Is the Singularity the New Wild West? On Social Entrepreneurship in Extended Reality

31 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2019

See all articles by Abigail Devereaux

Abigail Devereaux

George Mason University, Department of Economics

Date Written: March 15, 2019


Augmented and virtual reality, whose ubiquitous convergence is known as extended reality (XR), are technologies that imbue a user’s apparent surroundings with some degree of virtuality. In this article, we are interested in how social entrepreneurs might utilize innovative technological methods in XR to solve social problems presented by XR. Social entrepreneurship in XR presents novel challenges and opportunities not present in traditional regulatory spaces, as XR changes the environment in which choices are made. Furthermore, the challenges presented by rapidly advancing XR may require much more agile forms of governance than are available from public institutions, even under widespread algorithmic governance. Social entrepreneurship in blockchain solutions may very well be able to meet some of these challenges, as we show. Thus, we expect a new infrastructure to arise to address challenges presented by XR, built by social entrepreneurs in XR, and that may eventually be used as an alternative to public instantiations of governance. Our central thesis is that the dynamic, immersive, and agile nature of XR both provides an unusually fertile ground for the development of alternative forms of governance and essentially necessitates this development by contrast with relatively inagile institutions of public governance.

Keywords: digital reality, agile governance, polycentrism, blockchain, distributed ledger technology, division of knowledge

JEL Classification: H41, K24, O35, O31, O38

Suggested Citation

Devereaux, Abigail, Is the Singularity the New Wild West? On Social Entrepreneurship in Extended Reality (March 15, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Abigail Devereaux (Contact Author)

George Mason University, Department of Economics ( email )

Fairfax, VA
United States

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