On February 18th, we unpacked the concept of empathy in our Miro board.
We started by sharing our own understanding of empathy, after which Álvaro Chang gave us some definitions from the field of design and psychology, highlighting how designers use it more as a means towards an end (understanding the user to design better products). We engaged in critical conversations discussing the desire to (not) define empathy, and to (not) measure it. Many were hesitant about measuring empathy, as it should not be something that you can claim to be – rather it is something that is awarded by others. We talked extensively of various ways empathy is currently being measured, and how both qualitative and quantitative means need to complement each other to create meaning.
When thinking about empathy, it is useful to imagine sources of evidence building an argument of what is empathy as rivers flowing into a fresh Finnish lake. To build a comprehensive understanding of empathy, we can make use of different sources of evidence. Ultimately, measuring empathy should not be about self-validation, but about enhancing our understanding to contribute to creating feelings of togetherness, and connectedness.
Perhaps, this is even more important now that we are always remote from each other.
Alvaro and Floris
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