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Through the lens of the creative process,
may we reframe
what empathy is,
why it is valuable, and
how it can be better
realized, developed, and facilitated.

TEDx Talks


18 min 21 sec.


10 min 57 sec.

About the Director

Leadership Performance Coach to Founding CEOs

seung chan lim (slim)

Slim (Seung Chan Lim) dreams of a world where each and every one of us has at least one person that can and will support us in the way we find most effective for our own development.

In 1977, Slim was born in Seoul, (South) Korea. From the age of 6 to 21, he moved from one country to another every 5 years or so. After living in Korea, Egypt, and China, he moved to the US in 1995 for college, where he currently resides.

As coaches help improve the performance of talented athletes by supporting their development of themselves and their relationship to teammates, Slim helps improve the performance of innovative founders by supporting their development of themselves and their relationship to stakeholders. By invitation from Singularity University and SAP, he has coached over 100 founders.

At 43, Slim has spent over 20 years working across America, Europe, and Asia researching how innovation arises from seeing something new or anew. Through this work, he has discovered that the performance of innovators decrease in the presence of conscious and unconscious psychological or interpersonal tension. Thus, he now focuses his practice helping founders innovate not only their products, services, and organizations, but also their thinking process and approach to communication or conversation. Such support helps founders continuously release or lower their tension and acquire the requisite insights, emotional support, and mental relief required to continuously develop themselves.

Slim is also the author of the book Realizing Empathy. He has shared the message of this book with people across North America, Europe, and Asia. The book has won a number of awards including the National Indie Excellence® Book Awards: New Non-Fiction for content and the Communication Arts Typography Annual Award of Excellence for design.

Prior to his focus on startups, Slim used to help fortune 500 companies on their journey of innovation. His clients included ADT, American Eagle, DARPA, Dun & Bradstreet, Eaton, GE, Merrill Lynch, Siemens, and Whirlpool. High-tech products & services he has helped design have won a number of awards including the CES Innovation award.

More specifically, Slim’s career started in 1999 at MAYA Design (now a Boston Consulting Group Company). From this experience, he learned that breakthroughs in product & service driven innovation arose when companies realized empathy and overcame their unawareness & biases toward their customers.

After leaving behind his career at MAYA Design, he conducted anthropological research at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University on how individual artists innovate differently from companies. From this experience, he learned that breakthroughs in individually driven innovation arose when artists realized empathy and overcame their unawareness & biases toward themselves, their subject matters, or their materials.

But that’s not all he learned.

He also experienced symptoms of depression, anxiety, and hypervigilance, which helped him realize that the bulk of the struggle for those going through innovation is psychological and interpersonal in nature.

Slim now combines his experience in both product & service driven innovation as well as individually driven innovation to guide and accompany Founding CEOs on their journey of innovation for themselves and their companies.



11 min 21 sec.


8 min 44 sec.