Empathy as currency for building Community

 by Brandon Cardwell

by Brandon Cardwell

At home and abroad, our world appears increasingly divided. Income inequality, global and domestic terrorism, mass migration of displaced people, escalating racial tensions, and an increasingly partisan and incendiary political environment are just some of the challenges we are facing. If ever there was a time for empathy, it is now.

But what is empathy, and why is it useful? The Greater Good Science Center has defined empathy as “the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.” In order to work constructively and collaboratively toward solving large-scale problems, we must first commit ourselves to understanding the human impacts they are creating. This is why TEDxLivermore has chosen the Economics of Empathy as the theme for its 2016 meeting, to provide a platform for our community to explore the role of empathy as a currency for building community.

At TEDxLivermore 2016 in June, attendees will hear from speakers who are helping women in refugee camps become entrepreneurs; empowering low-income kids to achieve their educational dreams; and matching skill with need while building a culture of equity for startups, just to name a few. These individuals all use empathy to create a path to success by first understanding the true nature of the challenge they are addressing and how that relates back to a specific human need.

If you would like to join us for a community conversation on the role of empathy in creating a more just world, please consider attending TEDxLivermore on June 25th. If you would like to get involved as a volunteer or sponsor, please contact us at info@tedxlivermore.com.