What is the role of empathy in Business? You decide in this Oxford-Style Debate

Does having empathy make you successful? Or is it a hindrance, smothering logic with emotions? This debate will expose how empathy affects our workplaces, our policy-makers, and which charities we choose to support.

In this Oxford-style debate, the audience will decide whether the statement ‘empathy is an impediment to success’ is true or false. Bring your pre-conceived ideas and cast your vote before we begin, but don’t be surprised if your opinion has changed by the time our four speakers have shared their insights.

This event is presented in partnership with Humanities 21


Simon Griffiths: on Meaningful Work

September 25th 2017, under

Simon Griffiths who Co-founded Who Gives a Crap and Shebeen bar on how he got to where he is now and all things meaningful work!

Gus Balbontin: on Disruption

September 25th 2017, under

It is rare for a company to possess an emotional pull powerful enough to invoke a sense of longing. It is even rarer for a company to instill feelings of freedom, adventure and exploration. Ever since its inception in the 1970s Lonely Planet has provided the blueprint, the lodestar and more importantly the inspiration for generations of travelers: From scruffy backpackers to the not-so-scruffy-I-can-afford-a-room traveller. But even a beloved company and brand such as Lonely Planet is not immune to the forces of disruption.

How does disruption apply to our personal lives? We all start our professional lives and careers with the best intentions. School – University – Meaningful jobs/careers and hence meaningful lives. But almost always our plans get ‘disrupted’. Can looking at our lives through the lens of Clay Christensen’s theories – help us lead more fulfilling lives?

Finding a sense of purpose in the work that we do is one of the great human longings and yet so many of us remain caught in the hamster wheel of unfulfilling work. There are many roadblocks. The important ones being: time, money and what society considers prestigious. But there are individuals (and not just the Jobsian high profile ones) who have fought the good fight and come out the other side in careers that are able to express their skill and enthusiasm more than any other. We will be hearing from three of them. They are people just like you, that have overcome some incredible roadblocks and are doing amazing things.

When it comes to having an impact in the broader world it requires having a mind that things a little bit differently, that recognises assumptions and habits. We change the world first by changing ourselves. Security, safety, comfort – we evolved to seek these out. The industrial economy fostered these traits: go to school, go to uni, get a job. Efficiency, productivity, profit being the mantra. The things that you are passionate about relegated to an after hours hobby – if that. But what would it take to disrupt that, smash the status quo, take the dependable future and break it. What would it mean to bring your individuality to the fore – do what you are passionate about, be your own boss, create art. What would be the consequences? That is what we want to explore.

Launch Night with Simon Griffiths

September 25th 2017, under

We love the idea of doing things differently – from small scale innovations that make us more productive, effective or connected, right through to true disrutpion that throws an entire industry on its head. We are very lucky to have the venue owner, the great social entrepreneur Simon Griffiths present at this event. Simon is a co-founder of Who Gives a Crap, a toilet paper brand that donates half its profits to the developing world for imrpoved sanitation (taking on a seriously big problem). As if that wasn’t enough, he founded SheBeen – a bar that is not only top-shelf cool but also donates ALL of its profits to the developing world. We really love how Simon is taking everyday activities and turning them into acts of charity.