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Nataly Kogan is the founder of Happier, an app and a digital wellness company that has been called "the Facebook of the happiness movement." An entrepreneur, former digital media executive, and analyst with McKinsey & Co and Microsoft, Kogan decided to dedicate herself to helping others live fuller lives now, after her own 20-year pursuit of happiness led her to some startling realizations.

On the surface, Kogan's life seemed to be exemplary of the American Dream. After her family immigrated from Soviet Russia when she was a teenager, she'd worked hard, overcome several obstacles, risen to leadership positions in successful companies, started her own prosperous ventures, and had a beautiful family. Yet despite her impressive resume of achievements, Kogan wasn't happy. She began to immerse herself in various fields of science, all of which indicated that happiness comes from a daily practice of gratitude, identifying meaningful positive moments in the here and now, and sharing those experiences with others.

Since 2012, her company, Happier, has helped others do just that. Kogan's combined understanding of corporate cultures, leadership, performance improvement, and cultivating happiness has made her an asset for organizations looking to raise their productivity and employee engagement. She has received standing ovations from audiences at Million Dollar Roundtable, Fortune's Tech Brainstorm, BlogHer, SXSW, the 92nd St. Y, Harvard Women's Leadership Conference, Gillette, and TEDx Boston.

Full Profile

A successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Nataly found that after reaching the highest levels of corporate America, she still wasn’t happy. Chasing achievement left her proud but unfulfilled, so she became inspired to figure out how to live a fuller, happier life. In the process, she found the answers each person and organization needs to unlock their maximum potential, making them more productive and innovative.

In her speeches, Nataly provides audiences with key takeaways they can implement to create stronger and long-lasting connections with teammates, customers and family.

Nataly has received standing ovations from such groups as Million Dollar Roundtable, Fortune’s Tech Brainstorm, Blogher, SXSW, the 92nd St. Y, Harvard Women’s Leadership Conference, Gillette, TEDx Boston, and many more.

Nataly has also been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, New York Magazine and Time Magazine, and has appeared as an expert on Dr. Oz, Bloomberg TV, and “One World” with Deepak Chopra.

Nataly emigrated to the U.S. from the former Soviet Union when she was just thirteen. She reached the highest levels of success on the corporate ladder including positions at WHERE (sold to PayPal), Microsoft’s Future of Social Experiences Lab (FUSE), McKinsey & Co., and Hudson Ventures, a venture capital firm in New York. She is now CEO and Founder of Happier, an organization inspired by scientific research that shows how gratitude, mindfulness, and staying connected to people you care about create the foundation for a happier and healthier life. Nataly launched Happier to an overwhelming global response and has since built a community that has shared over six million happy moments (and counting) on the Happier mobile application and website.


Nataly Kogan Speaker Videos Back to top

Nataly Kogan: TEDxBoston


From escaping Soviet Russia to building successful start-ups, Nataly Kogan shares her 20-year journey pursuing happiness, and how she realized that despite her lengthy list of accomplishments, that joy she wanted still eluded her. Finally she turned to science to see if she could better understand how we achieve happiness; the result was what she calls her "holy crap moment."

"I realized I'd been doing it all wrong," she says. Studies from numerous disciplines showed that rather than chasing a non-existent nirvana state that depends on meeting future goals, happiness and a positive state of mind are generated when we focus on the good moments in our lives that are happening here and now. The revelation moved Kogan so dramatically that she founded the company Happier, with the goal of "encouraging millions of people to stop saying 'I'll be happy when' and start saying 'I'm happier now, because...'"

Nataly Kogan: Keynote


Nataly Kogan: Women's Leadership Forum



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


With about a dozen careers spanning the corporate and start-up world, Nataly Kogan brings an authentic understanding of the challenges today's busy professionals face. With depression and stress on the rise, she notes that there is no "silver bullet" to finding happiness; however, there are several simple habits that can significantly boost our well-being, creativity, and productivity. Drawing from a growing body of scientific research and her own experience turning her life around, she presents simple, concrete things you can do that will help you feel more positive at work - and they don’t require huge changes. You will discover how to exercise your innate ability to be happy and start a ripple effect that will send waves of change through your organization's culture and productivity.

