All Age Groups & All Experience Levels Welcomed!
Form a Team, Register & Be Part of the Community!
Information on this site is subject to change. Registered teams will be invited to periodic "All-Teams Community Calls" in which the most accurate and up-to-date information will be provided.
This site is a registration and information source designed for three types of visitors who would like to:
EXPLORE: Anyone that is interested in learning more about the "Metaverse for SDGs" Global Prize & VR Competition - "Section 1" (below) describes the organizations behind this educational initiative, a top-line summary, and purpose, and "Section 2 - I'm Interested" will be helpful as a general overview and review of key goals, scope, timeline and more.
ENGAGE: Those individuals who would like to dive deeper into the details in order to make an informed decision as to whether they would like to form a team and compete in this competition should continue to review "Section 3 - I Want to Participate". For this latter group, individuals may also view Frequently Asked Questions to help make their decision and then officially Register in "Section 4 - "I'm Ready to Compete" to request to receive additional information and become part of the community of teams competing on this global competition.
SPONSOR/SUPPORT: There is information for organizations or individuals who would like to support one or more of the 17 SDG prizes in this competition as a Sponsor. Currently there is over $200,000 USD confirmed in Prize Sponsorship (majority of which will be allocated as cash awards for top performing teams for each SDG), with applications still being accepted through March 2023.
(Also be sure to see some videos of "Metaverse" in Action" from our team and partners on the "Videos" tab)
And most importantly, to truly appreciate the intent and impact of this initiative, please watch the original prize announcement made during the opening keynote of the UN's ITU "Digital Transformation" Summit in Geneva on February 28th, 2022
(note: it starts with a bit of a fun prank played on the delegates in the audience .... wait for it!)
Be sure to check-out our YOUTUBE channel for other Training & Orientation videos!
Summary of Prize Goals, Objectives, Scope, and Benefits to Participate:
Below are some additional resources that will provide a general overview of this global competition
”All Teams/ Community”
Information Session #1:
Information Session #1:
This video recording is the very first "All Teams" Information/Orientation Session. As the first video, this is an important session as it contains many of the basic elements you will need to know if you are part of this community and participating in this fun global imitative. In this session we review the purpose and objectives, outline your “Journey & Roadmap” over the next 12 months, review the basics: timeline, prize funding, how to get started
Subscribe to the official YouTube Channel to see all recorded information sessions" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTsdtJye1Z_0N0nxIOXzHDg
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals ("SDGs") are "A blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all people and the world by 2030". There are 17 categories, ranging from "1-No Poverty" to #4 - Quality Education" to "#14 - Life Below Water" which comprise a comprehensive collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all". The SDGs were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030.
Exponential Destiny - a 501c3 educational non-profit founded and run primarily by young entrepreneurs from under-resourced communities who have been up/re-skilled into Virtual Reality (VR) and Metaverse design professionals - is launching this educational competition with collaboration and support from the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) - the United Nations specialized agency formed to deliver on the promise of the digital economy. We are inviting student-age teams (in two separate age categories; 14-18 or 19+) from around the world to compete in an exciting prize competition to create an immersive, experiential, and interactive Metaverse environment in virtual reality (VR) to bring awareness and education to the United Nations' 17 SDGs. VIDEO: https://youtu.be/EBPiWhp4KG4
Although virtual reality and "Metaverse" (a.k.a., "Spatial Web", "Web 3.0") have been fields of innovation and capabilities in development for years (even decades), it wasn't until recently in 2021 that the exponential pace of innovation in this entire field really hit an inflection point. (Here is an early conversation in late 2020 describing this inflection point and how this field is finally becoming "democratized"- accessible and affordable to the masses - while also improving at an accelerated pace in quality and capability as a result of the global pandemic. In this particular discussion, with the eventual co-founder of Exponential Destiny (filmed prior to founding), is focused on the potential impact within Education and Learning).
