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Ian Littleton O’Kidhain
Nominated by Sara Bana
Mr. O’kidhain was born in Oklahoma and has lived here more than 20 years. He has a Bachelor’s Degree, (summa cum laude) from the University of Oklahoma and a Masters degree from Cambridge University. He has worked in the U.S., Japan, and France, primarily as a teacher and education coordinator. He has volunteered hundreds of hours in Japan, France and the U.S., primarily for disadvantaged/homeless youths, Red Cross, and youth and adult education. He has been invited to speak on the Neuroscience of Empathy; A Holistic Approach to building Educational Programs; The Psychology of Paralinguistic Features in Education; The Neuroscience of Language & Empathy in Education. He has also lead workshops on Engineering Empathy, Techniques, Exercises and Meditations; and The Psychology of the Classroom and Meditation as an Alternative to Classroom discipline.
Mr. Ian O’kidhain is a local inventor who has focused his research and inventions in the field of neuroscience in an effort to 1) help decrease violence 2) increase human understanding of the brain and neuroscience 3) create tools and practices to help individuals increase empathy 4) build a bridge between social groups with historical patterns of tensions, distrust, and misunderstanding while collecting information for his research, identifying patterns, and widening the scope of current approaches to the problems or barriers at hand.
Mr. O’kidhain also began engaging in dialogue with law enforcement leaders and trainers. He spent time learning about different police procedures and protocols including use of force policies. He observed and participated in different types of available police procedures. A few years ago Mr. O’kidhain began reaching out to local activists, advocates, and civil/human rights leaders engaged in work aimed at reducing the number of police involved shooting in Oklahoma. He began monitoring their work, meetings, cases, and approaches to problem solving. He began collecting police training. Meanwhile he was also evaluating the information he was collecting to the research/information that is available in the field of neuroscience.
Mr. O’kidhain invented and assembled a tool based on research. Throughout his work he continued his communication with both civil/human rights advocates as well as law enforcement leaders. He customized his tool based on identified needs with scientific knowledge about the brain. He worked with law enforcement agencies to test his tool the BRIDGE (Biased Reducing Implemental Device to Grow Empathy). The goal of this device is to help increase human empathy which can decrease implicit biases that can result in tragedy when human beings are confronted by fight or flight experiences.
The BRIDGE was invented by an Oklahoman through holistic collaborations and based on neuroscientific information without Mr. O’kidhain making any personal financial profit. The inventor’s goal was to reduce violence and increase empathy while building a bridge between law enforcement and citizens. The BRIDGE has now been tested at a series of local law enforcement agencies with collaboration of law enforcement trainers. The tool is currently being used by CLEET which certifies every law enforcement officer across Oklahoma.
I continue to believe Mr. O’kidhain’s BRIDGE is a contribution to human rights, life, and humanity. The BRIDGE is a new frontier in the way human beings perceive and approach human conflict. It is also a new approach to managing implicit biases through neuroscience.