Rethinking Purpose Prequel : Solve for Happy

Winter 2016
Saturday Feb 20, 9:00am-6:00pm Atrium

The gravity of battle means nothing to those of us at peace. In this one day workshop, students will explore through a series of design thinking and empathy inspired activities the scientific reasons for our suffering and steps towards reaching a state of uninterrupted happiness.

Solve for Happy was started by Mo Gawdat (he prefers to be just ‘Mo’), a vice president at Google[x] who had it all, and then lost his son Ali unexpectedly and suddenly the summer of 2014. Yet, in the face of tragedy, he and his family maintained a steady state of peaceful happiness, purpose and joy. This steady state was possible with the help of a simple equation, developed by Mo as he traveled through emerging markets in Africa, Middle East, Central Europe and Asia to set up half of Google’s worldwide operations in the past decade. His efforts to solve for the vastness and diversity of challenges different cultures and societies face inform the concepts that will be explored and discussed in this workshop.

Solve for Happy has its roots in Solve for X (, a platform encouraging moonshot thinking  globally. Google[x] applies this framework to solving huge problems affecting billions of people worldwide, including mobility (self-driving cars), diabetes (smart contact lenses), and connectivity (internet balloons). Yet, perhaps the most elusive is where X = Happy.

Accepting 18 students. Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, Fellows, post-docs. Apply here before Sunday December 6 at 11:59pm.

Teaching Team
Mo Gawdat, Vice President, Business Innovation, Google[x]
Emily Ma, Head, Special Projects, Business Innovation, Google[x]
Jennifer Aaker, General Atlantic Professor of Marketing, Stanford Business School