The United Nations launches virtual reality app to tell global stories; partners with Samsung, Oculus

The United Nations launches virtual reality app to tell global stories.

The United Nations Millennium Campaign has created the United Nations Virtual Reality project to bring to life the world’s unheard voices through a five-part virtual reality series. The mobile app will feature VR films created by the UN and filmmakers from around the world, including Jordan, Liberia, Nepal, India and Gaza.

"I always see this project as an incredible nexus of people who are in the policy world, the tech world and the Hollywood world, the filmmaker world," said Gabo Arora, United Nations creative director and senior advisor said. "Rarely do those three come together, and I think that UNVR makes this compelling for all of those people."

In addition to these stories, each piece will also include a call to action to connect viewers with a way to help, such as “volunteering time, donating money to a nonprofit or hosting a viewing to spread awareness,” according to the U.N.

The U.N. is not new to exploring different platforms to reach a diverse audience and to tell global stories. In 2014, the U.N. partnered with Brandon Stanton from Humans of New York, as a way to raise awareness about the Millennium Development Goals that embody eight core U,N. objectives such as reducing poverty and improving child mortality rates.

"We're really trying to change how we do storytelling within the UN," Arora said. "And I think all these films so far take an innovative approach to doing it. It might not seem like that from the outside world, but in a lot of ways, we want to set the tone. It shouldn't just be about what the UN does, it shouldn't be about a donor, it shouldn't be about a program. It should be about the people."

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