Why We Need to Care About Empathy

There is a really great RSA animated video explaining Jeremy Rifkin’s idea of the Empathic Civilization. He argues that we are neurologically wired for human relatedness and empathy through mirror neurons: we are soft-wired for sociability, attachment, affection and companionship – we have a deep drive for belonging.

Epathic Civilization - not Aggression.tiff Epathic Civilization - Sociability.tiff






Rifkin believes that we need to cultivate empathy to survive and thrive as a species. We can do this by extending our empathy to the entire human race. Over our history as a species, empathy has grown in scope from: blood ties –> religious ties –> national identity. We just need to extend one step further to embrace the whole world.

Enjoy the video.

People, Profit, Purpose

I like how Rifkins’s ideas are aligned with the triple bottom line of people, planet, profit. When we focus on building high-performance organizations by cultivating empathy skills (profit motive), we also better ourselves to help the people around us and the planet as a whole.

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