Improving Happiness, and the Bottom Line
Our always-on work environments are making us less productive, less creative, and generally unhappy regardless of our chosen careers. A recent Gallop study shows that when an employee reports increased feelings of well-being, it is 20% more likely that the employee's coworkers will report being happier too. In other words, well-being spreads, much like stress spreads—with more than 50% of employees reporting being "close to burnout" when asked about their stress levels.

In this talk, Nataly shares insights and strategies for a happier workforce. Why? Because happier employees are more creative, more productive, less likely to take time off from work for health reasons, better communicators, and deliver better customer service—resulting in an improved bottom-line for all.

Key takeaways:

  • Happiness is a practice, comprised of simple scientifically-proven techniques, rather than a vague, spontaneous feeling. Encouraging these practices for employees at work and in their personal lives will dramatically improve their well-being , leading to improved productivity, creativity, teamwork, and engagement.
  • The most important factor influencing job satisfaction is whether employees find their work meaningful. There are specific ways to help them connect their jobs to their inner purpose and improve their motivation and performance.
  • The frequency of positive interactions employees have with their colleagues can dramatically improve how engaged and satisfied they are with their jobs. There are simple ways to create opportunities for these interactions without dramatic changes or expenditures.

    The New Way to Lead at Work
    This speech is suited for managers and division leaders who are driving toward specific strategic goals. In a high-stakes, high-stress environment, creativity, teamwork, and shared purpose become fragile. How does a leader protect those values which determine the success of a project, and retain the best people for the next project? How do leaders cultivate purpose, satisfaction and the right environment amid the stress of a project to bring out the best in the team? The balance might seem delicate, but Nataly explains how happiness helps the team drive faster and better toward shared strategic goals.

    Key takeaways:

  • Psychological safety – the ability for team members to feel like they can be themselves at work, and not risk being reprimanded – is one of the top factors that determines how well a team works together.
  • The best way to impact change is to model behavior leaders want their teams to adopt. Nataly shares specific ways leaders can do this in the workplace.
  • Leaders who help remove obstacles for their teams, encourage celebration of small wins, and are honest about their own emotions, including stress, encourage better engagement and performance on their teams.

    Cultivating Happiness at Work
    In this speech, Nataly helps individuals learn how to move their careers forward with optimism, purpose and satisfaction. She shares her happiness manifesto and gives research-based instruction to make happiness a habit and a regular practice, rather than a vague concept. She shows how we each have a responsibility to ourselves and our careers to find the positive path in any work environment, and how if we can do that, we make ourselves invaluable to our employees.

    The Pursuit of Happier...
    Why is the pursuit of happiness so stressful and unfulfilling? Why do we believe that huge achievements trump small everyday moments that connect us with ourselves and those we love most? After years spent chasing "The Big Happy" of career, money and achievements, Nataly explores how the science and research behind happiness can be used to improve all aspects of our lives, showing audiences why we should stop saying "I'll be happy when..." and start saying "I'm happy now because..." Nataly approaches happiness as a clearly-defined practice rather than some spontaneous feeling, sharing with her audiences strategies, techniques, and tools – along with a strong dose of necessary inspiration – to make them part of their own busy lives.

    Key takeaways:

  • Happiness is something we do, not something we feel. It’s a capacity we all have, like a muscle, which we can develop through regular simple practices, which have been scientifically proven to improve our well-being and health.
  • Happiness is not void of all negative emotion. It’s a practice of being mindful of how we feel, without judgment, and from that place reframing negative events and committing to the practices of gratitude, kindness, and mindfulness to nurture genuine lasting happiness.
  • The joy is in the doing. As long as we hang our well-being on the outcome of our achievements, we will always be left wanting and chasing more. We have to learn to cultivate a state of inner wellbeing regardless of our successes, failures, and whatever storms life brings our way.

