I am sure this has never happened before. Positive. That the president of one of the most famous philanthropic foundations in the world would have an avatar and that his avatar would show up in Second Life to chat about the role of philanthropic institutions in virtual worlds with the CEO of that Virtual World, Philip Rosedale. Spread the word! We have to be there.
The details: Friday June 22, 2007, 9 am PST (noon EST). For more information, go to http://spotlight.macfound.org.
Why? Because corporations are buying up real estate in Second Life faster than you can say "Linden Lab." The same way they did on the internet. Second Life has produced its share of millionaires now, people who buy up virtual real estate, improve it, and flip it for profit. I recently met a young person who makes weapons for Second Life and sells them on ebay. It's all real . . . as real as First Life, sometimes. So why not introduce philanthropy to that mix? MacArthur Foundation has made news recently with its Digital Media and Learning Initiative. $50 million, to think about creative new ways that youth can learn, building upon the digital interests of their informal learning lives. This is only part of the good MacArthur does in the world--they work on human rights and international justice, conservation and sustainable development, housing, juvenile justice, and independent media. Those things are important enough to my world, that I want them in my virtual worlds too.
You could not have a more historic event: the president of a philanthropic foundation and the CEO of a virtual world talking about new platforms for philanthropic activity. They want the residents of Second Life to help them think through how philanthropy could operate in a virtual world. We live in interesting times. Put on your red dress, baby . . . Be there!