During her time at Tandem, Berne came upon the idea for her dissertation. She describes noticing that her students sometimes were depressed and seemed to carry the weight of the world in their young minds. “It seemed like we weren’t listening to young people very deeply. And they were going through a lot. These are 16 and 17 year olds. Why is life so difficult and heavy? So I started listening.” Berne provided empathy when few others would and discovered an incredible quest for identity and purpose, “We do a lot of telling young people what to do, but we don’t really help them find meaning. It turns out they make it up for themselves.”Her dissertation evolved into the study of Bio-Ethics, a small and emerging field, but one that feels incredibly important in shaping the future of our world. “As we search for meaning about who we are, how does technology influence our sense of self and relationship to each other? We spend so much time staring at these boxes for entertainment. It’s becoming an extension of ourselves,” she explains about her concerns regarding people’s evolving relationships with technology before touching on topics like the implications of, for example, exo utero pregnancies and nanotechnology.