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Our session was entitled “Second Life: What’s the Business Case for HR in the Virtual World?” My buddy Steve Mahaley (Ace Carson in SL) did an awesome job of producing this plenary. And boy was it ever a production! We had two large screens. One was projecting SL the other was projecting charts. We had an elaborate script and had to manage timing with Chuck Hamilton from IBM who was dialled in on SL from Vancouver.

Second Life: What’s the Business Case for HR in the Virtual World?

You will be transported into the virtual world of Second Life, where the future is now. Explore the impact of the new economy, the emerging virtual workforce and the workplace of the not so distant future. Your Avatar moderator and tour guide will show you what millions of people and dozens of leading companies are doing NOW in a virtual world and economy.

Join us for a tour of Second Life (SL) and find out:

What is SL and what do people do there all day?
Why Fortune 500 companies are doing business now in SL
Why HR needs to understand about virtual worlds
What are the implications of the expanding online business context
What you should know about virtual world economies and behavior, and global reach
“Pathfinder Linden” is his avatar’s name in Second Life. John Lester is Boston Operations Director for Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life. Previously, John was the Information Systems Director for the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he pioneered the use of the web in 1993 to create online communities supporting patients. As a Research Associate at Harvard Medical School, he created online collaborative education environments to advance the case-based teaching method. As the Linden Academic Program Manager, he supports educators and evangelizes for teaching and research in Second Life.

“Ace Carson” is his avatar’s name in Second Life. Steve Mahaley is Director of Learning Technology, Duke Corporate Education. Steve collaborates with clients and internal Duke CE teams to discover how communications and other electronic technologies can support the design work and ultimate delivery of educational experiences, modules and programs. Current areas of interest include game-based learning, virtual worlds for learning and work, enabling global teams, mobile learning technologies, and advances in learning theory and methodologies that reflect the needs and habits of technology-enabled adult learners.

Tony O’Driscoll, Ed.D., is a Professor, College of Management, North Carolina State University. Tony is a founding member of the NCSU TEC Program – recognized as one of the most innovative curriculums in higher education – and is credited with advancing IBM’s thought leadership in formal and informal learning. A member of the editorial board for Human Resources Development Quarterly (HRDQ), his research interests lie at the intersection of business, technology and innovation. As an educator and corporate strategist his engaging message emphasizes that the key asset in the information page is not technology, but people.