The Empathy Toy on CTV News


The Empathy Toy on CTV Morning Live

How is a tool for empathy helping our communities thrive in the face of technology and automation in the future of work? CTV Winnipeg has the story bright and early in this Community Connection segment for their live Morning show!

“The blocks are called the Empathy Toy. From school divisions to workplaces across winnipeg, the game is now being used to teach empathy – a skill experts predict will be among the most valued by employees and employers in the automation era.”

Empathy at the foundation of business

The video crew at CTV caught up with the team at Protegra, a software development company in Winnipeg that’s been using the Empathy Toy to work on their communications skills, including software developer Sean Bueckert, who testified to the tricky task of collaborating while blindfolded. “Because we can’t see the same thing, we had to understand from the other person’s perspective what they were seeing. So we ask questions, and try to understand what they would be going through.”

According to the broadcast, Protegra co-founder, Wadood Ibrahim, has noticed that his “teams are collaborating more efficiently, and share a deeper level of understanding” since using the Empathy Toy in workshops over the last year.

Ibrahim says he’s “proud and even surprised by the positive results his team has had using the Empathy Toy,” and even went as far as to say that empathy was the foundation of how they build products at Protegra. “Empathy is at the foundation of the activities we do. It’s foundational in terms of how you build products, so if you understand your customer’s problem, you understand the customer’s challenges, then you can build the right product for them.”

The video is quick to point out that experts like Kathy Knight, interviewed as the CEO of the Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba, say the skills that robots can’t do – skills like Empathy that are uniquely human – are key to thriving in a future where computer automation is predicted to impact 40% of Canada’s workforce. That’s why we’re starting to see Empathy valued more highly by both employers like Wadood Ibrahim and employees like Sean Bueckert. And why industry-focused associations like the ICT Association of Manitoba are “advocating for empathy training in businesses, and more importantly, schools.

The Empathy Toy in Winnipeg this week

The production of this video segment for CTV coincides with the reason we find ourselves in Winnipeg this week! Our founder Ilana Ben-Ari gave a keynote presentation on Empathy as the #1 job skill in the future of work, at DisruptED, an annual conference that takes place this year Feb 1–2, 2018. While in town, Ilana also stopped by Global TV to give a personal interview on the Empathy Toy. Watch Ilana and the Empathy Toy on Global news here.