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35C3 - Reality Check! Basel/Lagos?? In virtual reality?

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    35C3 preroll music
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    Herald Angel: Judith Okonkwo is a
    technology ex-evangelist, a business
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    psychologist and a co-founder of "We will
    lead Africa". In 2016 Judith set Imisi 3D
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    creation lab, which is building the
    ecosystem of extended reality technologies
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    in Lagos, Nigeria. So, please welcome
    Judith. And let's have her talk.
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    Judith Okonkwo: Thank you. Thank you very much!
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    applause
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    JO: Good afternoon everybody. Thank you
    all for coming today. I am going to talk
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    to you a little bit about the work that
    we're doing in Lagos, Nigeria. Just
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    generally about that and then about some
    specific projects that we've been involved in.
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    So usually, when I'm speaking, people
    say: Wow, you're doing virtual reality in
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    Nigeria? How come? Why? How did you even
    think of starting that there? Let me tell
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    you a little bit about that journey. Now,
    I don't know if many people here have been
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    to Nigeria, but just to give you some
    context: it's a country in the western
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    part of Africa. Right now and the
    population is estimated to be about 190
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    million people. So, there are a lot of us.
    The projection is that by 2050 though, we
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    will be the third most populous country in
    the world, right. Third after China first,
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    and India second. It's also a country of
    lots of different cultures and lots of
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    different languages. At last count there
    are well over 200 of these. Very diverse.
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    So, in terms of VR, we started a creation
    lab there in Lagos called Imisi 3D. Imisi
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    is a Yoruba word and Yoruba is the
    language of the Yoruba people who you find
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    in the southwestern part of Nigeria. The
    word means 'inspiration'. We started out
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    really small. We, well basically I, got a
    computer, a VR ready computer, a few
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    headsets, a few books on virtual reality
    and set up in one of the leading hubs in
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    Lagos, called the Co-Creation
    hub. So basically, that's what it was.
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    That was the start. A desk in a corner
    where we said: Hey, if you're even
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    remotely curious about this technology, if
    you want to know what's possible with it,
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    then come on down. Because as you probably
    remember, in 2016, a lot of people were
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    saying: This is the year of virtual
    reality. There was a lot of expectation
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    that it would come into its own in some
    way and there was a lot of excitement
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    about it and we felt that that was a story
    that we needed to be a part of as well for
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    a number of reasons that I'll explore. So,
    in Nigeria if you think about the country
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    say 5, 10 years ago, certainly we weren't
    on the, you know, on the global map for
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    being creators. We were in some fields.
    So, for example you would always be able
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    to mention super talented Nigerian Authors
    for example. But when it came to
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    technology I don't think we were being
    thought of as creators a lot. Even though
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    a lot of creativity was happening, even
    though a lot of innovation was happening
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    in the country. And there's been a real
    drive, a real need, to shift that
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    narrative from one of consumption, where
    we're just a market where electronics
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    technology is being sold, to one where we
    are actually adopting these technologies
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    and using them for our own purposes.
    Making them work for us as well. So, being
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    able to move that needle from consumption
    to creation. Back to the start. We began
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    on the first week of July in 2016 and that
    first week we had a virtual reality
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    showcase. This is a picture from the
    event. We asked people to come, you know,
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    if you're curious, if you've never tried
    it before. If you're wondering what this
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    word that everybody's been talking about
    is. And that day, over the course of about
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    five hours, we had about 100 people come
    down to try out VR, talk about VR, find
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    out what the possibilities might be with
    this technology, figure out if it's for
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    them. And what's really interesting for me
    personally is that, back then in 2016,
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    that summer when we had people come into
    our space, probably 90 percent of them had
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    never tried out virtual reality before.
    They maybe heard about it, might have seen
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    a Google Cardboard, but you know, they
    didn't really know what it was. Today when
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    I have events like this, at least half of
    the people coming in, at the very least
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    half, would have tried out VR. So, it's
    just great to see even with time and with
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    activity, how things can change. But on
    this day in 2016 we had people come in
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    and, you know, they were challenged to
    think about what is possible with this
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    technology. But then it seemed like a lot
    of talk. You know, you come in, you put on
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    a few headsets, you try the Samsung Gear
    VR, you maybe try a Google Cardboard, you
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    start to talk. But then what next? And
    that's something that we really wanted to
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    make different. You know, let it not just
    be talk. We wanted people to know that
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    these were technology that they should use
    to create as well. So we decided to have a
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    hackathon. Then, when it held in November
    2016, it was the first virtual reality
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    hackathon in Nigeria. And promoting the
    belief that we have, that these
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    technologies are actually tools, that we
    can use to create solutions, we challenged
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    the participants to think about creating
    solutions for either education, healthcare
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    or tourism. Now we chose these particular
    sectors because, we'd recognize that these
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    are areas in which there was quite a bit
    of scope for immediate significant impact
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    from a place like Nigeria. And here's what
    came out of it. In the picture there you
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    can see what was the leading hack by the
    winning team. It was a product that they
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    called "learn" but actually spelt L E V R
    N and it's an experience square, as you
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    can see there's a leap motion attached to
    a Samsung Gear VR. And it allows you to
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    learn how to code using hand based
    gestures. So it's really exciting to see
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    people thinking about how they could push
    the boundary beyond what was even just
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    traditionally possible with the gear VR as
    it was then. And to start thinking
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    creatively about how you might use these
    technologies and tools to learn.
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    Especially, you know, in disciplines that
    were always challenged about how best we
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    can get people to learn and move with the
    times. OK. So, I've got a few numbers up
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    on the screen. I wonder if anybody knows
    what they might refer to?
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    silence
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    JO: Anybody? No? Okay. So the first one,
    263 Million, is a number from UNICEF from
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    2014. And then, that was the estimate
    about the number of children who were out
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    of school in the world. The second number,
    13.2 Million, is a number out of school
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    children in just Nigeria. And that final
    number, 1 Billion., that's a number of
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    children in the world who don't really
    have access to good quality education. You
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    might wonder why have these numbers up
    right now. And that's because I believe
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    that virtual reality is something that we
    can use to tackle these kind of
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    statistics. One of the things that we're
    exploring in Lagos, is looking at VR for
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    schools. Now certainly back in 2016 when
    we were starting out, quite a lot of the
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    attention with VR was being put into
    sectors like gaming and entertainment. But
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    as I mentioned, we we've been wanting to
    shift the needle to to other sectors to
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    see ways in which we can adapt and use it.
