April 4, 2019
John “Marty” Anderies is a senior sustainability scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and a professor and graduate director in the School of Sustainability. He is one of the authors of a new research paper titled “Empathy, place and identity interactions for sustainability.”
“[H]ere we posited that empathy can promote sustainability when individuals have empathic relations with the consequences of environmental harm, when they have inclusive identities beyond their locality, and when empathy promotes collective responses,” the authors stated. Besides Anderies, there were nine other researchers involved from the University of Exeter, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development.
The report concludes that understanding the connection between empathy and sustainability can help inform policy, urban planning and international relations. In addition, “understanding how to enhance empathy offers different policy pathways for realizing sustainability outcomes,” the authors said.