Aspen Institute Romania (AIR), benefitting from the institutional partnership of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization, with the generous support of Meta, has carried out since September 2023 the project on the Metaverse Potential for Romania. The project was designed to delve into the potential impact of the Metaverse on Romania and its economy while addressing critical economic, legal, and ethical implications. Furthermore, it aimed to outline a strategic vision for Romania’s role in the emerging Metaverse landscape.

By developing a Strategy for the Metaverse, Romania can ensure that it is well-positioned to capitalize
on the potential benefits of this emerging technology. During the course of the project, AIR organized a
series of three roundtable debates, each bringing together around 15 – 20 key stakeholders, representatives of businesses, government agencies, academia, and civil society in an informal discussion on how such a Strategy for the Metaverse should look like. The first roundtable provided a foundational understanding of the Metaverse and its potential economic ramifications. Distinguished speakers offered insights into the fundamental concepts and the economic possibilities of the Metaverse. In the second roundtable, the focus shifted to strategy formulation. Attendees engaged in discussions about Romania’s vision and objectives within the Metaverse explored the necessary policy framework and assessed infrastructure and resource requirements. The third roundtable delved into the practical aspects of executing a Metaverse strategy. Topics covered included workforce development, securing industry and public support, fostering international collaboration, and establishing ongoing monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

The results of these collaborative roundtable were integrated into a White Paper by Radu Puchiu, Director of the Aspen Technology & Society Program and coordinator of the project. The Paper – outlining the principles and the need for a National Metaverse Strategy – was disseminated to
all participants at the roundtables and other relevant institutional stakeholders for their input before being finalized.

The results of the project were presented on March 5th, in a final roundtable discussion, under Chatham House rules, that brought together around 30 participants, key public sector stakeholders relevant to the debate and interested in the project outcomes, as well as representatives of the diverse community created within the project, who contributed to the White Paper with their input.

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