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IETA could be good for;
Setting Standards
I do think standards would be a good idea,

Clarifying Definitions
interested in making sure we're talking about the same thing.

Indi works with engineers and needs resources to make the case for the importance of empathy for engineers.

An association could be good for sending out a request for information and getting support. Could find out about latest studies or papers 

Indi has time pressures for taking part.

Wants to create something to contribute to the next generation of people working on empathy. She feels the doors for the empathy work are just opening now but it will be the next generation that will make this a reality.  IETA could be way to build support for the next generation working of fostering empathy.

Thank you for including me in this promising undertaking! The idea of an Empathy Trainer Association is very promising. I was only voicing concern regarding the acronym ETA, which in Europe has a very frightening sound. The design challenge also sounds nice. Unfortunately, I will have very little time for the workshop until mid of June, as I am (luckily) quite busy with several projects. I can understand, if you don’t want to wait that long… 

I saw in a Congressional hearing a while back and they were asking the Pentagon officials about a $500 million program on funding the Syrian opposition rebels. The military was asked how many rebel fighters they had in the field for the money. They said, "four or five" fighters! What could we as empathy trainers have done there to end the war in refugee crisis with $500 million?
Team Obama has spent $500M to train ‘four or five’ Syrian rebels
US has trained only 'four or five' Syrian fighters against Isis, top general testifies

Two years ago, I entertained the idea of an association for design thinking in k12 schools. I cultivated a small network, we scheduled quarterly meetings for a year, and it didn't happen. The reason why I share this experience is because I find people say one thing and do or mean something else. When I hear people come up with great ideas, like associations, schools, or inventions, I find they expect the idea to be delivered to them and may not be aware of or ready for the work entailed in building the idea into a sustainable concept. Hard stuff!

Yes, there is a lot of money for prisons and the military because peaceful coexistence isn't part of the national culture and value system. Instead we promote hate, aggression, violence, and segregation through policy and spending. As a gentle reminder, empathy is considered a soft skill and the power to resolve conflict, heal, and connect is not valued in the face of strong-arming others.

To really mix things up here, are you certain that social and political advocacy is the best angle for promoting a culture of empathy? I am with you on the social advocacy, and lose you on the political front. Politically empathy is needed, but it's not something we will see in the legislation. To me, political neutrality is key to promoting empathy.

So I had this thought about having an association of empathy facilitators. I mean to go to the Google document sometime but…

Firstly, I wish it could be called the "association of empathy and self-empathy facilitators. " I would like to heal that split, since, really, the two are in many ways two sides of the same thing.

And I know you might put the words "teachers facilitators educators" all in there.

But, if you use the words "empathy facilitators," and we also want to use an "empathy facilitators" certification training program to earn some money for some trainers., And some legitimacy, then you have the problem of who can join the association?

Are you going to have different tiers, for instance, level one including anyone who wants to call themselves an "empathy facilitator, teacher, educator, trainer," and a level two for people who are actually certified empathy facilitators?

Also, you may be giving away for free the very best words for the people you want to certify, "empathy facilitators." I like that name. It contains with and at what you have said about an empathic way of being including being strong enough in yourself to offer yourself to resolve conflict or offer healing to others. As a "facilitator."

Do you see the problem? If anybody can call themselves an empathy facilitator and join the Association, then what do you have to offer with the certification program for "empathy and self empathy facilitators?"