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Metaverse Diplomacy

What is the Metaverse?


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Metaverse diplomacy in 2023: Predictions and Trends

Is the current drop in the overall interest for the metaverse temporary or longer trend? The metaverse took off with tops the list of buzzwords in 2022, courtesy of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision announced at the end of 2021. Enthusiasm for the metaverse dwindled towards the end of the year, as illustrated by the Google Trends graph bellow

The number of searches for the term ‘metaverse’ declined sharply in the span of 6 months in 2022 (Source on Google Trends)

Fast forward to January 2023: The metaverse is not taking off the way it was envisaged by Meta, formerly Facebook, which centred its future business model around the metaverse. The initial monthly target of 500,000 active users on Horizon Worlds – Meta’s metaverse platform – was reduced to 280,000 users. Currently, there are fewer than 200,000 active users per month. Some of Horizon’s virtual spaces have never been visited. 

Gartner hype curve shows dynamcis of new technologies.
A Diplo-adapted Gartner-styled Hype Cycle predicting the maturity and potential of digital technologies in 2023



Marc Zuckerberg’s announcement about Facebook’s transition to Meta brought the concept of the metaverse back into the spotlight. Yet, did you know that Diplo has extensive experience in Metaverse Diplomacy since 2007? On this topic page, you can discover what Diplo has done so far on Metaverse Diplomacy and follow what we will be up to next.

Watch the recording of the events:

Traversing the Metaverse: A Caribbean Perspective, with the participation of Diplo’s Vladimir Radunović (Director, Cybersecurity and E-diplomacy) The Metaverse and International Relations, with the participation of Diplo’s Katharina Höne (Director of Research) See also: Pokemon and Diplomacy in Augmented Reality


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Diplomacy Island in Virtual Reality

Banners of Diplomacy Island in Metaverse (Second Life)

In 2007, Diplo created a Diplomatic Island on metaverse platform Second Life where the Maldives had become the very first country to open a virtual embassy followed by Malta and the Philippines.

This section presents Diplo’s experiments on Metaverse conducted in 2007.  You can find further down excerpts from the original website of the 2007 experiment with metaverse diplomacy.   

About Diplomacy Island in Second Life

Diplomacy Island is the next step in over a decade of research and development in the field of MetaverseDiplomacy. Avatar on Diplomacy Island (metaverse diplomat)Through Second Life, Diplo will explore new possibilities for diplomatic representation and interaction.  Diplomacy Island will also be another channel for Diplo’s main mission of assisting small and developing countries in participating meaningfully in international relations. At the Island, Diplo will also promote development issues among Second Life citizens.

What is Second Life?

Second Life ( SL) is an Internet-based virtual world with more than five million users worldwide have registered to become part of this virtual world developed by Linden Lab.

View of Diplomacy Island in Second Life - space for metaverse diplomacy

The users, or residents, interact with each other through mobile avatars, providing an advanced level of social network services. They can explore, meet other residents, socialise, participate in educational and social activities both individually and in groups, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another.

More than 60 universities have established campuses in Second Life, alongside many companies and media houses. Some of these are Aarhus Business College of Denmark, Harvard University, Leeds Metropolitan University, New York University, Newcastle University, Sheffield Hallam University, Stanford University, the University of Edinburgh and Virginia Tech.

Virtual Embassies at the Diplomatic Island

First Virtual Embassy ever: Embassy of the Maldives

Click to enlargeMr. Abdulla Shahid, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, opens the Virtual Embassy of Maldives on Diplomacy Island (Metaverse space of Second Life)On May 22, 2007, the Republic of Maldives opened the world’s first Virtual Embassy in Second Life.  The inauguration of this embassy took place in both the virtual and real world.  In Geneva, in front of 200 guests, Mr. Abdulla Shahid, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives emphasized how information technology and particularly the internet can be harnessed by small countries to help them participate meaningfully in international relations.Embassy of Maldives at Diplomacy Island (Metaverse space)

The Maldives Virtual Embassy is located on Diplomacy Island in Second Life. It was constructed on the basis of typical Maldivian architecture.

Virtual Diplomatic Library

Diplomacy Island hosts Diplo’s Virtual Library.

Virtual Diplomatic Library - Resources for Metaverse Diplomacy


Museum of Diplomacy

The Virtual Museum of Diplomacy in Metaverse spaceThe Virtual Museum of Diplomacy is more than a typical museum. Its main function is to highlight the relevance of diplomacy to modern society, as opposed to the use of force. The Museum will present historical examples of the success of diplomacy.


Diplomatic Academy

Diplomacy Academy for Metaverse diplomacyThe virtual Diplomatic Academy hosts sessions and panels related to modern diplomacy and themes such as environmental diplomacy, energy diplomacy and cyber diplomacy.


Internet Governance Village

poolbinThe Internet Governance Village, a place dedicated to Internet Governance hosts panels, round tables and conferences on Internet Governance issues. Visitors have the chance to consult various books, articles and other materials on Internet Governance.

From our blog

Year in review: The digital policy developments that defined 2021

Stephanie Borg Psaila

For most countries, 2021 was a continuation of pandemic woes. As people swapped contact tracing apps for vaccine passports, the wave of misinformation on COVID-19 vaccines spread even faster.  Beyond COVID-19, the b...