Bill Gates and Bill Drayton Make the Case for Empathy

It might have been pure coincidence, but last month, Bill Drayton, speaking at Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District and Bill Gates at Stanford University in California, made separate cases for why empathy is so important to the social change movement.


Before I zoom in on the specifics of what Drayton and Gates said, here’s a bit of background. The term ethical empathy has its roots in philosophy, the premise being that without the capacity for empathy, individuals may inadvertently harm others. In the healthcare field, the concept has been utilized in the training of physicians for some time, the focus being on developing doctors with a high capacity for empathy, ensuring they put themselves in their patients’ shoes when making critical health decisions and ultimately providing the best care possible. 

by Verity Dimock