1. To understand a complex world (full here)
“The ability to understand what someone is feeling” – that’s the textbook definition of empathy. But when put into practice, empathy means a whole lot more. It means the ability to grasp the many sides of today’s complex problems and the capacity to collaborate with others to solve them; it means being as good at listening to the ideas of others as articulating your own; it means being able to lead a team one day, and participate as a team member the next...What’s more important is that you can take the perspective of others – whether you’re designing a new technology, or negotiating, or anticipating the uncertain. Indeed, how well we do — whether in the classroom or the boardroom — depends more than ever on how well we forge and navigate relationships. In this way, empathy is the new literacy: essential for us to communicate, collaborate, and lead."
2. To design solutions to problems (full here)
"The core principles of design thinking are to empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. Teaching design thinking can be a powerful way of teaching students empathy in that it teaches them how to solve another person’s problems by providing creative and innovative solutions that relate to his or her needs...Empathy is the first step in design thinking because it is a skill that allows us to understand and share the same feelings that others feel. Through empathy, we are able to put ourselves in other people's shoes and connect with how they might be feeling about their problem, circumstance, or situation. Some questions to consider:
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