Ethics & Empathy | The Disruptive Design Methodology

Making ethical decisions that incorporate empathy in your work. Learn about the various ethical frameworks change makers need to be effective

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Understand how to steer your moral compass and make ethical decisions that incorporate empathy and ethics into all your work.


Discover the relationships between our ethical frameworks and the power of empathy as a tool for building change!

Ethics are fundamental to the human experience, helping to guide our decisions and experiences of the world. Empathy is the visceral experience of understanding, which helps us build ethical frameworks that benefit all people. Learn all about the ethical frameworks for change makers and how to create empathy-building tools.

Ethics is such a powerful part of the human experience. But, do we really know enough about how it manifests in our mind and the ways in which we can make more informed ethical choices to challenge the status quo? Ethics is a philosophy, yet it's a binding part of modern society. Complex and messy at times, it differs from culture to culture, making it hard to distinguish universal truths. So, it's critical that we build our capacity to explore and define ethical frameworks -- especially as a change maker and creative professional.

Empathy is a visceral experience that allows us to connect to other humans and builds our capacity to define what is ethical and what is not. This knowledge session takes us through an ethical decision making journey, in which we unpack various ethical frameworks posed by philosophers. What are the frameworks that we use to make decisions? How do we build more sound ethical frameworks to serve as a compass through our work? And how do we effectively converse around the complex and often messy topics that are necessary to build robust ethical societies?

Furthermore- how do you even know what is right or wrong?

This class runs through some of the bigger ethical ideas and looks at how these play out in society at large. We explore the notion of a universal truth and how we can all develop our own ethical frameworks to govern our work and personal lives.

This all ties in with empathy, which has become a key part of the design process but is often misunderstood. Here we explore the visceral and cognitive experience of empathy and explore tools for enhancing its experience and capacity.

This session will explore what empathy means for human experience and the nuanced implications of empathetic responses to stimuli. In this knowledge module, we learn how empathy plays a critical role in effective design, implementation, and activation, as well as how powerful it is as a force for gaining key insights and understandings. We will also unpack the physiological and social experiences of empathy and how one can employ empathetic approaches to design through unique methods and tactics.

You will learn about the contemporary philosophical and practical applications to ethics and ethical conduct, specifically through the lens of sustainability and social change.

Key Concepts: empathy as part of the human condition, empathy vs. sympathy, physiological and psychological experiences of empathy


Your Instructor

Leyla Acaroglu
Leyla Acaroglu

Designer and social change agent Dr. Leyla Acaroglu is internationally recognized as a leading expert in the fields of disruptive design, sustainability, design, and education. As an award winning designer, UNEP Champion of the Earth, social scientist and entrepreneur, Leyla developed the Disruptive Design Method and designs cerebrally activating experiences, gamified toolkits, and unique educational experiences that help people make the status quo obsolete. Her mainstage TED talk on sustainability has been viewed over a million times, and she leads presentations for governments, industry and educational initiatives around the world on activating positive social and environmental change through creative interventions. She is the founder of the UnSchool of Disruptive Design, and two design agencies, Disrupt Design and Eco Innovators. Her classes are dyanamic and she has been described as the Doctor of Change.


Learning Outcomes:

» CRITICAL ANALYSIS: Develop a critical understanding of the ways in which ethics and empathy impca the human experience and influence our day-to-day decision making

» REFLEXIVITY: Understand how empathy and ethics tie in to design, implementation, and activation outcomes.

» SYSTEMS THINKING: Uncover the relationship of ethical frameworks implemented across various generations, nationalities, and professions, to understand the importance of reflecting on ethics in our work.

» CREATIVE INTERVENTIONS: Feel comfortable using your individual ethical and empathetic structures in your personal and professional lives alike.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

The Disruptive Design Method

The Disruptive Design Method is a three-part process for activating social change. It is underpinned by our 12-unit Design Methodology of high-level concepts and content for professionals interested in activating positive social change through their work.

This is session 7 of 12 in the full knowledge set.