Mo Gawdat

Fee Band

As Chief Business Officer for Google X, the search giant’s much-envied R&D division, Mo led some of the tech world’s most innovative projects. It was the climax of a successful career in technology but whilst on paper he was doing well, he often felt unfulfilled. He applied his engineering skills to the problem and after almost a decade developed a model which placed happiness in overall context of the experiences and expectations of life. His work became the international bestseller, Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy.


Mo Gawdat was Chief Business Officer for Google X, the search giant’s cutting edge research and development lab. A tech entrepreneur and innovator, he is also the author of Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy, a look at his decade-long search for an engineering approach to happiness. He followed this book up with Scary Smart, which looks at the future of artificial intelligence, and Unstressable (co-authored with Alice Law), which provides a practical guide to reducing stress in everyday life. 

Starting out at IBM Egypt as a Systems Engineer, Mo also worked in the government sector before joining financial technology company NCR Abu Dhabi. He joined Microsoft in a series of roles including leading the company’s communications division in global emerging markets. Mo then joined Google during some of its most rapid growth, charged with pioneering their emerging markets profile. Passionate about technology’s potential to empower communities, over the course of six years he started almost half of Google’s worldwide operations.

Mo then moved to Google X, the famed innovation division charged with achieving the next ‘moonshot’ development. His role took in planning, strategy, sales, partnerships and business development. Unlike other businesses, and other parts of Google, X focused on giant leaps of innovation, rather than iterative improvements. It aimed to turn science fiction into fact and bring the future closer. It saw Mo working on projects from sustainable energy to providing Wi-Fi to remote parts of the world to autonomous vehicles to life sciences.

Alongside his Google work Mo co-founded outside businesses in areas including health and fitness, property, and food and drink. He’s served on multiple technology company and government boards in Europe and the Middle East.

After a period of general malaise in his life, which he tried to solve with material wealth and experiences, Mo turned his engineering skills to emotions and created an algorithm and model to help avoid and manage disappointment. It incorporated aspects of philosophy and religion; he took data points throughout life and worked for over seven years finding trends and patterns. He placed happiness overall in context of the experiences and expectations of life. He also personally put his project to the test when his 21-year-old son died during a routine operation and the whole experience became the foundation of Solve for Happy. Mo now aims to build on his work to bring happiness to a billion people around the world.

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