Get to know Aequaland’s Chief Metaverse Officer
Kelly Vero could be considered a metaverse pioneer. Working in development for most of her professional life, her current work as Chief Metaverse Officer at Aequaland is paving the way for a truly metaversal future. Find out what she thinks about the future of the metaverse, upcoming projects and more in our Meet the Metaversers series!
Tell us about your work at Aequaland.
I'm the Chief Metaverse Officer looking after tech and games in our shared persistent space. We're a startup specialising in ed-tech and we're trying to change the narrative of how young people are educated between the ages of 6 and 10 years old. Because it's a startup, I do nearly everything. But with my band of female badasses, Alma Moya Losada and Lucy Antrobus, we are making a wonderful educational experience in the metaverse where, you know, anything is possible! We're the first female founded ed-tech startup in the world.
How long have you been working within the metaverse?
I've been working in games for 30 years, so things that seemed otherworldly back then, we might definitely call metaversal today. My actual work in the real metaverse of today takes me back to 2011 where I designed one of the first fully franchised worlds in games: from comic books to toys and everything in between. I've been adapting and producing for the metaverse for over a decade. More recently I was the first person to define NFT (non-fungible token) as a standard for use across verticals rather than just focusing on ERC-20 standards. Why? Because everyone has the right to own an NFT and everyone has the right to make their own NFTs. Standards aren't centralised, they're open to everyone who wants to blueprint their product before it evolves.
What do you think are the main ways the metaverse and web 3.0 will change our futures?
As with web2 and www, it was a brave new world. Web3 gives us a great opportunity for ownership. Where web2 was owned by the tech bros and gigantic corporations, we have a great opportunity to find out what the future of work, business and life means to us, and own that piece of real estate, however it manifests. Some folks will run towards commerce, where others will develop something for the power of good. Web2 never really allowed us to have those choices and we were monetised as data. In web3 data is a currency and that currency comes from a user-generated environment that is decentralised and that we control.
Are there any exciting projects you can tell us about?
I'm working on some lovely metaverse projects in 2022: these involve established brands who are looking to maximise that user generation in an environment that feels safe, or at least safer than physical linearity. I also work really closely with the fashion industry to help them to realise their electric dreams. I help loads of businesses to transform themselves, digitally of course, into a sustainable future.
If you could give anyone one bit of metaverse-related advice what would it be?
Don't make your metaverse about you, egos are not a priority in 2022. The only way to build a metaverse that we all want to live in is to make your community the architects of your vision.
Tell us about your experience in development - what were you up to before working within the metaverse?
Well, I left school and spent some time working in the hospitality and music industry. With the latter, I designed events before interviewing for a really low-down-the-food chain game design position. We might call them interns today. I already knew how to code, and more importantly, I was passionate about design, story and worlds. From 1992 onwards I've been predominantly obsessed with making games and helping businesses in and out of the game and technology space to make sense of what the future can do for business. More recently, my experiences in blockchain, NFT, digital fashion, meta events and ed-tech have been a very big mood.
What does a day-to-day look like for you?
I spend a long time in the morning hanging out with my rescue bunnies: Vivvy, Dave and Seon-hye. When it's time to start working, I look at my wearable once (to look at the time) and then again at the end of the day and realise that I have done back-to-back calls, webinars, meetups and design documents with maybe a quick gummy bear (vegan of course) break!
What is your favourite part of your job?
People. And it always has been! I'm not here to make sweeping changes to how we do life, that's up to the length and breadth of industries with way more firepower than me. I'm more interested in you, what you're doing, how I can help you and why being in the metaverse is one of the most important things you'll make happen in yours, mine and everyone's life.
Words: Grace Goslin