The Heart of the Future at Augment-ed Reality Expo

Visit Virtual World Society (AWE Exhibit Booth #523) to see how the world can be changed for the better

Santa Clara, CA: The Virtual World Society [] will award its first Nextant

VR pioneer and inventor Randy Pausch, PhD is the first recipient of the Nextant Prize from the Virtual World Society, to be awarded posthumously at the 2016 Augmented Reality Expo Auggies Awards.
Photo Caption: VR pioneer and inventor Randy Pausch, PhD is the first recipient of the Nextant Prize from the Virtual World Society, to be awarded posthumously at the 2016 Augmented Reality Expo Auggies Awards.

Prize at the annual Auggie Awards [] on the opening day of the 2016 Augmented World Expo.  Society founder and “Grandfather of VR,” Thomas A Furness III, PhD, will present the Nextant Prize, which represents the spirit of the society “to link hearts and minds to create a better world.”

The first Nextant Prize will be awarded posthumously to Randy Pausch, PhD []. Nearly 30 years ago, Randy Pausch’s visionary zeal empowered kids to build virtual worlds with his landmark software toolkit, Alice. His early efforts ultimately united artists and scientists in an exploration of the power of virtual worlds at Disney Quest’s “Aladdin Carpet Ride.” Dr. Pausch’s hallmark “Building Virtual Worlds” class has inspired a generation of Virtual World builders through the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. Through his famous “Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” Dr. Pausch has helped millions to celebrate life even in the shadow of terminal illness. “A decade after his passing, his flame burns bright to inspire us and the whole future Virtual World Society,” remarks Virtual World Society’s Executive Director, Christopher Stapleton.

The Augmented World Expo (AWE) is considered home to the Virtual World Society, because of the event’s ability to energize a diverse excellence needed to advance the future of virtual reality and augmented reality. The Virtual World Society is building the foundation of a global collaboration of regional and professional affiliates throughout the world who contribute talents and resources in researching, building, and applying virtual worlds to transform lives.

The Virtual World Society also will launch a Global Challenge to help isolated populations in society to re-connect with life. Isolation is caused by the impact of aging, illness, disability, culture, war, incarceration, and professional duty (e.g., soldiers, astronauts). Isolation affects tens of millions and costs hundreds of billions of dollars. It is considered more threatening to society than obesity in America. Join us to make a less isolated world through the power of virtuality.

Next year’s Nextant Prize committee is being formed and is accepting nominations for 2017. The committee seeks all ages, professions, and backgrounds of people who serve us all with their guiding light. Visit to know more, and join us to nominate your inspiration. Learn to become a VWS Ambassador to lead the application of Virtual Worlds to where they are needed most.

Dr. Furness coined “Nextant” to describe a way to guide our future. It combines the desire to know what’s “next” and a navigation tool, “sextant,” used by mariners to look toward the horizon to guide their course. A “Nextant” is a person whom others can turn to for inspiration, guidance, and role modeling. The Nextant Prize is awarded to those whose compassion is their compass to guide their passion to “be the future,” the focus of Dr. Furness’s 2015 AWE keynote address [].


Christopher Stapleton, Executive Director
(407) 697.0381


About ChriStory

Christopher Stapleton is the Executive Director of the Virtual World Society, an organization bringing together pioneers and youth to “link hearts and minds to build a better world.” As a Social Entrepreneur, he founded Simiosys Real World Laboratories to explore how Virtual Worlds can advance human performance in education, training, entertainment, health and wellness applications. His role as an Experience Architect, has helped Entertainment companies such as Universal Studios, Disney, Nickelodeon and Wanda build mega-theme parks worldwide. His role as an Innovation Broker, has helped global companies such as Canon Inc, Siemens and IBM leverage research advancements in Digital Media and simulation technologies. He is currently working with Chinese and American Entrepreneurs developing educational projects with Virtual Reality. His pioneering research and development as a Creative Producer has lead efforts creating a pipeline of constant innovation within Real World Laboratories advancing Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality.
Virtual World Society awards the first Nextant Prize:
Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No Trackbacks.