And other lessons from the Unity for Humanity Summit
At Unity, we believe the world is a better place with more creators in it, and true change happens when all voices are heard. In October 2021, we hosted the inaugural Unity for Humanity event to realize this philosophy. Our goals were to celebrate and connect social impact creators who were harnessing real-time 3D technology to power real-world change, foster a more defined community by sharing conversations and stories, inspire more creators to consider social impact content, and launch Unity Social Impact.
The event far surpassed our expectations for the first-ever event of its kind — a first social impact-driven event for Unity, the first virtual event for Unity, planned by a brand-new team, and launched in a record eight weeks. We believe this happened for one simple reason — the power of Unity storytellers to change hearts and minds.
We realized that if we empowered Unity changemakers to tell their own stories, a broader story on how to change the world told itself. Here are a few of the highlights from more than 50 conversations:
- Malcolm Gladwell’s keynote emphasized that “when we reach out and include as many voices as we can, we see the world a lot more clearly,” and “when we tell stories on subversive platforms that open up our world, we can change our world.”
- A conversation on Digital Medicine covered life-changing interventions for ADD, Alzheimers, and anxiety from Akili Interactive, Take Pause, and Virtuleap.
- Indigenous Storytellers showed the power of leveraging immersive technology to bring their living form of storytelling to the rest of the globe.
- Black Realities explores Blackness with Human Storytelling, and one attendee concluded, “THIS will be the social equivalent of (the) re-birth of storytelling from those who now have a better way to share stories and spread empathy.”
- Investor panels across education, sustainability, and health discussed providing access to capital, and specifically shared, “After two years of developing an e-learning game, this is hands down the most important conversation I’ve been a part of.”
Perhaps most important are the stories that came to life after the event and the impact the event had on creators:
- Alex Pearson, creative producer of Future Aleppo, connected with a few potential funders to further the group’s work. He and Mohammed Kteish, a young Syrian refugee, are continuing to rebuild Mohammed’s view of Syria before the war and to empower other refugees to rebuild their cities.
- Damien McDuffie, the creator of Black Terminus, is using Unity to build Black AR monuments that tell our histories through individual stories with neighborhoods as living museums. The event “opened up the world of XR creation and the specialized community that (he) is becoming a part of.”
- Paolo Catilo, CEO of ORama VR, connected with the healthcare vertical lead at Lenovo to become a channel sales partner.
- Emilie Joly, the cofounder of Zoe, said the event drove teacher registrations to train students in Unity next year.
- Jennifer Jones, Ph.D., Founder of Green Ivy Schools, said, “I was a fan of Unity before, but the Summit helped me see the scope and depth of the mission. We made several terrific connections with content creators all over the world who will be mentors for this project.”
I’ve shared the true successes above, but we can’t ignore the incredible metrics from the event, which tell us an even bigger story — the power of Unity storytellers to change hearts and minds was of even greater interest to a global audience of decision-makers who were new to Unity. Here is a quick snapshot:
- 63 NPS (more than 50 is good, more than 60 is great)
- Over 12,000 registrants representing more than 100 countries
- Over 7,500 companies and 550 Universities registered
- 72% of attendees were new to Unity
- Executives (Founder, CEO, CTO, SVP, Director) made up the majority
- About 4,000 actively watched the event (this exceeds traditional virtual event attendance)