Walk In Their Shoes – Unlocking Empathy in VR to Improve Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Rotterdam – January 25, 2022 – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training is becoming commonplace amongst many multinational companies, but for Amplify DEI founder Vivian Acquah and IBIAS VR director Anita Abaisa, training ends just where it needs to begin: not only must we learn of diversity, equity and inclusion but we must unlock empathy through the VR experience – this combination is understood to be the first of its kind.

Together, Vivian and Anita have developed a diversity, equity and inclusion training program that explores unconscious bias, micro-aggressions and discriminatory behavior; utilizing VR and the ‘embodiment experience’ to help individuals understand through experience. By putting individuals in the shoes of others, they will be immersed in the ‘lived experience’ for 5 minutes – transforming their understanding of the problem and thereby aiding best practices of how to deal with the consequences.

Anita Abaisa, director of IBIAS VR explains: “The current DEI training on offer is simply not changing the experiences of minorities across the globe – because if you haven’t experienced it for yourself how can you challenge your behavioral responses and those of others?”

“Virtual Reality is a superb tool to put you in the shoes of others, as you embody someone else and see what they see. You unlock a part of the brain which is a realistic ‘experience’: for 5 minutes you can understand what it is like to be viewed as a woman, a black man, a non-binary individual or someone neurodivergent challenged – then understand the consequent responses from peers that gaslight or undermine the individual’s experience” says Abaisa. “The classroom training thereafter takes on a new meaning, as we explore appropriate and unhelpful methods of support.”

Do you want to read more? Click on the link: https://arvrmagazine.com/walk-in-their-shoes-unlocking-empathy-in-vr-to-improve-diversity-equity-inclusion/

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