Building Communities in The Metaverse with Athena Demos - Step into the Metaverse podcast: EP31

Building Communities in The Metaverse with Athena Demos - Step into the Metaverse podcast: EP31
đź‘‹ Hi, I am Mark. I am a strategic futurist and innovation keynote speaker. I advise governments and enterprises on emerging technologies such as AI or the metaverse. My subscribers receive a free weekly newsletter on cutting-edge technology.

In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I interviewed the Co-Founder/Producer of Big Rock Creative (BRCvr), Athena Demos. BRCvr is an award-winning XR experience company creating groundbreaking experiences for global clients. Big Rock Creative won the Producer’s Guild Award for Innovation, the Aurea Award for creativity, the No Proscenium award for Best VR experience of 2020, and the Hermes' Platinum Award.

With over 20 years of experience producing iconic events, like the LA Burning Man Decompression Arts and Music Celebration, as well as the Art of Change Inaugural Ball for President Obama in LA, she transitioned to the metaverse to produce BRCvr (Black Rock City Virtual Reality).

BRCvr is an official virtual Burning Man Experience whose scope is unprecedented in the VR space. Athena produced internationally recognized social impact projects such as Breonna’s Garden, which premiered at SXSW 2022. She has developed a philosophical approach to guiding humanity to build a foundational fabric for creative collaboration in the metaverse. As a result, she has been quoted in leading books and articles and has spoken at leading industry events.

She founded the LA League of Arts, a 501c3 organization created to foster community by facilitating the creative process through public art, education and events. She spent 8+ years as the Production Manager of the two-time Academy Award Winning documentary film company Moriah Films. Don’t miss out on our conversation as we discuss how brands can contribute to the metaverse and how governments should embrace the metaverse to develop public virtual spaces for everyone to enjoy.


  • [01:17] - Her natural progression into working in the metaverse space.
  • [06:16] - How brands should present themselves to communities within the metaverse.
  • [08:58] - An analysis of Nike’s Nikeland in Roblox.
  • [11:34] - Why decommodification will be important for the metarverse.
  • [13:22] - Benefits that enterprises and governments will get from the metaverse.
  • [18:14] - Companies that are providing the tools needed to build the metaverse.
  • [26:33] - Dangers and ethical challenges we will deal with in the metaverse.
  • [35:17] - The feeling of connection that the metaverse will give us.


“The true metaverse will exist when we can portal between platforms and then portal from the physical into the digital” - Athena Demos
“The metaverse is a place where the great minds from all over the world, with no location-based barriers can come together and share ideas” - Athena Demos
“Creative collaboration flourishes in an environment like the metaverse” - Athena Demos

If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.

Dr Mark van Rijmenam

Dr Mark van Rijmenam

Dr. Mark van Rijmenam is a strategic futurist known as The Digital Speaker. He stands at the forefront of the digital age and lives and breathes cutting-edge technologies to inspire Fortune 500 companies and governments worldwide. As an optimistic dystopian, he has a deep understanding of AI, blockchain, the metaverse, and other emerging technologies, and he blends academic rigour with technological innovation.

His pioneering efforts include the world’s first TEDx Talk in VR in 2020. In 2023, he further pushed boundaries when he delivered a TEDx talk in Athens with his digital twin , delving into the complex interplay of AI and our perception of reality. In 2024, he launched a digital twin of himself offering interactive, on-demand conversations via text, audio or video in 29 languages, thereby bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds – another world’s first.

As a distinguished 5-time author and corporate educator, Dr Van Rijmenam is celebrated for his candid, independent, and balanced insights. He is also the founder of Futurwise , which focuses on elevating global digital awareness for a responsible and thriving digital future.


Digital Twin