How Virtual Reality Can Change the World by Making Us More Empathetic Towards the Plight of Our Fellow Humans

Posted by on April 23, 2015 in Sci-Tech, Technology with 0 Comments

Source: TED

In this TED Talk, Chris Milk talks about how virtual reality can be used to connect us to the world’s most vulnerable people in a profound way: “we become more compassionate; we become more empathetic; we become more connected; and ultimately we become more human.”

Milk showed a video representation of a VR film titled “Clouds Over Sidra,” which follows a twelve year old in the Za’atari camp in Jordan – home to 84,000 Syrian refugees. It follows her to school, to her makeshift tent and more.


The film was commissioned as part of the UN’s advocacy at the World Economic Forum in Davos. It offers a unique perspective into the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“By leveraging breakthrough technologies, such as virtual reality, we can create solidarity with those who are normally excluded and overlooked, amplifying their voices and explaining their situations.” – Gabo Arora, film collaborator & Senior advisor at the UN.

It’s the first ever film shot in virtual reality for the UN, using the medium to generate greater empathy and new perspectives on people living in conditions of great vulnerability. The film’s powerful capacity to allow anyone on a global scale experience life within a refugee camp has the ability to inspire the message of hope amongst not only the millions displaced but also those motivated to act.

Milk concluded his talk with the following:

“Virtual reality it's not a video game peripheral. It connects humans to other humans in a profound way that I've never seen before in any other form a media. And it can change people's perception of each other. And that’s how I think virtual reality has the potential to actually change the world.

“So, it’s a machine. But through this machine we become more compassionate; we become more empathetic; we become more connected; and ultimately we become more human”

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