IMD elevates virtual reality for executives from a tech-driven to a pedagogically led experience
A new use of virtual reality (VR) as a tool to enhance experiential learning has come about via a collaboration with Jenson8, pioneers in teched.
Team members using IMD’s new VR goggles designed by Jenson8 will be able to access the technology from anywhere in the world, and will use it to interact with each other as a team, as opposed to following the usual “human versus tech” approach.
A three-year business school exclusivity license agreement will allow IMD to leverage Jenson8’s VR technology across areas such as team dynamics, diversity and inclusion, leadership impact, communication styles and strategic thinking.
“We are resolutely focused on delivering impactful learning for individuals and organizations,” said Paul Hunter, Director of Programs and Learning Design at IMD, who has been leading the project at IMD.
“COVID has demonstrated just how much can be achieved virtually, yet even the best online platforms have not enabled a truly immersive experience that goes beyond ‘screen fatigue’. Our collaboration with Jenson8 has enabled us to crack the code.”
In one simulation, VR googles open up a world in which a spaceship has crashed and the whole team, whether present on site at IMD or connecting from elsewhere, has to work together to construct an escape plan before the last rocket leaves the planet.
Participants need to demonstrate excellent collaboration, effective communication and strong strategic thinking to succeed. All of this takes place in a high-pressure environment which stretches individuals beyond their comfort zones and allows them to adopt a number of roles to gain different perspectives into their behaviors, preferences and performance.
IMD is impressed by Jenson8’s deep learning heritage and atypical approach to VR. Jenson8 shares IMD’s values of being pedagogically led, rather than implementing technology for technology’s sake.
“Now, more than ever, leaders need to be fully aware of how they ‘show up’ and the impact this has on those around them,” said Jena Davidson, CEO and Founder of Jenson8.
“Our VR experiences allow individuals and teams to deep dive into a fully immersive world where team dynamics quickly come to the fore enabling real time interactions and yielding impactful behavioral change.”
With increasing interest in the numerous advantages that VR can afford, IMD’s partnership with Jenson8 is perfectly timed to meet the needs of innovative learning and development professionals seeking to marry cutting-edge technology with pedagogical excellence.