An Empathy Circle is a structured
meaningful and constructive dialogue.
is the most effective first step and gateway empathy building practice.
It increases mutual understanding and
connection by ensuring that each person feels fully heard to their
Daniel Christian Wahl
is author of
Designing Regenerative Cultures. In his book,
Daniel explores ways of relating to the many converging crises and
opportunities faced by humanity at a local, regional and global
scale. He invites us to step back from our tendency to want
In this dialogue, we talk about the relationship between
designing Regenerative Cultures and Cultures of Empathy. We see how
they are closely interrelated. Instead of othering and
separating from each other, we need to come together with mutual
empathy, presence, connection and care to heal the planet and
Daniel writes, "Spreading the story of why we care about life and the health
of the whole and sharing the narrative of interbeing is culturally
creative meta-design. By sharing the new and ancient story of interbeing
we facilitate the emergence of diverse regenerative cultures
scale-linked by empathy and cooperation."
Matthew Delaney is an editor and reporter for a local newspaper in the
Washington, D.C. metro area. He wrote an article in the magazine
The Misuse of Empathy Is Devaluing Pain. He had a
wide range of criticism of empathy, saying it is;
divisive, self-centered, and unhelpful. It makes
people take sides in a conflict, supports
cancel culture, it leads to tribalism, and temps us into immediacy. Matt feels hopeless that
society will change for the better or overcome it's polarization and that
it will have to hit a rock bottom before it can change.
Edwin listens to and empathizes with Matt and shows how he is
misunderstanding the nature of empathy. He explains how the
he is criticizing are not empathy, but the blocks to empathy.
Doug Noll has been in professional practice for over 40 years. For the
past 20 years, he has dedicated himself to understanding the emotional and
biological origins of human conflict. With this knowledge, he has
developed a set of empathic listening skills that "work the first
time, every time". He is author of,
De-Escalate: How to Calm an Angry Person in 90 Seconds or Less Paperback.
Doug says: "Empathic leadership development is
essential for teachers, educators, administrators, and school board
members. Without the ability to connect with students and parents
quickly and effectively, conflict escalates.Empathic leadership is a skill comprised of three
The ability to ignore the words, focus on
emotions, and reflect those emotions back
The ability to problem-solve specific issues
once calm is restored
The ability to create a learning environment
that is emotionally safe
This skills must be learned, practiced and honed
to be mastered. Research shows that learning empathic leadership
skills will not come from a one-off workshop."
God and Satan
take part in this Restorative Empathy Circle Mediation to work out their
differences. For millennium God and Satan have been in conflict with each
other. Edwin Rutsch invites them to take part in a Restorative Empathy Circle
to use mutual empathic listening to talk out their differences. The opening
issue they talk about is that Satan left heaven.
An Empathy Circle is a structured dialogue process based on mutual active
listening. The process increases constructive dialogue and mutual
understanding by ensuring that each person feels fully heard to their
satisfaction. It can be used for conflict mediation.
"We believe that law can be a healing profession, and that lawyers can
be peacemakers. At the Integrative Law Institute, our mission is to bring
insights and tools to lawyers so that they have what they need to return
the practice of law to this original purpose: helping people reach
resolution that heals the conflict."
John Wood Jr. is a national leader for Better Angels, a former
nominee for congress, former Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Los
Angeles County, and author of the upcoming book Transcending Politics:
Perspectives for a Divided Nation.
Director of Media Development and spokesman at Better Angels.
Better Angels is a national, grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated
to project of creating greater understanding and collaboration in our civic
culture between Democratic and Republican voters. I am responsible for the
development of original written, video and audio content for Better Angels
website and social channels, crafting public messaging, and public
"There is something subversive in empathy that
makes it threatening to certain social status-quos. Most political
coalitions are based, to some degree, on the dehumanization of their
Some find empathy to be antithetical to the pursuit of justice. To
others, empathy is the virtue of the morally irresolute. In a time
when some politicians relentlessly insult their opponents on Twitter
while others encourage their supporters to harass opponents in
public places, empathy may not always strike everyone as a
self-evident good. It is good to understand why empathy seems to
frustrate, disappoint, or even offend its critics, precisely because
it is a virtue worth defending."
Fritz Breithaupt is
Provost Professor at Indiana University Bloomington. He founded and
directs the Experimental Humanities Laboratory at IU. He is
author of the book,
The Dark Sides of Empathy.
argues that some of the dark sides of empathy include; self-loss,
side taking, identifying with the helper, sadistic empathy and
vampiristic empathy. Edwin argues that empathy is light and the
so-called dark sides are not empathy, but blocks to empathy.
