The What and Why of Empathy in Sustainable Partnerships

We weave in and out of each other’s lives in uniquely special ways that should be celebrated.

  • When I came to Kenya after 18 years in Zimbabwe, I found that Pamela, one of my former students in Zimbabwe, was now working at the school with me. I remember seeing her and thinking, “How cool is it to be able to work with former students?”
  • Last week when I replied to her comment on my MMI post about partnership, the word “empathy” kept exploding in my mind. Maybe I am finally glimpsing its power.

Since the Technology Resource Center initiative is a continuation of a long-term relationship, I am sharing the exquisite beauty of partnership in a video made by students and teachers from culturally and economically diverse situations. The movie was a real learning experience initiated, written, and filmed by the middle school students in both schools. “School Partnerships Reloaded” expresses feelings about unbelievable growth springing from combining talents.

  • One might think that making difficult changes is one-sided. I suppose it can be, but I assure you every student, teacher, and community member grows distinctively when we listen to and sense each other’s needs in deep ways.
  • Is that what empathy really is?

Design Thinking, which I passionately use as the core of teaching and learning, engages empathy as a first step towards innovation. We are introducing it in the village because we want to use the process more thoughtfully and deliberately, making it our common language as we proceed to this next exciting step of innovating village life through technology.

Try a cool sampling of Design Thinking. Share your comments and experiences. I will happily reply! Thanks for becoming part of us!

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