Roman Krznaric believes that developing empathy into a more highly regarded value could be the most promising approach to solving many of the world’s problems, whether they are related to climate change, violent conflicts or inequality. Krznaric’s idea of empathy as a catalyst of social change is a powerful contemporary mantra. Both practical and easily envisaged, the concept of encouraging understanding by seeing through the eyes of your counterparts has the potential to stimulate a minor revolution.
Krznaric – Britain’s leading lifestyle philosopher, as described by the Observer – is the voice of the latest in the RSA Animate series of short films: ‘illustrated’ talks selected from the free public events programme the UK charity runs ‘which seeks to introduce new and challenging thinking’.
In this episode as in others in the series, our eyes are guided across a growing mass of illustrations which concisely depict a fast stream of ideas. At times the barrage of uniformed visual and verbal information can feel tautological. At other points, one suspects, if the visual aids were missing it could be difficult to keep up with the deceptively fast current of fascinating ideas.
The animation is unconventionally diagrammatic; it lacks motion, a linear narrative or central characters. The pen wielding hand rhythmically jitters across the screen as if filling a lecture room wipe board in double time. The arm is surprisingly un-distracting, keeping our attention in time with the allegro pace of ideas. The pen directs our eyes in rhythm with the narration like a conductor’s baton.
Roman Krznaric’s Empathy project can be followed on his blog Outrospection.
More info and other RSA Animate films can be found here:
And downloaded here: http://vimeo.com/thersa