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Alex Howland

Co-Founder and PresidentVirbela

San Diego, CA

Member Since April 2021


Alex Howland, Ph.D., is president and co-founder of Virbela, a virtual world platform for work, learning, and events. Howland created Virbela in 2012, before it was purchased and made public by eXp World Holdings in 2018. Virbela’s mission is to help organizations and people thrive in a remote-first future. Alex leads the development of Virbela’s products and services -- continuing to expand the platform to accommodate not just business workspaces, but classrooms, event spaces, and recreational areas as well. Prior to co-founding Virbela, Alex was an instructor in the Psychology Department at University of California, San Diego, where he taught Industrial and Organizational Psychology to undergraduate students. His expertise in organizational psychology gives him a unique perspective on creating virtual work and education spaces. He designed Virbela specifically to create a unique virtual experience where users feel psychologically safe and are more likely to collaborate, brainstorm, and succeed. Alex has a bachelor of science in psychology from Providence College, and his Ph.D. in organizational psychology from Alliant International University, San Diego.

Published content

XR and AI tech: 2024 predictions


AI-powered technologies are becoming more sophisticated, enabling more accurate predictions and analysis in the enterprise and everyday life. 

19 tips to communicate more effectively with your remote workers 

expert panel

Here's how to elevate company culture in a digital office environment. If you are new to leading a remote or hybrid company, you may find yourself struggling to bridge the gap between management and staff members who work from home to create trust and transparency. By the same token, if you're new to working for a remote employer, you may be feeling isolated if you're unable to connect with your new co-workers and management the way you initially envisioned when you were onboarded for your "dream job opportunity."  To help leaders and their remote teams communicate more effectively and improve their working relationships in no time, 19 Fast Company Executive Board members each share one new idea for building a better company culture in 2024.

Metaverse workspaces: 2024 predictions


As companies settle into the right workplace setup for them, they will begin to realize that one of the biggest drivers of productivity—even beyond physical presence or the use of the latest technologies—is trust.

An interoperable future for the enterprise metaverse


How do we get from somewhat siloed use cases today to a utopian metaverse future that integrates all tools, technologies, and platforms and is accessible to all?

The psychological impact of metaverse AI on the individual worker


AI will eventually act as an interface in the metaverse, and the potential reward is massive. Carefully think it through, considering employees at the forefront.

Metaverse evolution: How AI can advance virtual worlds for enterprise companies


As AI becomes more powerful, we can expect it to shape the future of the metaverse, creating dynamic and personalized virtual environments for organizations, their staff, and other stakeholders. 

Company details


Company bio

Virbela builds engaging virtual worlds for work, learning, and events. Founded in 2012 by a team of behavioral psychologists, Virbela’s mission is to help organizations and people thrive in a remote-first future. With immersive 3D spaces that are deeply social and collaborative, Virbela brings business and in-person experiences to life online, while enabling teams to be more connected and productive.



Area of focus

Virtual Workforce

Company size

51 - 200