    And I think that actually VR, despite the,
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    you know, the common perception that it's
    perhaps elitist, perhaps expensive, in its
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    low cost form could actually be a solution
    for education. And this is how it might
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    work. Imagine if we took low cost VR,
    something as simple say as a Google
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    Cardboard, mobile phones, and we all know
    the story of mobile phone penetration
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    increasing daily in Africa across the
    continent, solar portables because in some
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    places electricity from the grid is not
    reliable. And with that you have a device,
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    that once you have the right content
    available for it, is an all in one
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    learning solution that's fairly portable
    and can be deployed really just about
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    anywhere. Now for me, this is one of the
    super exciting possibilities with a
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    technology like virtual reality, that we
    can go into schools, or even the 13.2
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    million out of school children, go to them
    and give them a device with the right
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    content that will allow them to start
    learning. And learning in ways that were
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    not possible because, if you were to go to
    a traditional public school, I mentioned
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    we are 190+ Million people, the
    infrastructure is challenged in terms of
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    trying to deal with that number, and
    you'll easily have classrooms with over
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    100 children in them. Which means, that
    you're very limited in terms of the
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    interaction that's possible between
    student and teacher, and also with the
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    amount of infrastructure that you can
    provide. But as you know with VR, whether
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    it's a virtual lab where they can do
    experiments, whether it's the opportunity
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    to visit the pyramids in Egypt or even to
    explore the solar system, all of a sudden
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    opportunities and experiences that would
    not be available even if, you know, we
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    suddenly kind of like diverted our whole
    budget to education, are now possible and
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    I think that's really exciting. And that's
    just a picture from one of the schools
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    where we have been going in to explore
    using virtual reality to supplement the
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    curriculum for education. Education is one
    possibility, but something else that also
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    excites me about these technologies and
    what is possible, is when it comes to art
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    and culture. This past week one of the
    leading African philosophers, a Nigerian
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    woman called Sophia Oluwole, died and she
    was a very, very big supporter, promoter
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    of African culture, of Nigerian culture
    and of dipping into your heritage to take
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    that what was useful there and bring it
    and use it to help to define the life that
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    you're living today and the one you want
    to create for the future. And I
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    particularly like this, that you know,
    from one of her papers where she says it's
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    up to us and she was really calling out to
    everyone to discover and promote a
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    reliable African intellectual atmosphere
    based on narratives presented in the truth
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    of their language and authenticity. And I
    bring this up now because I think that
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    that is something else that this
    technology enables us to, in a sense,
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    convey our reality and tell stories and
    the truth of our language and authenticity.
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    And I want to tell you about two projects
    that relate to that. The first is one that
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    brings Nigeria and Switzerland together.
    So, earlier this year I was approached by
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    a team around the IAF festival in
    Switzerland. It's a festival that is
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    focused on contemporary African art
    predominantly photography and it's held in
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    Basel each year. Now each year, along with
    photographies that are exhibited, they add
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    an element of contemporary art. This year
    it happend to be virtual reality. And for
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    that, they said: Well, what would it be
    like if we were to juxtapose living in
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    Switzerland - take a city, Basel - and in
    an African country Nigeria. Let's take a
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    city, Lagos. What would that look like.
    So, what we created was something called
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    Reality Check. It was a very simple VR
    experience actually. But one with a lot of
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    potential and possibility. What we did was
    map out a number of locations. So, we took
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    traditional places that you would visit.
    If you've been to Brasel you know it's
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    quite compact, and it's really easy to
    walk around the center of the town. And we
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    took places like a church, a shopping mall, a
    school and map these, and then wanted
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    to do the same in Lagos. Now Lagos is
    quite widespread. So we chose a particular
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    neighborhood, Yaba, and then did the same.
    We went to a church for example and
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    captured the space with 360 video. And
    what was then possible was that, when you
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    came to this festival in Switzerland, you
    could go on a walking tour of the city.
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    But alongside that tour of Basel you could
    also have one of Lagos. So, you could walk
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    to the church in Basel, seen in the
    picture there. And while there, you would
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    then have an experience of a church in
    Lagos. We have, you know, over the course
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    of the week that I spent there with them a
    whole series of people come round to come
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    and figure out what it might be like, to
    step into a space in Lagos, Nigeria if
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    only for a few minutes. Now each of the
    videos was really short and just about two
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    minutes and I'm actually going to play one
    for you to see. But what was exciting for
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    the people who tried it out, from what
    they said back to us, was just being able
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    to shift your reality in a way that, as we
    know, is not possible with traditional
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    media, not with the books you read, not
    with the videos you watch in 2D. Well, let
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    me show you one. So here we are. This is
    the church in Lagos.
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    JO mumbling Let's just get that...
    voices in the background of the video
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    JO: And what we did is, during a weekday
    we were able to go in. Where the camera is
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    positioned, is up where the choir
    traditionally sits on Sunday. And it
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    happened to be a day when - it's a
    Catholic church by the way - they were
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    getting ready, I believe it was a
    benediction service, so you can hear he
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    has some of that going on down there. Here
    we are now in the (???) ave.
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    voices in the background of the video
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    JO: And so this video is much like the
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    others. They were all roughly two minutes.
    The camera was stationary. And what we
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    wanted to create was just the impression
    that, much like you were doing if you were
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    doing the walking tour, where you'd get to
    a location and stand and look around. That
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    you have that same experience in Lagos
    that you walked into, you know, the
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    location in question. You stood at a spot
    and you were able to look around and
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    observe what was going on for a minute or
    two.
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    Video is still playing, no sound other than the voices in the background
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    JO: Just give me a second. OK.
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    And that experience that I just showed in
    the church was also done in locations like a
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    university, a school, a library in Lagos,
    a bank, a Medical Center. So, just little
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    vignettes if you will, of life, everyday
    life in the city that you're able to
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    share. And we're hoping to do the flip
    later on, where in Lagos you will then be
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    able to have the 360 experiences of these
    locations in Basel for people who are in
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    Lagos. So, moving on and exploring art and
    culture. I have this other quote that I'm
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    sure a lot of people have seen around
    quite a bit. And I first encountered it in
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    one of Chinua Achebe's novels. It says:
    There is that great proverb - that until
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    the lions have their own historians, the
    history of the hunt will always glorify
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    the hunter. And of course you know, we
    know how this applies in lots of ways. We
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    talk about the way, you know, history
    might have been told. History as we know
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    it traditionally, might be repurposed if
    it's taught from another perspective for
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    people around the world. But storytelling
    I think, is particularly important with
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    360. And what was exciting for me as well
    earlier this year is, when we had a member
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    of our community, the Imisi 3Dcommunity in
    Lagos, actually go and shoot what was the
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    first 360 documentary. And this is just a
    short, about four or five minutes long.
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    But it's the first Nigerian made 360
    documentary in one of the internally
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    displaced people camps that we have in the
    north eastern part of the country in
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    Maiduguri. And this short documentary in
    Bakassi actually tells a story of a boy
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    called Modu, who is an insurgency orphan.
    He's about eleven years old, but he has
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    lost his father to the issues with Boko
    Haram in the north eastern part of the
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    country. And his mother as well. So, he
    lived with his grandmother in an IDP camp
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    and you know, was someone who, through
    whose eyes we could start to understand
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    what it really means to be in that space,
    to understand that tragedy a little bit
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    more. We had a screening for this
    documentary in Lagos in November, but even
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    before that, I think what's really
    compelling is that we have had people who
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    had even been to IDP camps in the
    Northeast and other parts of Nigeria. And
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    when they came and they experienced "In
    Bakassi" what they would say is: This is
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    even more real than being there. Now, at
    face value you might think: Well, what are
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    they talking about? And when they broke it
    down, what they were telling us was, that
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    when you are actually there in the camps,
    you're overwhelmed by all that's going on.
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    There's so much activity, so much noise,
    so much jostling, that you are not really
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    able to process what's happening around
    you. But when you have the experience in
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    VR like this, through a 360 video, you're
    then really sensitive and focused on the
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    experience as it is, on the story that
    you're hearing, in this case Modu's. So I
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    am going to just play a little bit from
    the screening, not the documentary itself,
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    for you to see what it was like sharing that
    work with people in Lagos.
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    music
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    Toks Bakare: My experience watching the
    documentary was intensely moving. I think
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    because I had a phenomenally different
    experience watching it in VR. There's the
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    ability to look all around you and really
    feel like you are immersed in the scene. I
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    felt like I was in the camp and almost
    going through what the little boy is going
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    through. So that, that was an interesting
    feeling that was different from watching a
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    regular film.
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    music
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    JO: OK. So, I've talked a little bit about
    some of the projects that we've done or
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    been involved in in this phase with art
    and culture, looking at things, like telling
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    360 stories or being able to share reality
    across different geographies. I want to
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    talk a little bit more now about kind of
    like the future and where we see ourselves
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    going. I have the words "bright future"
    there because I think we all agree that
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    these technologies hold a lot of promise.
    But there are particular challenges for us
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    in a place like Nigeria, and one of them is,
    you know, even just access to the
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    hardware. So one of the things that we are
    exploring is, what would it be like if we
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    were able to, you know, actually deal with
    that obstacle. What if we created a VR
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    headset that was purpose built for our
    locale. An all in one solar powered VR
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    headset. One that's me with locally
    sourced materials. How would that change
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    things? Is that something that we are
    trying to do a design challenge around. We
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    started one last year but tried to do it
    virtually. We'll be looking at in the new
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    year having a team come into work on this
    and attempt to build one. Now if we can do
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    that, it becomes really exciting for us
    because yes, we have platforms like
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    YouTube where you can share 360 content,
    and Vimeo, and others. But not a lot of
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    people have access to headsets and other
    elements of the technology and we can
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    start to do something about that actively.
    So looking at ways in which we can build
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    and, you know, do R&D to suit our
    purposes it's something that's very big
  • 25:22 - 25:28
    for us. We are also working really hard to
    build a community of content creators.
  • 25:28 - 25:33
    People who will work with these
    technologies, the people who will create
  • 25:33 - 25:38
    the educational content that will make VR
    for schools a reality in a country like
  • 25:38 - 25:44
    Nigeria. For that we have started to hold
    community meet ups. They've been running
  • 25:44 - 25:50
    for over a year now. We have the very
    first one at the Google office in Lagos
  • 25:50 - 25:56
    and have since, you know, had the
    community grow with people coming from all
  • 25:56 - 26:03
    sorts of different sectors. From the arts,
    you know, from technology, people from
  • 26:03 - 26:08
    business as well who are even looking at
    the opportunities to commercialize the
  • 26:08 - 26:12
    technology locally. And we're excited
    about what's possible when all of these
  • 26:12 - 26:19
    people come together. We're also trying to
    connect communities across Africa because
  • 26:19 - 26:24
    we know that it's one thing to try and
    build communities locally and grow
  • 26:24 - 26:28
    expertise there. But if we're joined up
    together across the continent a lot more
  • 26:28 - 26:34
    will be possible a lot quicker. Earlier
    this year we held what was at that time
  • 26:34 - 26:39
    the largest VR event on the continent,
    where we had a Hackathon happen
  • 26:39 - 26:45
    simultaneously across seven countries. We
    had over 35 teams take part and the
  • 26:45 - 26:52
    overall winning team was a team of three
    females from Egypt. And much like that
  • 26:52 - 26:58
    first one that I mentioned in 2016 where
    we said create for education, or health
  • 26:58 - 27:02
    care or tourism, we asked the teams to do
    the same. So, create for education, health
  • 27:02 - 27:07
    care, tourism. However this time we added
    the environment, it happened around Earth
  • 27:07 - 27:14
    Day, and also social justice. The winning
    team created an experience that allows you
  • 27:14 - 27:19
    to learn about how to take care of the
    environment. And it was built for the HTC
  • 27:19 - 27:27
    Vive. We also have a growing community
    that is online on Facebook. They come from
  • 27:27 - 27:32
    over 20 different African countries. It's
    over 900 strong and growing every day.
