Augmented Artifact

The Augmented Artifact, co-created by Global Atlantic Fellows who have each completed one of the seven equity-focussed programs, uses phone-based augmented reality to strengthen community and champion creative, collective experience.

Atlantic Institute

While each of the seven Atlantic Fellows programs is distinct and grounded in its local context, they share a common purpose to advancing fairer, healthier, more inclusive societies.

The combined catastrophes of the climate emergency and COVID-19 prompted Global Atlantic Fellows to explore how XR can support our community to be meaningfully together when physically apart. To enrich our annual Global Convening, Fellows developed the Augmented Artifact by harnessing phone based augmented reality, and in doing so, strengthened community and championed creative, collective experience. 

The Augmented Artifact is a physical object, created by Global Atlantic Fellows across numerous continents and disciplines. At intervals throughout the virtual event, we used our phones to augment creative gestures of welcome from those already within the Fellowship.

Rather than the flat screen of video conferencing, we integrated the experience into our own environment. Fellows from Southeast Asia greet you in their national dress on your kitchen table; Ohia, a type of stone known to the Māori people as Pounamu, elegantly spins, positioned by your touch around your home. Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity flood your space with a visual poem on Black joy; Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health gift a playful reflection on the role of imagination when caring for those with dementia. Each digital object champions touch and togetherness, in a time that largely denied us of both. 

Emerging technology often exacerbates pre-existing racial, social and economic inequities. As a Fellowship committed to equity, the global Atlantic community chooses not to be passive recipients of new technologies, but a community confident in developing, critiquing and connecting through them. This project exemplifies what can happen when those outside the silicon elite creatively engage with frontier technology. 

We invite you to click through the XR gallery below, and follow the instructions on how to use your phone to experience the Augmented Artifact for yourself.



about the project

Virtual Welcome Ceremony 2021

For me it's the representation of the story of the community, the story of the Fellows and really who we are and the identity of the cohort itself.”
Khaulah Fadzil
Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity in South East Asia
What really stood with me was this feeling of connection. I think it's incredible that technology is able to do that. I felt I belong to this community, I was reached emotionally”
Susanne Röhr
Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health
I can confidently say I have never worked on anything that uses this technology to bring people together, it has proved you don’t have to be the knowledge holder of everything to produce a good outcome
Alex Splitt
Atlantic Fellow for Social Equity
For me the connection came from the cultural aspect. When I heard culture being displayed from New Zealand, from South Africa, from Bangkok, I told myself culture is everything, and that really brought connection. We are diverse from different continents but this brought us all together...with just showing your camera on something that looks like a barcode, you can see people reciting something, sharing something...”
Abraham Freeman
Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity US + Global


Being Human When Digital
July 3, 2024

Being Human When Digital, was born out of the Atlantic community's exploration of the use of augmented and virtual realities and the ethical issues that raises. As Augmented and Virtual Realities Lead, Alice Wroe is concerned with how emerging technologies can strengthen the Atlantic community's collective work of addressing root causes of systemic inequities as well as how the Atlantic community can work together, while physically apart, to become a force for social good.

Atlantic Institute
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