Nice article, but I’m assuming it wasn’t written recently, otherwise it is a bit tone-deaf for current times. Empathy has been a controversial word in the design world over the last few weeks.
I agree with critics that warn what design thinkers label ‘empathy’ is not empathy. More often, it is a series of dots joined by bias.
What is absent from the process is any sort of self-reflexivity. Bias, such as ethnocentricism, is a contaminant. Designers and researchers need to account for their own bias before there is a chance of clearly interpreting the context of their subjects.