As the next iteration of the Internet emerges, along comes the opportunity and obligation to build responsibly where issues like safety, privacy, accessibility, diversity, sustainability, and responsible innovation are addressed proactively.
XRSI is defining the North Star for the Metaverse to help guide global citizens’ actions and choices that will inevitably shape the future. This Women’s History Month, we are proud to highlight the women working with XRSI. They are helping shape the narrative and work within the XRSI ecosystem to help guide the positive change necessary to build a future we can all trust. Let us all celebrate these changemakers whose work truly has a global impact on the future of humanity.
CEO and Founder
Behind every avatar, there is likely a human being. Therefore, when we extend reality into other dimensions and move fast towards the next iteration of the internet, we need to honor human nature and protect our consciousness and prevent harm from happening.
Well known as the “Cyber Guardian,” Kavya Pearlman is an award-winning cybersecurity professional and the founder & CEO of the XR Safety Initiative (XRSI), a Standard Developing Organization with the mission to help build safety and inclusion in emerging tech ecosystems. Kavya is the pioneer of the novel XRSI Privacy and Safety Framework for the Immersive Technologies Domain, Metaverse Safety Week Annual Awareness Campaign, and various baseline security, privacy and ethics standards for Emerging Technologies. She has won several awards for her work and been named one of the Top twenty Cybersecurity influencers for three consecutive years, 2018-2019-2020, and again for the year 2022 by IFSEC Global.
Global Diversity & Inclusion Advisor
Representation always matters; whether its impact is felt by one individual, a small collective group, a community or historically marginalized population. We must amplify the unsung voices of people of color whose various lived experiences otherwise would continue to go untold, not be properly addressed, or even simply not acknowledged in the ever-evolving immersive technology industry. And this is why representation matters.
April Boyd-Noronha, also known as The STEM Broker, is the Global Diversity & Inclusion Advisor and Board Member of the XR Safety Initiative (XRSI). In her role, she continues to advise the CyberXR Coalition, launched by XRSI, where she helped lead the launch of the Immersive Technology Standards as a baseline for developing a new mindset for immersive tech.
Medical XR Advisory Council Lead
I am looking forward to the day when doctors and their patients of any age, race, level of familiarity with technology, socio-economic groups have at their disposal trustworthy, safe, intuitive, affordable, reliable, and ethical XR devices that enhance the patient-doctor experience.
Rachel Michelson joined XR Safety Initiative (XRSI) in March 2020 as the Medical XR Advisory Council Lead. Rachel brings over 20 years of experience in software for securing the telecommunication of first responders and in cybersecurity assessment for regulated medical devices.
Chair of the Metaverse Reality Check (MRC)
Most people think of digital policies as restrictive, bureaucratic, red tape that slows things down and makes their jobs harder. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Digital policies are liberating. Once everyone knows what the rules are, they can stop worrying about them—and focus that energy instead on being creative and productive within the established framework.The Power of Digital Policy, 2019
Kristina Podnar is the Global Digital Policy Advisor for the XR safety Initiative (XRSI) and the Chair of XRSI’s Metaverse Reality Check (MRC). For over two decades, she has worked with some of the most high-profile organizations in the world and has helped them see policies as opportunities to free the organization from uncertainty, risk, and internal chaos.
VR Esports & Entertainment Media Specialist
We have the opportunity to start at the beginning with the benefit of hindsight of similar fields. What can we do differently knowing what we know? How do we build a metaverse with intention and without exclusion? The possibilities of what we can accomplish together is exciting and I’m honored to be among those working on it.
Vivian Chazen, the creator of The Hive VR is the VR Esports and entertainment media specialist with XR Safety Initiative (XRSI). In 2017, The Hive was one of the first in-world VR talk shows that merged VR experiences and games together. This bridged to her work teaching older adults emerging tech to help with isolation and loneliness in the global world.
Partnership and Outreach Manager
Being new to the world of Immersive Technologies, new experiences open up in front of my eyes. I look forward to continuing my contribution to help build safe and inclusive XR ecosystems.
Brandy Thibodeaux is the Partnership and Outreach Manager with XR Safety Initiative (XRSI). In addition to servicing the XRSI mission, Brandy is also a Senior Program Manager at Baylor College of Medicine. She has nearly a decade of experience managing successful grant programs and supporting the formulation of strategic funding initiatives.
Strategic Global Advisor
The metaverse is our imagination taking shapes. It is a new world, a new connected nation: Always Test and Learn to make the world a better place.
