Shea Richburg of Future Wise Group Talks About the Future of Web3 2023
In today’s Web3TV interview, we’re talking with Shea Richburg, the Founder and COO of Future Wise Group. Shea is a female futurist and metaverse thought leader, focused on top organizations, start-ups and mid size corporations, is the executive producer and co-host of Metaverse-ology and is a certified metaverse expert.
Shea Richburg, How Did Your Journey Begin
This journey began around 2017 when I created the Future Wise Group. I am a futurist and I’ve always tended to look at a work mobility trends. I’ve worked with huge corporations, educational institutions and policy makers and always try to bridge the gap between the three, and really try to think ahead and stay afloat of societal changes that are taking place.
So I’ll give you example, one of the things we did in about 2019, we had an open symposium and we were talking to colleges and stakeholders and we were trying to figure out why there’s such a gap between college graduates not being able to get adequate paying jobs after they graduate and ultimately it’s because they’re not going into the right fields.
We’ve learned that it’s apprenticeships that are actually helping people get higher paying jobs here in America, and so this was something that we really had to dissect and look at because I ultimately feel like that’s a real issue, we’re having people having degrees and not being able to use them and being in tremendous amounts of debt.
So that was one trend that we looked at and then at the end of 2020 and early 2021, we started to focus mainly on the metaverse. We knew there wasn’t a hotter trend and we jumped head first into that arena. I’m certified as a metaverse consultant so I love talking to people and essentially what Future Wise Group does is work with big corporations and help them understand and implement emerging trends in their organizations.
That happens through trainings and workshops that are centered around the metaverse and AI and sometimes blockchain, depending on their needs. So that’s my story. I mean honestly, I’m a woman that always wants the masses to be involved in the decision making. I want them to be aware of all the information and make the best decisions for themselves. So, as a futurist, that’s how I started out.
How did you become a futurist?
I’ve always had a sixth sense but this doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve always been a futurist. Before I started the Future Wise Group I had a company called ‘Family Con’, it was like ‘Comic Con’, with its purpose to bring the latest and greatest ideas which all centered around family. I’m very family orientatated and I’m all about children and understanding all their options.
That could be schooling, it could be standardized tests and could also be going to College. I have always been an advocate that everybody fairly understand the trends and, what’s going on and whether these things are the right option for your child. I don’t like to see people forcefully placed in a situation where they have to be involved in something society decided for them. I want them to understand the process and understand the changes that’s happening and all over the world today there’s so many changes. People really need to understand everything, so they can make the best decisions for themselves and not simply leave it to other people to make that decision for them.
So What Is Your Underlying Passion For Children Having Choices and Opportunities?
I think I’ve always loved children. When I worked on my master’s, I used to teach and before I had my own children I always said, I really want children to have the best capability in knowledge for themselves. No matter what socioeconomic group they are, I just want fair opportunity for everybody right, and we are living in a world where everything is changing. I mean to the point that there’s rewiring going on, and so, as you can tell, I am passionate about this and people can see how passionate I am.
The first speech I gave was about GMOs and foods and it really did kick up a notch when I had my first child and as I said, I love children, so I feel as though there was a lot going on with foods and a lot of other situations amongst children, and I really want people to understand what’s happening, don’t just sit by the wayside. No matter who you are and it’s everybody, I really have this love for everybody.
I just want it to be a fair playing field for everyone all over the world. So many people are really at a paradigm shift. They’re going to be left behind or they’re going to be eons ahead of other people.
What was it the drew you to Web 3.0 when you first heard about it?
The first thing that drew me to Web 3.0 was the endless possibilities. I honestly feel as though we live in an overly saturated world meaning you can find hundreds of the same type of business, the same ideas that are being regurgitated over and over again.
I feel a lot of business owners are now looking for the new trend, something that’s going to set them apart. So when I learned about this metaverse, it really sparked interest because it was a breath of fresh air. This is a new virtual environment where people can be creative and really put their stamp on who they are and what they are building and adding to this world.
If you’re a creator, if you can draw, I mean so many skills can add to the metaverse and it’s endless and I just said, oh my goodness, this is something that so many people need to know about. This is not something that just a small group of people know about and then create, and then it’s too late and then you’re just thrown into this environment.
I personally would like the metaverse to be a better place than the real world meaning I don’t want to see the same stresses and division that we have in the real world taken into this metaverse and I am passionate about that. This is our chance to try and change things and do things a bit differently and better. So that’s what drew me to it.
What Is The Meaning Of Metaverse To You?
There’s so many different personal definitions of the metaverse but ultimately to me, it’s a virtual environment where humans will be interacting with one another and that’s either financially, socially or even educationally. It is a new world that will be able to connect people from all over and it will give us the chance of going on trips that we couldn’t do physically.
The futurist in me is saying we’re not going back to work in the office Monday through Friday. I feel as though there needs to be other options to connect us and get the job done and the metaverse is it. As adults, it is our children who really will be fuelling this metaverse as adult and we’re only going to get our feet wet within our lifetime. Let me tell you, it’s really the children who are already in there as they play Roblox with one another that are going to develop this space and really be working in there.
