November 15, 2022
The metaverse is here and we must be prepared for what transpires. About 18 years ago, Facebook launched and, by 2020, more than 90,000 nonprofits were registered on the platform. Today, the metaverse raises the question: where will philanthropic organizations be 18 years from now?
It is no secret that the majority of the world’s population resorts to social media for news, advertisements, connecting with family and community, volunteering, and more. By 2032, the metaverse is predicted to add $360 billion to the economy in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. In parallel, Saudi Arabia’s futuristic city, NEOM, will have a digital twin in the metaverse before it is physically built, allowing us to understand people cognitively through virtual reality. The way I see it, that is one more tool to add to our resources.
This relatively new tool celebrates and champions change — the very lifeblood of tolerance and acceptance. On Wednesday, the International Day for Tolerance, Alwaleed Philanthropies is launching in the metaverse via Decentraland, the world’s largest user-owned and operated metaverse platform, to continue delivering on its mandate to bridge culture gaps.
UNESCO’s 1995 Declaration of Principles on Tolerance states: “Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human.” We want to increasingly appeal to the next generation of thought leaders, cultural leaders and policymakers, who will drive day-to-day change and “defend and promote cultural and linguistic diversity,” as Audrey Azoulay, director general of UNESCO, put it.
In the metaverse, Alwaleed Philanthropies will spotlight the refugee art community, Islamic art and artisans in a multifaceted exhibition.
Princess Lamia bint Majed Saud Al-Saud
In the metaverse, Alwaleed Philanthropies will spotlight the refugee art community, Islamic art and artisans in a multifaceted exhibition. This is a special initiative offering versatility and accessibility in a new space with the drive to harness tolerance and acceptance. Further, the idea of values existing purely online sits well with a younger demographic that is adapting rapidly to digital innovations, gaming and metaverse compulsions. With that, our interactive space in the metaverse offers users the opportunity to collect a Proof of Attendance Protocol driven by purpose as we continue empowering the refugee art community around the world and help individuals integrate into their host societies.
For more than four decades, the team at Alwaleed Philanthropies has acted as an agent of change. We continue creating new dimensions for the progress and advancement of humankind. Now, we are taking a step further by being in the metaverse, where diverse components have been studied separately and woven into a tapestry of insight into our place in this decentralized environment.
The rise of hybrid fields is naturally unfolding and we are so proud to be launching this space with projects and initiatives carried out with our partners, including the University of Edinburgh and Oxford University Museums in the UK, the Pergamon Museum and the Friends of the Museum for Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany, and the World Scout Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland. Alwaleed Philanthropies will continue growing in this space by adding a new partner every quarter.
- Princess Lamia bint Majed Saud Al-Saud is Secretary-General of Alwaleed Philanthropies. Twitter: @lamia1507
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News’ point of view