Is the Age of Empathy Dead?


Martha Cotton


To have empathy is to understand and accept others; their wants, needs, desires and fears. Design Thinking's approach to human-centered problem solving has empathy at its core.
While it is commendable that Design Thinking is now the language of the boardroom and MBA classroom, empathy is increasingly becoming commoditized and “work on empathy” has become a box-ticking exercise. Couple this with recent political events demonstrating a shift away from empathic leadership, we are perhaps in danger of product and service design shifting away from genuine human-centeredness?
This talk will look at how we can reclaim the designer’s role in Design Thinking, how we can resist a ‘check the box’ mentality, and explore how we can work together to redefine and promote the importance of empathy.

[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]

Primary Entry: Platinum Badge, Interactive Badge
Secondary Entry: Music Badge, Film Badge
Format: Solo
Event Type: Session
Track: Design
Level: Advanced