By now, most of us will have heard that the concept of the metaverse was created by sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson in 1992, for his novel “Snow Crash”. It’s meant to invoke a virtual world that mirrors and in some ways improves on the physical world. Although virtual reality and augmented reality have been around for a while (and struggling to move beyond niche applications), the recent announcement that Facebook was changing its name to Meta and going all in on the concept of virtual worlds has shifted the conversation.
So what is the metaverse? To answer that question, on February 8th 2022 WiTT assembled a panel of experts who spoke to us about some of the key elements of the metaverse: W3 (Web 3.0); Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs); cryptocurrencies; and social gaming.
Our panel was chaired by Annette Nabavi, WiTT Director and NED on a number of public and private company Boards. Our speakers included:
- Georgina Felce, COO and Co-Founder, Talewind;
- Genevieve Leveille, Principal Founder and CEO, AgriLedger; Co-Chair, Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) Working Group, techUK;
- Teresa Ngone, Independent Consultant – Blockchain, Web3, and NFTs; and
- Emily Savage, Immersive Commercial Product Lead at Digital Catapult.
You can see a video of this event on the WiTT YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRKJhpxa6IE.
AHV Associates / Anchusa Consulting
Annette has a broad range of public and private board experience and currently holds a number of Directorships. She is a Non-Executive Director on the board of Maintel Group, an AIM listed unified communications services business. She also serves as the Chairman of Maintels’s Remuneration Committee and is a member of the Audit Committee. She is on the Advisory Board of the National Media Museum, part of the Science Museum Group, and a Director of Women in Telecoms and Technology (WiTT) Ltd.
Annette is a Partner with AHV Associates, a firm of corporate finance advisors specializing in Mergers and Acquisitions, Capital Raising, Structured Finance and Derivatives Advisory work for privately owned businesses. She specializes in corporate finance projects for small and medium privately owned enterprises in the IT, technology, telecoms and media sectors.
Annette previously held the position of Head of Telecoms Global Business Development for Corporate Finance at ING Barings where she gained significant experience in M&A, private equity, structured debt and public equity transactions.
She later became the founding director and CEO of XchangePoint Holdings Ltd, a Venture Capital backed Internet Interconnect company providing broadband metro peering services to ISPs and carriers. Annette was responsible for tripling revenues every year for 3 years, and grew the customer base to over 100 customers while expanding the company into Germany. She successfully achieved two rounds of VC financing.
Her early years were spent with the PA Consulting Group where she specialized in strategic partnerships, business planning and marketing strategy. She became a Senior Partner with PA before moving to Barings.
Annette holds an MA from Oxford University and a Doctorate from the University of Dijon.
Immersive Commercial Product Lead
Emily has been centred in the rapidly evolving immersive sector since 2016: Most recently she has been the Immersive Commercial Product Lead at Digital Catapult, and is responsible for Digital Catapult’s innovation work across the creative and manufacturing sectors to help drive and derisk industry’s innovation with immersive technologies.
In 2017 she launched the UK’s largest immersive content investment programme – CreativeXR – a £1 million public funded accelerator run by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England. Previous to this, she worked at the prominent VR Silicon Valley startups, Jaunt and Upload, building their commercial and community engagements. She is a firm advocate of encouraging more women and a greater diversity into the immersive, tech and creative sectors generally.
Emily is now moving on to her next adventure in immersive and will be joining Ultraleap, one of the UK’s most promising immersive technology rapid growth scaleups.
Chief Executive Officer
Genevieve led AgriLedger’s collaboration with Haiti’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry to deliver a Distributed Ledger Technology pilot sponsored by the World Bank. The project went live in May 2020 allowing Haitian fruit farmers, customers and families to reap the benefits of fairer prices and improved food security.
Genevieve was nominated by the Financial Times to the top 100 BAME in UK technology in 2019 and was a named a winner of the ComputerWeekly 2020 Women in Software and one of the top five finalist for Quesnay’s Female Founders in FinTech 2019. She is vice-chair of techUK’s Distributed Ledger Technologies Working Group, which provides strategic direction for all UK activities related to DLT, and is an inaugural member of the Advisory Group for the Estonian Government’s eResidency initiative. She has spoken on emerging technologies at numerous high-profile conferences around the world.
Chief Operating Officer
Georgina Felce is the COO of Talewind, the leading content creator for the metaverse, on a quest to create experiences that are fresh, fun and full of adventure. GamesIndustry.biz has named her one of the 100 most influential women in UK Games; she is also one of MCV/Develops’ 30 under 30 winners. She has proven success and experience in building high-functioning, emotionally intelligent teams and operations for the Games industry with a focus on reducing the barrier to entry to create a diverse industry for the future.