VR Education platform to host major UN global youth event

Irish company’s virtual reality platform will be used to deliver the UN’s annual Global Youth Takeover event on October 24th

David Whelan, chief executive, and Sandra Whelan, chief operating officer of VR Education. Photograph: Shane O’Neill, SON Photographic

David Whelan, chief executive, and Sandra Whelan, chief operating officer of VR Education. Photograph: Shane O’Neill, SON Photographic

 

Waterford-based virtual reality company VR Education’s platform will be used to host a major United Nations event, the latest major event to turn to the Irish virtual platform.

The Engage platform will be used to deliver the UN’s annual Global Youth Takeover event on October 24th.

Among the global influencers scheduled to “attend” the event are director general of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; Siyabulela Mandela, a journalist and grandson of Nelson Mandela; UN undersecretary and UN Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake; and actress and performer Julianne Hough. It will also feature a virtual performance by musician Pitbull.

The Waterford-based company has seen increased interest in its virtual platform since the coronavirus outbreak made holding physical events difficult. The platform allows organisers to hold virtual events, with attendees watching presentations or shows and walk around different areas to talk to people.

Virtual events

“With almost all physical events on hold for the foreseeable future, there has been a big increase in major organisations wanting to host virtual events,” said David Whelan, chief executive of VR Education. “We are delighted the United Nations has chosen the Engage platform to host its annual Global Youth Takeover. Rather than just a simple 360 degree video, the Engage platform will provide delegates with a fully immersive visual and audio journey. The concert from Pitbull at the conclusion will be one of the first times a major artist will have performed virtually, inside a fully rendered live environment.”

Among the organisations that have used the platform are the European Commission, Ericsson, Facebook, McKinsey & Company, the United States Air Force, and Yahoo.

Mr Whelan said the UN event would enhance the group’s profile. “We designed Engage primarily as a communications tool for education and training, but we have quickly adapted it to address the needs of a variety of industries and event organisers as they look to generate revenue in this lockdown world,” he said.