Avatars in the Boardroom: A Virtual Revolution in Workplace Collaboration Photo

More than just the stuff of big-budget films, 3D technology is giving workers new ways to collaborate and learn. John Lester, an architect of the virtual society Second Life, discusses his prediction that more people will soon step out of offices and classrooms into worlds where computers create the faces and places. 

John Lester, Director of Community Development, ReactionGrid
John Lester is an expert and strategist in the use of virtual worlds and social media to support educational online communities. He is currently the Director of Community Development at ReactionGrid, a 3D world development company focused on the educational and business use of virtual worlds for collaborative work and team training. John has worked on the development of online communities and virtual worlds since 1995, when he first pioneered the use of online communities and virtual worlds for medical education and patient support at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

From 2005-2010, he worked at Linden Lab (the creators of Second Life) where he led the development of the education and healthcare markets while evangelizing the use of virtual worlds in academia, training and immersive simulations.

With a background in neuroscience research, John focuses on the how to best design and use technological tools that augment the human mind. He frequently works with organizations on strategic planning to promote knowledge sharing and new models for creative learning.

View John's Slideshow Presentation

Visit John's Blog

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ReactionGrid Videos

John's avatar on ReactionGrid and Second Life: Pathfinder Lester 

Interview with John Lester, Director of Community Development, ReactionGrid

John speaks with CDS Fellow Sara Russo T'11 concerning the capabilities and vast possibilities of 'virtual' collaboration.



  • CDS Program Manager, Tim Paradis, introduces John Lester to the full room.


  • John Lester, Director of Community Development at ReactionGrid, starts the talk with an overview of his passion and vision.


  • John continues the discussion and shares some virtual world / real world application examples.



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