Design-Thinking: Empathy Required

As I reflected on the purpose of the Shared Owership Workshop and what book not only provided an insight to a societal problem, but one that could be reduced through the implementation of a shared ownership model, I thought of the book Evicted. As many of you are already know, when using a design-thinking model to help solve product/service, organizaitonal, and community problems, it is critical to first have or build empathy for the “users”. In my humble opinion, this necessitates getting in the field to really understand the why and how this societal problem exists in the first place. Reading can surely aid the process, but first hand observation/experience will surely provide a deep foundation.

I read Evicted about 12 months after I started working with the homeless population which provided a deeper understanding to the new knowledge that I was gaining. I read it on a vacation, sitting on the balcony of a condo overlooking the ocean. I don’t recommend doing that, unless you want a deep immersion into empathy building and to question why you are sitting in that place and time, while there is so much pain and suffering going on “around you”.

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