Empatico, an initiative of The KIND Foundation, is in the early stages of creating a free tool for teachers to connect their students to classrooms around the world using seamless video conferencing technology. Activities are standards-based and designed to promote meaningful interactions and positive perceptions. As students learn together, they explore their similarities and differences with curiosity and kindness and develop practical communication and leadership skills.
Empatico, The KIND Foundation’s most ambitious initiative to date, is an online learning tool that will connect students across the globe. Through the platform, kids will have the chance to explore their similarities and differences, expand their horizons and strengthen their empathy muscles. We chose to start with 7-11-year-olds because experiences during this age can strongly influence how children will develop perceptions and interact with others in the future. During this sensitive period, children are beginning to understand their identities in relation to others, and their biases have yet to become deeply rooted. If we can intercept students at this moment, and give them opportunities to meaningfully interact with one another, we can create a lifetime of positive change.
I’ve always felt that it’s our shared obligation to leave this world better than we found it. Since becoming a father, I have felt this more urgently and deeply. There is a lot that we need to do to improve the world, including developing the ability to be better listeners and more critical thinkers, and we can’t do it without our kids as part of the solution.
While in-person global interaction among children is hard to achieve at scale, we are fortunate to have technology that can connect classrooms living worlds apart. Empatico will leverage technology to take kids out of their bubbles, give them an opportunity to tell their stories, and learn with and from other kids.
This is only the beginning. We want an overwhelming majority of children across the world to be part of this journey of understanding - to see what’s beyond their communities and how kids in other parts of the world think. We want kids to adopt a sense of responsibility to other human beings. This should not only help them understand how to prevent conflict, and how to develop critical listening skills that will come handy in their own lives, but also to positively cement the areas of their own identity that they can be proud of. It should also help a new generation of leaders recognize our shared responsibility to solve society’s biggest challenges.
First to fifth grade teachers, parents, and friends: we invite you to join us.Get Matched with a Class
Educurious is a catalyst to reimagine learning. We shift the role of young people from passive learner to active collaborators, problem solvers, and contributors by combining project-based learning, technology, and connections with real-world experts. We developed the activities of the Empatico experience in collaboration with teachers and the Empatico team to create meaningful learning that cultivates contemporary skills and the empathy we need to make the world a better place. educurious.org
Tanya Brassie is a product designer at Empatico. She got her start in design at the age of 12, creating promotional theme park websites in an attempt to persuade her parents to go during the summer. Her youthful aspirations of being a digital humanities librarian led her to obtain a BA in History and an MSIS from the University of Texas, but she's since moved on to product design. When Tanya's not computing, she enjoys outdoor adventures and boogieing to good music.
Daniel Lubetzky is the founder of Empatico, as well as founder and CEO of KIND. A pioneering social entrepreneur working to build bridges between people through innovative models, Daniel is also the founder of PeaceWorks Inc., a business that fosters cooperative ventures among neighbors in the Middle East, and co-creator of Maiyet, a fashion brand that partners with artisans to promote entrepreneurship in developing economies. He has been recognized by the World Economic Forum and the Skoll Foundation, and in 2015 President Barack Obama and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker named him a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE).
George Khalaf is the Executive Director of Empatico and brings 20 years of international development and private sector experience. George was responsible for launching Synergos’ Middle East and North Africa regional social entrepreneurship programs. As a consultant with Accenture and Dalberg, George has advised Fortune 500 companies, foundations, donor agencies, governments, and NGOs. He is a BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Fellow and on the Advisory Committee of Talent Beyond Boundaries and Seeds of Peace. George holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and a BA in Political Science from Swarthmore College.
James is CTO at Empatico and was formerly CTO at Kickstarter. James has held leadership roles at Venmo, Docker, and Puppet. He is the author of ten technical books about open source software and is a long-time member of the open source community. James is the co-chair of the Velocity conference, on the program committees of OSCON and SRECon Asia, and is an advisor to Access Now. He likes food, wine, books, photography, and cats.
