By Emily Bayens
In January, business executives and government officials joined together for one of the most noteworthy events of the year: the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. Some of the men and women who attended the event were able to see a side of life that is far removed from the luxuries typically associated with Davos. Escaping from the conference rooms, some WEF participants partook in what may be one of the most influential workshops they will ever experience.
Attendees of the 2014 WEF in Davos had the opportunity to participate in the unique experience known as Refugee Run, a lesson in empathy training conducted by Crossroads, a non-profit organization based in Hong Kong, China. The group’s name is largely influenced by their overall goal: bridging the most desperate, suffering individuals, particularly refugees, with those who can make a difference, such as governments, companies, and nongovernmental organizations. Instead of using a traditional approach to spread information on the world’s oppressed, Crossroads raises awareness by taking corporate executives and politicians, such as those who attended the WEF last week, and putting them through a type of empathy training that takes the form of a refugee-experience simulation.