The metaverse could transform commerce, fashion, social media, and almost everything in between. It’s been framed as a utopian dreamworld and a dystopian nightmare. To help get a clearer idea of what the metaverse is and where it might be leading us, The Drum recently spoke with tech futurist, author and strategist Cathy Hackl.
There are few people in the world today who spend as much time thinking about the metaverse as Cathy Hackl. A graduate of Harvard Kennedy School, Hackl has quickly become one of the most influential voices in the tech world. She was recently listed by BigThink as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Women in Tech Right Now, and she’s been featured in major media outlets including 60 Minutes+, Wired and The Wall Street Journal. She’s published two books, which explore various impacts of emergent technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). She’s also the author of a newsletter called ‘Metaverse Weekly’ and the host of two podcasts, one of which is focused on the intersection between marketing and the burgeoning metaverse.
To avoid future disasters, Hackl says we need to have difficult conversations about technology today.
All of this has earned her a sobriquet: The Godmother of the Metaverse. The Drum recently spoke with Hackl via Zoom to learn more about the current state of the metaverse and what the future may have in store.
How did the nickname ‘the Godmother of the Metaverse’ come into being?
[Reddit co-founder] Alexis Ohanian tweeted last year, asking which women and folks he should be following in web3. My friend Andrew Schwartz, who works at Nike’s metaverse team, listed a few people and then he tweeted: “Oh, and don’t forget about Cathy Hackl, she’s the Godmother of the Metaverse.” So [that was] the first time anyone ever used that. And someone took a screenshot, they sent it to me, and people started using the term. I wear it as a badge of honor, to be honest.
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