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MŒA One-to-One Interviews: Manila Di Giovanni , CEO and Founder of DWorld, Forbes 30 under 30.

Updated: Feb 11

Manila Di Giovanni: entrepreneurial mindset, spirit of innovation and mental flexibility gave life to a tech startup off the real world but very linked to.

‘Citizen of the world’ with Italian and Filipino descents, in her early twenties, she has

already forged a competitive business reality projected to a future that is already among us. Manila Di Giovanni is bright-minded, up to date and extremely open to social and economic changes. Her fondness for high technology showed up in the high school when she started to get interested in digital social communities.

Photo >> Portrait of Manila Di Giovanni - © DWorld

Growing up between Singapore and the Principality of Monaco, where she graduated at the International University of Monaco (IUM) made her passion flourish to conceive and lead an innovative tech startup as a CEO with her co-founder John Gwinner, (Startup Engineer and Technologist). DWorld is totally devoted to create a new country’s virtual economy (V-Economy), notably Monaco, screened on the Metaverse. This pioneering business model drove Forbes to name her in their Under 30 win-win entrepreneurs list, being for sure the youngest technopreneur, or tech visionary, based in the Principality. Her goal has a strong ecological value as well. Virtual reality, in fact, is tracking down channels to make the real urban environment smarter, greener and more experimental.

MONACŒCOART® had the pleasure to interview Manila Di Giovanni (MDG) to find out if the virtual world can really deal efficiently with environmental issues.


MONACŒCOART®: Manila, can Metaverse technology contribute to raise eco-awareness or even make the real world better, according to the principle of Sustainability?

MDG.: It can certainly contribute to the Circular Economy as it allows us to overcome real-world restrictions like finite resources. There is no more need for brands to waste materials in the real world for prototyping, keeping too many stocks in the stores that need to be shipped back, etc.. Everything can be reproduced, displayed, tried, ordered virtually. The Metaverse will also be the new role model for how our societies will evolve. It is fundamental for the core companies with the right ethical and sustainable values to lead this new era because it can impact people’s lives and choices in many ways. Metaverse-based cities will help governments and enterprises to iterate what they can deploy in the real world and to educate people to have a circular and sustainable approach. Major international technology corporations, in fact, set themselves the goal of becoming 'carbon negative' before the middle of the century.

MONACŒCOART®: Do you consider virtual economy a true driving force?

MDG.: The V-Economy is considered the next challenge since it will open so many new frontiers and many more opportunities for enterprises, governments, but also for the people to be part of the decision-making process of their favourite brands and even of their own cities. Just imagine what the economy would be like if every enterprise had a website and a social media account with 3D representation and an advertising campaign through Metaverse. No more intermediaries. Everything would be tested and shipped directly from the warehouse to the customer’s address. People would not need to travel anymore to assist to events, visit a yacht or a house. All that could contribute to make the planet more sustainable by reducing CO2 emissions.

Photo >> DWorld virtual twin city of Monaco - © DWorld

MONACŒCOART®: Do you believe that such a shift will improve real-life behaviours and social norms?

MDG.: I strongly believe that Metaverse can truly help the world to become a better place as it tackles people, planet and profit. Thus, it can help humanity to get rid of all kinds of physical and political restrictions, due to the decentralized power bringing changes at a faster rate.

MONACŒCOART®: What has made you so passionate about the Metaverse and New Technologies?

MDG.: It is my half-Asian background. Throughout my childhood, I have always been passionate of the latest games and technological devices coming out in the market. The Philippines, where my mom comes from, have constantly been promoting the latest innovations from the United States, long before they were released in Italy. Moreover, I grew up with a specific fondness for anime culture (Japanese animation), inherited by my mom. When I was eleven, I fell in love with one called Sword Art Online where the main characters where living within a multiplayer game of virtual reality. However, I considered it as too dystopic. On the contrary, I wanted to turn it into something that could be defined as utopic and could make an actual impact into our societies by connecting the real world with the virtual one. As I grew up, I became more interested in virtual reality and in people who were testing it. When I went to China, I then realised how to reach my vision.

Photo >> Manila Di Giovanni, co-founder of DWorld and tech visionary - © DWorld

MONACŒCOART®: What do you think is a winning point in building a closer link between the real and the virtual world in terms of pushing eco-responsible actions or initiatives?

MDG.: I think that if everyone has the opportunity to express who they are and their ideas of changing the world into a better place, that is winning. Metaverse can accelerate the impact of their actions to an exponential global level. Brands can create experiences that involve their customers in their sustainable activities and keep people been entertained and make them learn constantly. Foundations and NGOs can serve the same purpose without being physically present and still make huge contributions to create a real connection between a specific cause and the community.

Everything may seem childish but children are the ones that believe in the impossible. Changing our world into a better place could be one of those childish beliefs that can help to simulate, visualise and actualise human beings’ long-term visions through the Metaverse.

MONACŒCOART®: Part of the public opinion remains skeptical about Metaverse arguing that massive data management causes high energy consumption, waste production and CO2 emissions, what would you say in this respect?

MDG.: I would still compare the impact that all the industries have on the environment compared to the one by Metaverse. The latter affects almost 20 times less in terms of CO2 emissions than the business-as-usual economic sectors.

Not all Metaverses have high emissions and it really depends especially on which block-chain network they rely on to perform each economic transaction. By the way, we will announce shortly the name of the most sustainable block-chain company in the world we decided to partner with, after months of thorough reflections and studies

Photo >> Monaco Metaverse-based city by DWorld - © DWorld
"We just need to find the proper balance between going virtual and being in the real world and find the time to connect more to nature", Manila Di Giovanni, Co-Founder of DWorld

MONACŒCOART®: Can you tell us a few practical examples about your projects within DWorld which help improving urban planning in terms of sustainable innovative ideas?

MDG.: A good example directly involves the usage of urban spaces. One limiting factor of Monaco is space. What if some buildings intended only to offices would have a different purpose in the real-world of urban space? Meditation and therapeutic centres, new spaces for community, gardening and the learning how to best take care of our environment could grow if we conducted all our meetings and activities via the Metaverse.

It may seem scary but we can get used to it and first and foremost the new generation. Due to the pandemic we are now accustomed to doing everything digitally including online shopping for our groceries, clothes and more. The next step for us will be to rethink our spaces and environments, and the Metaverse is the best place where we can do so at first. What if Mareterra would have been a new space dedicated also to enterprises, to create new artistic galleries, or new engaging activities to raise awareness about climate change? We have just built it in the Monaco Metaverse which will be soon released to the public, on the 16th of October on our platform alfa.

Do we really want to reduce CO2 emissions? Going virtual is one of the main solutions and we could observe the same positive changes obtained when we were forced at home during the pandemic.

MONACŒCOART®: What are your next projects?

MDG.: I am currently finalizing an investment round and we are willing to further develop Monaco’s Metaverse twin city while integrating more and more companies in our platform. I plan to complete virtual Monaco by May 2023 based on our fast developments. As for the districts, we also finished Mareterra and we are working now on Monte Carlo, including One Monte Carlo, and the next will be Port Hercules. In terms of local connections, we can announce a cooperation with the Monte Carlo Hospitality group and with the Michelin-star chef Antonio Alfredo Salvatore for La Table D’Antonio, Automobili Estrema, CM Real Estate and UPaint. We also benefit of the support of Olivier Wenden of FPA2 for a project to be announced soon. Stay in touch. ***

👥 ✒By Maurice Abbati

To know more about Manila Di Giovanni please visit: DWorld



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