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Virtual Reality for Humanity

A Collaboration between Oculus and the Human Rights Foundation

Carina Cho, Andrea Alvarez, Aalia Mehra


Compassion, Empathy, Humanization, Social Justice, Experience


We started our process by analyzing the Humans of New York and understanding what makes them successful in building a connection between strangers. Humans of New York and the Human Rights Foundation have essentially the same goal: To share the stories of strangers and garner compassion to help a fellow human being in need. A major challenge was understanding how to make that connection and build empathy and compassion between a group of strangers in context of the Human Rights Foundation just as people were immersed in the stories of Humans of New York.


Unsure of our direction, we constantly explored different formats in which the Human Rights Foundation can engage and build empathy among its audience, some of which include creating a template for their social media with clear guidelines and techniques. Another direction included a guideline to rebranding HRF through the use of colors and logos. In terms of our final idea, although we decided to go the Virtual Reality route, we were hesitant on the creation of content for virtual ideas.


Towards the last few weeks of the semester, we began to fully grasp the immense potential a collaboration between HRF and Virtual Reality could be. Through our partnership with Oculus we aim to provide a VR experience of our own for others to encounter and step into the shoes of a less-fortunate one. This led to our creation of “Once A Week In Hermit Kingdom.” Through the use of this experience, HRF will be able to ignite compassion and empathy, thus successfully outreaching to the community and thus, humanizing strangers through a VR experience.

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