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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Virtual Reality: Closing the Empathy Gap?

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Session Description

In a world where we feel increasingly dislocated from each other, virtual reality can build empathy and connection across great distances and cultures. But what does it mean if we never meet the people on that screen or set foot into their environment? Does this technology bring us together or pull us farther apart? Hear how nonprofits and filmmakers are using VR to engage communities in more meaningful ways, with the hope of inspiring solidarity and action—even from afar.

When | Where

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM Thursday, April 12 Lecture Theatre 4


Panel Discussion

Session leaders

  • Gary Haugen Speaker
    CEO, International Justice Mission
    Gary Haugen is CEO and founder of International Justice Mission. Before founding IJM in 1997, Gary was a human rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, where he focused on crimes of police misconduct. In 1994, he served as the Director of the United Nations’ investigation in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. In this role, he led an international team of lawyers, criminal prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and forensics experts to gather evidence that would eventually be used to bring the perpetrators of the genocide to justice. Gary received a B.A. in Social Studies from Harvard University, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago. Gary has been recognized by the U.S. State Department as a Trafficking in Persons “Hero” – the highest honor given by the U.S. government for anti-slavery leadership. His work to protect the poor from violence has been featured by Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, the New Yorker, The Times of India, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, the Guardian and National Public Radio, among many other outlets. He is the author of several books, including Good News About Injustice (Intervarsity Press) and, most recently, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence (Oxford University Press). Gary was invited to share the themes of The Locust Effect at the annual TED Conference in a talk entitled: The hidden reason for poverty the world needs to address now.
  • Lindsay Branham Speaker
    Founder, Novo Media
    Lindsay Branham is the Founder of Novo, an incubator for art that inspirits human connection in imaginative ways. She is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and social scientist, leveraging media and technology to end violence and human rights abuses. The interventions she has designed have targeted peacefully dismantling the Lord's Resistance Army from within, facilitating reintegration of former child soldiers, preventing recruitment into violent extremist groups, reducing psychological distress and challenging the root causes of bonded labour. Her partners in these media-based interventions include Search for Common Ground, The Freedom Fund and Google. Her current focus is exploring the efficacy of Virtual Reality to reduce prejudice in Central African Republic. Her last Virtual Reality documentary, Behind The Fence, was nominated for an Emmy and won the Grand Jury Award for best 360 film at SXSW. She has been published by CNN, BBC and The New York Times. She is a Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace and was named the inaugural Envision social good fellow by the Independent Film Project and the United Nations. Her research investigating the link between media and behavior change has been published by Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and in academic journals. Lindsay studied trauma and mental health at Harvard Medical School and journalism at the University of Southern California. She is currently an MPhil candidate in Social Psychology at the University of Cambridge.