BIMA Beat | The Metaverse

Posted by BIMA

An evening designed to explore how the UK’s Creative Industry can engage with the metaverse and what it will mean for the wider world.

About this Event


BIMA Beat is our platform for digital creatives to engage with the industry. It’s got clout – because it’s driven by BIMA’s Creative Council, Sony Music UK’s 4th Floor Creative and Spotify. It builds reputations – every quarter there’s the chance to connect with the best digital creatives in the business. And it’s a safe, rewarding space – we launched BIMA Beat to support and galvanise the UK digital creativity community, so taking part is all about positivity.

BIMA Beat | The Metaverse

Our event will see three speakers explore how the UK’s Digital Creative space can embrace the upcoming metaverse movement across the industry as well as break down the surrounding myths around the subject. You’ll hear from

There’ll be some incredible, inspirational projects discussed and some important insights from several different perspectives that you won’t want to miss.

The evening will be co-chaired by Sabrina Chevannes, Founder of Complex Creative, and Frederico Roberto, Creative Director at Publicis Poke, and kindly hosted by BIMA Member Digitas.

You can read more about the speakers below, and we’ll see you there!


6.00pm – Arrival & refreshments

6.30pm – BIMA Beat introduction

6.40pm – Sasha Jiang, AR/VR Creative at Digitas // Presentation & Q&A

7.05pm – James Whatley, Chief Strategy Officer at Diva Agency // Presentation & Q&A

7.30pm – Dr Vanja Garaj, Reader in Design and Director of Research and Innovation at Brunel Design School, Brunel University London // Presentation & Q&A

7.55pm – Closing remarks

8.00pm – Drinks in The Pregnant Man (below Digitas)

Sasha Jiang, AR/VR Creative at Digitas

Sasha is an AR/VR Creative at Digitas, where she combines creativity with XR technology to develop engaging immersive experiences for the agency’s leading brands. She has degrees from Central Saint Martins School of Art, The Courtauld Institute and a recent Masters in AR and VR from Goldsmiths University of London.

James Whatley, Chief Strategy Officer at Diva Agency

James Whatley is chief strategy officer for gaming-native creative agency, Diva. With over 15 years of marcomms experience working on integrated brand campaigns for clients such as Mondelez, Converse, Heineken, Expedia and Honda F1 Racing, James has been working at and writing about the forefront of digital trends for the best part of a decade. Occasionally describing himself as a ‘t-shaped strategist’, James notes that as his digital skillset has broadened from a discipline to something that impacts everything, so too has his work gone from depth of specialism to breadth of capability. Skills that have seen him develop award winning work at both WPP and Publicis.

At Diva, James puts these skills to use to help the world’s biggest and best games publishers, developers, platforms, and entertainment brands speak to millions of gamers all over the world.

James is also the co-creator of the DICE Charter initiative – a scored set of regulatory guidelines to ensure diversity and inclusion at conferences and events.

In his spare time, James writes an infrequent internet-culture newsletter called Five things on Friday, plays far too much PlayStation, and spends his weekends making huge Minecraft worlds with his two children. And yes, he is tired.

Dr Vanja Garaj, Reader in Design and Director of Research and Innovation at Brunel Design School, Brunel University London

Dr Vanja Garaj is Reader in Design and Director of Research and Innovation at Brunel Design School, Brunel University London, where he also lectures on the Professional Design Studio module within the MSc Integrated Product Design programme.

His research spans the areas of User Experience (UX), Human-Computer Interaction (HC) and Inclusive Design, with the focus on different applications of immersive technologies. He currently manages several immersive tech-related research projects funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); for example: “Inclusive Immersion” by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and “StoryFutures China: UK-China Transnational Strategic Partnership for Immersive Storytelling in Museums and Other Cultural Institutions” by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Vanja will introduce “Towards an Equitable Social VR”, a new research and development project that will investigate how to make the Metaverse more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities and older people. The research will also examine the extent to which the platform can contribute to the quality of life for these population groups. This project has received funding under the EPSRC’s Digital Economy programme and it will run between 2023 and 2025. The project is a collaboration between Brunel Design School, the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, Meta, Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) and Digital Catapult.


Wed, 25 May 2022
18:00 - 20:00


Digitas London,

40 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1JA


BIMA is Britain’s digital community.

Our mission is to drive innovation and excellence across the digital industry. We are the connectors, thought leaders, champions and change makers determining the shape of Britain’s digital economy.

Our strength is in our structure. We are powerful because our members make us so. BIMA councils set the agenda in digital hubs around the country and our Think Tanks aid industry leaders and practitioners to fuel the future. Our communities underpin everything that we do.

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