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How do we bridge the gap between the metaverse hype-cycle and Australia’s commercial applications and societal impacts

Updated: Feb 14

By Angus Stevens

AMAC Chair

CEO & Co-founder of Start Beyond, an AFR Top 10 Most Innovative Tech Company for 2023

Since early 2016, I have dedicated my professional life to creating virtual and augmented reality experiences and establishing the foundational components of the metaverse; against a backdrop of various tech hype-cycles, from Google glasses, to Facebook becoming Meta, to the current wave of Ai.

Throughout this time there has been a recurring pattern of technology announcements and the associated excitement at their commercial applications, sitting alongside questions of its real-world value and impact on society.

In June 2022, Deloitte's The Metaverse in Asia report, estimated that by 2035 the metaverse’s impact to GDP in Asia Pacific would be between US$0.8 trillion - US$1.4 trillion each year. Conversely, in September 2023, Mumbrella reported that only one in five marketers will raise their budget for metaverse advertising in 2024.

The discrepancy between the growth trajectory outlined in these two statements is reflective of the complexity of the metaverse’s current position, and highlights the need for an Australian Metaverse Advisory Council (AMAC).

Faced with the metaverse being both inevitable, and yet clouded with conflicting statements and speculations, the purpose of AMAC is to provide enterprises and consumers with clarity. It will advocate, educate and advise Australian businesses, government departments, and the general public on the benefits and challenges of the metaverse.

In its initial form, AMAC is a small group consisting of a diverse cross-section of Australia’s leading practitioners, each with a unique area of expertise within the field, collectively working together to shape the conversation and drive growth for the Australian metaverse industry. AMAC’s founding members include CEOs of several of Australia’s most successful metaverse studios, locally and internationally recognised thought-leaders, and XR experts working within multi-national organisations.

Individually, our voice is limited by the confines of our respective organisations, but when filtered through the collective knowledge of AMAC, these insights can provide an industry-wide perspective of best practice, and help guide to Australian businesses build for the future and deliver a successful metaverse-centric strategy.

As the local and international impact of the metaverse expands and evolves, AMAC will be responsive to the uniquely Australian needs of the industry, and we invite organisations to get in contact and contribute to the discussion. The more that enterprise, academic and government departments participate in the conversation, the better placed AMAC will be to ensure Australia’s questions relating to the metaverse are addressed.

The SXSW Metaverse Meet Up on the 19th of October is the first opportunity to engage with AMAC. I encourage you to join me and three of the nine fellow founding AMAC members, Simone Clow, Trent Clews-de Castella and Oliver Weidlich, as we discuss how Australian enterprise can navigate a successful pathway to the metaverse. Plus to learn more about AMAC and how you can get involved please visit AMAC’s website.

The metaverse offers an extraordinary opportunity and Australia is well placed to drive growth and leverage its benefits at a commercial and social level, but it also brings with it a range of complexities and challenges. Through the creation of the Australia Metaverse Advisory Council industry-leading practitioners will advocate, educate and advise, and thereby help shape the future direction of the Australian metaverse industry.

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