The Power of Outrospection

What do Mr Spock, Che Guevara and Gandhi have in common? They all appear in my new RSA Animate, The Power of Outrospection, about how empathy can create radical social change.

If you want to know more about my ideas on empathy, a good place to start is my book Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get It.

12 thoughts on “The Power of Outrospection

  1. I loved this! Especially the last couple of minutes where you talk about an empathy museum. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? I feel people are losing empathy as families become more nuclear and communication between even family members is increasingly through the digital world. I started my company, Treetle, precisely to nudge people to *actually do* what they love along with people who love to do the same things. The hope is you meet friends you didn’t even know you had!

  2. Hi Roman,

    Thank you for this. I agree with you that stepping out of our comfortable knowledge spaces, especially as as time and spatial scales expand through technology and globalisation, is required for a more understanding, accepting and ultimately collaborative world.

    I just wanted to point out that this practice of embedding oneself in “someone else’s life” is precisely what cultural anthropologist do through ethnographic fieldwork. You might find a large amount of fascinating literature that you didn’t know looking that way!

  3. Thanks for your comment Sarah. I agree that cultural anthropologists offer plenty of fascinating insights into empathy. In fact, I’ve done a fair amount of ethnographic fieldwork myself, in Guatemala. There’s an interesting new book out called The Anthropology of Empathy, edited by Hollan and Throop, focusing on the Pacific. I think anthropologists are only just getting back into empathy as an explicit topic of research after a long period of being distrustful of the concept, in part due to some rather disparaging comments from Clifford Geertz!
    Best wishes, Roman

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