The Next Evolution of Education | AWE Nite Chicago

11/02/2022 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm CST

3 hours

  • Early Stage
  • Growth Stage
Event Start Date:
May 19, 2024
Event End Date:
May 19, 2024
Event Venue:

Each step of societal evolution goes hand in hand with technology advancements that the new generation will learn from, adapt to, and expand upon. The Next Evolution – AWE Nite Chicago showcases this progress by highlighting virtual reality and augmented reality applications across industries. Each year we specifically take a look at how people use this tech for learning, and this year we consider the the topic of Metaversity – Metaverse based University learning.

The pursuit of higher education through attendance at universities has been a critical aspect of society for as long as urban cultures have existed. Going away to college and experiencing a new sense of freedom and self discovery is a large part of the institution of higher education. Online collegiate learning was made popular by website like Coursera and edX, and The University of Phoenix took the concept of an online school to a whole new level. Since then, most universities have adapted to offer some portion of their classes online. The global pandemic and its requirements of social distancing helped usher the trend of the Metaversity – an online, live and interactive, VR based University campus. 

With several virtual campus platforms available (eg – Victory XR, Engage XR, Virbela) and universities (eg – University of Maryland, Morehouse College, University of Kansas, Northern Illinois University, and more) rushing to join the new paradigm, we’ll be exploring this topic in depth with some experts in the field. While nothing can replace the experience of physically going off to college and being surrounded by peers, removing the need to be present at a physical campus expands the reach of a school globally.

Join us on November 2nd, to learn how educational institutions are creating and adopting virtual campuses and addressing the social and societal concerns at The Metaversity, at The Next Evolution of Education | AWE Nite Chicago – 11/2 – 5:30pm CDT (6pm CDT in Virbela).

Physical & Virtual Venues: 

1871 | 222 W Merchandise Mart Plz | Suite 1212

For our Physical Venue, 1871 can be found in Suite 1212 on the 12th floor of theMART, which is located on the North side of the river between Wells and Orleans. For easy access, enter through the Orleans entrance on the west side of theMART and take those elevators to the 12th floor. All guests will need to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and photo ID to enter. 

Virbela | Virtual Environment |

For our Virtual Venue, we will be using Virbela‘s Open Campus to host the program. We suggest that you download, set-up, get familiar with the Virbela program and environment prior to the program, as we will be unable to provide support during the event.

The virtual environment resembles a physical space, so you will be able to talk with other attendees during open networking both before and after the presentations. The sound is spatialized, so if at any point it feels too loud, feel free to move your conversation to another part of the room where there are less people.

Live Stream |

People can join by watching the scheduled live stream where we will field questions from!

Presented by: 

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What’s the Format:

We begin with informal networking and then start the stage portion promptly at 6:15pm CDT. There will be a handful of presentations before we move on to answer audience questions and then finish with more networking. We keep it simple and informal – this program is about you, our members, and not the host or presenters. Come and get your questions answered, take your next step into immersive technology.

We will be serving the Revolution (Beer), cold!

  • 5:30-6:00 PM Technology Demonstrations & Networking
  • 6:15-6:30 PM Introductions & Welcome Message
  • 6:30-7:10 PM Panelist Presentations
  • 7:10-7:45 PM Panel Discussion with Q&A
  • 7:45-8:30 PM More Networking & Technology Demo


Matthew Wren will be moderating the discussion in person. Matt is the CTO for BUNDLAR and founder of The Next Evolution event series and VRAR Chicago.

Caroline Dennis will be hosting the virtual portion in Virbela. Caroline is an entrepreneur, startup advisor, and advocate from and XRWomen.