Best-selling author, solve for happy
Former Chief Business Officer, Google [X]
The secret to happiness
Creating innovative cultures
Technology and economic development
Mo Gawdat, founder of #onebillionhappy, is author of Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy, and the former Chief Business Officer of Google[x]. A systems engineer and serial entrepreneur, Mo’s engineering career began at IBM Egypt. He moved from engineering to sales in the government sector. From there, Mo accepted a position at Microsoft where he assumed various roles including communications across emerging markets worldwide. He joined Google in 2007 to kick-start Google operations in 50 emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe (about half of Google’s global operations). Mo was fascinated by the role that technology plays in empowering people in emerging communities, and dedicated years of his career towards that passion.
In 2013, Mo transitioned to Google’s world-famous innovation lab, Google [X], where he led business strategy, planning, sales, development and partnerships, partnered with an elite team of engineers who develop new technologies to reinvent the way the way things are, and deliver radical improvements in the way the world works. Examples are Project Loon, which aims to use high-altitude balloons to provide affordable Internet access across our planet; Project Makani, aiming to revolutionize wind energy generation using autonomous carbon fiber kites; and self-driving cars. The business team under Mo’s leadership designed disruptive technologies and deep partnerships that enabled [X] to thrive globally and build products fit for the real world.
Alongside his career, Mo has remained a serial entrepreneur and has cofounded more than 20 businesses in health and fitness, food and beverage, and real estate. He has served as a board member for several technology, health and fitness, and consumer goods companies as well as several government technology and innovation companies in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He mentors multiple start-ups at any point in time.
Mo had reached the pinnacle of success by the time he turned 28, but realised that despite being on top of the corporate ladder with all its perks, a wonderful wife and two young children, he wasn’t happy. In fact, he was clinically depressed. As an engineer, he set out to fix the problem by examining provable facts and applying logic. Thirteen years later, Mo’s happiness model was put to the ultimate test after the sudden death of his son, Ali, the result of a preventable medical error during a routine surgical procedure. In dealing with this devastating loss, Mo found his mission: to continue Ali’s peaceful legacy by helping as many people as possible become happier. It begins with a simple premise – Happiness is a choice.
Just two weeks after Ali’s passing in 2014, Mo began to write his book Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy. It was published in 2017 and then released in paperback in January 2018. Solve for Happy, printed in 28 languages, reflects Mo’s 12-year research on happiness with an engineer's way of looking at a topic most often approached from a spiritual or psychological perspective. In the look, Mo shares his path to reach a state of uninterrupted happiness regardless of the circumstances of life.
Mo left Google X in February 2018 to dedicate the rest of his life to #onebillionhappy.
Mo's story, and his commitment to helping people find happiness through everyday practical tools, have inspired and moved audiences worldwide.
As well as delivering his message in speeches, he can also work with smaller groups in a workshop/seminar context.
In addition to speaking on happiness, he can also discuss tech trends re-shaping the global business landscape, how to create an innovative mindset, and the power of disruptive tech to improve lives and deliver growth.