomes increasingly stable and evolves in second and third generations. The final height of the plateau varies according to whether the technology is broadly applicable or benefits only a niche market. Virtual worlds have reached a stage where new users continue to build, even though the media has moved on to fan the fires of Facebook and Twitter, says Douglas Thompson, CEO of Remedy Communications, a Toronto marketing firm. Second Life says the time spent on the site by users increased 21 percent in 2009. Most paying customers on Second Life are purely social, but it still boasts 1,400 business-related organizations as users. Thompson says traffic on Metanomics, his company’s Second Life video presence, has picked up in the past year, with 50 percent of new users coming from small or medium-size companies. “People no longer ask what an avatar is,” says Thompson. “We can thank Jim Cameron for that.” Read more: Entrepreneurs Doing Business by Avatar - Personal Finance - Employment -
  • Explore how entrepreneurs and SMEs globally are using and could use VWs to improve their competitiveness. how both formal and informal work and business processes, such as product and service design, customer and supplier interaction, learning and training, may be transformed and made more effective through the use of VWs. To create a Virtual Center for VW Entrepreneurship & Innovation to stimulate and facilitate networking and knowledge and resource sharing among Nordic individuals and organizations interested in VWs. We also plan to connect these Nordic actors to leading VW actors in other global areas, especially Silicon Valley, to improve knowledge transfer as well as business opportunity development
  • RT: traditional leadership further challenged as we move to a world of web 3.0 or the immersive internet…
  • Successful innovation is based on understanding customer needs and developing products that meet those needs (e.g. von Hippel 2001). Evidently, consumers buy the products that best fit their preferences, requirements and needs and companies strive to develop and produce exactly what customers demand. In fact, studies have found that timely and reliable knowledge about customer preferences and requirements is the single most important area of information necessary for product development (von Hippel and Katz 2002). Market research is the dominating measure to access this information. With the help of qualitative and quantitative research market researchers expect to identify customers’ needs.
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  • RT: We are already beginning to see dramatic changes in several professions such as architecture and fashion.
  • VOIP Chatrooms Wikis, blogs Social networking avatars
  • Type Coordinator Names in the empty column!
  • Nordic Virtual Worlds Network Research_Feb 2011

    1. 1. Stepping into the Internet: Exploring a new world of value-creation February 2011
    2. 2. Today’s presentation <ul><li>What are Virtual Worlds? </li></ul><ul><li>What is NVWN researching? </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
    3. 3. Here comes the Immersive Internet O’Driscoll 2009
    4. 4. How many usually think of virtual worlds… Computer-generated, persistent space Three-dimensional, immersive environment Experienced by many people at once/interactivity
    5. 5. But what else can they be? <ul><li>Ability to manipulate/create content </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual economy and currency </li></ul>
    6. 6. Tomorrow’s education & training? Learning virtual teaming skills through experience
    7. 7. The last generation to “attend” college?
    8. 8. Facilitating the virtual workforce Welch et al 2010 Professional Collaboration and Productivity in Virtual Worlds (2009-2012) - ProViWo
    9. 9. VWs moving out of “Gartner hype cycle” trough Virtual worlds today >1 bln users May 2006 July 2007
    10. 10.
    11. 11. Increasing pace of VW development! VWs on stick Browser-based VWs Seamlessness &quot;Create Once, Experience Everywhere” Expanding uses For smart phones and tablet PCs
    12. 13. Today’s presentation <ul><li>What are Virtual Worlds? </li></ul><ul><li>What is NVWN researching? </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
    13. 15. NVWN <ul><li>Team of 9 Partners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary: Communication, Design, Economic Geography, Entrepreneurship, Information Technology, Innovation, Strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, USA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interorganizational: Academia, Industry, Public Sector </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Timing: March 2010 to February 2012 </li></ul><ul><li>Total budget approx. USD 1 mln </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nordic Innovation Center: USD 500,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Co-financing by partners: USD 500,000 </li></ul></ul>
    14. 16. An international and interdisciplinary team <ul><li>Sweden </li></ul><ul><li>Stockholm School of Economics, Center for Strategy & Competitiveness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Associate Professor Robin Teigland </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistant Professor Göran Lindquist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research Associate Eilif Trondsen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research Assistant Serdar Temiz </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stockholm University </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PhD Candidate Hanna von Schantz </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PhD student Elia Giovacchini </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Uppsala Univ, CIND - Centre for Research on Innovation and Industrial Dynamics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professor Dominic Power </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MindArk AB </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Christian Björkman, Chief Marketing Officer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Silver Design AB </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ulf Berlin, CEO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patrick Geuder </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Denmark </li></ul><ul><li>Roskilde Univ, Dept of Comm, Business and Info Technologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professor Sisse Siggaard Jensen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistant Professor Lisbeth Fr Ø lunde </li></ul></ul><ul><li>F inland </li></ul><ul><li>Univ of Turku, Institutions and Social Mechanisms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professor Antti Ainamo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dr. Titiana -Petra Moldovan </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TEKES </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Development Manager Riku Mäkelä </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Iceland </li></ul><ul><li>Icelandic Academy of Arts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Director Fashion Dept Linda Björg Arnadottir </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Norway </li></ul><ul><li>Univ of Agder, Center for Entrepreneurship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professor Jan Inge Jenssen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistant Professor Björn-Tore Flåten </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PhD Student Ahmad Alaraj </li></ul></ul><ul><li>USA </li></ul><ul><li>Western Carolina University </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistant Professor Paul M DiGangi </li></ul></ul>
