Virtual Worlds Conference Hosts Scholars, Executives and Public in Exploration of Latest Innovations and Research, April 2-3

The McCombs School of Business and the Center for Business, Technology and Law at The University of Texas at Austin will host "New Ventures and Leadership in Virtual Worlds" at the university's ATandT Executive Education and Conference Center April 2-3.

The conference is open to faculty, students and staff of The University of Texas at Austin as well as the Austin community. A mix of scholars, business executives, computer scientists, political and social scientists, entrepreneurs, lawyers and information scientists from around the world will be featured presenters. The first-day keynote address will be given by Craig Becker, the global architect for IBM's Emerging 3D Internet and Virtual Business EBO. Second-day keynotes will be given by Tony O'Driscoll from Duke University, Eilif Trondsen from SRI and Marshall Scott Poole from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The conference is free, but registration is required.

The "New Ventures and Leadership in Virtual Worlds" conference will promote innovative exploration of possibilities and understanding of the challenges of tomorrow's business worlds. This discussion is needed to prepare future leaders for environments of fluid and heterogeneous workforces, self-organized and collaborative work activities and decentralized nonhierarchical leadership. Leading business schools are expanding their boundaries to more deeply embrace both real and virtual worlds in their research and education.

The conference will be interdisciplinary and will enhance the scope and quality of research and education in virtual environments characterized by real-time interaction among avatars and virtual economies. Virtual worlds are common in multiplayer online games (such as Citypixel), virtual environments (such as Second Life) and role-playing games (such as Lineage). Due to increased broadband Internet access, virtual worlds are rapidly emerging as augmenting or sometimes providing alternative means to the real world for communicating, collaborating and organizing economic activity.