Editorial Team

The Institute for Management Development (IMD) has joined forces with Jenson8, pioneers in educational virtual reality (VR), to facilitate deep experiential learning that can be accessed real time, anywhere in the world.

The business school exclusivity license agreement will allow IMD, with campuses in Lausanne and Singapore and operations worldwide, to leverage Jenson8’s VR technology across areas such as team dynamics, diversity and inclusion, leadership impact, communication styles and strategic thinking.

“At IMD, we are resolutely focused on delivering impactful learning for individuals and organizations,” says Paul Hunter, Director of Programs and Learning Design at IMD, who has been leading the project at IMD. “COVID has demonstrated just how much can be achieved virtually, yet even the best online platforms have not enabled a truly immersive experience that goes beyond ‘screen fatigue’. We believe our collaboration with Jenson8 has enabled us to crack the code.”

Jenson8’s platform uses virtual reality to enable teams and individuals to challenge their limitations and to reach their full potential. In one simulation employed by IMD, VR googles open up a world in which a spaceship has crashed and the whole team, whether present on site at IMD or connecting from elsewhere, has to work together to construct an escape plan before the last rocket leaves the planet. Participants need to demonstrate excellent collaboration, effective communication and strong strategic thinking to succeed. All of this takes place in a high-pressure environment which stretches individuals beyond their comfort zones and allows them to adopt a number of roles to gain different perspectives into their behaviors, preferences and performance.

Having examined a range of VR options and potential partners, IMD was impressed by Jenson8’s deep learning heritage and atypical approach to VR.

“After extensive research, it became quickly apparent that Jenson8 had not only created world-class VR applications, but that they also shared our values of being pedagogically led, rather than implementing technology for technology’s sake,” Hunter adds.

“Jenson8 is excited by the global reach and exposure it has been afforded by partnering with IMD.

We put the individual at the center of technology which is perfectly aligned with IMD and its mission. Now, more than ever, leaders need to be fully aware of how they ‘show up’ and the impact this has on those around them. Our VR experiences allow individuals and teams to deep dive into a fully immersive world where team dynamics quickly come to the fore enabling real time interactions and yielding impactful behavioral change,” says Jena Davidson, CEO and Founder of Jenson8.

With increasing interest in the numerous advantages that VR can afford, IMD’s partnership with Jenson8 is perfectly timed to meet the needs of innovative learning and development professionals seeking to marry cutting-edge technology with pedagogical excellence.

With this adoption of VR, IMD is continuing a long-running tradition of being at the cutting edge of impactful learning. This time it’s about physical and virtual participants together simultaneously for collaborative and immersive experiential learning which will remain engraved in their hearts and minds long after their program has finished.

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