Digital Dubai and ITU Launch Global Initiative on Virtual Worlds, Unveiling 'CitiVerse'

Digital Dubai and ITU Launch Global Initiative on Virtual Worlds, Unveiling 'CitiVerse'

Digital Dubai, ITU, and UNICC launched the Global Initiative on Virtual Worlds – Discovering The CitiVerse, coinciding with the 1st UN Virtual Worlds Day at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, showcasing global collaboration.

The GIVW aims to explore and leverage next-gen virtual worlds like CitiVerse to benefit society, focusing on urban planning, tourism, and education. It promotes open, safe, and innovative virtual environments through global partnerships including ITU-T Study Group 20, FG-MV, and U4SSC.

This collaborative approach will propel the GIVW towards its key objective which revolves around 3 points:

  • Serving as the avenue for developing normative frameworks addressing principles, enablers and governance for applying metaverse solutions.
  • Providing training and hosting events to disseminate knowledge, raise awareness and sharing best practices and solutions among cities worldwide.
  • Delivering a sandbox environment to test, and experiment with virtual worlds scenarios in cities around the world.

As the Global Chair of the Executive Committee leading the Global Initiative, Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori said:

"We're in a pivotal historical era marked by rapid change, demanding foresight in technological advancements. At Digital Dubai, we advocate global cooperation in digital transformation to meet challenges like those posed by the Metaverse, aligning with sustainable development goals."

In the official launch speech on behalf of Digital Dubai, Younus Al Nasser, Chief Executive of the Dubai Data and Statistics Establishment, Digital Dubai said:

“As we all unite on this platform, I see the future before me. A future we have collaboratively imagined, and are today laying the foundations to design and build.”

“The launch of this initiative represents a proactive effort, by all the initiative’s partners and Executive Committee Members, to adopt emerging technologies and benefit from their impact on people's lives by building a galaxy of interoperable virtual worlds.
“ITU’s metaverse focus group has laid the groundwork for new international standards and fostered a spirit of collaboration certain to last for years to come,”

said ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin.

“I thank Digital Dubai and UNICC for their outstanding support to our focus group, where our new Virtual Worlds initiative was conceived, and I look forward to our continued work together to ensure that virtual worlds and the metaverse contribute to the prosperity of every community in every city around the world.”

Sameer Chauhan, Director of UNICC, expressed excitement about joining ITU and Digital Dubai in a global initiative. He emphasized its potential to enhance public service delivery, optimize resources, and boost citizen engagement through metaverse solutions, fostering global knowledge exchange among cities.

Key pillars:

The GIVW operates under three key pillars:

Bringing Virtual Worlds to Life:

Focuses on four areas:

  • Strategic Guidance & Governance: Developing frameworks for responsible development and use of virtual worlds.
  • Security & Trust: Ensuring safe and secure environments within virtual worlds.
    Awareness Building: Raising public awareness of the potential of virtual worlds.
  • Evaluation & Assessment: Measuring the impact and effectiveness of virtual world solutions.

Connecting Cities with the Virtual and Real Worlds:

This pillar encompasses five tracks:

  • Emerging Technologies: Exploring the integration of cutting-edge technologies within virtual worlds.
  • Identifying Use Cases: Discovering practical applications of virtual worlds across different sectors.
  • Sandbox Experiment Facility: Providing a virtual testing ground for cities to experiment with metaverse solutions.
  • Virtual Worlds Educational Toolkit: Creating resources to educate cities on virtual world implementation.
  • Annual Training: Equipping cities with the necessary skills to leverage the benefits of virtual worlds.

Tunneling the CitiVerse:

This pillar focuses on four key initiatives:

  • Global CitiVerse Network: Establishing a network of cities collaborating on CitiVerse development.
  • CitiVerse Challenge: Encouraging innovation through challenges focused on CitiVerse applications for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Talent Grants Program: Fostering talent development through grant programs related to CitiVerse initiatives.
  • Annual Assembly: Hosting annual gatherings for knowledge sharing and collaboration on building the CitiVerse.

To guide the initiative, the GIVW will be led by Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori as the Global Chair of the Executive Committee, supported by a diverse group of Executive Committee Members.

News Source: Emirates News Agency

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