About Me

My name is John Lester (I also frequently use the online nickname “Pathfinder”), and I’m an expert in 3D Simulations, Multiuser Virtual Worlds, Immersive Learning, Knowledge Management and Community Development.

john pathfinder lester original profile pic version 3 large


Some topics for this blog include Opensim, Hypergrid, Jibe, Unity3d, Augmented Reality, and how the future depends on creating thoughtful interconnections between different platforms for creativity. You’ll also find a few short stories and humor.


I’m currently Chief Learning Officer at ReactionGrid, a company that develops 3D simulations and virtual world platforms.  Our focus is education, working with academics and businesses to help develop immersive learning environments.  I’m also Community Developer and Creative Advisor at Wiggle Planet, helping create free range, self-animated beings at the intersection of virtual and real.

From 2005-2010, I worked at Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life.  At Linden Lab I led the development of the education and healthcare markets while evangelizing the innovative use of virtual worlds in academia, training and immersive entertainment.

Previously, I worked at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, creating online medical education and patient support communities while exploring the underlying neuroscience behind how people communicate and collaborate effectively.

My deep expertise is in the use of innovative tools to promote creativity and knowledge sharing in an educational context.  I’m also an experienced leader in helping organizations with strategic planning, knowledge management and instructional design.

I hold weekly Online Office Hours and Tutorials and I’m active on Twitter as @Pathfinder.

For speaking engagements and other inquiries, please contact me directly at john.e.lester@gmail.com or via my profile on LinkedIn.

I live and work from home in Montréal, Canada.  Online, I can often be found in my Jibe virtual world or my Pathlandia Opensim grid.

For an example of my ideas about the future of virtual worlds and their use in business environments, see this video interview at the Center for Digital Strategies at Tuck School of Business.

And here’s another presentation of mine on Best Practices for Virtual Worlds.

19 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I am about to start my 20th year teaching; this year, Digital Media at a middle school in Tiburon. I loved your take on Snowcrash, one of my favorites, and will have my students at San Francisco State be required to read it. It is also something that my middle school students aren’t quite ready to accept, the humanity, because they are still forming as human beings, and the tween to early tween years are fraught with self-focused paranoia about fitting in.

    I am going to re-focus on storytelling in Digital Media this year, and your emphasis on expression will help that creative process a lot, thanks.

    • Thanks, Jeff. Wish I had such a class when I was in middle school!

      Storytelling in digital media is fascinating to me. Especially when you get into transmedia techniques. I’m planning to blog about those subjects in the near future and hope to get a good discussion going.

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  6. Hey John,

    I am so excited to have stumbled upon your work via @njsmyth’s blog! I have only scratched the surface but look forward to learning more about your work. All that AND you have Frith and El-Ahrairah for avatars. cool beans.

  7. Hey John! Thanks for your site. I enjoy seeing who else is out there doing what we are doing. We’re going to open our doors today on the alpha of our MMO and invite you to come see us! Nice to virtually meet you.

    Doug Glover
    Slime Sandwich

  8. Hey John,
    I was reading through your blog today and have a couple of questions if you don’t mind? I have recently set up 2 blogs myself which are SL related

    1. Would you mind sharing the links somewhere on your blog in return for you link put on mine? Just a little free exchange advertising.

    2. Would you mind if I republished content from your site on mine? Obvious credit would stay with you and a link to your site would be included.

    3. Do you have any tips for a new blogger? I’m still muddling my way through at the moment, so any hints you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you very much for your time, I hope to hear back from you soon.

    HisanoXelax Resident (Hisano) xx

    • Hi Hisano,

      1) My pleasure. I’ve just added links to those two blogs under my “Good Stuff” collection of links on the main page of my blog.

      2) As long as you give me attribution, please feel free. I am flattered that you would like to republish my ramblings.

      3) I think the most important thing is to just write about what you love. I also always try to include good photos and also keep things as short as possible. People like brevity and interesting things to look at. :)

  9. Hey John, thanks a lot for the great work…
    As an IT student, in my final year pursuing a bachelors degree, it has given me a lot of inspiration, for a very awesome project…
    Thank you,
    May the Almighty God bless you…

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