What if politics was built on empathy? Empatia Ele: empathy tools for politics addresses the empathy deficit at the heart of power: the government. Creating new rituals, perspectives and communications through play, Empatia Ele reforms interaction to challenge political culture.
Politics has become polarised and devoid of empathy, yet collaboration is needed more than ever to solve progressively complex future challenges. By bringing empathy into the political arena through fun and play, Empatia Ele challenges the culture: the space, the roles and the rules in the parliament, introducing new rituals, perspectives and forms of communication resulting in more nuanced dialogue and more human interactions. Empatia Ele’s collection of playful empathy tools are based on the physical body language, gestures and expressions of politicians, designed to awaken the human side of politics to revolutionie political culture through empathy. Can a balloon start a revolution?
Born from a unique collaboration with Jani Toivola, Member of the Finnish Parliament, and conceived through an unprecedented co-creative research and design process with 6 Members of Parliament from 5 different political parties, Empatia Ele is an ongoing live project set in the parliament of Finland.
School of Design
MA Global Innovation Design, 2018
Opening Eyes. Hearts. Minds.
I’m a Finnish Empathy Designer, Artist and Communicator. By designing with empathy as the end goal and not only as a part of the design process, I have created the Akin Kollektiv, a collection of games, tools, environments and communications to transform empathy from an individual feeling to a collective power. By asking myself ‘what’s the one thing I shouldn’t do’, my work aims to break taboos and challenge social, cultural and behavioural norms in order to break down barriers to difficult conversations.
My practice is focused on fostering ‘issue-based cross-cultural empathy’ to tackle some of the key challenges of our time, such as racism, sexism, sexual harassment, the refugee crisis and the polarisation of politics, to fight the growing empathy deficit. Having worked and studied in London, Tokyo, New York and Helsinki, my work builds upon understanding and investigating the delicate relationships between empathy, culture, systems and space.
- MA Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Oxford, 2010
- Senior Strategist, adam&eveDDB, London, 2015-16; Strategist, Saatchi&Saatchi, London, 2012-15; Insight Manager, Saatchi&Saatchi, London, 2011-12; President, Oxford University Sport, Oxford, 2010-11