Andreas Heineke and Dialogue in the Dark: Mitigating Social Gaps and Fostering Empathy

May 2, 2019

Hosted by Robert Rimm

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Now available from Arch Street Press 

Globally, it is estimated that 1.3 billion people live with some form of distance or near-vision impairment. Prejudice about blindness is widespread; blind people do not have equal access to education and the labor market. Social entrepreneur Andreas Heinecke was determined to do something about it. He founded Dialogue in the Dark, in which blind people lead the audience in small groups through a set of real-life scenarios in total darkness to share this experience. The first Dialogue in the Dark exhibition was held in Germany in 1989; it’s now a global network of visually impaired guides and facilitators employed to stage exhibitions and workshops.

Andreas Heinecke is a social entrepreneur for more than 30 years. He pursues his mission to mitigate social gaps and foster empathy through such events. The most popular is Dialogue in the Dark; his company, Dialogue Social Enterprise, operates globally and reaches out to 800.000 people annually. For his achievements within the realms of social innovation and entrepreneurship, he became the first Ashoka Fellow in Western Europe and a Global Fellow of the World Economic Forum. Andreas is the recipient of various international awards, holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is an honorary professor of social business at the European Business School in Germany.