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Investing in Empathy | Kris Billeter | TEDxLivermore
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Added Sep 1, 2016
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"Do you understand that in the event you are taken hostage, you will not be negotiated for?" rang in Kris’ ears as she entered San Quentin for the first time. In this compelling and emotionally impactful talk, Kris addresses the question of "How are we doing Prisons?" in the USA. In the $80 billion American prison system, the answer is 'not well.' Since 1980 there has been a 400% increase in incarceration & protection expenses, and a 13% decrease in higher education in America, with 1 in 34 Americans either in prison, on probation, or on parole.
In the Guiding Rage Into Power program (GRIP) Kris has worked with a group at San Quentin whose cumulative time-in-prison amounts to 742 years, yet when they added up the total time of the actions that put them in prison, it was a but a blip - a miniscule 25 minutes of acting in anger. What happens between anger and a crime? Sitting in the fire, asking this question, is about sitting in pain and discomfort long enough to let it teach you.

Kris Billeter earned her BA and MA degrees in Political Science and Organizational Behavior and has worked for Wells Fargo, Nikko Investment Advisors and Hewlett Packard. In 1997, she started her own consulting firm (Kristine Billeter & Associates). In the early 2000's, Kris took a sabbatical to move to Thailand to expand her training and teaching of scuba diving, following a life-long passion for the ocean world. In 2015 she was elected to the Coral Reef Alliance, advising the set-up of both shark and reef conservation efforts. The combination of work in hands-on prison programs, and in the expansive biological world, demonstrates a compassion for both the inner world that impacts individuals, and the outer world, that we impact collectively.

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