stakeholder engagement

Conference Report - Using Virtual Reality for Stakeholder Engagement

­­­Public Decisions today released the conference report for the Using Virtual Reality for Stakeholder Engagement conference back in July. Very insightful, including many comments and feedback from the event. This summary table outlines some of the key findings: 

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Benefits Drawba­cks Tradeoffs
­Appropriateness - May appeal to some participants who otherwise might not attend
- May be useful in instances where biases or limited abilities (such as for persons with physical disabilities) place constraints on effectively achieving engagement goals
- The idea of virtual worlds may be unappealing or have a residual negative connotation for some people (e.g., “gaming”)
- Technology can be overwhelming to some not used to it
Like other engagement techniques, virtual worlds may be appropriate for certain proportion of stakeholders
Effectiveness Provides an immersive, collaborative experience to the degree that in-person, telephone conference calls and web-enabled meetings cannot Requires computer that meets systems requirements and high-speed internet; some organizational firewalls also may block access Requires some willingness by stakeholders to learn how to use / navigate in virtual worlds (orientation sessions are suggested)
Efficiency - Provides opportunities for participants to have experiences that otherwise might be too costly or difficult / dangerous
- Costs of using virtual worlds can be very low and other hosts in-world are often willing to assist at no charge
Creating your own “island” or space in virtual worlds can be costly - Organization / host must invest time and effort to first understand the potential applicability and acquire the capabilities needed for virtual worlds in order to create a successful immersive experience for participants
- Networking with other organizations in-world is key for locating free or lowcost spaces available for use in virtual worlds

­To access the full report, go to the Public Decisions website >>

Second Life for Stakeholder Conference Recap

stkhdr_tableRezLibris has a great report about our Stakeholder Engagement conference in Second Life last month: 

...Most of the conference was held on Squirrel Island, Learning Times' sim. After a brief introduction by Corwin Howlett, the conference facilitator,Wiglaf Kukulcan (Chris Haller in real life; Public Agenda) led five avatars in a demonstration of an e-deliberation on global warming. "A deliberation differs from a debate in that it keeps people's minds open to different options rather than trying to persuade or pointing out pros and cons of a viewpoint," explained Kukulcan. During the virtual deliberation some SL tools such as group IM, personal IM and local chat were used to facilitate polling and discussions. At the end of the deliberation each of the five participants were asked how a virtual deliberation compared to a real life deliberation. Buffy Beale said, "it doesn't feel different... not quite as nervewracking not seeing eveyone in person. It feels very involved and engaged but maybe not as nervous. SL is fantastic and a really good tool for communications." The other participants echoed Buffy's feelings that it was more relaxed but otherwise similar to real life deliberation...

Read the full Conference Report >>

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