Empathy-Driven Innovation at the University of Galway

23 July, 1:00pm - 1:30pm UTC | Fireside Chat
Entrepreneurship at Universities Innovative and Entrepreneurial Universities External Collaborations and Partnerships

Join us for an engaging discussion with Natalie Walsh, Director of IdeasLab, as she presents the singular work of the Empathy Studio at the University of Galway. Hear how Empathy Studio is using empathy and human-centred design to revolutionise problem-solving and innovation for students.

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Empathy-Driven Innovation at the University of Galway


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The Empathy Studio at IdeasLab, University of Galway, is redefining innovation by placing human experiences at the heart of design. Through unique methods that combine the science of human behaviour and creative storytelling, the Empathy Studio crafts solutions that truly resonate. Natalie will share insights on how the Studio collaborates with industry giants like Boston Scientific and Symphysis Medical to develop solutions that are both empathetic and impactful

What you will learn

  • Innovative empathy techniques – how Empathy Studio uses human simulation, virtual reality, and immersive experiences to enhance cognitive empathy
  • Industry collaborations – understand the importance of partnering with industry leaders to co-create impactful solutions
  • Building empathetic teams – tailored training programs designed to develop empathy in students, fostering the next generation of empathetic leaders

Speaker biography


Natalie walshNatalie Walsh, Director of Entrepreneurial Development at University of Galway

Dr. Natalie Walsh is the Director of Entrepreneurial Development and Co-Lead of Patient and Public Involvement in Research and Innovation at the University of Galway. With over seventeen years in higher education, she has held senior roles in the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. As Director of Entrepreneurial Development, Natalie fosters innovation and entrepreneurial thinking through the University Innovation and Entrepreneurship hub, IdeasLab. She has extensive expertise in human-centered design and is completing her Innovation Fellowship with Stanford University. Natalie has secured over €10 million in national and EU grants, including the Designing Futures, PPI Ignite Network, and EIT HEI i2i Idea to Impact projects.

About fireside chats

A UIIN Fireside Chat is a 30-minute long, interview session between a UIIN facilitator and an external industry expert on a high-level topic. Participants will leave with insights and inspiration after hearing the experiences and perspectives of the guest speaker, and have the opportunity to ask questions during the session. Fireside Chats are also recorded for UIIN podcasts and are available after the session.