• November 2012

Nov. 5: Why Is Empathy So Important? Danielle Goldstone Explains

NOVEMBER 5, 2012

TODAY ON THE INKANDESCENT RADIO NETWORK

Our spotlight is on: Danielle Goldstone, the Change Leader at Ashoka.

Our hot topic: How can you become more empathetic?

Your host: Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher of Be Inkandescent magazine, and founder & president of The Inkandescent Group, LLC

As a Change Leader at Ashoka, Goldstone heads up the international organization’s Start Empathy Initiative.. The mission, she explains, is to create a world where every child masters empathy. That is, they foster the ability to understand the feelings and perspectives of others and to use that understanding to guide their actions.

A collaboration of social entrepreneurs, educators, parents, and key players in the media, business, and academic sectors, Asoka’s ultimate goal is to make empathy as essential as reading and math in early education.

“We’re not building a program, or a curriculum, or a silver-bullet fix,” Goldstone explains. “Rather, we’re working to unleash demand for empathy as a core 21st century skill. We are building the case for why it matters, identifying key practices and principles needed to cultivate it effectively, and putting those principles into action.”

In this podcast, you’ll learn:

  • Why it is so important to be empathetic before age 12
  • Whether people are born empathetic, or it is a learned skill?
  • In some communities, or even some households, where there is some patriarchy or violence—is it safe for kids to show off their empathy?
  • Tips for parents on how to make their kids more empathetic
  • Ways to help teens and college-age kids be more empathetic
  • The work Ashoka is doing with Harvard to cultivate empathy and other skills in kids and adults
  • How the Tata Group in India has created a company filled with empathetic employees—and why several of them ran into their burning Taj Hotel to save guests
  • And, you get insights into Ashoka’s 3-part strategy that moves empathy from nice-to-have to a must-have skill

About Danielle Goldstone

Danielle Goldstone leads Ashoka’s Empathy Initiative. Since first joining Ashoka in 2000 (and returning in 2009), she has helped developed and grow various initiatives, including Ashoka’s expansion and development in Africa.

Her background includes policy advocacy with the pioneering Jubilee 2000 campaign, as well as legal work on Guantánamo detainee cases and other human rights analysis related to the U.S. war on terrorism. She has written on the International Criminal Court. Danielle has degrees in economics, law, and theology from Stanford and Emory and was Editor in Chief of the Emory International Law Review. She is admitted to the New York Bar.

Click here to listen to our interview with Danielle Goldstone.

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