  • 27:32 - 27:36
    We're really excited about the
    possibilities as we all come together and
  • 27:36 - 27:42
    start to figure out how we can work and
    create. We believe collaboration is our
  • 27:42 - 27:48
    future, whether it's across these African
    countries or further across the world, the
  • 27:48 - 27:53
    work that we did with Switzerland, whether
    it's being here and connecting with you
  • 27:53 - 28:01
    all. But we know that together we can do
    so much more. I usually end my talks with
  • 28:01 - 28:07
    this challenge to people particularly when
    I'm talking about using the technologies
  • 28:07 - 28:13
    for the first time. Very, very excited to
    know that the future is ours to create and
  • 28:13 - 28:20
    with things like VR and AR, solutions
    created in a way that maybe we're not yet
  • 28:20 - 28:27
    imagining but perhaps we should. So what
    will you do? I want to leave you with one
  • 28:27 - 28:40
    last video that shows what it's like in
    the lab.
  • 28:40 - 29:40
    music
  • 29:40 - 29:51
    JO: Thank you.
    applause
  • 29:51 - 29:55
    Herald: Thank you very much. We have time
    for Q&A. There are two microphones
  • 29:55 - 29:59
    here in the room. One in the middle,
    microphone number 2, and one out to the
  • 29:59 - 30:02
    side, microphone number 1. And there might
    also be questions from the Internet. So
  • 30:02 - 30:07
    please come up and we have already
    question from microphone number 2.
  • 30:07 - 30:13
    Microphone 2: Hello. So, thanks for the
    presentation. There is a concept that, I
  • 30:13 - 30:18
    don't know how valid it is, but the
    Innovator's Dilemma. Basically, if you are
  • 30:18 - 30:23
    already in a comfortable spot, you're not
    going to push yourself too much, either in
  • 30:23 - 30:28
    your community or your company. You have
    either a new player, that is going to make
  • 30:28 - 30:32
    something radical and is going to
    challenge you to make yourself better. And
  • 30:32 - 30:39
    there was some discussion on this based on
    the how for example maybe you not need the
  • 30:39 - 30:46
    big DSL or fiber infrastructure to just
    just use 3G or 4G and in some community
  • 30:46 - 30:50
    with other infrastructure maybe for
    example you do mobile payments, like in
  • 30:50 - 30:59
    China. Could this kind of useage of your
    free education be an equivalent of this,
  • 30:59 - 31:04
    that maybe the classroom as we have now is
    pretty good? But if you were so
  • 31:04 - 31:09
    challenged, that you need to go much
    further. Would it be like new oppurtunity
  • 31:09 - 31:15
    to use much better way to do it.
    JO: So thank you for the question. Yes,
  • 31:15 - 31:22
    actually I think it might be. And you know
    you gave some examples about how leapfrogs
  • 31:22 - 31:27
    have happened in other parts of the world
    apart from the West, just because they
  • 31:27 - 31:32
    have accessed technology at a time that's
    later than the West, and so they've been
  • 31:32 - 31:40
    able to kind of like evolve in a way that
    doesn't have to be anchored in the legacy.
  • 31:40 - 31:44
    You know, the history of the technology
    and how it actually grew. I think the same
  • 31:44 - 31:51
    is true for for technology like VR being
    used for education. And I think that
  • 31:51 - 31:55
    because, you know the public schools I
    mentioned, where you might easily have
  • 31:55 - 32:01
    over 100 kids in a classroom, you'll be in
    a space that is not like the modern
  • 32:01 - 32:06
    classroom in a private school in Lagos or
    you know or one in the West. It's not
  • 32:06 - 32:09
    like, you know ,where you have maybe a one
    to 20 or one to 10 you know teacher
  • 32:09 - 32:15
    student ratio. It won't have all of the
    infrastructure that aids learning as we
  • 32:15 - 32:20
    know it today. So, you are then challenged
    to think really creatively about what you
  • 32:20 - 32:26
    might do with with VR, what you might do
    with whatever tool is brought to you. And
  • 32:26 - 32:32
    that's why you know worth thinking about
    the low cost, you know, VR that might be
  • 32:32 - 32:37
    mobile device driven or something powered
    in a similar way, because we know one of
  • 32:37 - 32:41
    the challenges will be power, you know, as
    we know it. Because from the grid there,
  • 32:41 - 32:45
    it's a challenge. And I think as you start
    to innovate around those realities and
  • 32:45 - 32:51
    create them, yes, we will be able to
    leapfrog and potentially redefine what
  • 32:51 - 32:54
    education looks like, certainly in that
    space.
  • 32:54 - 32:57
    Herald: We have question for microphone
    number one.
  • 32:57 - 33:02
    Microphone 1: Thank you very much for your
    presentation. I have read a number of
  • 33:02 - 33:08
    studies where people have found that, if
    young children spend too much time in VR,
  • 33:08 - 33:12
    if they're very young, it has a problem
    with their cognitive development. And I'm
  • 33:12 - 33:18
    wondering if you're thinking about a sort
    of scaled approach at what age people are
  • 33:18 - 33:21
    working with regular computer graphics and
    then how they engage with VR.
  • 33:21 - 33:24
    JO: Absolutely
    Microphone 1: Get a good education.
  • 33:24 - 33:30
    JO: Thank you very much. Yes. So for the
    work that we're doing at the moment with
  • 33:30 - 33:36
    VR for schools, where working with
    children who are in secondary school. So
  • 33:36 - 33:42
    those are children who are typically from
    12 years up and we're very conscious, that
  • 33:42 - 33:48
    there has been some information about the
    you know side effects of VR. But there's
  • 33:48 - 33:51
    not enough data yet. And so we're
    consciously studying, as we're going
  • 33:51 - 33:56
    along. We're about to start a formal pilot
    in one of these schools, where we will
  • 33:56 - 34:00
    actually have a researcher who's working
    on the ground and documenting as we go on.
