VR + Prison = Hope?

Virtual reality isn’t just a cool technology—it’s the ideal medium for imparting empathy. This piece in Fast Company details how Oculus, a Facebook-owned venture, funded a virtual reality film as part of its VR for Good social initiative. Step to the Line tells the story of Defy, a groundbreaking program for prisoners. Through VR, the film shows how Defy sets the stage for hope. Defy’s purpose is helping current and former inmates learn entrepreneurship and job skills through intensive training, resume preparation, mentoring by Experienced business people, financial assistance, competition, and, perhaps most importantly, nonstop support and encouragement, both on the inside and, later, on the outside. Viewers of the film can truly step into the shoes of the inmates and see what it is like to be in prison as well as see the way to a better future. It seems contrary to reference prison as the stage for hope, but what Defy is doing is pretty cool. This new film is shattering perceptions of one of the most stigmatized and overlooked populations in America.

What overlooked groups exist in our health care organizations? What could we learn by stepping into their reality and trying to understand them better?