The power of words

After the Brexit vote, those of us who wanted the European project to continue are sometimes struggling to do empathy with those who voted to leave. We have to try. Empathy is not about agreeing. Empathy is about trying to understand other people in the context of their lives. Empathic understanding matters because it helps … Continue reading

Launching the Empathy Manual

Two events coming up soon in London where we present the new manual “Empathy Dynamics in Conflict Transformation”. Both at 5th Base Gallery, Heneage Street EC1 5LJ. (Off Brick Lane – nearest tube is Aldgate East) Creating empathy and transforming conflict Lynne Cameron in conversation with Simon Weatherbed, Director of NGO Responding to Conflict Tuesday … Continue reading

It’s all happening!

Final preparations are underway for launching the manual on Empathy Dynamics in Conflict Transformation this coming week. I’ve had a few hard copies printed but the best version is for reading on an ipad – I decided on this after seeing my Kenyan colleagues using ipads. In this version, there are videos to watch and … Continue reading

Entry points for empathy

Empathy is an ‘entering into’ the life world of another person, said the Russian scholar Mikhail Bakhtin. Sometimes that entering into is easy. If the other person is someone we know well or someone we love, we have many entry points into their world and multiple experiences that help us understand their feelings and emotions. … Continue reading

A morning conversation

I was taking photos of leaves on paving slabs when the man spoke to me. I explained that I use these random fallings in the composition of my paintings. This opened up a brief conversation in which I learnt: He lays paving slabs for his living. He likes the natural ones like the ones we … Continue reading

Sneak preview of what’s coming…

Busy today with my project advisory group, working through the draft of our EDiCT Manual. Here’s a sneak preview of the cover… When completed, the manual will introduce ideas about empathy dynamics and show how they can be applied in conflict transformation. Publication early in 2014!

Starting today

Our ‘learning conference’ starts today in London. We have three peace-builders from Kenya and two child rights advocates from Nepal, with two more arriving on Wednesday. Together we are working on training materials to bring ideas about empathy and dyspathy into conflict transformation. With these creative people engaged, it should be an exciting ride. I’ll … Continue reading

New place, new issues

Now the big research project has finished, we have moved on to what funders call “knowledge exchange” – sharing findings with people in the ‘real world’ and working out how it interacts with their issues. I am continuing to work with the NGO Responding to Conflict (brilliant people, superb work). The KE project has two … Continue reading

I have added The Challenge of Empathy as a pdf that can be downloaded, e.g. to spark interest in empathy or as a discussion starter. A summary of project findings and questions raised by them, for each of us to consider.

The challenge of empathy: Reducing distance

The project found 3 key ways of stopping empathy: distancing the other person, blocking them lumping them as a group. This post explores how we might reduce “distancing” through some questions and possibilities for action prompted by the research. Empathy is stopped when we find reasons not to get too close to other people, when … Continue reading