Navigating the Metaverse, Web 3.0 & NFTS with Sasha Wallinger

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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This episode is presented by Fundraise Up, a technology company unlocking the world’s generosity potential by optimizing the way people give. The company’s donation platform helps nonprofits engage more supporters and grow revenue by providing easy ways to increase conversion, enable modern payment methods, and personalize the giving experience for every donor. Fundraise Up is the partner of choice for UNICEF USA, The Salvation Army UK, American Heart Association, and other impactful organizations across the globe. For more information, visit fundraiseup.com/generosity

Are you fascinated by the endless possibilities that Web3, NFTs, and the Metaverse hold for us? I promise you – after hearing this conversation with Sasha Wallinger, your head will be spinning with ideas!

Sasha is the Head of Web3 and Metaverse Strategy for Journey, an innovation and design consultancy, and has pioneered new ways of connecting brands with consumers at H&M, Nike, and Superplastic.

Her definition of the Metaverse?

“It’s infinite, so highly creative, highly exploratory, and a lot of fun, too.”

If you’re wondering how this new world can play a part in your organization, you’ll LOVE this conversation. 

Introducing the Metaverse and how far we actually are from Web3 

The Metaverse is full of limitless possibilities. We’re learning, breaking, and building all in tandem. 

Just hearing the term “Web3” may feel like a buzzword, but we’re marching towards it quickly.

Web 1.0 was the beginning phase of the Internet, whereas Web 2.0 brought us technology like Etsy and Pinterest. Sasha feels like we’re at an interesting junction between Web 2.0 and Web3. For some brands, it may feel less cumbersome and daunting to jump in at a 2.5 level, versus going all in with Web3.

Sasha likens Web3 to this idea of pulling up an app, imagining something, “and there it is.” There is so much to explore!

Cryptocurrency or NFTs are easy places to start fueling your curiosity, but there’s so much more within this ecosystem that we’re not thinking as much about, like artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Where the golden opportunities are for organizations 

There are immense opportunities for organizations to develop roles and capabilities in this space, and often the humans taking these roles already have an affinity for sustainability, gaming, or the Metaverse.

Sasha’s work at Journey gets exciting when a brand approaches them about the Metaverse being a perfect fit for an upcoming launch or campaign. That brand, for example, may want to connect with 18-24 year olds. How do they get Gen Z to care?

Let’s imagine for a moment that it’s a new garment collection and there’s a handbag that’s part of it. Maybe the handbag has an NFT element to it. Who is a person of influence who can rock the handbag in the Metaverse? Are there gamers developing communities that this brand wants to get closer to and involved with?

The most exhilarating part of the work for Sasha is going on the journey with a partner who is willing to “do the dance and take that risk.” Through meetings, they figure out the storytelling potential and how to tap into influencers to help new people discover the brand.

Mental health and the Metaverse, plus how to get started 

Throughout Sasha’s career, she’s focused heavily on social responsibility and sustainability, and she reminds us that mental health is actually a big part of this conversation.

During the pandemic, Gen Z especially were completely isolated without physical and emotional connection, but there’s an element of the Metaverse where you feel that sense of safety. You can be who you are without question and be charitable and giving in so many different ways.

Beyond all of this, where should you start if you’re feeling your curiosity peppering? Or maybe you feel intimidated or behind?

Know your lane and follow your curiosity. Is it NFTs, gaming, or cryptocurrency? Or AR/VR? Go down one of these paths and begin doing research. See who is doing interesting and beautiful work in that ecosystem. Have conversations, listen to podcasts, and go to conferences. And once you venture in, your audience will want to join you.

Sasha shares that as an organization, you have to have a sense of purpose and position, but more importantly, have FUN. We’re all building in this limitless potential world and there are so many opportunities to experiment and enjoy.

Sasha’s Ask

Sasha would love to see more women get involved in the Web3 ecosystem. In her words, “it’s so important that we build worlds with everybody’s voices in mind.”

Notable Quote from Sasha

“There are a lot of people that have amazing purpose and vision and focus within this ecosystem and they’re doing beautiful things. But it’s still at that rough draft time period where we’re all comparing notes and saying, ‘Let me add some color, let me add a different medium to this’ so I think it’s really exciting.”

Resources & Links

Find out how your organization can gain more donors, grow revenue, and extend its impact by visiting fundraiseup.com/generosity

For help onboarding Fundraise Up visit: https://positiveequation.com/fundraise-up-onboarding

Connect with Sasha on LinkedIn and Twitter and explore the work Journey is doing at journey.world

Check out the godmother of the Metaverse, Cathy Hackl, including her books.

Check out my $27 mini-course, Visible Reach In A Week. In 30 minutes, you’ll learn how to create a $3 a day ad campaign that will drive brand awareness with your supporters.

Want to make Missions to Movements even better? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram. Be sure to tag @positivequation so I can connect with you. 

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