Fritz says (and Edwin agrees)
that a benefit of empathy is;
intensifies our experiences and widens the scope of our perceptions. We
feel more than we could with-out it, and it enables us to participate more
fully in the lives of others, even fictional characters."
is, of course, a critical factor in healthy long-term relationships, too,
making it easier for us to understand our family members or romantic
partners and anticipate their emotional needs and reactions. Love without
empathy would be a sad thing for most people."
Elizabeth A. Segal is a social
policy analyst with a background in professional social work. She
currently holds the position of Professor in the School of Social Work
at Arizona State University. Dr. Segal's current research is on social
empathy, the application of empathic insights into creating better
social welfare policies and programs. She has begun work on creating a
compendium of methods to teach social empathy and an instrument to
measure people's inclination towards social empathy.
Our ability to understand others and help
others understand us is essential to our individual and collective
well-being. Yet there are many barriers that keep us from walking in
the shoes of others: fear, skepticism, and power structures that
separate us from those outside our narrow groups.
To progress in a multicultural world and
ensure our common good, we need to overcome these obstacles. Our
best hope can be found
in the skill of empathy.
is an internationally renowned educational psychologist and an expert in
parenting, bullying, and character development. She is an award-winning
author of twenty-two books translated into fourteen languages. One of the
foremost authorities on childhood development in the country, she is a
regular NBC contributor who appears regularly on Today and has been
featured as an expert on Dateline, The View, Dr. Phil, NBC Nightly News,
Fox & Friends, Dr. Oz, and The Early Show, among many others.
She is author of, UnSelfie: Why
Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World.
"Empathy is the root of
humanity and the foundation that helps
our children become good, caring people. But the Empathy Advantage
gives them a huge edge at happiness and success."
Mary Goyer is Holistic Counselor, Trauma Specialist, & Executive
Coach. She supports organizations in cultivating innovative, collaborative, and
productive work cultures. Individual coaching and team trainings focus on
peak performance, conflict resolution, effective collaborative and
feedback skills, and managing personality challenges that impede employee
engagement. She is editor of:
The Healing Power of Empathy: True Stories About Transforming
"Empathy is an essential leadership skill and a
cornerstone of good relationships - but it can be hard to access when it's
most needed. Luckily, empathy is also a learnable skill. With mindfulness,
empathy has deescalated conflicts, combated loneliness, and built human
connections in the most unlikely places."
Elif Gokcigdem is a thought leader, historian of Islamic art, and a museum
scholar who is committed to creating fertile grounds of empathy through
informal learning platforms to inspire positive behavior change, caring
mindsets, and compassionate worldviews that value all of humanity and the
It's time to harness the power of empathy
by creating shared terminology, vision, and values across disciplines and
sectors. As leaders of cross-industry dialogue and innovation, we are
positioned to develop the standards and best practices of the
A series of Empathy Circles with empathy activists. Most participants
have written books or head programs on the topic. This is a way to
explore the different facets of empathy together and for people in the
field to get to know each other and exchange ideas and insights.
Participants Edwin Rutsch:
Director, Center for Building a Culture of Empathy
Author, Empathy Deficit Disorder: Healing from Our Mix-ups About Work,
Home, and Sex
Peter Lytton Bazalgette
is a British television executive and creative figure. He is a television
producer who helped to create the independent TV production sector in the
United Kingdom, and went on to be the leading creative figure in the
global TV. He was Chair of Arts Council England from 2012 until
2016. He is the author of:
The Empathy Instinct: How to Create a More Civil Society.
Empathy is the power of understanding
others, imaginatively entering into their feelings.
It is a fundamental human attribute, without
which mutually cooperative societies
Noah Berlatsky - Against Empathy
Edwin Rutsch - For a Culture of Empathy
"Empathy isn't the
solution to our political crisis.....
In practice, unfortunately, empathy is an imperfect tool for political or
moral change, one that can exacerbate divisions rather than healing them.
Trump himself leverages empathy to enable his administration's bigotry and
cruelty and to justify eroding political norms."
"Empathy is the solution to our political crisis and here is
For over 4 decades New Dimensions has been gleaning experience and
inspiration from some of the world's most
innovative, enlightened, and trustworthy wisdom leaders as it sows the
seeds of encouragement and confidence that, together, we can meet the
challenges of the 21st Century.
Topics Explored in This Dialogue
What is the history of the concept of empathy
What is the difference between empathy and sympathy
What are some physical traits we can cultivate to
establish empathy with another
What is an example of connecting with a neighbor of a
different political persuasion
How developing empathy is a gateway practice like
developing a muscle
What is the process used in the Empathy Cafes both
on-line and in person
How Rutsch set up an Empathy Tent at a Berkeley political
Why it is important to repeat back to the person what
they have said without having to agree with them...
