Recently I did a presentation titled ‘joined up thinking and ecodesign require empathy’ at an event organized by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and Cylch, the Wales Community Recycling Network. The title was inspired by a TEDx video. As suggested in a previous post, in today’s environment I feel that improving our ability to empathise is even more significant as we try to move towards a societal culture of trust, openness, interdependence and co-creation. In ecodesign this shift requires designing for and with people and the environment. Where there is no waste only resource.
Recently I came across a TEDx video on empathy which really struck a personal chord, bringing me back to a subject that particularly intrigues me – empathy. During the talk Sam Richards asked the audience to take themselves out of their shoes and put themselves in the shoes of someone else. I found it quite powerful – have a look and see what you think.
While I admit I can be impatient and I do struggle with my listening skills, empathy is something that has intrigued me for a long while. I would argue that a true understanding of each other and nature is key to ecodesign. This is not the norm at the moment.
In the age when we frequently hear ‘collaboration is the new competition’ moving towards this behaviour of greater societal empathy becomes more pertinent. Without empathy I would argue that co-operation is possible, but effective ecodesign through co-creation, the new collaboration, is not.
Empathy is key to building trust, something that I have long argued is crucial for ecodesign.
Recently I was asked to do a talk on ecodesign at an event provisionally titled ‘joined up thinking‘, being organized by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and Cylch, the Wales Community Recycling Network.
Hence I jumped at the opportunity to submit a title for my talk with the word empathy, so I’d make the time to give this some further thought. I chose ‘joined up thinking and ecodesign require empathy’!
Now the time has come to prepare the talk, the event is on this Thursday 19th, and I’m undecided on how to approach this. Any ideas are very welcome.
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