  • 34:00 - 34:07
    We by default are limiting, you know, time
    in VR, because we know, just from what we
  • 34:07 - 34:11
    know generally about screens and eyes,
    that it won't be great to have extended
  • 34:11 - 34:14
    periods. But we're actively learning as
    well.
  • 34:14 - 34:17
    Herald: We have another question from
    Microphone number 1.
  • 34:17 - 34:21
    Microphone number 1: I see that you are
    working with unity alert.
  • 34:21 - 34:29
    But I was wondering if you're also working
    with the more open standard of web VR?
  • 34:29 - 34:35
    JO: We haven't yet worked with web VR. But
    that is something that we are about to
  • 34:35 - 34:41
    start exploring in the New Year.
    Herald: We have a question from microphone
  • 34:41 - 34:44
    number two.
    Microphone number 2: Hi Judith, thank you for
  • 34:44 - 34:50
    your talk again. I found it very
    interesting and inspiring that you've
  • 34:50 - 34:57
    presented the second talk where VR was
    considered like an interesting or an
  • 34:57 - 35:06
    important tool to create new narratives
    maybe in a rather or historically rather
  • 35:06 - 35:13
    oral based history culture or narration
    culture and to use it for alternative
  • 35:13 - 35:19
    narrations and create the new historian as
    you say it like the maybe the non colonial
  • 35:19 - 35:25
    historian if you want. And so I also
    wondered as I saw also in your
  • 35:25 - 35:29
    presentation and this is also my
    perspective as I have been working a lot
  • 35:29 - 35:33
    with Goethe Institute and have once worked
    in Kenya with Goethe Institute and I
  • 35:33 - 35:39
    notice that like the sort of still the
    Western platforms and of course the
  • 35:39 - 35:46
    institutions with money are kind of the
    only places and spaces where these things
  • 35:46 - 35:52
    especially the technological things can
    happen due to money reasons, are the only
  • 35:52 - 35:57
    spaces that exist basically. For example
    in Nairobi it was like this space that
  • 35:57 - 36:02
    could be used by artists. There's some
    other spaces in Nairobi but still it felt
  • 36:02 - 36:08
    like this strong like power maybe even
    more infrastructural power that's there
  • 36:08 - 36:15
    and you've used the Google space and I saw
    the Facebook logo and certificate. So I
  • 36:15 - 36:18
    wonder is this anything you feel doubts
    about? Or do you just think, ok we'll take
  • 36:18 - 36:25
    their money and that's cool?
    JO: Great question, thank you. It's
  • 36:25 - 36:29
    interesting that you ask because for me
    personally one of a kind of like the
  • 36:29 - 36:36
    buggers for me is that a lot of the major
    tech companies, in my opinion they don't
  • 36:36 - 36:42
    see, they don't see African countries as a
    real VR market. And you know you can see
  • 36:42 - 36:46
    that just by the fact that their products
    aren't even accessible there. You know,
  • 36:46 - 36:56
    they are not available. That said you know
    I think that I talked about collaboration
  • 36:56 - 37:01
    a lot. I think that the way forward is for
    us all to work together. They already have
  • 37:01 - 37:07
    done you know a ton of work in terms of
    what is possible with the technology and
  • 37:07 - 37:12
    even what will be possible in the future.
    Just by virtue of their R&D budgets
  • 37:12 - 37:19
    and what's possible. So I very much want
    as we grow that we are working with them
  • 37:19 - 37:27
    and not apart from them in any way. But
    alongside that, I am very very concerned
  • 37:27 - 37:31
    about as you know developing as ourselves
    and creating as ourselves you know if it
  • 37:31 - 37:36
    goes like truth and authenticity that
    Sofia was talking about that we have our
  • 37:36 - 37:43
    own voice and we can do it without being
    obliged to any one party. In that vein for
  • 37:43 - 37:48
    example the lab that we set up one of the
    reasons was because we knew that access
  • 37:48 - 37:52
    was difficult. We know that the equipment
    is relatively expensive. Things like that,
  • 37:52 - 37:56
    particularly given the purchasing power of
    the naira. So we wanted to create a space
  • 37:56 - 37:59
    where, if you wanted to do VR, or you
    wanted to create you could actually come
  • 37:59 - 38:03
    in and use the equipment and we provide
    that and city and we'll be doing that in
  • 38:03 - 38:07
    more states across Nigeria. But I think
    its initiatives like that locally that
  • 38:07 - 38:12
    will make sure that even as we partner we
    can be true to ourselves.
  • 38:12 - 38:16
    Herald: We have a question from microphone
    number one.
  • 38:16 - 38:21
    Microphone number 1: Thank you for your
    talk. I'm sorry if you already covered
  • 38:21 - 38:28
    this aspect. I came a bit late, but I want
    to ask about if you are working towards
  • 38:28 - 38:34
    minimizing the digital divide. How? What
    are your effords about closing this. I
  • 38:34 - 38:38
    understand that the project this is new,
    but your long term vision, how does that
  • 38:38 - 38:45
    help to empower the rural population also?
    JO: Yeah. Thank you. That's a great
  • 38:45 - 38:50
    question. Actually one of the things that
    drove the creation of the lab in 2016 was
  • 38:50 - 38:58
    even recognition of that digital divide.
    By that time I just spent about two years
  • 38:58 - 39:03
    in Lagos working within the tech sector
    and just being able to kind of like tap
  • 39:03 - 39:09
    into the talent that was there and see
    what was possible. And I'd seen what you
  • 39:09 - 39:14
    know young people were able to do there
    with traditional technology, you know,
  • 39:14 - 39:18
    with software development and all of that.
