It stuck a very personal chord. Doing my MBA at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, I was one of a small handful of women in a class of about 100 people. The professors’ speech defaulted to “he” and “him” for everything – I started raising my hand at every opportunity to point out the inherent “otherness” this created, for the female students; and also how is feeds the unspoken attitude that the default is male, and women are just add-ons and afterthoughts.
My suggestion to have one day – just one – where the language defaulted to “she” and “her” (but we mean you too, men!) was met with truthfully, eye rolling and some mockery.
That was 30 years ago, and the memory of it still stings.
I wish VR had been around then, to expose the men to what women so often go through. That is the power of virtual reality: for the first time in history, you can ACTUALLY walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. A powerful training experience not just for sexism, but racism, homophobia, all of it.
VR is such a powerful tool for education, and training: I hope to see many more companies create content and experiences, and companies adopt it as a tool to help employees learn in an experiential way that really can’t be replicated, building empathy and understanding in a truly unique manner.
TEDx RoseTree 2019 done! What a fabulous experience – I met so many amazing people, and thoroughly enjoyed being in the middle of the vortex of ideas and creativity. My talk “How VR will supercharge grassroots movements” will be posted by TED soon, and I’ll update it here when they do.
In the meantime, I’d like to thank Stacy Olkowski and her team for the herculean amount of work pulling this all together must have been. Well done! It always takes one person with a vision and a lot of persistence to get the ball rolling on something, and she sure did deliver in a remarkably short amount of time.
Note: this is the text from a Linkedin post I wrote, in response to a post by Cathy Hackl, She visited a concept store that features Alipay’s “smile to pay” facial recognition payment technology. Here’s her video where she’s discovering facial recognition payment systems in China.
As I’ve written about before, I have some very serious reservations about facial recognition technology and how it will completely remove any semblance of privacy or anonymity.
And unfortunately, it’s inevitable.
What I am worried about is having our biometric data stored in so many databases, where we have no knowledge or control over how the data is stored and used. Yes the credit card company already know things about us, and can track us through transactions and location. But those things are still things that can be stopped; change accounts, banks, and your data is not permanent and persistent. Your face is yours, forever.
Amara’s law states that, “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” It certainly seems to apply.