Kristin Ohnstad is Director of Business Development at Empatico. She was formerly Chief Program Officer at Blue Engine, an education startup in NYC, and Vice President of Strategy at Teach For America. Kristin has leadership experience in strategy, operations, org growth, program/product design and execution, talent, and communications. Kristin got her start in social impact work as a journalist in international child adoption and advocacy and as a 2nd grade teacher in California. She has been working ever since to ensure all kids can realize their potential and pursue the opportunities they deserve.
Chelsea is the Senior Research Associate at Empatico. She has a background in developmental psychology and has worked for several international research centers, including the Child Study Center at Yale University and the Donders Institute at Radboud University. She was a Fulbright grantee in the Netherlands, where she earned a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology and lead various research projects on autism spectrum disorders. Chelsea’s passion lies in connecting the ‘research world’ and the ‘real world’ to make a positive and lasting impact in the lives of young children.
Travis is Program Manager at Empatico. He joined Empatico after 5 years in the NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, where he most recently served as Acting Executive Director for NYC Global Partners, a City-affiliated non-profit. In this role he led program and curriculum development for Global Partners Junior, a virtual exchange program for 9-13 year-olds, and co-created the City’s NYC Junior Ambassadors program to better leverage the United Nations as a resource for NYC youth. He holds an M.A. in International Education from New York University and a B.A. in English Language & Literature from the University of South Carolina.
Lindsey is a software engineer at Empatico. He has previously worked as a developer at Kickstarter and Puppet, and has given multiple talks about web development at local technology meetups, as well as being an active contributor to various open source projects. He hails originally from Australia, and spends way too much time talking about food and his dog, Oliver.
Lance is a software engineer at Empatico. He has worked to help multiple companies reach their market by bringing product- and user-oriented dedication to the engineering role. Most recently he worked with Kickstarter to launch and grow their platform, processes, and engineering team. He's a proponent of transparent, honest, and authentic business, and would like to see more corporations declare a clear public benefit in their charter.
Ashley is a software engineer at Empatico. Before joining Empatico, she got her start in software development at Kickstarter, working on the creator experience. Originally from Southern California, she studied Engineering and Architecture at Smith College before discovering code. Her interests include food, design, rock climbing, and other people’s pets.
Morgan is the HR, Finance, and Operations Manager at Empatico. Previously, she was the HR Generalist at The Groundwork, which was created to build and power Hillary Clinton’s website. Two of her greatest passions are mission-driven startups and people ops. This was made apparent when she moved to New York (from Oklahoma) 5 years ago and her first job was at General Assembly. She instantly fell in love with the tech startup scene and has been hooked ever since. She has the cutest pup in the world (his name is Fred :heart eyes:). She loves to “perform” karaoke and has a love/hate relationship with low bar squats.
Christina is the Business Development Manager at Empatico. Prior to joining the team, she led development and partnership strategy at several education organizations including Teach For America-Las Vegas Valley and Educators for Excellence-New York. Christina has a deep appreciation for educators and firmly believes in the power of education to bring individuals and communities together. She loves food, travel, podcasts, and her two Frenchies, Darla and Matilda.
Clare is a multifaceted designer having worked across innumerous industries in a number of design fields including Product Design, Branding, User Experience Design, Research, Art Direction, and Advertising. She is currently the Creative Director of Empatico and oversees all the creative output of the company across Product and Brand. She is also the mother of two fledgling Party Parrots and lives in Brooklyn NY with her family (including a one eyed dog and a stray cat).
Teach For All is a global network of over 45 independent, locally led and governed partner organizations and a global organization that works to accelerate the progress of the network. Each network partner recruits and develops promising future leaders to teach in their nations’ under-resourced schools and communities and, with this foundation, to work with others, inside and outside of education, to ensure all children are able to fulfill their potential. Teach For All’s global organization works to increase the network’s impact by capturing and spreading learning, facilitating connections among partners, accessing global resources, and fostering the leadership development of partner staff, teachers, and alumni.