The Birth of the Empathy Connection

The folks at McKnight Inclusive Design are always up for a new challenge, so the changes provided by COVID-19 protocols were not going to slow us down.

Bex McKnight, MID Creative Director, decided to ease some isolation for her staff by holding daily online “work parties” via Google Meet. If they all go as well as the first one did, the world just might become a better place—and pretty soon.

In the first hangout, John Hindle (MID Quality Control Analyst) pointed out that he and his wife Alison Baron (MID Quality Control Analyst) are already feeling disconnected from their social circles and larger community as a result of social distancing.

The pair discussed the demographics of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario (where they live, and where McKnight ID is headquartered), which skew on the retired side. They lobbed the idea of a daily open-forum video connection for anyone who is feeling isolated, and might want to see the faces of the people around them—hear their voices too, in real time.

And so the Empathy Connection was born.

McKnight Inclusive Design will host daily online virtual community sessions (at 3 p.m. EST); moderated by MID staff, and balanced by an Empathy Pledge. The pledge includes simple guidelines toward creating a supportive, positive, helpful, useful, and meaningful community.

The goal of these virtual gatherings is to provide some social connection, as well as to offer resources, knowledge, helpful links, and as much human contact as is possible under the current circumstances. It’s like a meaningful kaffeeklatsch from the safety of your home—an isolation-buster.

Participation is open to anyone who has access to the technology required: an internet-connected smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

Follow the link at mcknightid.com, input your email address, and gain access to the Google Meet calendar. Instructions for participation will be provided in various formats according to individual accessibility needs.

We look forward to building a community of empathy with you!

Posted on:

Monday, March 30, 2020





Lauren O'Malley | MID