It’s safe to say that the metaverse has ramped up in popularity over the last few years. As it could be worth $13trn by 2030, it has sparked a lot of discussion and debate on precisely how it will develop, or what it will even look like. That appetite has also ushered a wave of professionals who have either built their own products, assisted clients with navigating the metaverse, or made seismic waves with their products. The best metaverse speakers are, ironically, those with their feet firmly on the ground with a cool head amongst the hype.
As someone who has followed the industry for some time, I have come across a range of excellent speakers that I recommend for events and conferences in the future. Authoritative, trusted, and well-articulated, these are some of the best professionals that hit the nail on the head when it comes to the topic.
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Cathy Hackl – An established strategist on web3 and the metaverse
No list of the best metaverse speakers is complete without Cathy Hackl. A top web3 strategist and experienced marketeer, she has been an advocating force when it comes to the metaverse for many years. She has played key roles in companies like HTC and Magic Leap, and hosted great series on the topic such as the Metaverse Marketing Podcast from AdAge.
As someone who has spoken to her some time ago, Cathy is also a calm, collected, and kind person who offers a great perspective on immersive technologies. The top keynotes have a great demeanour which inspires alongside informs, without hyperbole. Cathy offers that in spades.
Antonia Forster – A no-nonsense speaker on spatial computing
Antonia Forster is more of an anti-metaverse pick for some. Active on Twitter, she is outspoken about the metaverse is not here yet, and is bullish about contingent technologies such as blockchain and NFTs. But what that results in is a direct and honest conversation on the hype around the topic, and is careful about not putting all the chips in one place.
Having met her over dinner, and seen her TED talk, Antonia offers a fantastic perspective that counters the hype narrative of some leaders. With a spring in her step and a fast mind, Antonia is a fantastic pick as a speaker.
Kavya Pearlman – A driven expert on privacy and safety
Kavya Pearlman is one of the best metaverse speakers because she is gripping with the realities of security and the metaverse. Via the XR Safety Initiative (XRSI), Kavya is speaking directly to senior leaders and developers to build a secure and solid foundation for immersive technologies. Intelligent and informative, Kavya does not skim the surface; she understands the granular details of what’s needed, and will argue her case at any event.
When I met Kavya, I was impressed by her drive and dedication to having a safety-first approach to the metaverse. That drive also comes across in discussions, where she takes a steering role to guide the flow of conversations towards reality.
Tom Ffiske – An established writer on the metaverse
While making a list of speakers, it makes sense to throw my own hat into the ring. Having written a book on the topic and delivered keynotes for several events (VR/AR Global Summit and Crypto in Disputes), I am an experienced professional who understands the nuances and complexities of metaverse discussions.
I am also constantly reading and writing about the topic as well, having written for the Economist and been interviewed by the BBC. I am also assisting the World Economic Forum when it comes to defining the metaverse, which has been incredibly insightful for me personally. As such, I will deliver an informative and engaging talk for any event in the future.
Matthew Ball – A leading expert on the metaverse
Matthew Ball is one of the most influential people on the topic. Writing about spatial computing for many years, Matthew compiled his thoughts into a singular book which summarised his findings and views. Having reviewed the book, and spoken to Matthew over an interview, it is abundantly clear that he has done the leg work to compile his research.
After dozens of interviews and lots of hard work in the background, Matthew is an authoritative voice in the industry who will directly educate listeners on the metaverse. He is also a fantastic speaker who summarises his views in a clear way, and he is adaptable based on the kind of people listening at the conference.
Alex Rühl – Award-winning immersive creative
Alex Rühl is one of the best metaverse speakers because she got her hands dirty and built experiences herself. As an award-winning director, Alex has pioneered VR activities and brought her creative vision to life. Her most recent work is Rock Paper Scissors, a film listed as part of Venice Immersive.
As a host of the Alex Makes VR Podcast, Alex is an experienced and chatty professional who brings levity to her talks and discussions. But alongside being great to chat with (as I have many times), Alex also knows what it’s like to work on spatial computing. With that experience comes a concrete response to enquiries about the topic.
Best metaverse speakers to choose for the future
Which ones should be picked for events and conferences? That comes down to the purpose of the event, and what topics will be explored.
For example, events focused on the metaverse will benefit greatly from Matthew Ball or Antonia Forster. Both know a lot about the area, and can help to deliver great talks that expand on the nuances of the debate. The former provides insights into the business reality and necessary infrastructure, while the latter provides a no-nonsense summary.
If the discussion is more ethical or academic, Kavya Pearlman is perfect. As someone who follows it closely, Kavya is well-suited for any roundtable or conference that focuses on the necessary foundations of the metaverse. The talk can also be complemented with Cathy Hackl, who can touch on how it can be navigated too.
Whichever you choose, these are some of the best metaverse speakers to choose from. And as it develops further, authoritative experts help to chart the path forward.
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Editor, Immersive Wire
Tom Ffiske is the Editor of the Immersive Wire, a twice-weekly newsletter on the immersive industry.