    15. 17. Project Objectives <ul><ul><li>To explore how entrepreneurs and SMEs globally use and could use VWs to improve competitiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To create a Virtual Center for VW Entrepreneurship & Innovation </li></ul></ul>
    16. 18. “ Clearly if social activity migrates to synthetic worlds, economic activity will go there as well.” Castranova, 2006 <ul><li>US $ 3 bln in virtual good sales in 2009 to grow to US $ 12 bln in 2012 </li></ul><ul><li>US $222,000 raised at American Cancer Society Relay in Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>Swedish government granted b ank license to Mind Bank in 2009 </li></ul>
    17. 19. USD 635,000 for an asteroid! USD 500,000 profit in 5 years -Jon “Neverdie” Jacobs
    18. 20. “ As soon as the Facebook generation wakes up and embraces virtual reality, we are going to see a giant wave of virtual world millionaires” -Jon “Neverdie” Jacobs
    19. 22. Emergent organizing in VWs <ul><li>Collaborating with like-minded individuals to pursue a vision </li></ul>Teigland, JVWR, 2010
    20. 23. The rise of Avapreneurs and Born Virtuals? <ul><ul><li>Microworkers and pro-ams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Markets and market knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microtransactions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenging multinational corporations’ traditional resource advantage? </li></ul> “ Avapreneur” = Avatar + entrepreneur Teigland, JVWR, 2010
    21. 24. Entrepreneurship <ul><li>Leveraging the affordances of the emerging 3D internet for entrepreneurial ”next practices”: Selected case studies from the Nordic creative industries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Machinima, Education, Health </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lisbeth Frölunde & Björn-Tore Flåten </li></ul><ul><li>To be presented at BCERC 2011:Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference </li></ul>
    22. 25. Understanding customer needs Developing products that meet those needs + = Successful innovation Innovation Kohler, Teigland, Giovacchini 2010
    23. 26. Innovation <ul><li>How are Nordic virtual world platform providers managing innovation processes? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Habbo, MindArk/Entropia Universe, RealXtend, IC You </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Antti Ainamo, Titiana Moldovan </li></ul>
    24. 27. Innovation Kohler, Teigland, Giovacchini 2010 Armed with new connective tools, consumers want to interact and co-create value... Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2003 „ “
    25. 28. Kohler, Teigland, Giovacchini 2010 <ul><li>RunAlong </li></ul><ul><li>Swedish web startup </li></ul><ul><li>Web community for female runners </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Goal: Enable knowledge exchange from disperse locations about local markets </li></ul></ul></ul>Travel for Change Non-profit project Volunteer travel platform Goal: Co-Design of Service Experience
    26. 29. A design research approach to co-creation Helms, Giovacchini, Teigland, Kohler, JVWR 2010 Integrating users in development process
    27. 30. Leveraging VW affordances Simulation Avatar design Multi-modal communication Co-creation Archiving Immersion Teigland, Kohler, Giovacchini, Helms 2010
    28. 31. Enhancing knowledge creation through VWs Nonaka & Toyama 2003; Teigland, Kohler, Giovacchini, Helms 2010 Immersion Avatar design Multi-modal communication Interactivity & Archiving
    29. 32. A B Open questions Kohler, Teigland, Giovacchini 2010 How do users’ representations as avatars influence their contribution to co-creation workshop? What is the real value of virtual co-creation?
    30. 33. Interested in joining a workshop? Please register at or email me at [email_address] Travel for Change Kohler, Teigland, Giovacchini 2010
    31. 34. OpenSim Project: Exploring private-collective model in virtual world development communities Teigland, Giovacchini, DiGangi, Flåten 2011
    32. 36. Organizational Agents Dahlander & Wallin (2006)
    33. 37. A Private-collective Community Model von Hippel & von Krogh (2006)
    34. 38. User Interests Balancing the needs of both parties Organizational Interests vs
    35. 39. Clothes/ shoes MODELLING AGENCIES Top models Photo- graphers Photo studio makers Modelling furniture Poses and animations Furniture Hair Skins Event builders MAGAZINES MODELLING SCHOOLS Shop builders Accessories Body shapes DJs Virtual agglomerations Fashion industry Viachka, Giovacchini, Teigland, Lindqvist 2011
    36. 40. Which professions and industries will not be revolutionized?
    37. 41. From the mobility of goods to the mobility of financial capital to … ...the “mobility” of labor? Teigland 2010
    38. 42. Today’s presentation <ul><li>What are Virtual Worlds? </li></ul><ul><li>What is NVWN researching? </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
    39. 43. Karinda Rhode aka Robin Teigland [email_address] RobinTeigland Photo: Lindholm, Metro Photo: Nordenskiöld Photo: Lindqvist If you love knowledge, set it free…
    40. 44. 7 Work Packages March 1 St 2010 - February 29 th 2012 Work Package WP Title WP Coordinating Organization WP Supporting Academic Organization WP Advisor Organization WP 1 Nordic VW Network SSE Roskilde WP 2 Best Practices in VW Innovation Univ of Turku Iceland Academy of Arts TEKES Silver WP 3 Best Practices in VW Entrepreneurship Roskilde Agder MindArk WP 4 Future of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in VWs SSE Roskilde TEKES WP 5 Virtual Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Agder SSE TEKES WP 6 Communication Uppsala Univ of Turku WP 7 Project Administration SSE Uppsala