Arlington Forward 2020 event series is a virtual reality

The Business for a Better World Center and Executive Development in Mason’s School of Business kicked off the Arlington Forward series in September with a discussion about the growing appreciation that businesses be a force for good.

Through the transformation of its Arlington Campus, including the building of a headquarters that will house the Institute for Digital InnovAtion and School of Computing, George Mason University is solidifying its position as a digital innovation leader.

The Arlington Forward 2020 event series, being held in the virtual space, offers a forum to discuss technology and innovation and connects Mason to the broader community.

“The Arlington Forward series is Mason's open invitation to engage in dialogue and idea exchange about all aspects of digital innovation and the impact digital technology has on humans and the rapidly changing world around us,” said Liza Wilson Durant, Mason’s associate provost for strategic and community engagement. “The series represents all facets of the work Mason innovators and our partners seek to accomplish on the Arlington Campus—to collectively impact the future of our digital society, while promoting equality, well-being, security and prosperity.”

The series, which was postponed because of COVID-19, picked up on Sept. 24. The Business for a Better World Center and Executive Development in Mason’s School of Business led a discussion about the growing appreciation that businesses be a force for good, and that positive change is demanding a new strategic paradigm for business leaders. Watch it here.

Next, on Oct. 14, will be a discussion of the role of artificial intelligence and games in teaching and learning in the age of COVID, hosted by the Virginia Serious Games Institute in Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. Sign up here.

On Nov. 17, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing will host an event called “The Technology Divide: How COVID-19 Exposed Disparity in Communities and What We Can Do About Them.” Details and registration information will be posted soon.

“We know how rich it is to have that crossover of academics, practitioners and government,” said Nina Janopaul, president and CEO of Arlington Partners for Affordable Housing, who added, “We’re really struggling with the digital divide, so if Mason is willing to raise up an issue that we know is holding back our population, maybe that will bring a greater audience and some thought leadership there.”

Sign up for event series updates here.

In the next five years, Mason’s Arlington Campus will undergo a $250 million transformation that will serve as a critical catalyst in the further activation of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, a dynamic and growing innovation district with a thriving high-tech ecosystem.

An RFP process is underway for the headquarters building, which will include 500,000 square feet of new space adjacent to the university’s existing presence in Virginia Square. The university expects to name a development partner in December.

By leveraging investments from the Commonwealth’s Tech Talent Investment Program, Mason has an unprecedented opportunity to play a leadership role in shaping the future of computing regionally, nationally and globally, while enhancing economic prosperity and equality for residents in the region and beyond.

The formation of the School of Computing—the first of its kind in the Virginia, and within Mason’s newly formed College of Engineering and Computing—provides the university with unprecedented opportunities to assume a leadership role in shaping the future of computing.

The event series is a way to make that vision accessible to the public.

“By offering diverse perspectives,” Wilson Durant said, “we can make this an inclusive environment where we all coalesce around how technology impacts us—how we work, how we play, how we learn and interact.”