Thursday, June 14, 2007

Invitation to Virtual World Event on Philanthropy

by Barry Joseph
Invitation to Virtual World Event on Philanthropy

Save the date (22 June, 9am PST) for an historic conversation on the role of philanthropy in virtual worlds featuring MacArthur Foundation President Jonathan Fanton and Second Life CEO Philip Rosedale.

I write to invite you to join me in the virtual world of Second Life on Friday, June 22, 2007 at 9am PST (noon EST). With my avatar and a live audio feed, I will be joined by Second Life CEO Philip Rosedale and residents for a discussion on the role of philanthropy in virtual worlds.

The MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking institution dedicated to helping groups and individuals foster lasting improvement in the human condition. We support organizations working on human rights and international justice, conservation and sustainable development, housing, juvenile justice, and independent media. Last year, we launched a $50 million initiative to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. Answers are critical to developing educational and other social institutions that can meet the needs of this and future generations.

Recently, we have been introduced to virtual worlds such as Second Life and I believe that the importance of virtual worlds may be less about their growth as economies, and more about their capacity for collaboration and human development. Activities in virtual worlds already are supported by MacArthur and other foundations, but we have much to discover about the right role for philanthropy itself in virtual worlds.

We are interested in learning about virtual worlds and how to operate within them. We look to the residents to help us determine how to be helpful and are eager to share our on-going work in such areas as affordable housing, urban renewal, and human rights and international justice.

Please join me on June 22nd, when, for the first time, my avatar will step into the virtual world to host a discussion with Philip Rosedale exploring the potential of these new platforms for philanthropic activity. It should be a wide-ranging and thought-provoking conversation, and I hope you can attend and participate.

As further details emerge they will be posted on the event information page:

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