Ready? Set? Empathize!


   Empathize is the first stage in Design Thinking. In Living Lab research, we try to get a deep understanding of the problems and energizers of our end user in his daily life. We observe very carefully and we use tools and materials to reveal the end user’s needs.

  LiCalab is a care living lab in Flanders, Belgium. During the last 6 years, we supported all kinds of organizations in their innovation process. Along the way, we used different methods and tools to learn more about the end user’s needs and concerns. In this workshop we would like to share our experiences with the participants. In a co-creative way, we would like to learn from other practices.


  The goal of this workshop is to discuss with the participants why empathy is key. We will give an overview of the most commonly used tools to empathize. Together with the participants we would like to discover other methods and materials, based on the BiBOPP case (preventive healthcare) throughout the workshop.


   Participants will leave the workshop with a bag full of empathize tips and tools. Participants will generate probing materials and learn from each other’s experiences.


   To enhance the creativity and to focus the discussion, we will use the case ‘BIBOPP’ that LiCalab is currently running. The aim of the BiBOPP project is to coach and support citizens in our region in their health and wellbeing in a preventive way. Preventive healthcare is a large topic anyone can empathize with. Participants will be split up in teams. Every team has to think of possible solutions to reveal the needs and concerns of the target group (citizens, 45 plus) related to their health and wellbeing. How to trigger the end user to learn more about his genuine need and feeling? How to deal with effort, benefits, time, means… Making use of a pre structured template (game board) the teams weigh the pros and cons of different tools, they make a concrete proposal for the empathy stage and go deeper into the prerequisites, the target group, the socio cultural context, the analyzing of the data and how to bridge to the ‘define’ (converging) stage.


Workshop Facilitators