    Moving From "I'll Be Happier When..." To "I'm Happier Now Because..."
    When Nataly Kogan was a Russian refugee struggling to learn English in the projects of Detroit, she told herself, "I'll be happier when..." So, she became a tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist with a McKinsey pedigree who helped sell PayPal, worked at Microsoft's FUSE lab, and sat on the boards of several high profile tech companies. But despite the success - perhaps you are familiar with the feeling - she still wasn't truly happy.

    Why is the pursuit of happiness so stressful and unfulfilling? Why do we believe that huge achievements trump small everyday moments that connect us with ourselves and those we love most? Nataly Kogan dug into the research and believes the key to being happier is to stop saying “I’ll be happy when…” and start saying “I’m happy now because..." She created a business, Happier, with to help individuals and businesses cultivate happiness.

    Fire Up The Awesome
    This speech is targeted at women to encourage them to connect to their true purpose, learn how to deal with fear, and move from a position of strength to achieve significant growth and fulfillment in their careers and beyond. Nataly has spent her career in male-dominated industries and doesn’t deny that women face significant challenges in the workplace, as well as trying to balance their usually extremely high expectations of themselves with often out of date societal expectations. She offers women audience frank stories, paradigm shifts in thinking, and practical strategies to help them unlock more of their potential without losing their sanity.

    Key takeaways:

  • Cultivating your own sense of well-being isn’t selfish. It’s the best way you can realize your full potential at work and in your personal life.
  • Perception of bias is often stronger and greater obstacle than actual bias women encounter in work situations. There are specific ways to learn how to avoid sabotaging your own success.
  • Don’t try to be fearless; that’s only possible if you never try anything new. Instead, understand your fear, accept it, and move to a place of love for what you do, trust in your ability to adopt, and commitment to doing what you believe is important.



  • Nataly Kogan Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    "Nataly’s passion for and belief in the power of happiness is palpable and allows her to connect with her audience in a unique way. Our entire group was inspired to reflect on how they can bring more happiness into their own lives. The power of Nataly's words continued to resonate within our walls long after she had left the building!"
    - Rebekah Pagis, SVP, Group Account Director, Mullen

    "Nataly was the highlight of an all-day offsite meeting for our group. Her background and experience on what really drives a happier existence at work and at home were extremely well received. She brings a lot of credibility to the topic, as she is very honest about her own experiences. It was refreshing to hear. I can’t recommend enough including Nataly in a company event."
    - John Gassmann, Global Business Services, Gillette

    "Nataly addressed our entire community of 500 students and 100 faculty and did an amazing job. Her message is simple, powerful and thought provoking. We have seen a true lasting impressions of her message all over campus; stickers she handed out are on our student’s backpacks, “you rock” cards are being passed about, and most impressive, a student created a “what makes you happy” board that now resides in one of our dorms. Nataly clearly had an incredible and lasting effect on our community.
    - Chris Millette, Senior Class Dean, Tabor Academy

    “As the keynote speaker at our biggest event of the year, Nataly immediately captivated our audience of entrepreneurial young professionals. Her witty sense of humor, genuine passion for her work, and real world stories gave us inspiration (and many head nods and laughs!). Her positive energy is infectious, and our audience left feeling ready to take their careers to the next level thanks to her unique advice and words of wisdom. I'd highly recommend her as a speaker at any event.”
    - Young Women in Digital

    “Nataly’s accessible and personal approach made it easy for a diverse audience to connect with her message. She dared us to be happier and we are excited for the challenge!”
    - Wentworth Institute of Technology

    “Nataly’s message of gratitude and mindfulness complimented our integrative wellness philosophy and her workshop activities were extremely well received by our discerning guests.”
    - Canyon Ranch




    * Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    "Nataly’s passion for and belief in the power of happiness is palpable and allows her to connect with her audience in a unique way. Our entire group was inspired to reflect on how they can bring more happiness into their own lives. The power of Nataly's words continued to resonate within our walls long after she had left the building!"
    - Rebekah Pagis, SVP, Group Account Director, Mullen

