Guntra Laivacuma

Department: Man and Leisure

Empathy Gym

What: A storytelling exercise that encourages players to practice empathy by sharing stories about emotions, actions and sensations.

Why: Politics and society are increasingly polarised. Polarisation appeals to negative emotions such as fear and anger. Neuroscientists tell us that all humans are inherently empathic, and that empathy is a skill we can train.

How: The warm-up phase helps us recognise emotions in facial expressions. The exercise phase trains us to become better storytellers and listeners. The cooling down phase lets us reflect on the experience and select our favourite stories. Empathy Gym can be played with friends, family, colleagues or even strangers before a political debate.

“Empathy is a skill that can be trained”

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photographs: Nicole Marnati