Meaningful XR 2024

May 23-25, Stanford/Palo Alto, CA


Whether designed to entertain or achieve more "serious" purposes, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR)—collectively “XR”—have implications in a wide range of meaningful domains, such as education, physical health, well-being, and social equity.

Meaningful XR 2024 is a conference for scholars and industry professionals about theory, research, design innovations, principles, and practices related to meaningful uses of XR.

The conference will include thought-provoking keynotes from both academic and industry leaders, peer-reviewed paper presentations, panel sessions, "XRbitions," and social mixers in both VR and meatspace.

Partner Special Issue

In collaboration with the Journal of Media Psychology (JMP), full paper submissions that receive a 'top-paper' designation at Meaningful XR will be automatically (with author consent) considered a “Revise and Resubmit” for publication in the journal’s Metaverse-Mediated Communication Special Issue (CFP: 

After the conference, the revised papers may be resubmitted to JMP to complete the review process, with attempts made to retain at least one original reviewer.

Schedule Overview

(full schedule HERE)

Full day of sessions at the Stanford Alumni Center incl. breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Full day of sessions at the Stanford Communication Department plus campus/lab tours; breakfast and lunch provided. Unofficial group dinners

Breakfast session in downtown Palo Alto, then optional group outing to San Francisco

Keynote Speakers

Join us for thought-provoking keynotes from leaders in academia and industry working in the field of XR.

Kristine Nowak

Professor, Department of Communication, University of Connecticut

Kristine Nowak (PhD Michigan State University, MA Stanford University) is Professor, former Department Head, and Director of the Human Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Connecticut. Her research examines how communication with new technology, including virtual reality and anthropomorphic avatars, influences learning, person perception, and social interactions. Her recent studies, including one of the first longitudinal examinations of VR use in a large class (co-authored with Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab), have examined how best to use virtual reality in lab studies and in the classroom. This work has revealed the importance of training and teaching people to use VR before they can learn with VR, and led her to be awarded the Teaching innovation Award from UConn’s AAUP in 2023. Her work has been published in several flagship journals including the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Computers and Human Behavior, Journal of Communication, Media Psychology, and Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments.

Jeremy Bailenson

Professor, Department of Communication, Stanford University

Jeremy Bailenson (Ph.D., Northwestern University) is founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Thomas More Storke Professor in the Department of Communication. Bailenson studies the psychology of Virtual and Augmented Reality, in particular how virtual experiences lead to changes in perceptions of self and others. His lab builds and studies systems that allow people to meet in virtual space, and explores the changes in the nature of social interaction. His most recent research focuses on how virtual experiences can transform education, environmental conservation, empathy, and health. He is the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford. He has published more than 200 academic papers in the fields of communication, computer science, education, environmental science, law, marketing, medicine, political science, and psychology. He has published two books, Infinite Realities and Experience on Demand. His work has been continuously funded by the National Science Foundation for 20 years.

Aditya Vishwanath 

Inspirit, Co-founder & CEO

As the co-founder and CEO of Inspirit, Aditya (PhD, Stanford University) is a visionary in education technology, developing immersive 3D and VR tools for STEM education. His work at the intersection of learning sciences, media, and design has earned him prestigious awards, including the Stanford Knight-Hennessy scholarship and recognition in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Education. A social entrepreneur, Aditya also co-founded MakerGhat, impacting over 6,000 schools in India. With a background at Google Education, he's dedicated to designing innovative educational solutions for diverse learning environments globally.

Matthew Lombard

Co-founder and President of the International Society for Presence Research

Associate Professor & Chair, Lew Klein College of Media & Communication, Temple University

Matthew Lombard (PhD Stanford University) is one of the world's foremost scholars on the concept of (tele)presence. He is Co-founder and President of the International Society for Presence Research, which has been hosting conferences related to extended reality since 1998. His groundbreaking co-authored paper, "At the Heart of It All: The Concept of Presence" (Lombard & Ditton, 1997), offered a simple but poignant definition of presence ("the perceptual illusion of non-mediation") that has resonated with generations of XR scholars, as evidenced by the nearly 6k citations to date. Lombard’s research continues to center on individuals’ psychological and physiological processing of media presentations and experiences, including (tele)presence but also focusing on social responses to machines and robots. His work has appeared in flagships journals including Communication Research, Human Communication Research, Journal of Communication, Behaviour & Information Technology, and Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

Conference Organizers

You can thank/blame these people for this event

Conference Executive Committee


We are grateful to our sponsors for making this conference possible.

Sponsoring Host

Communication Department, Stanford University

Lead Organizing Sponsor

Dept. of Media and Information & SPARTIE Lab, Michigan State University

Partner Journal Sponsor

Journal of Media Psychology (JMP)

Hiro Protagonist Sponsors*

Tokyo Dome Corporation

Annenberg Virtual Reality ColLABorative

Fatigue in Communication and Technology (FATCAT) Lab, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information, Nanyang Technological University

Wade Watts Sponsors*

Department of Communication, UC Davis

Department of Communication, University of Arkansas

College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida

Department of Communication, Georgia State University

Neo Anderson Sponsors*

Oberon Technologies, Inc


* Sponsorship categories named for fictional heroes of Meaningful XR. If you don't recognize a name, you've been missing out! 

National Science Foundation Grant #2128803 (Ratan, Foxman, Beyea, Leith, Klebig, Winn) is also helping to support student travel for this event