Empathy Museum is the world’s first experiential space dedicated to developing the skill of empathising, transforming personal relationships and inspiring action.
Empathy is the imaginative act of stepping into the shoes of another person and viewing the world from their perspective. That means really trying to understand where someone is coming from – the feelings, beliefs, hopes and experiences that make up their view of the world.
The founder of the Empathy Museum, writer and cultural thinker Roman Krznaric believes that to understand others, we need to walk in their shoes.
“Empathy has this amazing power for social change,” he explains. “We need to take empathy out of the realm of psychology and not only into everyday relations but also into culture.”
Empathy Museum is the world’s first museum dedicated to helping visitors develop the skill of putting themselves in others’ shoes. At the Empathy Museum, visitors will find themselves in a interactive shoe, A Mile in My Shoes, where a sales assistant fits them, literally, with someone else’s shoes – shoes that may belong to a refugee or an old Etonian banker and embark on a mile-long physical, emotional and imaginative journey to see the world through their eyes.
“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” asked Henry David Thoreau, the 19th-century American philosopher and abolitionist. Krznaric chose this quote as the epitaph to his book, Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get It.
“The point is to create an explosion of empathy in everyday life. We’re creating an experiential and conversational space, not a staid Victorian museum,” says Krznaric.
Empathy Museum invites you to a series of free installations exploring how empathy can have the power to transform our personal relationships and tackle global challenges.
The Empathy Library is a digital treasure house to share inspiring books and films to spark a global empathy revolution.
A new mobile library, A Thousand and One Books, will open in June as a home to hundreds of donated favourites. Peruse the pages and then pass it on, to friend or stranger. The library will track the books’ journeys and see how far they travel.
Roman Krznaric believes that empathy can be a guiding light for the art of living and a powerful tool for social change. Empathy can create a revolution. Not one of those old-fashioned revolutions based on new laws, institutions or governments, but something much more radical: a revolution of human relationships.
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