    So I knew that in terms of you know a
  • 39:18 - 39:23
    potential it was there in kind of like
    limitless way but the challenge is always
  • 39:23 - 39:27
    of course access to to the resources to
    opportunity and things like that and
  • 39:27 - 39:31
    that's what we try to do which is why that
    element of community is so important for
  • 39:31 - 39:39
    us. We we provide access to equipment and
    resources in the lab. We also hold those
  • 39:39 - 39:43
    community gathering so that people can
    start to network with each other and
  • 39:43 - 39:50
    collaborate together. We also look for
    ways to support learning and growth and we
  • 39:50 - 39:56
    do that by either holding activities or
    sometimes doing things like offering
  • 39:56 - 40:00
    scholarships for audacities virtual
    reality nano degree, but we're very very
  • 40:00 - 40:05
    particular about you know talent and
    expertise being available kind of like
  • 40:05 - 40:09
    locally and in country because that's
    critical. That's why I don't know if you
  • 40:09 - 40:13
    were here when we were talking about Amber
    Cassady 360 documentary. But for me what's
  • 40:13 - 40:19
    really exciting is that you know a
    Nigerian filmmaker will go acquire those
  • 40:19 - 40:23
    skills and be able to be the one to make
    that in Nigeria because of course there
  • 40:23 - 40:28
    have been other 360 documentaries made by
    say Al Jazeera for example you know and
  • 40:28 - 40:33
    other media houses but of course they'll
    be bringing their teams in to do that. So
  • 40:33 - 40:36
    yes very very conscious of trying to to
    narrow that.
  • 40:36 - 40:41
    Herald: We have two questions at
    microphone Number one. Let's see. First one.
  • 40:41 - 40:43
    Microphone number 1: First of all thank
  • 40:43 - 40:49
    you Judith for this great presentation.
    Very short question and specific question.
  • 40:49 - 40:56
    When it comes to VR in education there is
    one major problem in my eyes. I don't know
  • 40:56 - 41:03
    if you can answer this questions, but
    there is no real business lobby for that
  • 41:03 - 41:10
    right now. And when it comes to integrate
    VR content into educational program there
  • 41:10 - 41:16
    is one major hurdle which is how to
    integrate that into the official program.
  • 41:16 - 41:22
    Which content can be transformed into VR
    content? Are you working closely with
  • 41:22 - 41:32
    regular let's say official education
    authorities? Is any board like trying to
  • 41:32 - 41:37
    identify which content and how to
    integrate it progressively into your
  • 41:37 - 41:44
    curriculums? Are you thinking about that?
    Because there is some nice attempt like in
  • 41:44 - 41:52
    Egypt, in China to do that, but one of the
    major hurdle is, it is really hard to
  • 41:52 - 41:58
    integrate it one time into the official
    curriculums. So how do you identify the
  • 41:58 - 42:02
    content and how it is working with the
    officials?
  • 42:02 - 42:07
    JO: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Really great
    question. Yes. I mean all of the
  • 42:07 - 42:13
    things that you've just mentioned very
    very real issues for us. When we wanted to
  • 42:13 - 42:17
    start doing the VR for schools project the
    first thing that we actually had to do was
  • 42:17 - 42:22
    approach the education authorities in the
    local area where we are the district
  • 42:22 - 42:25
    office for education. So we had to bring
    them on board really quickly because we
  • 42:25 - 42:31
    even need their permission to be able to
    go into a school and work. Beyond that we
  • 42:31 - 42:36
    also decided to hold things like VR for
    education roundtables where we would bring
  • 42:36 - 42:41
    together different stakeholders. So, these
    would be people from both the local
  • 42:41 - 42:47
    governments from both secondary and
    tertiary education. And looking at both
  • 42:47 - 42:51
    students faculty and sometimes even
    parents because we very much wanted people
  • 42:51 - 42:55
    to come together to help us cocreate what
    a viable solution would be. And a lot of
  • 42:55 - 42:59
    what you mentioned I mean that's what the
    teachers were saying. How exactly does
  • 42:59 - 43:03
    this actually work? You know with the
    lesson you know, do you in the middle of a
  • 43:03 - 43:10
    lecture put on the headset. You know what
    makes sense. So, so far we've been doing
  • 43:10 - 43:14
    the VR sessions and special sessions that
    are carved out from the school time where
  • 43:14 - 43:18
    we go and see we're coming to do a session
    with you. Going into the New Year though
  • 43:18 - 43:23
    where we're going to actually start a
    formal pilot in a school. We're setting up
  • 43:23 - 43:28
    a lab in the school and we're going to
    have somebody who's, you know there with
  • 43:28 - 43:32
    them, so that we can start to work with
    the teachers to see how we can make VR
  • 43:32 - 43:39
    learning an element of the traditional
    kind of like classroom plan. So, I say to
  • 43:39 - 43:44
    people imagine what it used to be like
    when you would schedule a video as part of
  • 43:44 - 43:49
    a lesson. What if instead of the
    whole class is going to watch a video.
  • 43:49 - 43:53
    Instead they were going to go and have a
    VR experience as the content and the
  • 43:53 - 43:57
    challenge around that and what's
    appropriate to create. And that's really
  • 43:57 - 44:02
    interesting, something that we've been
    trying to tackle. When we first started to
  • 44:02 - 44:07
    explore this. We were quite constrained in
    terms of resources so we were just
  • 44:07 - 44:11
    curating what was actually already
    available and matching it to the national
  • 44:11 - 44:17
    curriculum for the junior secondary
    school. So, we have some content that we
  • 44:17 - 44:20
    have seen can match to some of the
    learning outcomes that are there at the
  • 44:20 - 44:24
    moment. But we know that we do have to
    create custom content. We particularly
  • 44:24 - 44:29
    have to create content that is much more
    accessible for people locally both in
  • 44:29 - 44:35
    terms of language and in terms of kind of
    the visuals that they are accessing there.
  • 44:35 - 44:39
    We are working with a major education
    publisher as well in Nigeria. And of course
  • 44:39 - 44:43
    they have the expertise having created quite
    a few of the textbooks that are in schools
  • 44:43 - 44:48
    currently to help us figure that out as
    well as collaborating with teachers in the
  • 44:48 - 44:52
    pilot school.
    Herald: And please don't be shy if you
  • 44:52 - 44:55
    have any questions please come up to the
    microphones and share them with all of us.
  • 44:55 - 45:00
    We have time enough for quite a few more
    questions. A question from mic number two!
