More than anything, I would say that I'm on a constant "walkabout" — an ongoing journey to help myself and others overcome hardship and embrace happiness.
After living through a childhood of sexual abuse from the age of three by my father, I finally left home when I left high school to try to create a new life for myself. After that "new life" turned into a life of escape and meaningless happiness through obsessively working and relentlessly climbing the corporate ladder, I walked away and set off on a "walkabout" with a backpack, hiking boots, flip flops, and an open-ended airline pass around the world.
Among other things, my journey showed me that when we realize it is ourselves with whom we are constantly struggling, overcoming hardship and embracing happiness becomes achievable and not unimaginable.
I hope you enjoy this ongoing journey with me. We have much to share, explore, learn, and experience—and ultimately step into happiness with purpose and impact, beyond our hardships and adversity.
The Formal Version...
Kathy Andersen is an award-winning author and internationally recognized for helping people, communities, and organizations achieve happiness, purpose, and impact.
For over 25 years, Kathy has transformed visions into realities to create impact and positive change for leaders, organizations, and communities. Kathy holds a master’s degree from Harvard University Kennedy School in international development and leadership.
Combining western research and practice on leadership and positive psychology with teachings and practices of mindfulness and well-being from Kathy's work and training with Buddhist monks in India, along with her own life experience of overcoming a childhood of sexual abuse, Kathy offers a pragmatic and personal, yet deeply insightful and thought-provoking path to overcoming hardship and embracing happiness with purpose and impact.
Kathy's award-winning book, Change Your Shoes, Live Your Greatest Life, and accompanying workbook, Change Your Shoes, 365 Life Resolutions, have helped readers internationally to overcome difficult circumstances and step into happiness. In 2015, Kathy co-authored the international bestseller, The Soul of Success, with Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul® series and The Success Principles) and other experts in the field of personal and business success. In Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant’s Option B, (2017), Kathy’s story is shared to help others face adversity, build resilience, and find joy.
Kathy is a regular visiting scholar at the Central University of Tibetan Studies in India, where she develops and facilitates leadership workshops that integrate Buddhist philosophies with modern-day leadership approaches. In 2007, Kathy presented a seminar on universities as agents of global benefit at the World Universities Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In 2006, Kathy’s paper, The Impact Domain, highlighting a new business model for simultaneously creating company growth and national growth, was presented at the United Nations-sponsored conference on Business as an Agent of World Benefit at Case Western University in the United States.
Through her company, Impakt Global, Kathy creates campaigns for change in key issue areas of our time. In 2019 and 2020, Kathy led the creation and execution of The Official Super Bowl Stop Sex Trafficking Campaign for the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee and NFL Foundation, and award-winning public awareness and advocacy campaigns on issues to advance women and girls. In 2015, Kathy collaborated with the Clinton Foundation to develop a Clinton Global Initiative America Commitment to Action to train and transition under-served youth and young adults into entry level jobs. Kathy has collaborated with Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook, and Sheryl’s Lean In foundation to facilitate empowerment programs for girls who have been victims of sex trafficking and exploitation.
In addition to Kathy’s master’s degree at the Harvard Kennedy School, Kathy has undertaken several executive programs at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School on management, leadership, and non-profit governance. Kathy also holds a Bachelor of Business degree from the University of Technology, Sydney; and Graduate Management Qualification from the Australian Graduate School of Management.
Kathy is a trained Adaptive Leadership facilitator through Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership, and has studied Positive Psychology through the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Positive Psychology. Kathy is also a trained facilitator for Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global, and a certified Success Principle's coach with The Jack Canfield Companies.
Kathy serves on the board of directors of the League of Women Voters Miami-Dade; and has served on the boards of Thriving Mind, South Florida's Managing Entity for Behavioral Health; and the Miami Beach Commission for Women.
Kathy's awards have included: The 2020 Global Innovation Foundation Power and Influencer Award, 2019 Thelma Gibson Award - Women’s Chamber of Commerce, 2019 South Florida Business Journal Business of Pride Award, and the 2019 CEO and General Counsel South Florida Builder Award.
In 2020, Kathy and her partner, Laura Kozelouzek, CEO & Founder of Quest Workspaces, co-founded Quest Cares Foundation to help create thriving communities.
Kathy and Laura live between New York and Miami with Laura's seventeen year-old son, Jordan; and their five-pound Teacup Schnauzer, Tinkerbell.