XR for Change – A Curator’s Perspective



The XR for Change Summit is less than two weeks away and we could not be more excited about it.  While curating speakers for the Summit my goal was to explore how immersive technologies are being used to address real-world challenges, create empathy and drive social change.  The three main areas we have focused on for this year’s Summit are health, education and social issues.


More than 30 speakers and panelists from all over the world will be part of the XR for Change Summit on June 30th. From leading organizations like: United Nations, Stanford, University of Washington, Oculus, Microsoft, IBM, Sundance Institute, New York Times, Time Inc. to startups you have probably never heard of. I wanted to give a platform to those who are leveraging this technology in meaningful and innovative ways. The speakers are a mix of experts, educators and creators who are passionate about the work they do and excited to share their experiences. Some of the XR for Change Summit speakers include:

  •  Gaia Dempsey is the Founder and CEO of 7th Future, a consultancy that partners and co-invests with technology leaders and communities to build and launch scalable innovation models. Prior to 7th Future, in 2010, Gaia co-founded DAQRI, an augmented reality hardware company that delivers a complete professional AR platform to the industrial and enterprise market.
  •  Tom Furness, known as the “Grandfather of Virtual Reality,” is the Founder of the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington and Founder and Chair of Virtual World Society.
  •  Kamal Sinclair is the Director of the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Labs Program, which supports artists working at the convergence of film, art, media and technology.
  •  Vijay Ravindran is the CEO of Floreo, which is developing VR tools and training for the autism community.
  • – Resham Sidhu, Creative Director AKQA, is an award-winning Creative Director well regarded for driving Virtual Reality forward with her fearless creativity and innovative approach.
  •  Graham Roberts, Director of Immersive Platforms Storytelling for The New York Times, is an award-winning journalist, focusing on innovation in visual journalism.

The Summit’s panels are designed to give the audience insights into important topics that are relevant today. Experts will share their thoughts on the future of work and technology’s role. Educators’ will share their perspectives on the potential of VR in the classroom. VC’s will talk about what it takes for a company to get funded in the immersive space. Directors will share their thoughts on how to create VR and AR for social good.

For the Immersive Arcade we have 17 VR/AR experiences that are all socially focused. They include:

  • Jupiter & Mars, an underwater adventure game for PlayStation VR.
  • Terminal 3, an interactive, augmented-reality documentary that explores contemporary Muslim identities in the U.S. through the lens of an airport interrogation.
  • – Three pieces from Oculus’s VR for Good: The Hidden, Meeting a Monster & She Flies By Her Own Wings.
  • 1000 Cut Journey, a VR experience where the viewer becomes Michael Sterling, a black man, encountering racism as a young child, adolescent, and young adult.
  • This Is Climate Change, which offers a look into our new reality of catastrophic weather events that are displacing communities and transforming landscapes with alarming speed through three 360 films: Feast, Fire, Famine.

Whether you are new to the immersive space or a veteran, we designed the summit to have something for everyone. We hope you will enjoy yourself and gain new perspectives. As the XR space grows, G4C’s mission is to continue to help build the XR community and showcase how emerging technologies are creating impact.


About the Curator:


Ryan is a consultant helping startups and nonprofits focused on ed tech and emerging technologies. He  has a background in education, politics, entertainment, and technology. Stemming from a love of technology and connecting with audiences, Ryan has spent the last year and a half working with startups and exploring AR / VR trends through industry leaders in the US and China with an emphasis on education. He is the founder of CodeNow, one of the first learn-to-code nonprofits focused on providing thousands of underrepresented teens with access to coding skills across the United States. In 2014 CodeNow was selected as one of the first nonprofits accepted to YCombinator.


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