In a time where innovation is often boiled down to buzzwords, Adipat Virdi, Global Immersive Strategist and Former Global Creative Product Lead for Immersive, brings us back to the essence of true innovation. With a remarkable history of embedding immersive strategy into global organizations like Meta, Virgin Atlantic, and the BBC, Virdi helps us refocus on what’s important. He challenges us to escape ‘Plato’s Cave’ and reassess the often unconscious limitations we put on the idea of innovation.

Virdi emphasizes the importance of separating culture from business drivers, imploring us to take a more human-centric approach. By focusing on the dynamic relationship between content, consumer, and brand, he argues that innovation becomes not just a corporate goal but a holistic experience. However, he acknowledges that this ‘uncoupling’ can be a monumental task for businesses ingrained with certain cultural values.

As we move into an era where linear progression is becoming increasingly inadequate, Virdi propounds the need for thinking in ecosystems. Yet he cautions that such a shift introduces complexities that could act as a barrier to practical implementation. The challenges lie in balancing human-centric values with business imperatives and in overhauling pre-existing corporate cultures that resist change.

Yet, the opportunities are equally profound. The very act of aligning business goals with ecosystem thinking opens up new paths for disruptive innovation. Virdi introduces us to the term ‘soul work’—a phrase that might sound esoteric but is deeply strategic. This is about asking the questions that really matter to your audience digging deep to understand their needs and desires. It’s an approach that promises innovation and meaningful engagement with consumers.

The conversation takes an even more forward-looking turn as we discuss Apple’s soon-to-be-released Vision Pro, a device that’s set to redefine digital interaction. Virdi provides insights into how the market will need to adapt to the complexities of spatial computing and offers a glimpse into the future of experiential marketing.

In the end, Virdi leaves us with a clear understanding that immersive technology is not a fleeting trend but a game-changing evolution. If brands don’t adapt, they risk missing out on new generations of consumers who are already primed for immersive experiences. This engaging and insightful conversation is not to be missed, as it navigates the future of brand engagement in an increasingly immersive world.

Name: Adipat Virdi
Title: Global Immersive Strategist, Former Global Creative Product Lead for Immersive
Company: META

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Adipat Virdi is an award-nominated writer / immersive producer and has worked on various films, TV series and immersive theatre.

Over the last two decades, Adipat has applied innovation thinking and knowledge to embed Immersive strategy at the core of global organizations (META (Facebook), Charlotte Tilbury, BBC, Virgin Atlantic, HSBC and Coventry University, amongst others). Here, Adipat has helped to develop: evolved / immersive audience engagement ecosystems; streamlined business processes; metaverse architecture; V-Comm (virtual commerce) blueprints; blockchain mechanics and cutting edge storyworlds and IP.

Adipat has positioned himself as a leading thinker in leveraging emerging tech to deliver innovation-led frameworks (in all realities) for both social and commercial impact. Highlights include: designing and delivering an agile workshop / rapid prototyping framework for the BBC ‘Future of Content’ strategy across 50 BBC teams; delivering bespoke experience blueprints for various clients in the retail and entertainment sectors; building effective, immersive storyworlds for numerous IP; curating the Centifolia conference and subsequent strategic report for the global perfumery industry to explore more ethical ways to design, produce and deliver fragrances through impactful storytelling.

From a personal perspective, Adipat is working to pioneer how powerful XR narratives can deliver real world social change. To this end, his latest project centres around how we can eradicate forced marriages and honour crimes through building, and delivering, participatory engagement through an immersive storyworld. Empathy as software for advocacy.