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The VR for Change Summit shines a spotlight on impactful virtual reality projects

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The social change-driven organization Games for Change is expanding from video games into virtual reality with the VR for Change Summit at its annual Games for Change Festival this year, featuring VR projects that impact the way we learn and shape the way we view the world.

The VR for Change Summit is focusing entirely on virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality projects. The Games for Change Festival is happening July 31 to Aug. 2 at the New School in New York City.

Susanna Pollack, president of Games for Change, said that while the organization has included some VR games in the past, the recent development of VR and its potential for positive social change led Games for Change to take a deeper look at VR this year.

“We feel that Games for Change is very well-positioned to help develop this community in the same way that we have in the games community,” Pollack said.

“There are a number of VR events being produced around the world right now — a lot of summits and expos and demos — but none with a specific focus about how VR can be applied to social change across different sectors.”

Erik Martin, former policy adviser at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under the Obama Administration, is curating the VR for Change Summit. While at the White House, Martin examined how to use emerging technologies…
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Myanmar

Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand

Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.

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By Karen Lee

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Following the February 1 coup, Myanmar’s netizens became the latest to join the #MilkTeaAlliance, an online collective of pro-democracy youth across Asia.

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

Oxford Business Group

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

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A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.

The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.

Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.

In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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Tech

How the Rural-Urban Divide Plays Out on Digital Platforms

It is one thing for entrepreneurs, whether urban or rural, to create and operate an online store, as some digital platforms have made it relatively easy to manage an e-store – even by using just a smartphone.

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In the West, villages are emptying out due to the lack of economic opportunities. Consider Italy where, in a bid to attract newcomers, a handful of municipalities have turned to selling houses for €1.

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