HUMAN EMPLOYEES ESSENTIAL: We thought there was only one type of employee – the human one. But apparently, there are at least two according to an article in the Harvard Business Review. (And we wonder why some humans are getting a little paranoid about AI!).

YOU’RE WEIRD: Think much of the news on technology companies and founders is “weird” – or that we are living in a “weird” time? Don’t worry you’re not alone. According to a recent podcast by Ezra Klein, US journalist, political analyst, and host of The Ezra Klein Show podcast, the culture creating AI is “weird” and it matters. More>Spotify account needed].

SAVE THE METAVERSE: A case is made for saving the metaverse as the “internet is already ruined”, writes Wired writer, Megan Farokhmanesh in the June edition of the magazine. But there is an acknowledgment that the metaverse is not starting from scratch. Hint: Look at video games. More>;

In focus
With all the talk on Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and big business this week it might be easy to forget that the technology (#XR) also holds promise for Not for Profits (NFPs).

Take virtual reality (VR) for philanthropy.

New research from the International Committee of the Red Cross – ICRC of the Red Cross (#ICRC) partnered with the University of Geneva (#UNIGE) evaluated the potential of VR as a fundraising tool. The findings? “VR could be a viable tool to innovate fundraising”.

VR experience led to stronger emotional feelings (notably being moved and sadness) and improved quality of the experience (e.g., level of interest and vividness).

The Inspo:

The research was inspired by the fact that many NFPs are needing to engage in new ways with younger generations especially given that over the coming years, there will be “a large wealth transfer between generations”.

And as any astute marketing (or fundraising) professional knows, it is critical for organizations to be where their target market is – or will be. In this case, the research indicates that younger generations prefer to connect using technology and value emotional engagement and seeing the impact of their actions.

This brings us to VR which is increasingly being recognized as a “richer medium than most used in fundraising strategies, such as email campaigns or videos”.

In fact, previous research by Kandaurova and Lee (2019) found that:

“VR was a catalyst for empathy and social responsibility, thereby increasing the intention to donate both money and time.

Future work

Future work is needed in areas such as exploring the impact of VR with a diversity of donors’ age groups.

But another area that we think would be fascinating to explore further would be payment gateways.

Are donations increased when people can contribute from within the NFP fundraising VR experience?

For example, take NFP websites. At the moment if you are on your favourite NFP website the ‘Donate’ or ‘Get Involved’ button is obvious as you navigate through the website. At any time reading or watching content, you can click ‘Donate’ on the website, become a supporter, and share your credit card details.

Although not specifically mentioned we wonder if there was an integrated payment gateway or checkout within the VR experience. Would donations or similar conversion-like behaviour be even higher if a person could make a donate / support action from WITHIN the VR experience? In short, drawing in the potential donor while emotional engagement might be at its highest.

We think it would be an interesting area of exploration especially given that financial giants like Amex, Visa, and Mastercard are already looking at this area. Mastercard alone last year was reported to have filed a series of patents and trademarks over the last couple of years signalling its interest in entertaining the so-called “metaverse”.

In case you missed it

APPLE VISIONPRO LAUNCHED: This week Apple launched their Mixed Reality (not VR!) device ( not headset!) and it’s a game changer for spatial computing (not metaverse!) according to many. Some industry analysts have even heralded how revolutionary it is (despite the hefty price tag). Apparently “the fact that another major tech player has entered the space,[which] will drive both interest and innovation in VR and metaverse applications”. (Note: We like!).More>

TRAVEL INDUSTRY RIPE FOR METAVERSE DISRUPTION: The travel industry is “ripe for virtual disruption” according to McKinsey & Company & Co and “the metaverse presents a $20 billion opportunity”. The ancient city of Hegra is reported to the #UNESCO World Heritage Site to be placed “in the metaverse” with Saudi Arabia Royal Commission for AlUla (#RCU) having announced that it had “entered the metaverse, in line with a national program to drive technological transformation and innovation”. More>

UNICEF LOOKS TO THE METAVERSE: A new report by UNICEF Innocenti and #Diplo is looking at the metaverse and children concluding that XR technologies offer the potential for children to learn in a more immersive and engaging way but that care needs to be taken to ensure we don’t let the technology run away from us.More>

Blatant brag

We love a bit of ‘shiny’ at Snobal and this week on our LinkedIn page, we shared some ‘eye candy’ from DuluxGroup.

Dulux VR

Using our immersive VR platform DuluxGroup is able to bring to life a range of ‘learning and assessment by doing’ applications. They are also able to access amazing immersive environments (like the one below) for remote collaboration with their team members and customers.
Anyone fancy a spot of painting this weekend? 🙂