What if you could put on a head-set to see the world through the eyes of another? Virtual reality is the ultimate empathic medium. Yet how do we scale the growth of empathy? Birth, biology, education and experiences form, for each of us, a single, existential storyline that has us create very strong opinions about the world around us. Yet the works of researchers such as Mel Slater on implicit racial bias, Jeremy Bailenson from the virtual human interaction lab at Stanford, and virtual reality films like the award-winning Clouds over Sidra by Chris Milk (http://with.in/watch/clouds-over-sidra/) show that we can shift opinions, perceptions, and unconscious bias by ‘stepping into the shoes of another.’
Alexandra Ivanovitch has recently launched a social impact start-up to leverage the potential of disruptive technologies to tackle societal issues, and more precisely to develop virtual reality apps in the context of restorative justice and the fight against radicalism. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the Université Paris-Sorbonne, where she also was a postdoctoral researcher in Digital Humanities. Alexandra is one of the XPrize visioneers, created by Gene Roddenberry (www.xprize.org/visioneers/the-roddenberry-worldview). Her collaborative project, along with those of over a dozen teams of other ‘visioneers,’ have targeted Oct 2016 to launch a call to action for use of exponential technology to solve humanity’s grandest challenges: the development of empathy, celebration of diversity and the deep need for interconnectedness.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx