In this episode Toria talks to founder of Empathy Week Ed Kirwan.
Ed Kirwan is the CEO, founder and filmmaker at Empathy Week - a global educational programme that uses the power of film to develop students into empathetic leaders, with the aim of building the #EmpathyGeneration.
Ed entered the working world through Teach First and taught science in North London for 3 years, including as a Head of Chemistry. Since then he has spent his time filming and using visual storytelling to champion social causes - particularly homelessness and in 2018 went to Mexico for the 2018 Homeless World Cup. In 2019, Ed travelled to India where he worked alongside Slum Soccer to develop a leadership modular course for their young participants. These opportunities led him to create Empathy Week which incorporates the use of powerful films, lesson resources and a ‘Global Empathy Action Challenge’ and in 2020 the programme reached schools in 40+ countries across 6 continents and engaged 20,000 students before growing to engage a massive 80,000 students during 2021!
A strong believer in a fair education for all, Empathy Week is free to every government and state funded school around the world - every child should have the opportunity to develop the skills of empathy, leadership and resilience. It’s not only an essential step to creating a better world but one to help every student be a success in life within and beyond school.
Ed is a storyteller. A firm believer in the power of film and an eternal optimist. Film is a tremendous tool and has immense power to inspire, encapsulate and motivate us to believe that we have the ability to change the world - because we truly do. Crucially, it allows us to experience another person’s life who we would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise and allows us to place our own life in a new and more powerful context because of it.
This is how Empathy Week aims to move students and teachers into action and towards a world where there is less ignorance and stronger relationships across cultures and borders. With the success in schools, Empathy Week now offers services to businesses and employees at different levels of their careers. Ed believes that to change the world we first have to understand the people in it and that’s as important for business as it is for schools. Empathy shouldn’t be an add-on. It is crucial to all human interactions, life, performance and wellbeing.
To find out more and subscribe go to http:www.empathy-week.com