This the first of a series of Empathy Circles with empathy
activists. Most participants have written books or head programs on the
topic. This is a way to explore the different facets of empathy together
and for people in the field to get to know each other and exchange ideas
Director, Center for Building a Culture of Empathy "The Empathy Circle is the most effective
gateway practice for
nurturing and practicing empathy that I know of."
Jackie Acho Author, Empathy Deficit Disorder: Healing from Our Mix-ups About
Work, Home, and Sex "The empathy deficit disorder is the
result of an economic
system built on the separation of work and home."
Minter Dial Author, Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and
"Here are five of the best ways to strengthen your
and abilities: 1. Listen. Practice active listening, by
reformulating what you hear out loud..."
is President of The Acho Group, a strategy and leadership consulting firm.
Prior to founding The Acho Group in 2005, she was a Partner in the Midwest
Complex of McKinsey & Company. She has worked for technology, industrial,
academic, nonprofit, and economic development clients on a variety of
issues, with particular focus on growth and innovation, strategy, and
leadership development for more than 25 years. Jackie is co-author
Empathy Deficit Disorder: Healing from Our Mix-ups About Work, Home, and
The empathy deficit disorder is the result of an
economic system built on the separation of work and home. This separation
has devalued the most foundational form of empathy - the emotional,
embodied, so-called affective empathy that is our birthright. As a result we have forgotten who we are...
By aligning our new external reality with our innermost humanity,
co-creation offers a solution to our empathy deficit disorder and an
opportunity to unite our divided world. Empathy is that powerful.
Minter Dial is a thought-leader, author, consultant and professional speaker.
He is president and founder of Digitalproof Consultancy, a strategic firm
providing digital and brand consulting to clients including Kering Group,
Samsung, Google and L'Oreial. Minter is author of,
Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial
Intelligence. The objective of this book is to explore
ways to increase empathy in business and machines.
For business, empathy may be the biggest untapped lev
erfor productivity, customer fidelity and long-term profitability!
Lanzoni is a historian of psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience
and teaches at Harvard's School of Continuing Education. Her work
has been featured in the Atlantic and American Scientist and on
Cognoscenti on WBUR, Boston's NPR station. She is author of
Empathy: A History. The book tells the fascinating and largely
unknown story of the first appearance of
in 1908 and tracks its shifting meanings over the following century.
History tells us that empathy comprises a
artful but also effortful practice that enrolls
feelings, intellect, and imagination.
Empathy, in it's many varieties, offers an
sometimes direct challenge to the idea
that we are
Helen Riess, M.D. is Associate Clinical Professor of
Harvard Medical School and Director of the Empathy and Relational Science
Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The mission of the Program is to enhance empathy and
interpersonal relationships in healthcare. She is also Chief Technology
Officer of Empatheticswhich offers scientifically based empathy training proven to optimize
Teachers connect with students in ways
that help learners discover and expand there talents.
Businesses are more likely to thrive because they invest in the people
working for them. Politicians start to represent the needs of their
The arts have always been a connector for
people of all walks of life to learn more about one another, find common
ground, inspire curiosity rather than judgment, and provide shared mind
empathic experiences that remind us that all people are part of the fabric
L'aura Joy is a Certified Trainer in Nonviolent Communication, and since 2007 she has been
working in the fields of communication, conflict resolution, peace and
justice, healing, and decision-making and leadership.
Having grown up in Auroville, an international intentional community in
Tamil Nadu, India, L'aura is passionate about exploring how we can live our
lives in empowered and co-creative ways. Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
offers such a clear, yet deeply powerful and transformative framework
within which to explore both our inner realities as well as outer
relationships. L'aura is also trained in Restorative
Circles and Sociocracy, and she applies these approaches to her work with
justice and governance in Auroville.
Chad Woodruff is a Cognitive Neuroscientist who uses neuroimaging
techniques to investigate social and cognitive processes. Chad has
had extensive experience as a graduate student, post-doctoral fellow, and
an assistant professor with neuroimaging and has mentored undergraduate
students in the use of these techniques for 10 years.
It informs current research, stimulates further research
endeavors, and encourages continued and creative philosophical and
scientific inquiry into the critical societal constructs of empathy and
building a culture of empathy
As part of the Empathy Tent and National Week of Conversations
Project we hold a Democracy Circle (Empathy Circle) on How might we
bridge the Political Divides in the USA? We invite participants from
all points on the political spectrum to take part. Take Part in Left-Right
National Week of Conversation Project
Mending the frayed fabric of America by bridging divides one
conversation at a time. Americans of all stripes are stepping up to
address the growing cultural crisis of hyper-polarization and
animosity across divides. Together we can turn the tide of rising
rancor and deepening division with widespread conversations.
