Designing for Empathy® is a patented intellectual framework that inspires ONE’s vision to shape a culture of empathy in our world by positioning cultural institutions as incubators of empathy through multidisciplinary, multisector, and multicultural collaborations to deepen our understanding of empathy, and to develop strategies, scholarship, and empathy-building experiences that consider the wellbeing of the whole —all of humanity and our planet.
Within the context of Designing for Empathy® framework, a working definition of empathy is “a form of perception that enables us to connect with ourselves, and others, while awakening us into our oneness.” Inspired by recent scientific research, which suggests that “a belief in oneness has broad implications for psychological functioning and compassion for those are outside our immediate circle. (…) In general, those who hold a belief in oneness have a more inclusive identity that reflects their sense of connection with other people, nonhuman animals, and aspects of nature that are all thought to be part of the same ‘one thing’” —Designing for Empathy® suggests that approaching “oneness” as a “mindset” could enable us to respectfully explore the collective human wisdom of oneness in its various authentic contexts when it was considered as a lens, through which to view and experience the world. Oneness Mindset is a master perspective, which could be an essential tool that informs how we might see our world and our place in it, inspiring us to design and utilize our resources such as knowledge, technologies, and systems, with the intention of helping humans develop harmonious engagements with the whole. Within this context, Empathy-Building is an intentionally designed, transformative (perspective shifting, and worldview, narrative and paradigm expanding) lived perceptual experience that leads to self-knowledge. Through empathy-building, we can develop a knowledge of our own humanness, and the “self.” When we witness, notice, observe, and articulate the filters and biases that affect our perception, we can recognize them in our everyday lives at the point of their arising within. This non-judgmental witnessing and capturing of an inner experience, can help us develop a capacity for self-knowledge, self-accountability, and self-correction in our engagements with the other, and the whole. Empathy-building may lead us to develop a recognition of the intrinsic value of each unique element that makes up the whole and encourages us to calibrate and harmonize our attitudes and behavior accordingly.
Designing for Empathy® is a framework developed and published by Elif M. Gokcigdem, PhD, in Designing for Empathy: Perspectives on the Museum Experience (American Alliance of Museums, 2019). This edited volume expanded the learnings from her first book: Fostering Empathy Through Museums (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).
Designing for Empathy® services are offered by ONE - Organization of Networks for Empathy. Contact us to learn about our Consulting Services, Workshops, and the Annual Summit.
We believe empathy should be a shared value worthy of collective strategy, intentional effort, and long-term investment across all sectors, businesses, and institutions in our society. When we position our cultural institutions as incubators of empathy-building, we can develop and present to our communities sustainable, effective, and most relevant and meaningful science/research-based learning experiences that foster empathy towards the interconnectedness and oneness of all of humanity and our planet.
To learn more about what is Designing for Empathy®, listen to a brief and engaging conversation with Elif Gokcigdem here on Empathy & Wisdom & read a recent essay titled: The Simurgh is Calling: A Journey into Love through Arts, Empathy, and the Oneness Mindset.
Empathy, our ability to imagine what it might feel like to be the other, is essential for our personal and professional lives and wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of our communities, institutions, and the environment. Our ability to develop individuals’ capacity for empathy towards humanity and and our world lies at the heart of our ability to solve the increasingly complex social and environmental challenges our humanity and our planet are facing.
Empathy enables us to connect with ourselves and with others, while awakening us to our interconnectedness as parts of a greater whole —all of humanity and the planet. An awareness of our interconnectedness calibrates and harmonizes our values, attitudes and behavior within this whole of which we are a part. Developing an appreciation for this whole inspires us to meaningfully engage with it through acts of compassion and altruism.
As empathy can be best learned through lived experiences, creating those authentic experiences where individuals can discover, unlock, and advance their potential for empathy in safe and non-judgmental spaces, become more essential. Our world needs strategic investment in trusted experiential education platforms and tools that are intentionally designed for empathy-building towards an understanding of our interconnected existence —the oneness of all of humanity and our planet. This pragmatic perspective shift from a self-centric worldview to a worldview where the self considers itself as integral to the whole, and values this unity, is only possible through empathy.
Designing for Empathy® provides a framework, through which empathy, and empathy-building tools are explored and developed for application in a variety of contexts, disciplines, and sectors. Through transdisciplinary and cross-sectors collaboration and experimentation we inspire, support, and lead the development and the design of transformative spaces and experiences that foster empathy for the oneness of all humanity, and our planet.
Reach out to learn more. Contact: email@example.com