BRAC University together with Ashoka Innovators for the Public and Toru Pvt Ltd announced the launch of Bangladesh’s first “Empathy Lab” at a press conference in the university’s Mohakhali campus auditorium on 25 March 2018.
Lady Syeda Sarwat Abed, Founder and Director, BRAC Institute of Languages, shared her vision that present times were historic times where the success of the youth depended on building critical skills such as empathy and changemaker skills at a very young age.
In these changing times, the success or failure of the youth also depends on the proportion of the society which realises the urgency of young people mastering empathy, she said.
“My vision is to have an ecosystem which builds empathy in every child & youth of Bangladesh,” she added.
The Empathy Lab plans to address the fact that Bangladesh needs to build entrepreneurial mindset amongst its children and young population.
The program will help bring a mindset shift of different stakeholders around the skills young people need in changing times.
The program has a vision to prepare children and youngsters for a world that responds quickly and effectively to social challenges and everyone gets the freedom, confidence, and social support to drive positive change.
Teenagers represent the future of the country and the group is most receivable to being empowered with a changemaker mindset and cognitive empathy.
Speaking at the occasion, Yashveer Singh, Director, Youth Venture, Ashoka Innovators, South Asia, highlighted that development efforts needed to be carried out in collaboration among various stakeholders to create a multiplier effect.
“At this momentous juncture, we are pleased to be collaborating with BRACU to build a changemaker ecosystem,” he said.
The establishment of this lab aims to initiate an ecosystem building process that values and supports students to be changemakers by enabling them to build the critical skills of empathy amongst school students.
In turn, this will develop a framework where BRACU students will learn & practice the skills of empathy, sophisticated teamwork, creative problem solving and collaborative leadership to solve complex social problems.
Further adding during the launch, Saif Kamal, Founder, Toru Private Limited said, “The way forward to address the problems of our country is by unleashing the entrepreneurial problem solving instincts of our youth, so that they not only create opportunities for themselves but for other young people as well.”
Ashoka Innovators for the Public
Ashoka Innovators for the public pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship and created opportunities for social entrepreneurs around the world to connect, collaborate, and provide value to one another, multiplying the capacity of each social entrepreneur to improve more lives and to change the world.
Since being founded over 38 years ago, Ashoka has developed into a global network of over 3,500 leading social entrepreneurs in more than 80 countries.
Toru Pvt Ltd
The Toru Institute of Inclusive Innovation is an institute for learning and innovation towards collaborative inclusive growth in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Toru is on a mission to build an inclusive Bangladesh by empowering local innovators and believes education needs to transform to keep up with changing times.
Its endeavors are geared towards not only incubating innovators but also building responsible leaders who will go on to bring systemic change, influence policies and become role models in their communities.
The institution develops skills necessary to nurture these leaders across sectors, as well as scaling high impact innovations.
In the next 10 years, Toru aims to equip 10 million youth with the innovator's mindset and enable 100 innovators who will change one in every 10 lives in Bangladesh.