The United Nations announced a new project earlier this month—an ecosphere series titled, “United Nations: Futuring Peace.” The UN partnered with Media Farm Studios, PHORIA, and Meta Quest to create an immersive experience to allow the audience to understand the significance and potentially catastrophic consequences of the challenges we face as a planet and species when it comes to climate change and global peace building efforts.
A press release announcing the venture explained, “Since its initial launch in 2020, ecosphere has wowed Meta Quest users with intimate natural history films, produced with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Silverback Films. Now audiences will see ecosphere expand further into the social impact space, to become a hub for stories about humanity — and communities who are working together to overcome conflict, build peace and safeguard their way of life.”
“Ecosphere started as a PHORIA produced series, bringing unreachable parts of nature to people with world-first VR camera technology,” emphasizes Samuel Tate Goudie, XR Director at PHORIA. “Since its launch, the application has found an audience of over half a million visitors. We see the development of the ecosphere platform as a way to bring immersive impact stories to a huge audience, but also to explore the way these stories are told. Immersive software allows for shared experience, interactivity, and presence that not only elevates the medium, but will come to define it.”
United Nations: Futuring Peace
The “United Nations: Futuring Peace” campaign is designed to leverage immersive technology for good. The goal is to educate people and drive change through experiential storytelling. There are two series currently part of the campaign: “Sea of Island” and “Pathways Columbia.”
This effort is intended to strategically support the UN as it demonstrates the power of XR internally, empowering it’s teams across the world to embrace technologies to support their efforts; It will also scale and broadcast the UN’s immersive content and positive world shaping efforts out towards a global audience in XR.
“Sea of Islands” was shot in Fiji. It is a high-impact immersive documentary, centering the experience of local Pacific Islanders and their stories to provide invaluable context and insight into the issue of climate change and sea level rise in the Asia Pacific region and across the global community. At its core, the project is about creating an immersive experience that helps inform greater understanding and empathy, enabling better decision-making around climate and security for the Pacific Islands and beyond.
“Pathways to Columbia” shines a spotlight on UN peace building efforts—following the progress of rebuilding efforts in Columbia. Over fifty years of armed conflict in Colombia ended with the 2016 Final Peace Agreement. Now former combatants are starting their lives again as civilians. This series examines the reintegration projects bringing former combatants and victims together, to find new pathways to truth, justice and peace.
Expanding Horizons with Immersive Content
This initiative with the United Nations and the launch of the ecosphere series “United Nations: Futuring Peace” is impressive. It is also demonstrates what is possible when we reimagine the way we capture and share information.
I spoke with Gabrielle Allen—founder of US and UK-based Media Farm Studios—one of the collaborators in this effort. She is an influential figure in entertainment, with a respected background co-planning and pioneering award-winning campaigns with major film studios and broadcast TV networks, including Warner Bros, Universal, MGM, Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Focus Features, Lionsgate, Netflix, NBC, CBS, ABC and others. She is also deeply involved in and a champion of immersive technologies like AI, VR, AR, MR, and more.
Allen explained that she wanted to find ways to utilize the skills and abilities of Media Farm Studios and the technology tools that exist now in today’s world to help to forward some of these key initiatives. “I thought, let’s pull together the resources that we have and the teams that we have, and work together potentially with the United Nations to help create content and assist them to really drive the narrative around some of these major goals and initiatives that we all as citizens of the world are relying on.”
Check out ecosphere “United Nations: Futuring Peace”
The ecosphere ‘United Nations: Futuring Peace’ series will include a series of special episodes, including Sea of Islands and Pathways Colombia. Musalem, which will take users on an immersive journey into Yemen, will be added soon.
If you don’t have an Meta Quest headset, now is a good time to go get one—or at least make friends with someone who has one—so you can access the immersive ecosphere content and check out “United Nations: Futuring Peace” for yourself. You don’t need a Meta Quest to view the content, though. 2D video Content, 360, 180 content, 3D biospheres, AR promotional content.