Jamaica is the only Caribbean country among 10 communities selected from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to receive grants from the Metaverse Community Challenge.
The challenge was initiated by the Innovation Lab at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB Lab) and technology giant Meta. The purpose of this challenge is to deepen our understanding of how people explore and build metaverse communities to positively impact socially and economically underserved populations across the LAC countries. to contribute to that.
Selected communities applied augmented and virtual reality to develop critical issues such as health, education, job creation, women entrepreneurship, culture and accessibility to cities.
A Jamaican company, Youth Can Do IT (YCDI) Limited, was selected from 370 proposals submitted by communities in 22 countries across the region.
They will receive a US$10,000 grant to help reach the goals of the Metaverse community. They participate in a series of online training courses on community building, responsible innovation, and virtual and augmented reality. They participate in customized business coaching in areas of opportunity for growth and development. He will also spend a week at Meta’s offices in São Paulo, Brazil, where he will meet with experts, gain first-hand knowledge and experience of the latest Metaverse technologies and applications, and introduce the Metaverse community.
YCDI Founder and Managing Director Lianne McNaughton said in an interview: Greener Last Friday, it said the grant it was awarded would help the company meet its 2023 goals.
Founded in 2016, the company aims to become not only the pioneering space in the Metaverse, but also the Caribbean’s digital and tech talent pipeline.
Realize your vision
“We are realizing our vision of being the only winner in the Caribbean and a leading expert on what it means to have a metaverse. [and] Create a metaverse community so you can be the go-to person to help others explore this space,” she said.
According to Cherika Wilson, YCDI’s Head of People Operations, this also means having the opportunity to play an active role in the conceptualization, creation, and ongoing development of how the Metaverse will evolve. was
“When you think about really innovative, cutting-edge technology, you don’t often see the Caribbean sitting in that space. [with] YCDI is one of the main voices on the subject and I think it gives us a real chance to showcase what we are doing here in Jamaica,” she said. Greener.
YCDI Chief Technology Officer Christopher Derrell said the team aims to invest more in developing the company’s digital space to increase participation.
YCDI will join the Metaverse in 2022 with the 3rd edition of its signature event, iamWITy (I am a Woman in Technology). April.
YCDI teaches young people about technology through programs that help them develop their skills and realize their potential so that they are better prepared for future employment.
Since its establishment, more than 2,500 young people have participated.
The Metaverse is a combination of virtual and mixed reality worlds accessed via a browser or headset, providing users with a fully immersive experience of real-time social interaction that is not limited to physical distance. .
“It’s a new technology, so [YCDI] Given what it means for us to work with a younger demographic, it’s also important for us to hear their voices in such a co-creation process,” Wilson said.
She teaches young people how the metaverse can be used as a tool for effective teaching and design, to solve problems and to make the overall learning process more interactive. He said it was important for people to understand.
“On another layer, we also talk about community. Think about how you allow it to enhance or complement the physical space,” she said. Added.
YCDI Metaverse can be used on laptops and mobile devices (smartphones) without an oculus headset, but the best experience is with a headset.
According to McNaughton, YCDI’s metaverse has “power and potential,” among other things, allowing businesses to display products they sell during virtual events, as well as advertising spaces and marketing videos.
Purpose of IDB
IDB is a leading source of development funding and know-how to improve lives in Latin America and the Caribbean. The purpose of the IDB Lab is to mobilize funding, knowledge and connections to test early-stage solutions that have the potential to transform the lives of vulnerable people affected by economic, social and/or environmental impacts. is to promote innovation for inclusion in the region. cause.
Since 1993, IDB Lab has approved over US$2 billion in projects deployed in 26 LAC countries.
Other selected community grant recipients are:
• Brillante, Guatemala, is a speech rehabilitation app that assists teachers and parents by generating augmented reality stimulation solutions for children with speech, language, and communication disorders.
• Colombia’s Buro DAP Fundación uses the Metaverse to create simulators for the design of urban spaces. This makes urban spaces more sustainable, safer for pedestrians, and responsive to the needs of women’s safety and people with disabilities.
• Clube da Alice (Brazil). A community of women entrepreneurs that promotes and encourages women entrepreneurship, enabling members to connect with new clients and access free courses, events, and trade fairs. Her CLUMTI AC in Mexico is a community of independent developers, businesses and universities working on virtual reality to improve the competitiveness of small businesses.
• EXPYLAB (Paraguay) supports emerging creators developing immersive reality projects by providing augmented reality training that enables low-income and vulnerable groups to express reality, stories and cultural heritage in the metaverse. increase.
• Gran Chaco Impact NFT (Bolivia) collaborates with collectors’ irreplaceable token artists and curators to enable female artisans to tokenize native artworks as digital art using virtual and augmented reality, NFTs and blockchain and provide spaces that help preserve and promote natives. community.
• Codeea, Chile, provides computer science training, digital skills coaching and support to female entrepreneurs.
• Ecuador’s Red de Aprendizaje Inmersivo (Rain) helps use immersive technology to facilitate learning in educational environments (technical labs and universities), facilitating the acquisition of XR-related skills .
• Brazil’s Socialcrypto.art brings together artists, producers and creators from Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. They want to digitize and commercialize their art and contribute to the socio-economic development of the favela.