  • 45:00 - 45:05
    Microphone number 2: Yes. Thank you Judith
    for taking on the journey. I have a
  • 45:05 - 45:10
    different question but also missed the
    first minutes of your talk. As I see your
  • 45:10 - 45:15
    talk here also a contribution from the
    Global South enriching us hopefully with
  • 45:15 - 45:21
    your cultural perspective and my question
    is: Do you think that this technology
  • 45:21 - 45:28
    could help us to bridge cultural
    understanding. Does it support empathy to
  • 45:28 - 45:33
    get more of a picture. Well the trouble
    from a Western perspective is that you
  • 45:33 - 45:37
    know the African countries exporting
    poverty that's not a major good selling
  • 45:37 - 45:42
    good. But there is other elements that
    might enrich or you might have to hack
  • 45:42 - 45:46
    into our minds. My question is: Do you
    think this technology can actually help to
  • 45:46 - 45:52
    support people understanding other
    cultures better? Or is this for the moment
  • 45:52 - 46:01
    more an experimental thing within your
    control as cultural context to do your own
  • 46:01 - 46:07
    educational or other purposes?
    JO: Thank you for that question. Yes
  • 46:07 - 46:13
    actually I do think that it will help us
    start to understand and experience other
  • 46:13 - 46:22
    cultures better and even experience
    empathy. And I say this because even just
  • 46:22 - 46:27
    you know when we first started the lab in
    2016. So, a challenge for Nigerians you
  • 46:27 - 46:30
    might not know but one major challenge
    that people have when they want to travel
  • 46:30 - 46:35
    is getting visas. Yeah the stories you
    hear about visa refusals can be quite
  • 46:35 - 46:41
    heartbreaking. But people were put on
    their VR headset and sit in a chair and if
  • 46:41 - 46:46
    you know with Oculus you have this option
    under Oculus 360 photos of explore the
  • 46:46 - 46:51
    world. So, you can go to basically any
    country and people would do that. They
  • 46:51 - 46:55
    choose a country and go. And one thing
    everybody would say is you mean I can
  • 46:55 - 47:00
    travel and I don't even need to get a
    visa. That's the first thing that really
  • 47:00 - 47:06
    kind of like got people so curious and so
    engaged and I think that cuts across
  • 47:06 - 47:12
    regardless of who you are or where you're
    from. Nigeria is not a known tourist
  • 47:12 - 47:16
    destination right now but there is
    actually quite a lot to see in the
  • 47:16 - 47:24
    country. And most people don't realize [name of region]
    the south of the country has possibly the
  • 47:24 - 47:29
    greatest diversity when it comes to
    butterflies in the world. So, some things
  • 47:29 - 47:35
    like that are not known and are not explored
    per se because it's not on the global map
  • 47:35 - 47:40
    for tourism. But these are things that we
    can then start to experience via virtual
  • 47:40 - 47:44
    reality and that's looking at an angle
    like tourism. I mean we can take it right
  • 47:44 - 47:51
    down to the everyday to people's lives and
    stories. Much like, I think we've seen in
  • 47:51 - 47:56
    a sense with YouTube and what bloggers
    have been able to create. But in a much
  • 47:56 - 48:02
    more personal way now with with VR 360
    that you can actually, say, step into my
  • 48:02 - 48:05
    home, step into my life and I think we'll
    start to see more of those stories as we
  • 48:05 - 48:10
    go on.
    Herald: We have about 15 minutes left and
  • 48:10 - 48:14
    we have a question from mic number two.
    Microphone number 2: All right. Thanks for
  • 48:14 - 48:19
    the talk. Maybe learning is not a
    privilege only to young people or did you
  • 48:19 - 48:25
    consider teaching also older people or
    people from other areas? And also are you
  • 48:25 - 48:30
    reachable outside Facebook? Do you have
    some webpage or something else?
  • 48:30 - 48:38
    JO: Yes. So to address the last part
    first: Yes absolutely outside Facebook.
  • 48:38 - 48:43
    So, if you do social media we are on
    Twitter as a Imisi 3D and Instagram as
  • 48:43 - 48:51
    Imisi 3D as well. We have a website
    imisi3d.com and you can also e-mail us at
  • 48:51 - 48:57
    hello@imisi3d.com. In terms of reaching
    people beyond young people: Yes, that is
  • 48:57 - 49:02
    that's very very important to us even as
    we reach things like say VR for schools
  • 49:02 - 49:06
    targeting students. We know that that is
    not possible if adoption doesn't happen
  • 49:06 - 49:10
    across the board. We need the older
    people, we need teachers, we need
  • 49:10 - 49:16
    principals to take it on board as well and
    want to work with the technology. So, we
  • 49:16 - 49:21
    embrace all. I mean the targeted project
    might look like it is very student and
  • 49:21 - 49:25
    young people focused but we work across
    the board because we recognize
  • 49:25 - 49:30
    stakeholders in all demographics.
    Herald: Two questions at mic number one
  • 49:30 - 49:33
    let's start with the first one.
    Microphone number 1: Thank you Judith for
  • 49:33 - 49:39
    the fantastic presentation. I was
    wondering about, I've never heard I think
  • 49:39 - 49:46
    VR and communal efforts and collective
    working together in such a beautiful way
  • 49:46 - 49:52
    because in the global north I think VR is
    in a lot of cases in the framework of
  • 49:52 - 49:58
    hyper individualized even isolated non-
    social as in such an activity. So, I think
  • 49:58 - 50:04
    this was a brilliant new way of seeing
    that potential. I would be very interested
  • 50:04 - 50:10
    in how you see that's kind of maybe a
    difference. Yeah and if you think a lot
  • 50:10 - 50:18
    about this isolation part as well.