As a result of this recent inflection point, there are many descriptions and definitions of "Metaverse" floating around. For simplicity purposes, in this prize competition context we are referring to the "Metaverse" as digitally rendered environments in which users (you as part of a competing team!) may design and create (a non-coding skillset) experiences that are 360 degree immersive, interactive, and feel "real" (i.e., like you are actually there) to you and your audience, especially when viewed and experienced as intended within a Virtual Reality (VR) headset (that has dropped in price exponentially in recent years). "Metaverse" is essentially the digital connection of a group of experiences - similar to navigating among a group of web-sites all connected and linked on the internet - which private or public groups of individuals from around the world may experience together as life-like Avatars (digital representations of yourself, or whomever or however you want to present yourself!)
Like any game-changing emerging innovation, there are pros and cons to this technology. This competition is intended to explore how it may be used for good; specifically explore new communication methods to build awareness, exposure, and education around the importance of the United Nations 17 SDGs, while also introducing youth and adult learners to this potentially valuable new-economy skillset and next-generation-coding competency of creating VR experiences in the Metaverse.
For the "Metaverse for SDGs" Global Prize & VR Competition small teams of 2 to 6 individuals each, may form and participate with team members located anywhere in the world. These teams will compete in one of two age-categories; age-group 14-18 or age-group 19+. Each team will choose one SDG, out of the 17, in which they would like to focus their creative efforts. Starting as early as February 28th, 2022 when the competition is announced in Geneva, Switzerland at the UN ITU "Digital Transformation" Summit, through the official launch scheduled for June 1st, 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda at the ITU Global Youth Summit, each team will choose one of several (low cost to free) Metaverse design platforms to "bring to life" their selected SDG in an immersive and experiential Virtual Reality environment which they create. Teams may continue to form and register to compete up until the final month of the competition, currently scheduled for March of 2023. At this time, the evaluation process will begin, and top performing teams will be selected as part of a process for filtering all competing team submissions down to the top semi-finalist experiences for EACH of the 17 SDGs across the two age group categories. Then in Q2 of 2023, the top-ranked team experience from each of the 17 SDGS (per the two age-group categories) will be awarded an "Overall Best Experience of Show" grand prize winner. This team will receive a cash award and related honors, and will be announced and featured at the United Nations ITU WSIS 2023 Summit in Geneva, Switzerland (tentative venue).
There will be a total grand prize cash award for the team with top-honors across all 17 SDG experiences. This cash award will be split evenly between the #1 top ranked team in the 14-18 age group and the 19+ age group. There is also a cash prize purse amount for the top performing team WITHIN each of the 17 SDGs per age-group. Prize purse/cash awards is a variable model, which has the potential to increase throughout the Official Sponsorship selection timeframe (February 2022 to March 2023). See "PRIZE PURSE AWARD MODEL / AMOUNTS" under the Guidelines Tab for more details.
The goal of the "Metaverse for SDGs" Global Prize Competition is to explore new methods for building awareness and improving education around the SDGs using emerging immersive and experiential technologies and creative digital art forms, while also incentivizing student learners (youth and adult) to start to learn how to "code" aspects of the next generation of the internet; the Metaverse. We are excited about the potential for student and adult learners to up-skill/re-skill into this new-economy competency, considering the emerging development tools required to create within VR and the Metaverse depends more on creativity and story-telling skillsets vs. technical hard-coding competencies. Thus this "non-coding coding" environment provides more opportunity for individuals to participate and create in this new-economy profession and communication art-form. (To learn more about how the young entrepreneurs from Exponential Destiny went through their own up/re-skilling journey to become professionals in this field - that led this group to found Exponential Destiny as a 501c3 non-profit - please watch/listen to this recent podcast interview with the founding core team.)
THE POTENTIAL: Most importantly, initial independent efficacy studies (see image below) have shown empirical data that supports immersive and experiential pedagogies of education (i.e., methods for how learners learn in interactive Virtual Reality environments) as superior methods of training and learning when compared to more traditional means (i.e., classroom, on-line courses/training). We envision an educational system that leverages these new tools for teachers and educators, and ways to compliment existing traditional methods, and ultimately innovate how society performs and delivers quality education and learning.
