What EmpathyLab does

Neuroscience research shows that identifying with book characters’ emotions makes us more empathetic


EmpathyLab is a new organisation. We are incubating an empathy, literature and social action programme for 4-11 year olds. We aim to make a real difference to thousands of children’s lives, story by story.

Our brains are plastic, and with practice 98% of us are capable of becoming more empathetic. A growing bank of neuroscience research shows that literature is a key tool. Our work is inspired and underpinned by the research showing that relating imaginatively to book characters builds real-life empathy skills 
We are working with schools, libraries and authors to test this approach: 
In today’s divided world, the need for more empathy has never been more urgent. Helping children put empathy into action will reduce prejudice, and build a more caring society. The UK’s shocking post-Brexit rise in hate crimes has highlighted the urgency of educating children to enter into other people’s feelings


Our 2017 work focuses on:

· Empathy education in schools:working with 15 pioneer primary schools to develop a “triple win” framework for achieving literacy, character education and social action priorities simultaneously, and through normal school activities.

· National programme testing: experimenting with programmes which could roll out nationally, targeting children and families. For instance Empathy Detectives Clubs investigating themes like homelessness; Empathy Awards for book characters showing exceptional empathy.

·Author empathy army: training authors in the science of empathy and giving an empathy focus to events in schools and festivals

· Empathy Day: trialling a new Empathy Day on 13 June

· Thought leadership: speeches and workshops on the harnessing the power of stories to help children develop empathy life skills

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