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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)

In 1977, Seung Chan Lim (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 a leadership performance coach, Slim supports founders of venture-backed companies as would coaches and trainers support an athlete. He has also coached over 100 founders on their journey of maturation by invitation from Singularity University and SAP.

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 learned that the most difficult challenges faced by innovative founders are psychological and interpersonal in nature. Thus, he now focuses his practice helping founders innovate not only their products, services, and organizations, but also their psychology and their relationships to and interactions with their stakeholders. Such support helps founders continuously acquire the insights, mind space, and energy required to leverage their challenges as opportunities for growth and maturation.

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 becoming a coach, Slim was a design consultant for fortune 500 companies, where he pursued an approach to design called “human-centered design.” High-tech products & services he has helped design with this approach have won a number of awards including the CES Innovation award.

More specifically, Slim’s career started in 1999 at MAYA Design (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 as a design consultant, 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.