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Talks About Interesting Things

Carbon Five and Autodesk have partnered up to create the Sum of the Parts Speaker series. We want to bring great speakers from different corners of our world to share their ideas and experiences with the Bay Area development and design community. 

We believe that solving murky design problems often involves a crazy cocktail of people, talent, circumstance, data, and a good chunk of courage. We are inviting innovative people to talk candidly about the hard problems they’ve faced and how they have succeeded. We also want to extend the invitation to others in San Francisco to be part of the conversation.

Please join us in welcoming author Indi Young speaking on "Empathy Is Not What You Think"


 Remember that time you have an epiphany about your work caused by a moment of empathy with a customer? You understand the power of these moments, but they seem to strike like lightning. Empathy is tremendously powerful, but not very predictable. You need a more reliable way to harness it. There are two parts to empathy: developing it, then applying it. The latter is where you try to do the proverbial: “walk in his shoes.” To develop empathy, however, means you spend time with a person listening to his inner reasoning. It also means stepping away from any solutions you might have in mind, and focusing entirely on the person in front of you, and his purpose. If you’ve been taught to collect data in a traditional format, you probably conduct interviews with a standard list of questions, so you can compare answers across different people. But this is the wrong approach when developing empathy. Instead, develop empathy via "questionless" listening sessions. For this to work, you need to learn how to help the participant get comfortable and trust you, so that together you can explore his personal reasoning and guiding principles. 

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  • Elina R.

    Soooooo sorry to miss.

    August 20, 2014

  • Courtney H.

    You can do either, there are lots of parking lots in the vicinity but the Montgomery BART station is just 3 blocks away.

    1 · August 18, 2014

    • Laura B.

      Is there a place we can bring our bikes into and store during the talk?

      August 20, 2014

    • Courtney H.

      Yes - you can bring them up to the office!

      August 20, 2014

  • Wendy

    Hi, I just moved to the Bay area and I'm coming up from Sunnyvale for the Meetup. Do you recommend parking near the venue or taking the BART? Thanks.

    August 17, 2014

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