Considering this potential, we felt it was a strategic imperative to experiment with VR education and learning as a means for engaging and teaching the world about the importance of each of the 17 United Nations SDGs.
The objective of this competition is not to SOLVE the SDGs (a non-realistic expectation of what this competition will deliver), but instead it is a competition to explore new ways to engage the public consciousness (and curiosity) into healthy dialogue, awareness, and understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with each SDG. We are excited to see the creative VR/Metaverse experiments - Immersive, experiential, interactive simulations and social environments - that teams around the world produce through this fun competition.
Would You Like to Learn More.... Potentially Form A Team and Participate?
HOW THE REST OF THIS SITE IS ORGANIZED:
On this site you will find all the information that you need, organized into the following helpful 4 sections:
(To navigate to each section, use the links below or use the menu options and links at the top of each page):
SECTION 1: "WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?"
This section (above) provides a basic overview and introduction to the of the "Metaverse for SDGs" Global Prize & VR Competition
SECTION 2: "I'M INTERESTED"
This section provides a top-line overview of key elements of this global prize competition. Not too much unnecessary detail if you are still deciding whether or not you'd like to participate, but enough for you to make an informed decision. This section provides a summary of:
Program Goals & Objectives
Competition Scope: "Who, What, How"
Competition Judging & Evaluation Criteria (high-level list)
Prize Award & Scope
Program High Level Approach & Summary Timeline
Program Collaborators: Brought to you by Exponential Destiny with support from the United Nations ITU agency
Still interested? Also check-out the Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQ), specifically the answers to these two questions:
"I'm interested in potentially participating, but what should I expect and how do I even get started?"
"What is the cash prize award? What are the other benefits and reasons why I would want to participate?"
"The competition is about 'Bringing-to-Life' an SDG in 'Immersive & Experiential VR Metaverse Environments'? - Can you explain what you mean?"
SECTION 3: "I WANT TO PARTICIPATE"
This section assumes that you would like to participate, and thus you need to know more details about how to compete. This section gets into important details and covers:
Competition Rules & General Guidelines
Judging & Evaluation Criteria
Judging & Evaluation Method, Process, & Timeline (Down-Selection of Teams)
Competing Team Composition Rules & Team Guidelines
Prize Purse Award Model/Amounts & Full-Transparency of Sponsor Prize Funding and Allocations
How to Become a Prize Sponsor & Fund the Competition
Competing Team's Intellectual Property (IP) Rights
SECTION 4: "I'M READY TO COMPETE - SIGN ME UP!"
This section assumes that you are ready to get started and move to the next step: Team and/or Individual Pre-Registration! At this point, we are asking individuals - who have found team members or are still looking for team members - to let us know that you plan to participate and compete-to-win. At this point you will complete a simple registration form letting us know your intent to compete, a bit about yourself, what SDG(s) you plan to focus on, and if you need to find and/or form a team.
"FAQ / CONTACT" SECTION:
Have a few more questions? This section you will find "Frequently Asked Questions" as well as ways to communicate with the Exponential Destiny team if you have any additional questions, including information about a "Questions & Answers" Webinar that we will be scheduling for all to participate in order to answer any questions and provide more details.
Also in this section you will find "Additional Resources" containing links to information that may be helpful, including an email address to contact us directly, as well as how to follow the competition on social media channels.
We are accepting Sponsors who may apply to fund the Prize purse for a particular SDG (out of 17) or all SDGs. If you have an affinity and passion for one or all of the United Nations SDGs, see the section "INTERESTED IN HOW TO BECOME A PRIZE SPONSOR?"
"VIDEOS & PHOTOS" SECTION:
Check out a series of videos, including recent press interviews with the team describing the "Metaverse for SDGs Global Prize & VR Competition"
Section 1 - What is This About? Section 2 - "I'm Interested" Section 3 - "I Want to Participate" Section 4 - "I Ready to Compete" FAQ / Contact Sponsors