VR for a better society and social change

Thursday 29 February, 13:00 - 15:00
Orkanen, room 528, Nordenskiöldsgatan 10
VR för ett bättre samhälle och social förändring

Can VR be used for doing something good for a better society?

Virtual Reality (VR) has been increasingly used in communication for social change. Meta promotes the use of human-centered immersive telling for social impact and good. The UN SDG Action Campaign implemented the use of immersive storytelling through the United Nations Virtual Reality (UNVR) project that encourages viewers to act, become more empathetic, and promote positive social change. Within the health sector, VR is applied for treatment of various mental health conditions, within elderly care and pain management. The promises about VR’s unique affordances claim that as a so-called ‘ultimate empathy machine’, it will revolutionize both the humanitarian aid and health sector. This panel with VR creators, strategists and health sector scholars and professionals, critically assesses these claims and reflects on the pros and cons of using VR for Good and Social Change.


Josepha Wessels, Associate Professor in Media and Communication Studies at the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University

The seminar is a part of Virtual Reality Cinema Minifest: Social Change and Sonics.

More about the event


  • Joanne Popińska, VR director of ‘The Choice VR’
    Renowned XR filmmaker, documentarian, and sociologist who has made significant contributions to the VR film industry. She is a co-founder of Infinite Frame Media, a documentarian, and sociologist, with a Ph.D. in Film Directing (specialization: VR) from the Polish National Film School.
  • Annika Gustafson, Virtual Reality strategist Helsingborg City
    VR and innovative storytelling expert Annika Gustafson is currently the VR strategist at the city of Helsingborg. She's the former executive director of BoostHbg, a ground breaking fund and incubator for transmedia and VR in Sweden.
  • Ivan Perlesi, Virotea, Malmö
    CEO and founder of Virotea, they offer VR experiences that are adapted for elderly care as well as for people with special needs. The idea for the company was born after a dialogue with Ivan's father, who is a specialist in psychiatry. They realized that there was potential to improve conditions for residents in aged care by offering digital travel using VR.
  • Karen Waltorp, Ethnographic Exploratory University of Copenhagen/ARTlife Film Collective
    An anthropologist, filmmaker & Head of Ethnographic Exploratory at University of Copenhagen. She is associate professor at Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, where she heads the Ethnographic Exploratory and Multimodal MediaLab, a physical and virtual space for multimodal experimentation. She is part of the Afghan-Danish ARTlife Film Collective, and was part of Cph:Dox Lab 2022-2023 with Diplomatic Rebel.