I’m just trying my best to do my part, to educate people to embrace it and figure out their stance on it and what they can do to make it a better environment.
What Is The Future Wise Group and What Does It Do?
Ultimately, the Future Wise Group do a lot but people generally seek us out for our trainings. That can be traditional training such as a workshop or educational curriculum.
Our ideal client is an organization or a person open to embracing this new technology into their lives, someone who is open to understanding the need for it and then how they can use it to assist them in their day-to-day activities. Someone who understands that it’s not to replace human to human contact because there are rumors out there, people think it’s going to be some dystopia and we’re never going to see each other again. The purpose is really to enhance human experiences.
At Future Wise Groups, we really sit down and paint a clear, understandable picture on where the client fits into this entire technological equation and how it can help that company or individual connect with others and most importantly, stay safe while they build or they are in there for themselves and their clients.
We’ve had schools ask us about creating curriculum, so we also do that. That is a strong demand right now. Colleges reach out to me personally to create courses surrounding the metaverse or AI and that’s exciting. That means that the students are learning about this new technology.
Aside from that I also co-produce two podcasts.
In terms of what we have actually built for clients in the metaverse, we actually have had smaller non-profits who want to protect their intellectual property and so upload it in to this digital world.
We have clients who are interested in NFTs and I’ve worked with producers before and we have a couple of projects on the table to create NFTs and develop the marketing strategy behind it.
I know my company can’t do it all which is why I have these podcasts and talk to leaders like you and other people to see how everyone is working together in creating this whole metaverse and Web 3.0 space.
So As A Futurist and Being Ahead Of The Crowd, How Do You Explain To People What They Should be Focussing On?
Typically, I start out speaking to policy makers and stakeholders. I talk to the people who explain to me what the problem is and why we have Web 3.0 being developed to answer a need within society. So right now we just came out of a pandemic. We have a climate issues going on and a plethora of other issues that a lot of governments are tackling right now.
I show them problems and issues and I show them how it can be resolved. You know it’s funny because I actually even go back in time, and I show them an issue or a problem that was possibly in a movie or on television and they get amazed and they’re like oh my gosh, this is something we’re dealing with today. These are issues that people knew about years ago, but we’re now having to face them and this is what we have to do to really stay afloat, be successful and really lead our next generation into success.
You know on large levels, if people do not understand what Web 3.0 is, embrace it and honestly be creative and add value to it.
What Will Happen If We Don’t Embrace Web 3 Technology?
Well, some of the biggest challenge I can tell you is if a person finds themselves being forced to go into the metaverse, to pay a bill or to work a job and not understanding how to navigate themselves in a virtual world, for example, because they don’t understand the technology behind it.
This is a major issue with older clients and bricks and mortar business owners business owners who really haven’t had to implement a lot of technology to make money. But we’re living in a new age in a new era, and I’m trying to explain to them it is just like when the internet was being developed. We’re going from an age of information to an era of experience, and so this experience is really going to guide us into new information, new education experiences and really set people apart.
We’ve just lived through this pandemic, and if a child didn’t do well with their online learning, we have to take this by the horn. We really have to understand your child needs to know how to be responsible and navigate them through the internet, as when we get into Web 3.0, it’s one step even further with our avatars and work from home experiences.
Everything shut down and then people had to log in and go to meetings via zoom and virtual backgrounds and people had to understand this is the wave of the next generation and there’s no getting around this. I mean, even if you turn around and you look at self-driving cars, things are changing in our real world every day, so just letting people understand that this is continual learning and things are not staying the same.
You cannot be combative to what you see today, because ten years from now, everything will look different, and it’s really up to you, your organization, your staff members, to really understand this. There’s no getting around this and it’s if you learn early enough and embrace it and understand how you can benefit from this, you will flourish and do fine in the next generation.
How Is Future Wise Group Helping People Understand Web 3.0 Technology?
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of people really stand-offish and saying I don’t need this and that’s the problem Future Wise Group is addressing. I think the biggest difference between Future Wise Group and some other organizations who provide training is we don’t work for anybody so we don’t push agenda on anyone. We take a holistic approach. We teach people because this is information to survive. Honestly, this is what’s happening and this needs to be embraced for financial reasons, for educational reasons.
What really makes people feel comfortable in learning through Future Wise Group and working with us is we genuinely want to help people and they feel that and I feel obviously the making a difference part is your really futureproofing them so they will embrace the new technology and not get left behind.
How do people find out more about the Future Wise Group?
Typically, people reach out to me via LinkedIn or find me when they hear me speak. I’ve actually been part of lots of conferences and seminars. I was recently asked to do a training in the United Arab Emirates for their government officials and so I was quite honored. So I’m going back and forth there and I believe they found me on LinkedIn.
When you hear me speak, typically you hear me talk about what Future Wise Group does, our trainings, and then we do the marketing for NFTs and strategy for transitioning in the metaverse.
I am equally interested in educating children as well as adults because they are the ones who are going to be really fuelling this machine, and I want our kids safe. I want them to understand how they need to connect with one another in this virtual world and how they can really thrive, learning new hands on experiences, with positive energy.
You can also find more about Future Wise Group at https://futurewisegroup.com.
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