Brennan began building virtual worlds and communities 10 years ago, and has since founded several social impact companies in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), game development and education.
He is currently co-founder and CTO at Equal Reality, which The Ageing Revolution described as “transformational, shifting people’s perceptions and helping to create better workplaces, better communities”. Equal Reality creates diversity and inclusion training in VR, allowing you to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”, so anyone can experience discrimination or inappropriate behaviour from the perspective of others.
According to Stanford’s Human Interaction Lab, VR is proven to be more effective at generating empathy and behaviour change than other perspective taking methods in traditional learning. Brennan is uniquely positioned to see the implications of this finding for creating social change across many areas.
Scouted by AR company Meta to be employee number 7 and a graduate of internationally acclaimed tech incubator Y-Combinator, he has come to see his overarching mission as enabling content creators to use VR to solve social issues, creating tools that widen access to this incredibly powerful technology.
Teaming up with Annie Harper and Rick Martin bought one particular problem to his attention. Brennan finds it unacceptable that women’s equality is advancing so slowly that parity could take more than 100 years at current rates. The target at Equal Reality is 10 years.
Equal Reality is already using technology Brennan developed to tell compelling stories and create real change in the behaviour of the people that experience them. Comments like the following could never be the result of traditional workplace e-learning:
“They were in my personal space.”
“I felt defensive.”
“I felt powerless.”
“I felt invisible.”
“I felt intimidated.”
Through his experiences, insight and commitment to social equality, Brennan is already leading the nascent VR industry.