Tracy Levett-Jones is the Professor of Nursing Education and Discipline
Lead at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Her research
interests include: empathy, belongingness, clinical reasoning,
interprofessional education, cultural competence, simulation and patient
safety. Tracy has authored ten books, the most recent being
'Clinical Reasoning: Learning to think like a nurse'
'Critical Conversations for Patient Safety';
as well as nearly 200 book chapters, reports and peer reviewed journal
The Empathy Initiative is a group of like-minded
academics and practitioners with a strong belief in the power and
potential of empathy to change lives and improve the quality of care
provided to patients/clients/residents.
Our group shares a commitment to undertaking collaborative empathy
research that has the capacity to transform education and practice. The
purpose of the Empathy Initiative is to generate high quality, rigorous
empathy/compassion research that informs and influences student learning
and patient care, either directly or indirectly. Sub
Conference: Health Care
Karleen Gardner is Director of Learning at the Minneapolis Institute of
Art. She also heads up the Center for Empathy and Visual Arts.
Mia envisions taking a leading role in collaborating with
museum colleagues as well as researchers, scholars, content experts, and
other influencers to research and explore practices for fostering
empathy and global awareness through the power of art and to share these
findings with the field.
In our increasingly divisive world, polarized by issues regarding
politics, racial inequities, marriage equality, global warming, income
disparities, and immigration policies, it becomes clear that our failures
to understand other people's feelings are exacerbating prejudice,
conflict, and inequality.
If we wish to develop not only a more equal
society but a happier and more creative one, we will need to look outside
ourselves and attempt to identify with the experiences of others. This
critical skill is called empathy, which
"has the power to transform
relationships, from the personal to the political, and create
fundamental social change".
Ike Lasater is the co-founder of Mediate Your Life, a training company
that helps people build better lives by changing how they respond to
conflict. With extensive training in Nonviolent Communication, Ike
teaches and coaches individuals and organizations in communication and
conflict resolution skills and has trained thousands of people in the
US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He has served on the board of directors
for the Center for Nonviolent Communication and the Association for
Dispute Resolution of Northern California. Ike is a former trial
attorney for 20 years who co-founded a thriving San Francisco law firm.
At its core, the Mediate Your Life training is about
listening to - and really hearing - ourselves and others. It is about
increasing our capacity for empathy so that when triggered we can overcome
the body's natural "fight-flight-freeze" reaction. The process teaches how
to replace conflict with true collaboration, new possibilities, and
For more than thirty years, Dr. Brian Goldman has been an active
participant in and keen observer of the culture of modern medicine. Since
2007, he has hosted White Coat, Black Art, a multi-award-winning show on
CBC Radio that reveals what goes on behind a hospital
As a veteran emergency room physician, Dr. Brian Goldman has a
successful career setting broken bones, curing pneumonia, and otherwise
pulling people back from the brink of medical emergency. He always
believed that caring came naturally to physicians. But time, stress,
errors, and heavy expectations left him wondering if he might not be the
same caring doctor he thought he was at the beginning of his career. He
wondered what kindness truly looks like
in himself and in others.
How can empathy transform health care?
Empathy is the way that we establish human connections. Without it,
relationships between people are just transactions and devoid of the
emotional warmth and meaning that I think is inherent in the human
condition. If we could put more empathy into health care, it would mean
that patients are more likely to follow the instructions of physicians and
to feel assured that the best is being done for them.
Shantigarbha is an experienced teacher of both Nonviolent Communication
(NVC) and Buddhism; he is also a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order.
Shantigarbha is an international NVC trainer, certified with the
International Centre for Nonviolent
Empathy is an intuitive body-sense rather that an
intellectual understanding of other people's psychology.
Empathy is appreciating and valuing what is
fundamental to the other person, their deep motivations, their physical
needs, their hopes and dreams. It involved imagining how the other
person might feel in their situation and what is important to them.
Alissa Stover is new gradate in Psychology from UC Berkeley. She along with other students, designed and facilitated a series of empathy
classes there over a several year period. The
Empathy Tent Team worked with the classes to facilitate the
empathy circle practice and set up the empathy tent in Sproul plaza.
experience facilitating the classes.
We believe that empathy is not only fascinating as a concept, but important as
a skill on an individual and societal level. By the end of this course we aim
to have a better understanding of empathy and to feel more able to use it in
our daily lives.