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Help Us Spread #ActsOfEmpathy During Empathy Week

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Make the world a bit better by sharing your #actsofempathy and follow along with the Empathy Week events!

We are excited to announce the first round of leaders who will bring our 2020 theme HUMAN.X to life at our global conference in New York on May 5-7.


This week is Empathy Week, brought to you by The 404, Social Media Week, Facebook and a coalition of over 40 industry partners.

On the heels of a successful pilot event in London, this week (December 2-6) 404 member companies Grey Group, Edelman, Code and Theory and Adobe will host a series of workshops with industry executives, influencers, and high school students targeted to inspire action around the power and importance of being empathetic online. The activities will culminate in a wrap-up event at Facebook’s Partner Centre on Friday.

“Facebook is proud to support The 404’s Empathy Week program in New York City and host the culmination event at our Partner Center on 2/12. Facebook’s Partner Centers were built with the intention of global communities gathering together to foster conversations that help create positive change and move the industry forward.” said Shauna Sweeney, Head of Global Industry Marketing at Facebook.

Reflecting on the week ahead, Daniel Bennett, Worldwide Chief Innovation Officer, Grey Group, underscored that addressing the issue begins with education and facilitating meaningful conversations.

“To be as effective as possible in this endeavor, it starts with supporting the education of the next generation to help mitigate the societal problems that social media helps exacerbate. Fostering empathetic digital citizens of the future is critical to the health and longevity of these communities.”

Andrew Foote, Managing Director at Edelman US, shared the excitement for his company to help push a new agenda that prioritizes individuals who are exemplars of empathetic actions and behavior on social media.

“We need to address the fact that empathy is in decline among young people head-on in partnership with authority figures in the lives of our young people. Reinforce a consistent message on all fronts and shine a light on the youth who are demonstrating empathy well. Leverage those youth as ‘influencers’ to inspire and instruct the masses.”

At the same time, he believes messaging alone isn’t a viable solution. “We, as a society can’t PSA our way out of the empathy deficit. As an industry, the most meaningful thing we can do is create or support programs that bring people together and promote the power of kindness, compassion, and fighting negativity with positivity.”

Closely aligning with Adobe’s mission to empower the next generation of creatives and craft compelling, memorable experiences, Rani Mani, Head of Social Influencer Enablement said, “Empathy is a critical component of both of these things and it is something we need to be intentional about cultivating. Our hope is that The 404’s Empathy Week will become a global effort that transcends industries and verticals and becomes a unifying force for good.”

“As the digital and social media landscape matures so quickly, there’s a growing gap in understanding both the effects it has on a younger generation, as well as the advancements in digital tools and human approaches to mental health. Quite simply, we want people to care about their words and choices online, and understand how they can affect other people,” said Dan Gardner, CEO of Code and Theory.

CEO and Founder of Whalar, Neil Waller, agreed that addressing the decline in empathy is a moral obligation by the entire industry. “With several of our Whalar creators facilitating workshops, we are pleased to join forces with other leading industry voices to foster more empathy, community, and most importantly, action in order to tackle these critical issues facing us today.”

In addition to Empathy Week, the 404 is also launching an influencer campaign called #actsofempathy to further fuel the movement through encouraging people to share stories of empathy. The group invites the entire industry to support Empathy Week by spreading the word around the pilot program, the campaign and registering their interest to host Empathy Day events in 2020.

“Empathy Day and the forthcoming Empathy Week events and campaign are a product of more than six months of this incredible group working together to create and implement an idea that we are deeply committed to scaling in a big way in 2020,” said Toby Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of Social Media Week.

#ActsOfEmpathy Campaign

How do you make the world a bit better? You start by making someone’s day a bit better. A tiny act of empathy from one person can lead to a huge impact in another.

With Cyber Monday in our rearview mirror and as we move into the season of goodwill and giving back, we are excited to launch Empathy Week, an opportunity for us to show the people who are most important to us that we see them and that we understand what they are going through.

Help us make the world a bit better by sharing #actsofempathy!

Share your Story on Instagram and then tag two friends who have stood by you during a difficult time and challenge them to share their own personal #actsofempathy story.

Other hashtags to use: #empathyweek, #actsofempathy, #createdonthate, #yourenotalone.

About the 404

Lead by SMW, we are a community of multi-disciplined, digital thought-leaders brought together to take necessary steps toward solving problems and capitalizing on opportunities that exist as a product of how we use social media.

404 members include leaders from Facebook, Grey Group, Adobe, Code and Theory, Edelman, Whalar, IBM Watson, Salesforce, Microsoft, Attention Capital, Refinery29, GroupM, TBWA, Droga5, and Accenture.

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Watch the London Empathy Day recap below




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