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Technology management January 17, 2024

Exploring the frontiers of executive education with immersive technology

Woman in the Metaverse
In this piece, we journey through the halls of ESMT to peek into the work of the Learning Innovation Lab, where, under the leadership of directors Nan Guo and Roselva Tunstall, the Lab’s team is exploring how immersive technology can revolutionize executive education.

In the ever-evolving landscape of executive education, ESMT has emerged as a pioneer, embracing cutting-edge technologies to enrich the learning experiences of managers and business leaders. Our Learning Innovation Lab, especially, is a nucleus of creativity and innovation, constantly pushing the boundaries of traditional education. The lab is dedicated to exploring, experimenting with, and implementing emerging technologies to enhance the learning journey. Among our many endeavors, the Lab has embarked on a metaverse pilot in executive education, an initiative that has ignited considerable interest.  

The metaverse pilot 

The metaverse pilot in executive education is a testament to ESMT’s commitment to staying at the forefront of educational innovation. Guided by Claudia Ocera, the Lab’s lead instructional technologist, this groundbreaking project brings together program directors and instructional technologists to explore the vast possibilities of extended reality (XR) technologies.  

One of the most exciting aspects of this pilot is its focus on team building within immersive environments, using XR technologies to break down geographical barriers and enable global collaboration and learning among executives. This innovative approach not only sharpens managerial teamwork skills but also holds the potential to transform leadership collaboration within organizations. Additionally, the development of learning experiences focused on team building and leadership for clients is an ongoing exploration, as noted in the subsequent tech talk. 

The lived experience 

The Lab recently hosted a thought-provoking tech talk on immersive technologies, titled “Bridging Realities: Immersive Technologies in Education and Business.” The event featured a panel of ESMT alumni who have made significant strides in virtual reality (VR), extended reality (XR), and augmented reality (AR). Their stories exemplify how immersive technologies are driving transformation across various business sectors. 

In this discussion, the alumni panelists explored the practical challenges and strategies in deploying immersive technologies, with a focus on business needs and pain points. The potential of AI to enrich and personalize learning experiences was also discussed.  

Ingo Albrecht shared that Talespin recently launched an AI lab to enhance their training modules, showcasing the synergy of AI and immersive technologies. Albrecht further highlighted Talespin’s innovative use of VR, which is revolutionizing the way clients acquire and hone soft skills. This approach has the potential to significantly impact leadership development and interpersonal effectiveness. 

Sudhanshu Kapoor shared his expertise in AR and its enormous potential for the enterprise ecosystem. He illustrated how AR addresses critical business needs, particularly in enhancing operational efficiency for the frontline workforce. By providing real-time information and support through AR interfaces, TeamViewer has managed to streamline operations and improve productivity significantly for its end-customers. 

Maciej Siedlewski discussed VOX Capital Group's use of VR. With its VOXBOX, the company uses VR to help its furnishings store customers select items for their new home, facilitating informed decisions and an engaging shopping journey. 

Anastasiia Miroshnichenko provided a glimpse into Accenture’s endeavors in XR, detailing how collaborations with clients to develop tailored XR environments helps them address their distinct business needs. These custom XR solutions reduce costs and enhance operational performance. 

All four panelists agreed that their tenure at ESMT equipped them for careers in immersive technologies, attributing this readiness to the foundational business courses and community they built as students in the program. 

Following the engaging panel discussion, participants at the tech talk were treated to two immersive technology demonstrations. Talespin showcased its virtual reality learning modules, allowing participants to experience firsthand the power of VR in soft skills development. Vox Capital wowed the audience with their VOXBOX, providing a glimpse into the future of virtual shopping experiences. 

Collaboration among business schools 

Our engagement with immersive technology extends beyond ESMT’s own campus. As a founding member of the Future of Management Education (FOME) Alliance, ESMT is actively involved in collaborative initiatives that aim to redefine digital education. Our Lab is at the forefront of these efforts, currently collaborating with alliance partners on a VR project. Developed in partnership with an industry leader in VR technologies, this project focuses on providing soft skills training to executives. By leveraging VR technology, we aim to revolutionize the way leadership and interpersonal skills are cultivated in executive education. 

The FOME Alliance fosters a cooperative environment where member institutions, including ESMT, share expertise and leverage our collective capabilities. This collaborative approach not only enriches our educational offerings but also contributes to a broader understanding of effective digital pedagogy. 

Moreover, our collaboration within the FOME Alliance facilitates innovations, allowing us to both learn from and contribute to a community dedicated to advancing online and hybrid education and setting new standards in executive education. This exchange helps us to quickly adapt to emerging technologies and share our insights with a wider academic audience. 


As the business world evolves, the demand for adaptable and forward-thinking leaders grows. ESMT immersive technology initiatives are not only meeting this demand but also shaping the future of executive education. By embracing immersive technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, and extended reality, ESMT is empowering leaders with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive today and tomorrow. 

ESMT is charting a course for executive education that is immersive, innovative, and inspiring. The ability to practice difficult conversations or manage crises in a safe, private virtual space providing real-time analysis and feedback is a significant benefit of immersive technologies in executive education. The collective endeavor to explore, learn, and innovate alongside clients, learners, and global educational partners is a testament to our school’s unwavering commitment to nurturing a culture of innovation in executive education. In exploring and furthering immersive technology in executive education, ESMT is poised to leave an indelible mark on the future of leadership development. 

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