Priscilla Koukoui is Strategic Global Advisor with a focus on Privacy, Safety and Governance at XR Safety Initiative (XRSI). Priscilla is based in Australia and serves as a liaison to the Government of Australia. An artist at heart, Prisicilla is also the founder of OviSquare (XR for Business) and Power Women NFT, with a mission to empower Women in Business.
Dr. Diane M. Janosek
Senior Advisor on Cyber Ethics and Policy
I am pleased to support XRSI through zealous advocacy of XRSI mission and successes as an ethics advisor. What an honor to support this amazing organization addressing gaps in this critical area!
Dr. Diane Janosek is a Senior Advisor on Cyber Ethics and Policy with XR Safety Initiative (XRSI). Dr. Janosek is the President, of Mid-Atlantic Affiliate (MAA), Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS). She also serves as a senior executive and leader whose career spans legal, policy, and executive management positions in the US Government at the National Security Agency, the Pentagon, and the White House. Her expertise in cyber education, privacy & technology, information security, cyber/fiscal law, data governance & information security, export control/foreign military sales, resource management & inclusion/diversity has informed all of her work.
Dr. Donna Brady Raziano
Medical XR Council Advisor
Working with forward thinkers who are not only visionaries but also patient advocates is an honor for me.
Dr. Donna Brady Raziano MD MBA FACP AGSF is a Medical XR Council Advisor with XR Safety Initiative (XRSI) and the Chief Medical Officer of Mercy LIFE, Mercy Home Health. She is a physician and a leader committed to improving the care of older adults. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Care.
Lead strategist of the CyberXR Coalition
Infusing accessibility, Diversity and inclusion into the privacy landscape is not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it leads to better, more inclusive digital environments and a culture where everyone feels welcomed.
Alina Kadlubsky is the lead strategist of the CyberXR Coalition, a diversity, and inclusion effort by the XR Safety Initiative (XRSI). Alina is also an Art Director, WebXR Developer, and Managing Director of Open AR Cloud Europe. Alina is a fierce advocate for accessibility, inclusion, and ethics with a passion for Immersive Technology and Spatial Computing.
Medical XR Council Advisor
I believe that XR can play a vital role in enhancing the future of health and wellbeing.This technology is enabling us to explore the connection between the brain and body – and that creativity and play should be at the center of preventive care recovery.
Sarah Ticho is the medical XR Advisor with XRSI Medical XR Council. Sarah is also serial founder, curator, researcher and international speaker specializing in arts, health and immersive technology.
Medical XR Council Advisor
The extensive work, research, and advocacy that XRSI is putting towards the ethical applications for the metaverse is crucial. The metaverse allows people to experience education, connection, commerce, healthcare, and much more. I am really honored to be serving at the council to help build a safe and inclusive Metaverse.
Callie Leone is a medical XR Advisor with XRSI Medical XR Council. Callie is also the CEO and founder of Eunoe, an immersive self-discovery and resilience platform, empowering individuals and organizations to holistically overcome burnout and other barriers to mental wellbeing. She leads a multi-disciplinary and passionate team weaving evidence-based practices from psychology, neuroscience, gaming, and storytelling to guide people to believe in themselves and forge their own towards wellness by helping them reframe negative thoughts using the power of their own voice.
Medical XR Council Advisor
Human well-being can be so much enhanced through the synergy of Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence, provided their fair and responsible use.
I am very lucky to be able to build solutions at the intersection of these two powerful technologies together with smart, supportive and inclusive teams.
Elena Mercep is a medical XR Advisor with XRSI Medical XR Council. Elena Mercep, Dr. rer. nat., is also a product development professional with expertise in building innovative software solutions for regulated industries. She has a Master’s degree in Biomedical Computing and a Ph.D. from the Technical University of Munich.
Director of Community and Education for the CyberXR Coalition
A concept that more or less runs on the very technology that’s disproportionately distributed across the world can only be used by those with access. We must strive to break down these barriers and provide the necessary resources for everyone to both access and contribute to the Metaverse.
April Speight the Director of Community and Education for the CyberXR Coalition – an organization formed by the XR Safety Initiative (XRSI) to address the global necessity of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the cybersecurity and XR domain. April is also a developer, speaker, and educator who believes that creating for XR should be accessible for all. She leads the Spatial Computing technology team at Microsoft within Cloud Advocacy.
Medical XR Council Advisor
Data and technology in the XR space is empowering and can transform society. But it can also be misused, weaponized, sold and turn society into a surveillance economy. We need to be forward thinking about digital data and biometry, and consider protecting these to be a human right. The obligation for governments, companies and citizens to protect these rights is a profound trust.
