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Chris Gardner        

Author of "Pursuit of Happyness", Entrepreneur, Speaker & Philanthropist.

Chris Gardner is an entrepreneur, international best-selling author and award winning film producer. Gardner’s autobiography, "The Pursuit of HappYness" became a New York Times #1 best seller, and has been translated into over forty languages; Gardner is also the inspiration for the critically acclaimed film The Pursuit of HappYness for which Will Smith received the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nominations for his performance. Gardner's story of overcoming struggles like homelessness, domestic violence, and foster care has touched audiences worldwide.

Gardner’s second book, “Start Where You Are” also a best seller was published in 2009. Gardner’s new book “Permission to Dream” was selected as “Book Of The Month” by the Wall Street Journal upon its publication.

Gardner has won a Peabody Award for producing “And Still I Rise,” a documentary about the life of his dear friend and mentor Dr. Maya Angelou.

After ‘retiring’ from thirty-seven years in the financial services industry, Gardner has described himself as a 67 year old ‘start up’ with significant interest in fin tech. Gardner currently serves on the boards of Verify Me (VRME, NASDAQ), The Change Company (CDFI established by the U.S. Treasury Department) and Smart Easy Pay. In 2020, Gardner became the oldest “recruit” in the history of the United States Navy and has spoken on behalf of the United States Navy on the issues of recruiting and retention of talent at Career Development Symposiums (CDS) at naval bases and air stations globally.

Gardner’s major priority is the work of his foundation, The Christopher P. Gardner Foundation which is working to change the trajectory of young people’s lives. Gardner has described this effort as “making an alternative investment in human capital.” Gardner is currently doing a “tour” that will have him speak at 1,000 public schools all across America.

Speech Topics

Pursuit of Happyness and Overcoming Obtacles

Chris will share his story on his he went from homeless to owning his own stock brokerage firm and the challenges he experienced along the way. He will share how he overcame those obstacles and how he stayed motivated along the way.

Chris will also identify the importance of the “P’s” in our life. Keeping a Promise. He will share his promise, a promise he made to himself as a 5 year old boy; that when he grew up, become a man and have children, his children would know who their father would be. And second, that he was going to become world class at what ever he did in his life. Passion. What is that thing that turns you on so much that the sun can’t come up soon enough in the morning because you want to go do your thing? And finally having a Plan. He will explain how the plan has to have, what he calls, the C-5 Complex (Clear, Concise, Compelling, Consistent and Committed to the plan).

He will also talk about Empowerment, the idea of “I drove here” which means if “I drove here” then “I can drive out of here”. You can’t change something until you own it.

The only thing he wants you to leave with is to know that if Chris Gardner can do it, so can you.

Spiritual Genetics and a new vision of the Universal Dream

Chris Gardner will share some of the steps that he had to take and obstacles he overcame in order to get from where he was to creating the life that he wanted to live right now.

Through his presentation, he will introduce you to the concept of Spiritual Genetics that which makes you, You that has nothing to do with Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry or Physics. That Part of you that can not be measured analyzed or quantified- That of you that has nothing to do with Blood type DNA or pigmentation. That part of you that is beyond the scope, reach or understanding of science, medicine or technology.

He will also explain the concept of the Universal Dream, an idea that he learned from his mother, who said to him, “ Son, you can do or be anything you want to do or be.” Those words would be the driving force that would take him from being homeless with a baby to having his own successful stock brokerage firm. The Universal Dream also refers to the fact that where you are in your spirit is more important than where you are on the PLANET! The most important experiences in our lives feel the same whether you live in the USA or the UAE! Such as, the birth of a child, a graduation, a wedding a new job or the loss of a loved one. Those are all Universal Experiences that create a family called humanity.

Hard Pivots, Atomic Time and a New Vision of the American Dream

Chris Gardner will be talking about where he is from, where he's been and where he is right now and how he got there. Chris will also be talking about the three most important decisions that he has made in his life which include Hard Pivots, Atomic Time and a New Vision of the American Dream. He will also share the greatest gift that he ever received which was the Permission 2 Dream.

Entrepreneurship and the American Dream

Christopher Gardner recounts the story of how a red Ferrari became the turning point of his career and life. In this heartwarming presentation, Gardner takes audiences from his days in the military to the day he decided he would pursue his career dream. As a father first, and businessman second, his story is one of overcoming obstacles, facing the daunting task of balancing life responsibilities, and ultimately succeeding.

Start Where You Are

In these uncertain and challenging times, Americans are learning what they're made of by tapping into their unknown potential. Christopher Gardner demonstrates that in the face of adversity, true transformation is possible. No matter what kind of challenges your audience has encountered, Gardner is sure to inspire. Sharing powerful stories of human resilience, Gardner instills audience members with hope for a brighter future. They will leave this presentation empowered and uplifted, ready to make positive changes in their own lives.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happyness

Christopher Gardner's inspiring keynote speech focuses on messages of perserverance and personal responsibility in times of crisis. Gardner communicates these themes through the story of his own triumph over adversity while homeless on the streets of San Francisco with is son, to his subsequent success as stock broker, CEO, single father and author of the bestselling autobiography The Pursuit of Happyness and Associate Producer of the film starring Will Smith in the role of Christopher Gardner.


Chris Gardner to Share His Pursuit of Happyness with 2013 CPCU ...
Christopher Gardner, the inspiration for the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith, will be the keynote speaker at The Institutes' 2013 Chartered ...

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