Top 70 Most Influential Virtual World Industry Leaders

The following is an initial list I put together of the top 70 most influential people involved in shaping how Virtual Worlds will impact the future business Internet landscape.  I developed it by taking a look at who is writing about the industry, who is in the news, who is speaking at conferences, who is leading important industry initiatives, and CEOs of the leading companies.

Why the number 70?  No real reason…I was working with a list of over 200 and this is as far as I could pare it down right now.

The list is sorted alphabetically as I have not attempted to come up with a sort by how influential these people are.

Have any updates for me?  Please post a comment.  I’d like to continue refining the list.

1.  Bridget C. Agabra, Project Manager, Metaverse Roadmap Project

2.  Janna Anderson, Dir. Imagining the Internet & Asst. Prof. of Commun., Pew Internet / Elon University

3.  Dr Richard Bartle, Visiting Professor in Computer Game Design, University of Essex, U.K

4.  John Bates, Evangelist, Entropia Universe

5.  Betsy Book, Director of Product Management, Makena Technologies

6.  Justin Bovington, CEO, Rivers Run Red

7.  Johann Brenner, Partner, Benchmark Capital

8.  Corey Bridges, Co-founder, Executive Producer, & Marketing Director, The Multiverse Network

9.  Nic Brisbourne, VC blogger ( & Partner, Esprit Capital

10.  Mike Butcher, Journalist/new media expert,

11.  Jamais Cascio, Founder, Open The Future

12.  Edward Castronova, Author-Synthetic Worlds; Dir. of Grad Studies, Indiana University & Arden Institute

13.  Daniel Schiappa, GM, Strategy Entertainment and Devices Division, Microsoft

14.  Beth Coleman, Professor of New Media. MIT

15.  Giff Constable, GM. The Electric Sheep Company

16.  Aaron Delwiche, Co-founder, Metaversatility, Inc.

17.  Cory Doctorow, Novelist, Blogger, Technology Activist.

18.  John Donham, VP Production, Areae Inc.

19.  Jeska Dzwigalski, Product and Community Wrangler.  Linden Lab

20.  Peter Edward, Director for Home Platform Group, Sony Computer Entertainment

21.  Sasha Frieze, Executive Conference Director, Virtual Worlds Forum Europe 2007

22.  Robert Gehorsam, President, Forterra Systems

23.  Guntram Graef, Co-Founder, Anshe Chung Studios, Ltd., China

24.  Joel Greenberg, VP, Marketing Innovation, The Electric Sheep Company

25.  Bill Gurley, Partner. Benchmark Capital

26.  Adrienne Haik, Co-Founder, Metaversatility, Inc.

27.  John Hanke, General Manager, Google Earth

28.  Will Harvey, Founder and CEO. IMVU

29.  Paul Hemp, Senior Editor, Harvard Business Review

30.  Ben Holmes, Principal, Index ventures

31.  Ian Hughes, Metaverse Evangelist, IBM

32.  Jochen Hummel, CEO, Metaversum

33.  Joi Ito , Blogger; CEO and Founder  Neoteny (also Board Member at ICANN)

34. Toshitaka Jiku, EVP and CTO, 3Di Inc.

35. Mitch Kapor, CEO, Kapor Enterprises

36.  Sandy Kearney, Global Director, 3D Internet and Virtual Business, IBM

37. Christopher Klaus, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kaneva

38.  Raph Koster, President, Areae, Inc.

39.  Aleks Krotoski, Technology Columnist, The Guardian

40.  Christian Lassonde, President, Millions of Us Inc.

41.  Stephen Lawler, General Manager of Virtual Earth, Microsoft

42.  Paul Ledak, VP of Development, Digital Convergence, IBM

43.  Mike Liebhold, Senior Researcher, Institute for the Future

44.  Richard Marks, Dir. of Special Projects, Creator -EyeToy camera interface, Sony CEA R&D

45.  Randal Moss, Manager of Futuring and Innovation Based Strategies, American Cancer Society

46.  Beth Noveck, Founder-State of Play Conf. & Assoc. Professor of Law, New York Law School

47.  Jerry Paffendorf, Research Director, Futurist in Residence, ASF,  Electric Sheep Company

48.  Colin J. Parris, Ph.D., VP, Digital Convergence, IBM Research

49.  Adam Pasick, Second Life Bureau Chief, Reuters

50.  Guy Piekarz, CEO, President and Co Founder, Unisfair

51.  Steve Prentice, Group Vice President & Chief of Research, Gartner

52.  Scott Raney, Venture Capitalist, Redpoint Ventures

53.  Christian Renaud, Chief Architect, Networked Virtual Environments, Cisco Technology Center

54.  Ren Reynolds, Consultant, philosopher and writer & Founder, Virtual Policy Network

55.  Ben Richardson, VP Business Development, Makena Technologies

56.  Philip Rosedale, Founder and CEO, Linden Lab

57.  Robert Scoble, Technical Evangelist, Microsoft

58.  Christopher V. Sherman, Executive Director, Virtual Worlds Management

59.  Jed Smith, Mgng Partner, Catamount Ventures

60.  Timo Soininen, Chief Executive Officer, Habbo

61.  Reuben Steiger, CEO, Millions of Us

62.  Alice Taylor, Vice President, Digital Content, BBC Worldwide Americas

63.  Sibley Verbeck, CEO, The Electric Sheep Company

64.  Mark Wallace, Journalist, Blogger, Co-Author – Only a Game, 2006,

65.  Michael Wilson, CEO, Makena Technologies

66.  Susan Wu, Principal, Charles River Ventures

67.  Hui Xu, Founder & CEO, HiPiHi Co., Ltd

68.  Jeffrey B. Yapp, Executive VP, MTV Networks

69.  Nick Yee, Founder, Daedalus Project; Dept. of Communication, Stanford University

70.  Ethan Zuckerman, Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University