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Aaron Horowitz

Aaron Horowitz

    • Founder of Empath Labs & Design for America
    • 2x TIME Magazine Best Invention of the Year Recipient
    • Entrepreneur, Designer, and Inventor - holding more than 12 patents


Full Bio
In Person-Fee 🛈

$15,000 - $20,000

Virtual Fee:

$15,000 - $20,000

Travels From

Rhode Island

Can a teddybear change how children relate to their own disease? | Aaron Horowitz | TED Institute

Can a teddybear change how children relate to their own disease? | Aaron Horowitz | TED Institute

Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum: Design Thinking

Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum: Design Thinking

Jerry the Bear: a story of user centered product design | Aaron Horowitz | TEDxUnisinos

Jerry the Bear: a story of user centered product design | Aaron Horowitz | TEDxUnisinos

Aaron Horowitz Speaker Biography

Aaron J Horowitz is a maker; from sculptures to business, he is fascinated with the process of taking an idea from concept to reality. His experience growing up with human growth hormone deficiency inspired a desire to bring empathy, design, and a patient-centered mindset to healthcare. He is the co-founder and CEO of Empath Labs (formerly Sproutel), a patient experience studio.

Empath Labs is best known for their work creating interactive companions for children with illness, such as: Jerry the Bear, a best friend for children with type 1 diabetes; My Special Aflac Duck, a robotic companion for children with cancer and sickle cell disease; and the Purrble Companion, a toy to help people find calm.

Aaron is the holder of two TIME Best Invention of the Year awards, more than 12 patents, and was recognized as the SBA's Young Entrepreneur of the year. The White House and Barack Obama recognized Aaron as one of 50 honored makers in 2014. He holds a degree in Mechatronics and User Interaction Design from Northwestern University, a major he created to pursue a passion for understanding how people play with robots! Through his work, Aaron is on a mission to design technology with purpose.

Empathy is a Superpower
Aaron details the design process for My Special Aflac Duck - working with over 100 children and 35 doctors to create a product that provides comfort and joy to children undergoing chemotherapy.
Audience members learn about design thinking and the empathetic power that comes from listening to your end users, and creating products with them. This talk is often customized depending on the audience to draw tangible takeaways that listeners can use to implement design thinking practices within their own companies.

Innovation, Invention, and Design Thinking
Aaron's longer form version of “Empathy is a superpower” that contextualizes design thinking within the fields of innovation and invention. He shares key learnings from Empath Labs internal design process and the creation of our products for children with illness. This talk provides a framework that encourages prototyping and testing early and often, which can be simplified as “you learn 80% of the information you need from a prototype that’s 20% complete.”
The talk also debunks the myth of the lone inventor, discussing how ideas are formed jointly among teams. Lastly the talk discusses the superpower of empathy, and how designing products with users helps mitigate product failure.

Just Start Building
Aaron empowers audiences to take the first steps in their own creative projects. The talk begins with a historical explanation of how humans are inherently makers - from our paleolithic days, through the industrial revolution, to present. He draws from his own experience learning a wide range of skills out of necessity, from design to robotics to starting a business, to empower the audience to begin tackling the projects they dream of through small, incremental, baby steps.

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