In Everyday Ambassador Kate Otto stresses the importance of connecting people for a cause and really making a difference. With technology omnipresent and social networks available in a single swipe, we’re living in a disconnected world. Technology is meant to foster closer relationships between those who are far, not create distance between people who are already close. Otto’s point of view is that most of our tweets, likes and posted photos and video are egocentric. Our stress and superficial relationships causes a blind eye on core values that allow us to become truly connected again. The power of technology is not in the tools, but in the intention of the persons using these. The author explains in length the importance of empathy, patience, focus and humility.
Her call to action – to be an everyday ambassador of these values – is not a simple one. For that reason Kate Otto shares first-hand experiences, interviews with volunteers working for NGOs all over the globe. Everyday ambassadors, whether at an international, national, local, or household level, are the people who embrace differences and see all people as equals, unconditionally worthy of respect. Deliberate offline time, active listening to people, openness for different opinions and a broad exposure to news and life stories will help. Grow closer to faraway people – but not further away from people closer by. Understand broadly but commit deeply. Enjoy your digital bubble but burst it every now every so often. Demand change but set reasonable expectations. Eventually go abroad, with the right guide. Not every mission trip is done with local communities or will really benefit them. Otto shares a lot of names, background information and online sources to expand your horizon. If you stay at home, step outside your comfort zone. When it comes to your wallet, invest wisely. Serve others, but only if it serves you too. Whatever it is that you, uniquely, have to offer, the world is waiting for you!
About the author
Kate Otto is the founder and director of Everyday Ambassador, a network for young individuals who are currently pursuing or have completed an international service opportunity, an overseas fellowship, and/or a travel experience. She is also a global health consultant who has worked in Indonesia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique and Haiti for several development institutions including The World Bank, USAID, and various grassroots organizations. She designs, deploys, and researches innovative mobile phone-based technologies to improve health service delivery in areas of HIV/AIDS care, maternal and child health and nutrition. writes for Huffington Post and Christian Science Monitor. Kate graduated from New York University with a BA in International Relations and an MPA in Health Policy and Management. She is a proud Reynolds Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship, Starting Bloc Fellow, Truman Scholar, Luce Scholar, and member of the Academy of Achievement. She lives in New York, NY.