Romain Sepehr Vakilitabar is the founder of Pathos Labs, a non-profit laboratory focused on finding ways that media, technology, and entertainment can most effectively dismantle hatred, and create understanding and compassion across lines of difference.
Whether traveling between Palestine and Israel to better understand emotional relationships to the long-lasting conflict, spending weeks voluntarily homeless to empathize with the idea of "absolute need", hitchhiking thousands of miles to test the generosity of strangers, or living with conservative rural farmers in Oklahoma to better understand cultural conservatism, Romain has found that people, no matter the differences, are more alike than they imagine. Pathos Labs was born to prove it, by using the arts to dismantle systemic "othering".
Romain was awarded the "Erase the Hate" fellowship from NBCUniversal in 2018 for his efforts to eradicate hatred in America. He spoke at one of the world's biggest TEDx events, has been featured in Forbes, the bestselling books 2 Billion Under 20, and Compassionate Careers, and in journals such as UC Berkeley's Othering and Belonging.