Manifesting in the Metaverse; A Universe of Possibility

We have over 20 industries in the throes of disruption, and I believe that youth and the young-minded have the creative ability to carve the roadmap to the evolution of our civilization.

Niki Faldemolaei 06 Feb 2022

I had the pleasure of mentoring a 2-week cohort of students from Brown University and NYU to witness the manifestation of the Island17 metaverse prototype. I was already sold on the mission of Dream Tank founded by Heidi Cuppari and my experience with bringing youth into the decision-tree of disrupting the future.

We have over 20 industries in the throes of disruption, and I believe that youth and the young-minded have the creative ability to carve the roadmap to the evolution of our civilization. Dialing this mega-idea back a bit, our mission was to construct a use case for raising funds for a massively transformative purpose to solve for the UN SDG’s (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals), a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.”

Our endeavor brought forth the creative talents of Heidi, Kyle and the team to generate a beautiful representation of the ideation of 6 years of Dream Tank’s study/experimentation to create a gamified metaverse where young minds could solve for an MVP, in this case, to solve for ocean clean up and coral reef restoration.


The story of Island17 was ignited in late 2016 when Kyle Piorkowski met Cody Gould, Heidi Cuppari, Summer Gould, Ashley Kulik, and Dana Pauzauskie, initial co-founders of Dream Tank, a social enterprise accelerator for youth, and introduced them to Virtual Reality and the book / story Ready Player One. The idea of the Oasis and a global “easter-egg” contest was magical, and it stuck in their heads.

Over the years, VR was integrated into the  Dream Tank programming to expand minds and enable more creativity to flow, which yielded limitless ideas and results. Then, we met Yu-Kai Chou and watched his Ted Talk: Gamification to Improve our World. We learned how a gaming mindset is beautifully trained to solve any complex problem from different perspectives.

So we began testing the design of SDG-related video games in Dream Tank, and Cody showed great interest in creating an Oasis type metaverse that solved global challenges around the world with other players. He worked with two wonderful mentors, Phoenix and Debi, to create the initial world prototype for the virtual Burning Man in August 2020. Later, he worked with Fahad Bubshait and other amazing mentors in the Dream Tank braintrust ‘jedi’ council. He named the game and helped create the cut scene and storyline. Kyle came back as our Chief Imagination Officer and put his vision into a game engine, and the Island17 Metaverse was born.

A two-week prototype

During a recent 2-week development sprint and hackathon with Brown University and other college students, one group of students who worked on the NFT, Cheyenne Chau, Elaine Kim, and Kris Diallo, did research on many NFT platforms. They chose Algorand and Abris for its fast, affordable, and sustainable solution, and our partnership with an advisor met through Davos, Priya Samant.

The students asked one of our partners and artist Isla Moon to create these gorgeous NFTs for special people to join our Braintrust “Jedi” council and DAO. This would also help us build a better world with fun, imagination, play, frontier tech, big dreams, and problem-solving for the SDGs.
NextGen Economy Podcast with Rachel Clifton and Heidi Cuppari

How can you help?

We are seeking passionate world-changing people to enjoy and support our SDG driven Meta-game. We are dreaming big and building an EPIC experience for YOU. Roles available at

You Get It Listen from [00:04:00] An amazing talent, heart, and soul

Social Impact Listen from [00:08:00] Weigh the advantages

If you had 1 year to live Listen from [00:09:40] What would you do?

Yu-Kai Chou’s TEDx Talk: gamification to Improve our World
Demo Day Replay
Island17 Flyover with meditation music

Inside the Island17 Grid


Featured Entrepreneur and Future Co-host: Heidi Cuppari is the Founder and CEO of Dreamtank whose mission is to ignite youth around the world through entrepreneurship to use their imaginations to innovate the future and make their biggest dreams a reality. Gamification is proven as a systems-changing groundbreaking way to solve complex problems with a new mindset. Utilizing the Octalysis framework integrated with 6 years of programming through Dream Tank, and Yu-Kai Chou as one of our advisors and members of our “Braintrust Jedi Council” our existing founding members of Island17. Island17 is a Universe of Possibility, creating the infrastructure to motivate people to come together to create exponential advancements for humanity.  LinkedIn link  | Twitter link  | Dream Tank | Island17  |

Co-Host: Rachel Clifton is a writer, entrepreneur, and executive coach with lived experience of transformational change. She’s here to empower, embody and enable a new paradigm of feminine power, pleasure, and liberation in business. Rachel credits her time on the other side of the table, working in marketing, strategy, and operations, at Cloudera, The Ditchley Foundation, Ping Identity, and PagerDuty, for shining a light on a collective need for new ways of living, being, working, and playing. She has a soft spot for the black sheep of the world who dare to question the status quo while taking radical responsibility for themselves and their lives. Before devoting herself to Living Art, she consulted for early-stage SaaS startups as an interim CMO. Her work brings her home to love, God, and the beauty of embracing all that we are and can be. What excites her most is that the best is yet to come. LinkedIn link | Poetry

Executive Producer: ExO Angels(™) provide funding for the creation and distribution of the exoskeleton roadshow(™) and NextGen Economy(™) initiatives and is a sponsor for the Augmented Human Mobility Village.

Collaborators from ExO Economy home of the EXOS token, the OpenExO Community of coaches, consultants, investors, and entrepreneurs whose collective massively transformative purpose is ‘Transforming the World for a Better Future’:  Article Editor – Lisa Pereira – LinkedIn  |  Podcast Editor – Niki Faldemolaei – LinkedIn