Past Meetup

Role of Empathy in Technology

This Meetup is past

4 people went

Location visible to members



Register here to confirm your attendance. Registered attendees only.


6:00pm - 6:30pm Registration and Networking

6:30pm - 6:45pm Introduction by The Hive & Ashoka

6:45pm - 7:45pm Panel Discussion and Q&A

7:45pm - 8:15pm Wrap-up and Networking

Parking :

Free parking in adjacent streets or metered parking at 901 Illinois Street (Closes at 9:00 PM).


Mark Zuckerberg recently acknowledged that Facebook has “a responsibility to do more, not just to connect the world but to bring the world closer together.”

This strategic move comes at a critical point in time, where exponential technological progress begins to raise pressing questions about the future of our collective wellbeing.

In a world defined by relationships and connectivity, have we undervalued empathy as a key skill and currency?

Should empathy be a metric for grounding our technological progress in fairness and humanity?

Join a provocative discussion with social entrepreneurs and technology thought leaders who are asking these very questions and are already taking steps to re-calibrate major systems (like education) with empathy at the center.

About Ashoka

Over the last 35 years, Ashoka has pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship with the goal of creating a an “everyone a changemaker world.” Ashoka supports a network of more than 3,000 Ashoka Fellows who are implementing system changing solutions to human and environmental problems. By creating fundamental changes in the experiences of children and young people, Ashoka allows them to view the world differently and see their full potential as a changemaker.


Jill Vialet

CEO and Founder, Playworks

CEO and Founder Jill Vialet has worked for more than 30 years in the nonprofit sector. In 1996, Vialet launched Playworks with two schools in Berkeley, California. Currently, the organization brings play and physical activities to children across the country, with offices in 23 cities. With a staff of 700, this year Playworks will reach 900,000 students through on-site coaches, professional training, and consultative partnership, serving 1,800 schools and youth-serving organizations. Prior to Playworks, Vialet founded the Museum of Children’s Art ( (MOCHA) in Oakland, California. She served as the executive director at MOCHA for nine years, ultimately expanding its programs to reach 20,000 young people each year.

Vialet graduated from Harvard University where she studied medical sociology, played rugby, and became actively involved with Harvard’s service-learning community. Vialet was a Eureka Fellow from 2000 to 2001 and in 2004 she was selected as an Ashoka Fellow. In 2009, Vialet and Playworks were selected as a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2011, Jill was named by Forbes magazine as one of the top 30 leading social entrepreneurs ( and recognized by the Women’s Sports Foundation as one of 40 Women Leaders ( in honor of the anniversary of Title IX. In 2013, Jill was awarded the James Irvine Leadership Award and in 2014, Jill received the Pahara Aspen Education Fellowship.

Jill is a frequent public speaker and has given talks at TEDMED, TEDxSanFrancisco, TEDxABQ, and keynotes at national conferences including Points of Light, America’s Promise, and Futures Without Violence. Jill also writes extensively on play and social entrepreneurship and has contributed to publications including the Huffington Post, Edutopia, and Principal Magazine. She is the author of the middle-grade novel Recess Rules and is working on the sequel, No Substitute.

During the[masked] school year, Jill was an Education Fellow at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (better known as the where she launched a new project called Substantial, redesigning the way we recruit, train, and support substitute teachers.

Greg Van Kirk

Empathy Leadership Group Member. Start Empathy, Ashoka

Greg is the Co-Founder of Community Empowerment Solutions and Social Entrepreneur Corps. He is an Ashoka Lemelson Fellow, Ashoka Globalizer and was recently recognized as Schwab Foundation “Social Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012 (Latin America)” at the World Economic Forum. Greg is the innovator who designed the MicroConsignment Model. He has served as a consultant for organizations such as USAID, Chemonics, VisionSpring, Soros Foundation, Church World Service, Inter-American Development Bank, IFC, Water For People and Fundacion Paraguaya in the US, Latin America and Africa. Greg also contributes time as “Social Entrepreneur in Residence” and has recently worked with Columbia University, NYU, Marquette University, Indiana University, University of San Diego and Arizona State University. He is a senior advisor for AshokaU. He has taught social entrepreneurship at Columbia University and NYU Wagner. Greg began working in rural small business development as a Guatemala Peace Corps volunteer in 2001. He worked in investment banking for five years before arriving in Guatemala. Two deals he led at UBS during this time won “Deal of the Year” honors from Structured Finance International magazine.

Steve Omohundro

Steve has been a scientist, professor, author, software architect, and entrepreneur doing research that explores the interface between mind and matter. He has degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Stanford and a Ph.D. in Physics from U.C. Berkeley. He was a computer science professor at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and cofounded the Center for Complex Systems Research. He published the book “Geometric Perturbation Theory in Physics”, designed the programming languages StarLisp and Sather, wrote the 3D graphics system for Mathematica, invented many new learning algorithms (including manifold learning, model merging, bumptrees, and family discovery), and built systems which learn to read lips, control robots, and induce grammars. He is president of Possibility Research ( and Self-Aware Systems (, a think tank working to ensure that intelligent technologies have a positive impact. His work on positive intelligent technologies was featured in James Barrat’s book “Our Final Invention” ( and has generated international interest. He serves on the advisory boards of the Cryptocurrency Research Group, the Institute for Blockchain Studies, Dfinity Cryptocurrency, and the AI startup Cognitalk. Steve is an award-winning teacher and has given hundreds of talks around the world. Some of his talks and scientific papers are available here ( He holds the vision that new technologies can help humanity create a more compassionate, peaceful, and life-serving world.