    "Nataly was the highlight of an all-day offsite meeting for our group. Her background and experience on what really drives a happier existence at work and at home were extremely well received. She brings a lot of credibility to the topic, as she is very honest about her own experiences. It was refreshing to hear. I can’t recommend enough including Nataly in a company event."
    - John Gassmann, Global Business Services, Gillette

    "Nataly addressed our entire community of 500 students and 100 faculty and did an amazing job. Her message is simple, powerful and thought provoking. We have seen a true lasting impressions of her message all over campus; stickers she handed out are on our student’s backpacks, “you rock” cards are being passed about, and most impressive, a student created a “what makes you happy” board that now resides in one of our dorms. Nataly clearly had an incredible and lasting effect on our community.
    - Chris Millette, Senior Class Dean, Tabor Academy

    “As the keynote speaker at our biggest event of the year, Nataly immediately captivated our audience of entrepreneurial young professionals. Her witty sense of humor, genuine passion for her work, and real world stories gave us inspiration (and many head nods and laughs!). Her positive energy is infectious, and our audience left feeling ready to take their careers to the next level thanks to her unique advice and words of wisdom. I'd highly recommend her as a speaker at any event.”
    - Young Women in Digital

    “Nataly’s accessible and personal approach made it easy for a diverse audience to connect with her message. She dared us to be happier and we are excited for the challenge!”
    - Wentworth Institute of Technology

    “Nataly’s message of gratitude and mindfulness complimented our integrative wellness philosophy and her workshop activities were extremely well received by our discerning guests.”
    - Canyon Ranch


    Improving Happiness, and the Bottom Line
    Our always-on work environments are making us less productive, less creative, and generally unhappy regardless of our chosen careers. A recent Gallop study shows that when an employee reports increased feelings of well-being, it is 20% more likely that the employee's coworkers will report being happier too. In other words, well-being spreads, much like stress spreads—with more than 50% of employees reporting being "close to burnout" when asked about their stress levels.

    In this talk, Nataly shares insights and strategies for a happier workforce. Why? Because happier employees are more creative, more productive, less likely to take time off from work for health reasons, better communicators, and deliver better customer service—resulting in an improved bottom-line for all.

    Key takeaways:

  • Happiness is a practice, comprised of simple scientifically-proven techniques, rather than a vague, spontaneous feeling. Encouraging these practices for employees at work and in their personal lives will dramatically improve their well-being , leading to improved productivity, creativity, teamwork, and engagement.
  • The most important factor influencing job satisfaction is whether employees find their work meaningful. There are specific ways to help them connect their jobs to their inner purpose and improve their motivation and performance.
  • The frequency of positive interactions employees have with their colleagues can dramatically improve how engaged and satisfied they are with their jobs. There are simple ways to create opportunities for these interactions without dramatic changes or expenditures.

    The New Way to Lead at Work
    This speech is suited for managers and division leaders who are driving toward specific strategic goals. In a high-stakes, high-stress environment, creativity, teamwork, and shared purpose become fragile. How does a leader protect those values which determine the success of a project, and retain the best people for the next project? How do leaders cultivate purpose, satisfaction and the right environment amid the stress of a project to bring out the best in the team? The balance might seem delicate, but Nataly explains how happiness helps the team drive faster and better toward shared strategic goals.

    Key takeaways:

  • Psychological safety – the ability for team members to feel like they can be themselves at work, and not risk being reprimanded – is one of the top factors that determines how well a team works together.
  • The best way to impact change is to model behavior leaders want their teams to adopt. Nataly shares specific ways leaders can do this in the workplace.
  • Leaders who help remove obstacles for their teams, encourage celebration of small wins, and are honest about their own emotions, including stress, encourage better engagement and performance on their teams.

    Cultivating Happiness at Work
    In this speech, Nataly helps individuals learn how to move their careers forward with optimism, purpose and satisfaction. She shares her happiness manifesto and gives research-based instruction to make happiness a habit and a regular practice, rather than a vague concept. She shows how we each have a responsibility to ourselves and our careers to find the positive path in any work environment, and how if we can do that, we make ourselves invaluable to our employees.

