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True or Fake?Who is the human behind the monitor?

By Karla Schlaepfer
Collaboration, Team, Virtual Reality

We wrote articles together, workshopped, presented at a conference and after dozens of MS Team meetings, we finally met in her hometown for dinner on a warm summer evening.

Jutta is a talented data security expert and a lawyer. We’re both active members of Liquid Legal Institute (LLI) e.V. an interdisciplinary legal think tank where digital collaboration and transformation are key. Design the Future together.

I took a step back and considered all the great humans I’ve collaborated with in this association. And realized the largest chunk of my encounters and activities have been entirely virtual.

I’ve worked together with Baltasar and Jutta on Remote Legal Teams, coached Rainer on his journey into the Glue Metaverse, hashed things out with Evgeny, exchanged ideas with Tatjana, conferred with Carolin, Heike and I partnered on a proposal, discussed editing with Roger, Kai, Robert and Bernhard are set up for more guided excursions to the VR platforms, the list could go on. Recently Anita and I spent hours (no days, months!) discussing, planning, writing, and getting excited about the game-changing future of XR (AR + VR virtual reality) and about how to get others in the legal world excited too.

I feel I know these people in a professional friendly way. There is trust. There is a community. We’ve collaborated on some awesome projects. And still, we’ve not yet met in person …

  • Does that make our relationships less real?

  • Is our virtual presence – so important in VR – less robust?

  • Diminish our passion to take on responsibility for understanding and shaping the use of new technologies, protect our data or create awareness for well-being, especially “Lawyer Well-Being”?

My perspective has evolved. In the meantime, it doesn’t feel strange not to be on-site. The Covid epidemic has forced us to set new standards. Transformation of current working approaches that impact future work is developing fast. Change processes have dips and peaks. Most of my coaching is now digital. I never would have thought! But it is worth remembering and emphasizing the difference in what it feels like to connect in a real place.

Going back home this summer and stepping into a brick and motor room with old friends. Sensing the immediate connection, feeling the energy and the easy resonating flow of engagement. It is so natural. Do you know what I mean?

Without extensive use of digital platforms, our LLI collaboration would not have been or be possible. The LLI think tank has an increasingly global reach. I’m grateful for all the great minds, commitment, and enthusiasm in this forward-looking LLI collective. It looks like we’re on the right track.

My bet is on a future with the integration of WEB 3.0 in all aspects of life and work.

As a professional coach and dedicated design thinker, I’ll always be leaning in for the 😍 human touch.
Karla Schlaepfer