ecosphere, the award-winning documentary title from immersive technology studio PHORIA, and Meta Quest, will today release brand new 360° content in partnership with the United Nations. Since its initial launch in 2020, ecosphere has wowed Meta Quest users with intimate natural history films, produced with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Silverback Films. Now audiences will see ecosphere expand further into the social impact space, to become a hub for stories about humanity — and communities who are working together to overcome conflict, build peace and safeguard their way of life.
“Ecosphere started as a PHORIA produced series, bringing unreachable parts of nature to people with world-first VR camera technology,” emphasizes Samuel Tate Goudie, XR Director at PHORIA. “Since its launch, the application has found an audience of over half a million visitors. We see the development of the ecosphere platform as a way to bring immersive impact stories to a huge audience, but also to explore the way these stories are told. Immersive software allows for shared experience, interactivity, and presence that not only elevates the medium, but will come to define it.”
The ecosphere ‘United Nations: Futuring Peace’ series will include a series of special episodes, including Sea of Islands and Pathways Colombia. Musalem, which will take users on an immersive journey into Yemen, will be added soon.
Sea of Islands, produced by PHORIA, Media Farm Studios and UN DPPA, explores how Fijians are facing the consequences of climate change and building climate resilience for future generations.
For filmmaker Joseph Purdam, the Co-Founder and Experiential Director of PHORIA, Sea of Islands is a vital story about how cultural knowledge is helping locals adapt to the global climate crisis:
“Communities in the Pacific islands are under constant and growing threat from impacts of climate change. These stories, of Veidrala, Narikoso, Lekanai are inspiring case studies that we have the honor of witnessing and sharing. They demonstrate the power of indigenous knowledge to adapt to the challenges of a changing climate and their wisdom deserves to be recognized on a global stage.”
“Climate security is really at the heart of this content,” adds Gabrielle Allen, CEO of Media Farm Studios and Executive Producer for Sea of Islands. “I believe audiences will come to appreciate just how vulnerable these communities really are, and how much work is being done with the United Nations to forge a more secure future for the Pacific Islands.”
“Pathways Colombia is an immersive virtual reality experience about the peace process in Colombia,” explains Martin Waehlisch, Team Leader of the DPPA Innovation Cell. “Produced with Gusano Films, the VR experience illustrates achievements and obstacles in the reintegration and reconciliation process, while at the same time bringing to light persisting security challenges and resilience of all those committed to achieving sustainable peace in the country. We are excited that Pathways Colombia is added to the ecosphere platform, which will help the UN expand outreach to the growing VR community.”
“Virtual Reality is a crucial medium in our interdisciplinary ‘Futuring Peace’ efforts,” adds Naoko Takahashi Taymanov, Political Affairs Officer from the UN DPPA Innovation Cell. “We are keen to strengthen public engagement on UN issues such as climate change and peacebuilding. Ecosphere allows us to connect better and more easily with VR consumers, while sensitizing them for the United Nations global agenda.”