Books

Author of several books including her newly-released “A Future So Bright”, as well as earlier books “Tech Humanist” and “Pixels and Place”, Kate brings depth, breadth, humor, and humanity to data, technology, and business topics, and bridges the gap between business interests and human needs.

A Future So Bright book cover

A Future So Bright

How Strategic Optimism Can Restore Our Humanity and Save the World
Tech Humanist book cover

Tech Humanist

How You Can Make Technology Better for Business and Better for Humans
Pixels and Place book cover

Pixels and Place

Connecting Human Experience Across Physical and Digital Spaces
Kate O'Neill and her book A Future So Bright

A Future So Bright

Strategic Optimism for an Uncertain Future

We have been underselling the future. In fact, the future will be neither dystopia nor utopia (which is an actively harmful dichotomy) — it will be what we do the work to make it. And the best way to the brightest future is to focus on what we CAN do, and make sure we are working to get there.

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Between climate change, the impact on the future of work by intelligent automation, misinformation, and more, humanity faces several exponential changes and existential threats simultaneously. Yet there are reasons to lean into hope: emerging technology, for example, also brings with it tremendous power and offers the potential to solve human problems at scale.

Achieving the best outcomes possible now is largely a matter of collective action and political will. The best way — indeed perhaps the only way — to confront the challenges we face and build a better tomorrow is to allow ourselves to envision the brightest future possible, while at the same time acknowledging the ways the future could go dark and working to prevent them from happening.

Kate O’Neill explores the ways we have already begun to solve human problems at scale, and makes the case for an approach that’s both hopeful and strategic as our best chance at a truly bright future.

“So much of the future is painted in polarized views. Kate O’Neill’s fresh take bridges the gap and lays the foundation for embracing technology, empathy and opportunity as we speed towards a hopeful future.”

Chris Mattmann, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at NASA JPL, Professor, Author

“Kate O’Neill has stumbled upon an insight that is incredibly important for those of us who haven’t given up on the future.

She weaves her expertise and direct experience working with tech companies with an infectious optimism, helping us see our role in solving some of our most important problems.

A Future So Bright helps us understand that we’ll get the kind of disruption we’re willing to fight for.“

Caleb Gardner, founding partner at 18 Coffees, and former digital director at OFA (BarackObama.com)

A Future So Bright

Kate O'Neill and her book Tech Humanist

Tech Humanist

How You Can Make Technology Better for Business and Better for Humans

Technology drives the future we create. But are we steering that technology in directions that create that future in the best way, for the most people?

In “Tech Humanist,” Kate O’Neill examines the intent, goals and avenues through which people create and distribute technology, and the amplifying effects technology has on the values the organizations that deploy it.

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O’Neill defines a new model of business leader — the “tech humanist” — as developing honest assessments of organizational goals that move far beyond traditional P&L statements, and peer deeper into the consequences of everyday human experience design within our increasingly tech-driven culture.

It’s the idea of using purpose as a strategy — defining organizational meaning, consequences and outcomes to align both business and human objectives — to spur making the world better by making the technology better. And it’s a role that needs to emerge as quickly and spread as completely as the new technologies it aims to harness for the common good, for both businesses and humans alike.

Tech Humanist Testimonial
“For the past two decades, the Computer History Museum has chronicled the amazing rise of the technology which just in our lifetime has become the most powerful agent of change the world has ever known.

While the stories of creativity, invention, innovation and impact are fascinating, what all this means for the future and humanity is what we are poised to take on now as an institution.

Nowhere has this become more clear to me and my colleagues here at the museum than in reading Kate O’Neill’s blog about a year ago entitled “The Tech Humanist Manifesto.”

The idea that we need to develop and imbed in all future technologies the very best of ourselves and our ethics and ultimately have the goal of those emerging technologies to make us better humans has resonated deeply into our own plans of what we will present, discuss, and debate going forward.

After reading the manifesto, my initial thoughts were “Kate should write a book on this.” Which I am very happy that she has done, and now her humor, excellent insights and heartfelt philosophy can reach the leaders and influencers throughout the world. And the rest of us too.”

Gary Matsushita, Vice President, Computer History Museum

Tech Humanist

The Tech Humanist Show

Launched in 2020, The Tech Humanist Show is a multi-media-format program exploring how data and technology shape the human experience, hosted by Kate O’Neill. You can review the show’s archives on YouTube or at the show’s website.

The Tech Humanist Show
Pixels and Place book cover

Pixels and Place

Connecting Human Experience Across Physical and Digital Spaces

The distinction between “online” and “offline,” between “digital” and “physical,” once seemingly unambiguous, has begun to blur thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and personal location data, ad and experience targeting, connected devices, wearable technology, the Internet of Things, and additive capabilities like 3-D printing.

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The biggest business opportunities for innovative experiences, according to digital marketing expert and “Tech Humanist” Kate O’Neill, will come from blending the physical and digital worlds intentionally to create a meaningful and integrated human experience.

And to do that, we must recognize that human motivations connect these worlds through a transactional data layer, and create experiences with respect for the humanity represented by that data.

Also available at the following fine independent book sellers:
— Parnassus Books, Nashville TN
— Left Bank Books, St. Louis MO
— 800-CEO-READ

In looking at the opportunities presented by the convergence of physical and digital, O’Neill also examines the underlying meaning of place, as well as the abundant metaphors of place already in use in digital experience, and how we can shape our audiences’ experiences more meaningfully in alignment with our own business objectives.

Executives, strategists, marketers, city planners, and anyone who creates experiences for humans will take away valuable insights from this book.

Pixels and Place

Lessons From Los Gatos book cover

Lessons from Los Gatos

How Working at a Startup Called Netflix Made Me a Better Entrepreneur (and Mentor)

As one of the movie giant’s first 100 employees, Kate O’Neill describes in this quick read the early culture and lists a few of the lessons she took away to start and run her own companies and advise others.

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Lessons from Los Gatos

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Insights

Kate writes prolifically and contributes to numerous outlets on an eclectic array of topics, but her primary focus is the intersection of data, humanity, and meaningful experiences.

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It’s time to create a human-centric strategy for a change-filled future.