Thursday, January 28, 2010

FutureWork Institute's Margaret Regan on why 3-D virtual worlds are the future of workforce diversity and inclusion

Many HR departments have striven to foster work/life balance, increase workplace diversity, and develop ways all employees can make productive contributions to the company, also called "inclusion." But reduced staff and slashed budgets are making these goals increasingly challenging to achieve.

FutureWork Institute, however, is taking a new approach to helping companies create flexible, inclusive workplaces. The organization consults to major global companies in the areas of diversity and work/life assignments. And lately, President and CEO Margaret Regan is championing 3-D virtual worlds as the future of diversity, inclusion, learning, and collaboration.

We interviewed her to learn more, and you can listen to the podcast above. Margaret gives us her take on why 3-D is better than 2-D for fostering workplace diversity and inclusion:

"Without a doubt, we have found that there's a different kind of learning that occurs in the 3-D world," she says. "You know you're at your desk or at home, but you actually feel like you are in the virtual world and the learning is more immediate ... learning seems to be retained better."

Margaret also talks about the Virtual Diversity and Inclusion Networking Event she held, which covered the use of ProtoSphere, Unisfair, and Second Life for large-scale meetings and global conferences.

And if you're an early adopter of 3-D virtual worlds and trying to get C-suite buy-in, Margaret has some advice. She shares what she says to people who believe 3-D virtual worlds are just for playing games, and are afraid the technology has a steep learning curve.

Hit play for the scoop.

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