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TomCenens
Active Contributor
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Image source: http://realizingempathy.com/

Community spirit at it's best

When Marilyn Pratt hosts a session, you don’t want to miss out. Due to the strike in Madrid, the SAP TechED evening session on Empathy & Design Thinking got cancelled.

Something magical happened though. Serendipity kicked in and a number of community members forged a plan to get together with the aim to get an introduction into the topic of Empathy & Design Thinking. We ended up in the NH Eurohotel with a decent group of community members (~20 community members).

I can’t voice for other community members but #SAPTechED changed my perspective on life. Last year I really thrived at SAP TechED and I thought nothing could surpass it but this edition did. It really was #likeneverbefore.

After an introduction to empathy, Marilyn introduced the group to Julia Dorbic, a Design Thinking consultant who works for D-LABS in Potsdam, Germany (Hasso Plattner High Tech Park). She has been training SAP employees in the topic of Design Thinking. She talked about how empathy is closely related to finding proper solutions for existing problems and how Design Thinking is often misinterpreted and underestimated since it has become such a buzz-word. She added that the methodology, applied in the right context, allows finding new solutions, or optimizing existing ones, to meet real user requirements.

Once in a while you meet someone special, someone who has a spark in their eyes. As such I hope we can soon welcome her to the SAP community network. 

Jeanne Carboni chimed in and talked to the group about the importance of trying to understand others by placing yourself in their perspective and how you can benefit from being able to do that. It's definitely not easy and not something you learn over night. It takes time to get to that point but it's definitely worth pursueing.

This informal get together was extremely valuable. Serendipity kicked in and introduced us to new persons, new relationships got forged, existing relationships became stronger. It feels so good to be part of this community.

An introduction to empathy

Image source: Replay of session The Role of Empathy in Design Thinking http://www.sapvirtualevents.com/teched/sessiondetails.aspx?sId=3446

The SAP TechED Live session on the role of empathy in design thinking serves as a good introduction into the topic of empathy. You can also check out the website of slim for more information: http://realizingempathy.com/.

I took the opportunity to write out a short part of the SAP TechED Live session:

It has to start with yourself. Because we have biases, prejudices and narrow-mindedness just to be candid that will prevent us from getting to that person, to connecting to that person, even before we engage in any kind of conversation and this is not just the other but also yourself. The idea of “self” is kind of a lucid thing, what does that even mean? Yourself? And in order to get to the heart of that you really need to practice what’s called self empathy. Where you try to understand, why do I think the way I do? Why do I judge people the way I’m judging them?

Self-empathy

Ariving back home after SAP TechED I felt sad. It felt like I was ripped out of a world where everyone seems to understand me. Of course I was happy to see my family but a part of me was not back yet. A part of me was still living the fantasy, a part of me was still in another world. A world where people believe in me, a world where I can thrive, a world where I get inspired, encouraged and mentored to a much larger extent.

It made me think. What do I want out of life? What am I doing right now? Does it make sense? What is the meaning of me being in this world instead of the fantasy world that I seemed to have lived in for the past week?

And then it hit me. I figured out that in order to be happy, to do what I love to do, I have to balance both worlds because in both worlds there are people I care about and in both worlds I can do what I love.

I want to inspire others to step up and pay it forward, much like others have inspired me to do the same. I have never been more inspired in my whole life. This is a moment for life.

I can truly say SAP TechED was #likeneverbefore

Signed,

A very inspired SAP Mentor

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