Press Advisory

Henry F. De Sio, Jr., Addresses International Symposium on "Why Empathy Is As Important as Reading and Math" December 1, 2015

(Arlington, VA) - Henry F. De Sio, Jr., Global Chair for Framework Change at Ashoka; author of "Campaign, Inc: How Leadership and Organization Propelled Barack Obama to the White House" and former Deputy Assistant to President Obama recently served as the keynote speaker at the International Symposium on the "Transformative Nature of Education: Underpinning Social and Economic Transformation." It was hosted by the University of Tasmania in July 2015.


His remarks have just been published in an edited e-collection "Education Transforms – Papers and Reflections." The book brings together individual and collective insights shared by international, national and Tasmanian scholars, policy makers and advocates for educational attainment.

Read Henry’s paper from the e-book, "Education Transforms – Papers and Reflections" [PDF download]

Henry was introduced to this distinguished group as a "prominent advocate of empathy in transformational change." His address, entitled "New Literacy and the Changemaker Generation: Why Empathy Is As Important as Reading and Math” discusses how the "changemaker effect" is accelerating the transition to a world characterized by rapid change, which is the polar opposite of the world of repetition that society has long known. He notes that social entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to help facilitate societal understanding of the learning needs of young people where changemaking is the norm. In this rapidly changing world it is essential that every child master empathy and teens must have the requisite skills of cognitive empathy based ethics, work in teams of teams, (a different kind of teamwork), new leadership and changemaking.

David Sadler, Deputy Chancellor, University of Tasmania and Sue Kilpatrick, Pro Vice Chancellor emphasized in the conference introduction the need to "investigate, better understand and improve pre-tertiary educational aspirations, participation and attainment, and to reflect on and influence the ways in which education underpins progress for individuals, communities, and the political economy: this work is fundamentally about cultural transformation of the most profound kind." This is a new learning framework for life success and contribution in a world defined by change, a world where hierarchies are flattening, silos are collapsing and advances in technology are lowering the barriers to individual participation. 

Read Henry’s paper from the e-book, "Education Transforms – Papers and Reflections" [PDF download]

About Ashoka Ashoka is leading the way to an "Everyone a Changemaker" World. As the world's largest network of changemakers and social innovators with more than 3,000 social entrepreneurs in 70 countries, Ashoka aims to bring about large-scale social change. Ashoka supports innovators to get started, grow their ideas, collaborate, reshape whole systems and influence societal transformation. Founded in 1980 with the belief that the most powerful force in the world is a big idea in the hands of an entrepreneur, Ashoka applies insights from the world's leading social entrepreneurs to set in motion profound societal transformation. Current insights indicate that our rapidly changing world calls for an "Everyone a Changemaker" world, one where every person practices the critical skills of empathy, teamwork, leadership and changemaking. For more information on Ashoka, please visit Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Contact Global Media and Communications Ashoka: Innovators for the Public;