“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

The Empathy Lab has one goal, to create better communities of people by drastically improving the way we learn, grow empathy through story sharing and idea innovating.

To do this, Empathy Lab is on a mission to:

Create safe environments to learn about empathy and self awareness

Practice ways of being empathetic with yourself and others

Apply these learnings to all your real life needs – self, family, community, and work.

We are digging in our heels right here in Atlanta, Georgia.

One person at a time.

Shelton at Empathy Morning
Shelton saying something crazy at Empathy Morning.

Who’s behind Empathy Lab and why?

Shelton Davis, listener, founder, son, friend, husband, father, and recovering decathlete.

His story and life’s work has been one of perspective taking and traveling down road’s less traveled. Born in Southern California to a white mother (born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and black father (born in Texas), he was typically the only kid around with an afro and great tan. California’s cultural melting pot along with his multiracial background gave him the opportunity to experience different families, economies, and politics. Without a multiracial tribe to call his own, he found himself accepted into many other racial and cultural groups.

The amazing thing about academics and sports is that their tribes cross culture, skin color, ethnicity, and gender. Through high school and college, he focused on his new found tribes; psychology, design, and track and field.


Why do people do the things they do?

Track and Field

How do I maximize my efforts without compromising my position?

(industrial design)

How can I improve lives by better understanding people’s motivations?

This combination of focused curiosity along with his ability to cross tribes of people has put him in a unique position to empathize with individuals, discover behavior patterns, innovate ideas, and push/finesse the best concepts forward. This is his process as a team member, community member, and member of the human tribe.

This is his where Empathy Lab comes in. After many years of working with amazing small design firms, large corporate innovation labs, and a few well funded start-ups, he’s come to realize that something is missing.

Empathy is missing.

Shelton believes that self empathy, community empathy, and other person empathy is ill supported and/or completely missing. Why? Empathy is scary, uncomfortable, and must be part of a continued practice. Like all other skills, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

Shelton is on a mission to bring empathy back to practice with Empathy Lab.


As the Lab continues to grow, so do its supporters, drivers, and challengers. Many thanks to many friends!