Starting tomorrow, November 29, the Ministry of Media officially opens in Second Life, a sim dedicated to the UN Climate Change Conference happening in Poznań, Poland from December 1-12. The Poznań meeting, which is expected to draw 8,000 participants from around the world, is intended to "advance international cooperation on a future climate change
regime and ensure progress on key issues" related to global warming.
More on my brief tour of the sim after the jump…
This morning, I teleported to the Ministry of Media sim (click here to teleport) to check out the preparations for the climate change conference. I ran into Bodeha Zapedzki, CEO of Servicetek, the Polish SL development firm organizing the inworld activities of the UN conference.
I asked Bodeha what we should expect to find in the sim during the conference. He told me that there will be live video streaming from the UN conference, which is pretty incredible. I wish we had this kind of live streaming into Second Life when I was involved with the World Summit on the Information Society back in 2005.
Unfortunately, he explained that there will not be any communication from Second Life back to the real life participants, which I found disappointing considering they had more interactivity at the Bali climate change conference in 2007. It would have been neat if they had the capacity to organize at least a daily briefing with some conference organizers or environmental groups attending the talks to report back on what is happening, and entertain questions from the virtual observers. Or have some informed attendees inworld during key parts of the negotiations to explain to us what is happening and why its important. Oh well, I know how hard these things are to organize even in the best of circumstances.
Tomorrow at 1pm, avatars at the opening of the sim will be entertained
by the featured performers are the "SL Travelling Wilburys." Visitors can also check out an evocative art exhibit called "The Last Fir Tree" by Poid Mahovlich (see image above), virtual replicas of sustainable structures made out of bamboo, and an exhibit area with information about climate change and the environment.
It's great to see a UN conference experimenting with bringing in a broader global audience using a virtual world. Hopefully there will be other ways to engage the virtual audience other than just passively watching a video feed, which will get boring very fast, no matter the urgency and importance of the subject matter.