Fast Company Innovation Garden
Social Networking Experience
We worked with Fast Company to bring to life a virtual world for the 2020 Innovation Festival that brings back the serendipity of meeting new people, running into old friends and sharing ideas and insights at in-person conferences.
Our creative tech stack is browser-based and powers a live-streamed, social experience where users can easily and safely meet and socialise in a stimulating online world. With Fast Company we conceptualized and designed the Innovation Garden, a virtual garden where conference attendees can socialise between planned events, form connections to build on in the future, and seed and grow innovative ideas together.
Attendees enter the Innovation Garden and encounter a green space framed by lush flora and fauna, with a simple cityscape in the background. Here they encounter their fellow attendees and interactive features to explore. On the home screen, each attendee sees their video live-stream avatar and four buttons — home, contact list, seed packet, and search. They also see up to eleven other attendees exploring the garden with them. Each social home space is designed for groups up to 12 and as attendees join the world the garden grows into an extended web of green spaces.
The attendee can wander through the garden, striking up conversations with fellow attendees they encounter nearby. These conversations are made possible by proximity-aware audio technology that notices when avatars are near each other, and activates their audio so they can interact. Attendees can share their contact details by hovering over each other’s avatars and clicking “connect”. Each attendee can also click on their contact list button to see who they’re connected to.
Around the Innovation Garden, attendees will notice planted and growing trees. These trees represent ideas that attendees have seeded. And like social media, where you can like or react to a post, attendees will have the opportunity to amplify their colleagues’ thinking by ‘watering’ their ideas. This allows interesting ideas to gain momentum throughout the conference, and are visualized to attendees as growing trees.
Attendees at the Fast Company Innovation Festival can easily access the Innovation Garden experience from a home computer or laptop with WiFi. No software applications or special equipment are needed to fully participate.