Morningstar teams up with UK VR start-up Mesmerise to host virtual ESG experience  

by | Jun 1, 2021

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  • Morningstar Investment Conference in Sydney, June 2-3, will offer the 600 in-person attendees the chance to experience Mesmerise’s ESG decision-making experience, called ‘Morningstar Sustainable City’
  • The immersive game allows investment professionals to see the impact of their decisions on the world around them, helping them to evaluate funds through an ESG lens

Leading UK virtual reality (VR) start-up Mesmerise has teamed with global investment research firm Morningstar to host an immersive ESG decision-making experience at the annual Morningstar Investment Conference in Sydney this week.

The VR experience – titled ‘Morningstar Sustainable City’ – has been designed to help investment professionals see the impact of their decisions on the world around them, as well as on investment returns, giving them the tools they need to evaluate funds through an ESG lens.


Using an Oculus Quest 2 headset, attendees will be immersed in the virtual city, where they will be tasked with making investment decisions based on Morningstar Sustainability Ratings. Their VR world will then evolve over a 30-year period to reflect the decisions that they have made.

The annual conference, which brings investing professionals together to discuss current and emerging issues in the sector, is a hybrid event this year and will take place across the 2nd and 3rd June, with in-person attendees able to experience Sustainable City

The decision by Morningstar to provide a VR experience at the conference is a sign of the growing role that VR technology can play as a training tool for financial services professionals. VR is also predicted to have a major impact on business in the coming years, with a recent PWC report predicting that 23.5 million jobs worldwide will use AR and VR by 2030 for training and work meetings, with a potential £1.4 trillion boost to the global economy.[1]


Leslie Marshall, Head of Experiential Marketing at Morningstar, commented: “It’s great to be returning to in-person events, but the last year also showed us the value of using different technologies, such as VR, to elevate our attendee experience. We’re very excited to be combining the two at this year’s Sydney conference to create a memorable experience that will engage our attendees while also provoking thought around the impact of sustainable investing decisions.”

Andrew Hawken, CEO and Co-founder of Mesmerise, said: “We’re hugely excited to be teaming with Morningstar to deliver this immersive educational experience at their Sydney conference. They have truly embraced the technology, and attendees at the event can really benefit from Sustainable City.

“VR has a big role to play in enhancing events, whether they are in-person, hybrid or fully virtual. In the post pandemic world, we expect to see more businesses embrace VR as the technology becomes more mainstream.”


[1] PWC report

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