19th January 2024

Cambridge Festival The Metaverse: Pros and Cons

Cambridge Festival The Metaverse: Pros and Cons

We’ve all heard about it, but what is the metaverse, will it actually happen and how could it change our lives? A discussion between Shannon Pierson and Matteo Zallio from the University of Cambridge and Michelle Lim, Cambridge consultants.

This event was be chaired by Julian Clover, Cambridge 105.

Matteo Zallio is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie senior UX research fellow at the University of Cambridge where he works with Professor P. J. Clarkson, helping designers to create environments that guarantee inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility. He is the founder of the Irish start-up Déan Design Lab, which is focused on delivering accessible products and services to the community, including the award-winning smart bicycle light TAILT.

He has previously been a Fulbright research fellow at Stanford University working as a UX researcher at the Center for Design Research and later as a UX Design Researcher at the Autonomous System Laboratory.

Shannon Pierson is the Public-Interest Cybersecurity Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. Last year, she published a groundbreaking report with the University of Cambridge on the data privacy, cybersecurity, and platform governance challenges inherent in extended reality technologies. Previously, Shannon has worked on election security projects at Microsoft and Meta and studied influence operations on social media at the German Marshall Fund and Wilson Center.

Michelle Lim is a behavioural scientist specialising in the intersection of psychology, AI, and physical-digital systems. She works in the multidisciplinary team of Human Machine Understanding at Cambridge Consultants, tackling cutting-edge challenges where deep, nuanced human understanding is required. Michelle has helped clients in the technology, consumer and healthcare sectors innovate through incorporating thought-leading insights into human behaviour.

Her current passion is in developing human-in-the-loop systems informed by psychological models and agile user experimentations, which are trusted by design. Her background in psychology and technology underpins her interest in the metaverse. She is interested in how the evolution of cyberspace defines human-human and human-object interactions, and how these influence people in the real world.

To find out more about the Cambridge Festival and their diverse programme of events please visit:


Cambridge Filmworks

Cambridge Video Productions


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