    JO: Yeah. So thank you. I mean I really
  • 50:18 - 50:23
    believe that collaboration is the way
    forward. I think particularly in a place
  • 50:23 - 50:30
    like Nigeria, a place where you're already
    resource challenged. I think if you saw
  • 50:30 - 50:34
    the divisions early then there are too
    many problems. And I think given the scope
  • 50:34 - 50:38
    of these technologies we haven't even
    begun to approach the boundaries of where
  • 50:38 - 50:43
    they will be, where there's so much left
    to discover and explore that we must come
  • 50:43 - 50:49
    together to challenge ourselves and work
    together and push boundaries. And that is
  • 50:49 - 50:56
    enough scope for everybody to get
    involved. Yeah, I see the individualism
  • 50:56 - 51:03
    that you talk about in other parts. I mean
    when I was first starting out one of the
  • 51:03 - 51:07
    challenges for me was just even the
    multiple platforms that exist and the fact
  • 51:07 - 51:12
    that things are gonna be unified in one
    way that we could all tap into. I hope it
  • 51:12 - 51:18
    will change. But you know don't hold out
    too much but I think where we can work and
  • 51:18 - 51:22
    where we can actually impact stuff and
    effect change the way that we believe it
  • 51:22 - 51:27
    should be then we must.
    Herald: One more question from microphone
  • 51:27 - 51:29
    number one.
    Microphone number 1: Thank you also from
  • 51:29 - 51:36
    my side for you talk. I do have a question
    more like personally. What was for you,
  • 51:36 - 51:42
    since you started two years ago with this
    journey on VR in Nigeria. What was
  • 51:42 - 51:48
    for you the most surprising thing in this
    journey.
  • 51:48 - 51:55
    JO: The most surprising thing I have never
    been asked that question so I'm pausing for a
  • 51:55 - 52:06
    moment to think. Actually, so maybe not
    surprising in the traditional sense but
  • 52:06 - 52:15
    like a couple of months after I started I
    was at an event where Y-Combinator had
  • 52:15 - 52:19
    come to Nigeria. This was in September of
    2016. So it was a year where quite a few
  • 52:19 - 52:24
    people were interested in what was going
    on in Lagos. So Y-Combinator had come to
  • 52:24 - 52:28
    Nigeria for the first time. And in one of
    the business schools they were having a
  • 52:28 - 52:32
    talk, a session and I was in the audience
    and I just happened to look down on the
  • 52:32 - 52:40
    road below me. There were two young men
    and they had a phone and they were
  • 52:40 - 52:50
    actually watching like a 360 video on it.
    And stereoscopic the screen was split and I was amazed. I
  • 52:50 - 52:55
    talked to them and I said "What are you
    doing?" And they're like "Oh, we're
  • 52:55 - 52:59
    watching this." I'm like: "Do you have a
    headset?" "No" "Have you ever put it in a
  • 52:59 - 53:04
    headset?" No, they hadn't. So luckily at
    that event I had a stand and the
  • 53:04 - 53:08
    exhibition space and I said well during
    the break come down and we'll put it in a
  • 53:08 - 53:13
    headset for you so you can actually see it
    the way it was intended. And so during the
  • 53:13 - 53:17
    break they came. They did that, they were
    completely "wow". They after that went on
  • 53:17 - 53:23
    and bought a VR headset. But for me why
    that stands out is because we started the
  • 53:23 - 53:28
    lab because we felt like we must do this.
    This is time with these technologies if we
  • 53:28 - 53:32
    want to be part of the story we get
    involved now. And I think that was a
  • 53:32 - 53:37
    beautiful example of the reality of that.
    Herald: And please don't hesitate. If
  • 53:37 - 53:41
    you're sitting in your chair thinking I
    have something to ask but I'm not quite
  • 53:41 - 53:44
    sure if there'll be time, there is time
    for another few questions. So, please get
  • 53:44 - 53:47
    up behind the microphones if there is
    something you want to know. We have
  • 53:47 - 53:50
    another question from microphone number
    two.
  • 53:50 - 53:56
    Microphone number 2: Thanks for the day.
    You mentioned during one of the answers
  • 53:56 - 54:04
    that one of the key indicator you crossed
    were the schools basically is the ratio of
  • 54:04 - 54:10
    the student pretty true or better. And
    then I'm wondering if let's say imagine
  • 54:10 - 54:15
    managing a school and I'm considering your
    as a solution, I have to consider my cost
  • 54:15 - 54:22
    to go through what I get out of those
    solution. So, which indicator is
  • 54:22 - 54:32
    traditionally used in education system.
    Which would VR in the classroom improve the
  • 54:32 - 54:39
    most?
    JO: Thank you. So for the VR for schools
  • 54:39 - 54:42
    part that I've talked about where we're
    actually targeting public schools. The
  • 54:42 - 54:48
    real target that we want to address with
    that is learning outcomes. We want to
  • 54:48 - 54:53
    significantly improve learning outcomes
    with virtual reality. And do this in a way
  • 54:53 - 55:00
    where what children are not learning about
    computers from a book of just from hearing
  • 55:00 - 55:04
    the teacher talk about it but they can
    actually see one in that sort of thing. If
  • 55:04 - 55:08
    you want operate it where they are
    learning about different experiments not
  • 55:08 - 55:14
    just by hearing it spoken about but by
    actually being able to do it in a sense in
  • 55:14 - 55:18
    that virtual space. So, it's really
    learning outcomes that is the key
  • 55:18 - 55:25
    indicator for us when it comes to the
    returns that we hope to see. But I think
  • 55:25 - 55:33
    that we will see depending on kind of like
    what school sector we're looking at that
  • 55:33 - 55:39
    change a little bit. So in the public
    schools I think that it'll be easy to go
  • 55:39 - 55:45
    in there and work targeting just learning
    outcomes. When we go to the private
  • 55:45 - 55:49
    schools with a lot more resources than
    it'll be more new ones there because
  • 55:49 - 55:55
    there'll be scope to do more things. For
    example we will have schools where they
  • 55:55 - 56:01
    can afford to set up labs to actually
    create virtual reality. And for them some
  • 56:01 - 56:05
    of the indicators that they might be
    looking at are technical expertise in
  • 56:05 - 56:11
    these students that sort of thing. Herald:
    And if we don't have any more questions I
  • 56:11 - 56:14
    think we should all thank Judith for an
    excellent talk!
  • 56:14 - 56:18
    JO: Thank you!
    applause
  • 56:18 - 56:23
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  • 56:23 - 56:41
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Title:
35C3 - Reality Check! Basel/Lagos?? In virtual reality?
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Video Language:
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Duration:
56:41

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