Design Thinking and Empathy Generation


Date: 26/03/2018
Time: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm



Event Info

This one-day design thinking course has been designed to help facilitators, practitioners and researchers renew their focus on empathy generation and what it means during a design thinking process.

Often described as a human-centered approach to innovation, design thinking is being used across the globe in a wide range of settings and industries, including public and private companies, non-profits, universities, and government agencies.

Programme overview
In this workshop, you will experience the creative power of true empathy. You will learn to distinguish empathy from emotional contagion, sympathy, empathic concern, empathic overarousal and personal distress. You will be given concepts to understand and tools to practice this often lacking, and much needed, capacity.As you deepen your capacities for imagination, intuition and inspiration associated with the art of empathy, you will tap into resources for innovative design relevant to the creation of human-centred society.Background information
Empathy, as a capacity, is integral to design thinking and human-centric design. On the surface, it seems easy to achieve. There are, however, many internal experiences that fall under the umbrella term of empathy, many of which may represent our own view of our customer more than their actual reality and needs.

As we attempt to place ourselves in their experience, we bring with us our own sticky cultural, historical and contextual tendencies. Empathy is a process, not an event. Many of its stages are automatic and unconscious, surfacing a view of our own rich tapestry of life.

Unless we learn to identify these phantoms, we are likely to project them onto our perception of our customer’s needs. Their real needs remain submerged, often even to themselves. With enhanced empathy skills, we are able to discern their deeper needs and to respond creatively.

As well as teaching theory and practice of design thinking, this course provides a deep-dive into empathy and its many facets, and how, leaving empathy to chance, may hinder, as much as enhance, the Design Thinking and Human-centred design process.

What will you learn?
-The ability to engage a deeper level of empathy as you apply a design thinking framework to relevant human-centric challenges
-To distinguish between true empathy and associated states of being
-To fluidly engage the five-stages of empathy practice
-To apply embodied intelligence as a technique in empathy in interviews and observation to bring awareness to otherwise automatic, unconscious cues
-To enhance your facilitation capacities by understanding workshop participants better; to ensure coordinated, emphatic interaction in customer interviews and to sensitively interpret your interview and observation results.
-Methods and tools include: From passive sensing to active perception; five-stage empathy practice, embodiment techniques, observational methods

Who will facilitate?

Katherine Train, is an expert on empathy in organisations through the lens of South Africa, cultural and resource diversity and a history of social upheaval. She has been researching and facilitating workshops on empathy and related topics since 2005 in corporate, NGO and the public sector. View

Robert Bloom, will be your Lead DT Facilitation Coach. Robert is the Founder of DTG-SA and has been facilitating design thinking programmes since 2011. Robert has facilitated Workshops with a number of listed companies on the JSE as well as in Dubai and Kuwait.

Max. participants: 15

Ticket Price: excluding VAT (including lunch, snacks and drinks)
Early Bird Price: R2,950 before 31 January 2018
Regular Price: R3,200
Discounts available for teams signing up or NGOs.

For more info please contact Robert at or Katherine at

To register please visit our website and click on the register button at the top of the page


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