In a world of limitless technology, we are more connected than ever before but our hyper-connected lifestyles threaten our ability to know ourselves and interact with each other. By focusing on the four core values that allow us to become truly “connected” in tech-centric societies—empathy, patience, focus, and humility—Otto demonstrates that the power of technology is not in the tool, but in the intention of the person using it.
Everyday Ambassador offers a unique solution to those who aspire to truly make a difference in the twenty-first century—revealing the secrets of how to unite people, even when technology keeps us at a distance from others—emotionally and physically. Otto helps us lift our heads up from our cell phones and tablets and take a look at the people standing right in front of us.
In a time when good citizenship is the new currency of cool, Everyday Ambassador gives us the tactics to connect in our disconnected world.
Advance Praise for Everyday Ambassador
“Rich with provocative ideas, Everyday Ambassador is a book that will inspire you to create meaningful change on a person-to-person level. The four core values that are explored seem simplistic, but Otto lays out how important they are for anyone who wants to promote compassionate action and social change. With greater focus, empathy, patience, and humility, the world would be a better and more just place to live.” - Anthony D. Romero; Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union
“We need a cadre of ‘everyday ambassadors’ to translate our best intentions into pragmatic actions that promote health and social equity. Kate Otto illuminates a way, in our digitized age, to develop deep human relationships to further these goals... Kate’s lessons are valuable ones for any young person who, as so many now do, travel in hopes of serving communities far from home.” – Dr. Paul Farmer; Founding Director of Partners in Health & Chair of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School
“Kate Otto’s stories illustrate the care, patience, and deep listening that are vital to crafting lasting solutions to social problems around the world. This book shows how humility and perseverance are needed to turn good intentions into meaningful action. It will provide valuable insights for the growing community of globally minded changemakers.” - David Bornstein; New York Times Opinionator Journalist & Author of How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas
“A powerful 21st century story, Everyday Ambassador will inspire you to believe in your personal capacity to make a difference. Kate shows moral courage by pushing her generation to acknowledge its unique vulnerabilities. But she also guides her peers to solutions through her own example. No matter who – or where – you are, Kate’s message is to look in the mirror first. This book reveals the secrets of how to bring people together, even when technology pulls us farther apart. Throughout her adventures, she pairs tenacity with humility, revealing a blazingly original voice with which she speaks her mind yet listens deeply to others. [Kate's book] will fill you with hope for our inter-connected future.” – Irshad Manji; Founder, Moral Courage Project
“Everyday Ambassador is a necessary read for anyone thinking about contributing to social change. Foundation for Sustainable Development has been working with professional and student volunteers for 17 years, and we have seen both the great benefit and great damage foreigners abroad can do to communities. Kate addresses the issue of the outsider in development head on and with no holds barred. We need informed and honest advocates like Kate to ensure that those seeking to ‘help’ actually ‘serve’ and do no harm to our partner communities. Our deepest appreciate to Kate for doing a huge service for community-based development!” – Mireille Cronin Mather; Executive Director, Foundation for Sustainable Development
“Everyday Ambassador articulates some of the most important trends of our time. Through Kate Otto’s travels and stories we can’t help but reflect on our own lives and the incredible importance of the everyday hero that is in each of us. Kate’s focus on humility and international empathy is the type of thinking that will, at scale, solve the most pressing challenges of our time… and it all starts with the individual thinking collectively. If you ever doubted that one person can change the world, read this book.” -Daniel Epstein; Founder of Unreasonable Institute & Unreasonable Group
“We live in a world where technology truly can bolster, strengthen, and reinvent people’s relationships with our communities – and yet all too often we do not see this happening. Kate Otto proposes a smart game plan, through vibrant storytelling, for 21st century citizenship, and how we can use technology in pursuit of, not deterioration of, strong communities.” – Trabian Shorters; Vice President of Communities, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
“Everyday Ambassador is a book whose time is long overdue, and Kate Otto is a changemaker who exhibits that all too rare combination of realizing great impact with deep humility. The lens through which she views the world is as much a student’s as it is a teacher’s, and the lessons she shares by example will have a profound impact on how social entrepreneurs understand themselves and their work. Everyday Ambassador reminds us of the power of human connection, and how courageous self-reflection is a necessary first step for those who hope to responsibly change the world, and be transformed themselves in the process.” – Gabriel Brodbar; Director, Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Program in Social Entrepreneurship
“Kate Otto gives us an inspiring and clear example of how one must not just exist in the world, but rather be in and of the world. Everyday Ambassador exemplifies the value of strong relationships in our global era, taking seriously the attention and care required to form and maintain those relationships in the pursuit of a better world for everyone. Our world is increasingly interconnected and Kate demonstrates how to embrace that diversity through respectful and responsible global citizenship.” – John Sexton; President, New York University
“Kate Otto writes as a millenial yet has lessons to offer all of us. She writes from her heart and from her travels and helps us see that “how” is as important as “what”; that in order to change the world, we must change ourselves; and finally that deep connections trump multi-tasking. I applaud her commitment and her wisdom.” – Ellen Schall; Former Dean, NYU Robert Wagner School of Public Service
“Everyday Ambassador presents a terrific portrait of an often-missing perspective on public service. Kate Otto’s stories illustrate how important the contributions of “everyday people” can be to foreign affairs and international relations in an era of globalization. I applaud Kate’s commitment to making a difference in the world. Her thoughtful assessment of the value of humility and self-reflection is a great read with useful lessons for those of us who make our careers in public service.” - Andrew Rich; Executive Secretary, Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation
“Disparaging her generation’s addiction to multi-tasking and superficial digital connections, [Kate] offers hard won critical insights to others who want to be of service in the world as she discovers that the way to change the world is to change yourself.”- Susan Davis; Co-author, Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know; Founding President & CEO, BRAC USA