    The Pursuit of Happier...
    Why is the pursuit of happiness so stressful and unfulfilling? Why do we believe that huge achievements trump small everyday moments that connect us with ourselves and those we love most? After years spent chasing "The Big Happy" of career, money and achievements, Nataly explores how the science and research behind happiness can be used to improve all aspects of our lives, showing audiences why we should stop saying "I'll be happy when..." and start saying "I'm happy now because..." Nataly approaches happiness as a clearly-defined practice rather than some spontaneous feeling, sharing with her audiences strategies, techniques, and tools – along with a strong dose of necessary inspiration – to make them part of their own busy lives.

    Key takeaways:

  • Happiness is something we do, not something we feel. It’s a capacity we all have, like a muscle, which we can develop through regular simple practices, which have been scientifically proven to improve our well-being and health.
  • Happiness is not void of all negative emotion. It’s a practice of being mindful of how we feel, without judgment, and from that place reframing negative events and committing to the practices of gratitude, kindness, and mindfulness to nurture genuine lasting happiness.
  • The joy is in the doing. As long as we hang our well-being on the outcome of our achievements, we will always be left wanting and chasing more. We have to learn to cultivate a state of inner wellbeing regardless of our successes, failures, and whatever storms life brings our way.

    Moving From "I'll Be Happier When..." To "I'm Happier Now Because..."
    When Nataly Kogan was a Russian refugee struggling to learn English in the projects of Detroit, she told herself, "I'll be happier when..." So, she became a tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist with a McKinsey pedigree who helped sell PayPal, worked at Microsoft's FUSE lab, and sat on the boards of several high profile tech companies. But despite the success - perhaps you are familiar with the feeling - she still wasn't truly happy.

    Why is the pursuit of happiness so stressful and unfulfilling? Why do we believe that huge achievements trump small everyday moments that connect us with ourselves and those we love most? Nataly Kogan dug into the research and believes the key to being happier is to stop saying “I’ll be happy when…” and start saying “I’m happy now because..." She created a business, Happier, with to help individuals and businesses cultivate happiness.

    Fire Up The Awesome
    This speech is targeted at women to encourage them to connect to their true purpose, learn how to deal with fear, and move from a position of strength to achieve significant growth and fulfillment in their careers and beyond. Nataly has spent her career in male-dominated industries and doesn’t deny that women face significant challenges in the workplace, as well as trying to balance their usually extremely high expectations of themselves with often out of date societal expectations. She offers women audience frank stories, paradigm shifts in thinking, and practical strategies to help them unlock more of their potential without losing their sanity.

    Key takeaways:

  • Cultivating your own sense of well-being isn’t selfish. It’s the best way you can realize your full potential at work and in your personal life.
  • Perception of bias is often stronger and greater obstacle than actual bias women encounter in work situations. There are specific ways to learn how to avoid sabotaging your own success.
  • Don’t try to be fearless; that’s only possible if you never try anything new. Instead, understand your fear, accept it, and move to a place of love for what you do, trust in your ability to adopt, and commitment to doing what you believe is important.



  • Nataly Kogan: TEDxBoston


    From escaping Soviet Russia to building successful start-ups, Nataly Kogan shares her 20-year journey pursuing happiness, and how she realized that despite her lengthy list of accomplishments, that joy she wanted still eluded her. Finally she turned to science to see if she could better understand how we achieve happiness; the result was what she calls her "holy crap moment."

    "I realized I'd been doing it all wrong," she says. Studies from numerous disciplines showed that rather than chasing a non-existent nirvana state that depends on meeting future goals, happiness and a positive state of mind are generated when we focus on the good moments in our lives that are happening here and now. The revelation moved Kogan so dramatically that she founded the company Happier, with the goal of "encouraging millions of people to stop saying 'I'll be happy when' and start saying 'I'm happier now, because...'"

    Nataly Kogan: Keynote


    Nataly Kogan: Women's Leadership Forum