Dr. Divya Chander, a Neuroscientist, Physician, Data Scientist, Futurist, Consciousness Hacker is the medical XR Advisor with XRSI Medical XR Council. Divya is also a Harvard, Stanford, UCSF, UCSD trained anesthesiologist (MD), neuroscientist (Ph.D.), and futurist who also works at the intersection of health, data, technology, and data security.
Founding member of the Metaverse Reality Check (MRC)
We cannot build a new tech infrastructure and only allow certain people to participate. Web 3 has extraordinary implications on the future of communications. If we are not careful people will be left behind. Together we can all help build a better and more accessible Metaverse.
Laurie Segall is a founding member of the Metaverse Reality Check (The MRC), an oversight board for and by the citizens. Founder of the Dot Dot Dot Network, a media company for the web3 era, Laurie Segall is an American journalist. Noted for interviewing leaders in technology, including Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook, among others, she was the senior technology correspondent and an editor-at-large for CNN for more than a decade.
Founding member of the CyberXR Coalition
As we start “living” in the virtual worlds, it is important to establish and adhere to some baseline standards to stay safe so that we can truly take advantage of these worlds with infinite possibilities.
Vandana Verma is a founding member and an advisor for the CyberXR coalition, a Diversity and Inclusion effort by XR Safety Initiative (XRSI). Vandana is a cybersecurity professional with over 15 years of experience, which she uses to lead diversity initiatives like InfosecDiversity and InfosecGirls. She is also the founder of InfosecKids. Vandana is the chair of one of the largest open communities, the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).
Tech policy and Inclusion advisor
I profoundly believe in the uniquely-visceral sense of presence, play, community and healing possible through XR. However, XR and the Metaverse are still in their “Wild West’ era; its territories are being staked out by corporations who have indefensible track records and a low regard for public safety, transparency, privacy policies and human rights.
Kathy Bisbee is the tech policy and inclusion adviser with XR Safety Initiative (XRSI). For her love for XR and community interest, Kathy co-founded the Public VR Lab in Boston, Massachusetts, the first publicly-accessible XR lab in the U.S. to help develop a field for community XR.
Medical XR Council Advisor
Integrating XR into the training of healthcare professionals and students is critical to improving patient outcomes and patient safety. We need to be at the front of this revolutionary new technology to make sure we are using it to optimize our ability to care for patients
Dr. Michelle Aebersoldis is the medical XR Advisor with XRSI Medical XR Council. Dr. Michelle Aebersoldis a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She is currently an XR Faculty Innovator in Residence through the University of Michigan XR Initiative at the Center for Academic Innovation.
Diversity and Inclusion advisor
Showing the younger generation how they can change the world is one of the best ways to ensure there is a world to come.
Janae McPhaul is a diversity and inclusion advisor for XR Safety Initiative (XRSI)XR Safety Initiative (XRSI)’s CyberXR Coalition. Janae, known professionally as JaneyLaney, is a family-friendly gaming content creator, entrepreneur, and podcaster. She created an initiative called BlackMinecraft in 2018 that focuses on the need for diversified representation in the gaming space, especially within the Minecraft creator and gaming communities.
Global Child Safety & Education Advisor
Teaching with technology can both expand access for all students and make it easier for educators to differentiate content for the diverse needs of their students. Today’s global society demands tech skills and higher levels of educational achievement. Which is why we need to adopt these technologies with safety in mind.
Kai Frazier is the Global Child Safety & Education Advisor with XR Safety Initiative (XRSI). An educator turned EdTech entrepreneur, Kai is a historian (B.A History) & innovative educator (M.Ed). She is passionate about using technology to provide inclusive and accessible opportunities for under-appreciated communities.
Samantha G. Wolfe
The Metaverse is the culmination of a wide variety of emerging technologies maturing simultaneously. This wave of new technologies will enable a full digitalization of the physical universe and seamless interconnection of everything, creating a new interactive, digital dimension. I am delighted to advise XRSI on both risks and the opportunities the Metaverse brings along.
Samantha G. Wolfe is a Strategic Adviser with XR Safety Initiative (XRSI). Samantha is the Founder of PitchFWD, a strategic consultancy focused on the acceleration of consumer and enterprise adoption of emerging technologies through brand and marketing strategy as well as product and developer marketing.
Global Data Protection Advisor
Technology should serve the needs of people and XRSI is leading the charge by creating frameworks that technology developers, implementation companies and regulators can use as a guide that supports the safe use of emerging technologies like XR by everyone.
Debbie Reynolds, “The Data Diva” is a world-renowned technologist, thought-leader, Global Data Protection advisor to XR Safety Initiative (XRSI). Ms. Reynolds is also an internationally published author, highly sought speaker, and top media presence about global Data Privacy, Data Protection, and Emerging Technology issues.