NSB Logo Chris Gardner Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner

Speaker Featured

Chicago, IL, United States

Inspiration for the film "The Pursuit of Happyness"

Chris Gardner is an inspirational speaker whose autobiography, “The Pursuit of Happyness” became a New York Times #1 best seller and was the inspiration for the critically acclaimed film starring Will Smith. After a series of circumstances left him homeless in San Francisco in the 1980s, Chris remained committed to his dreams and caring for his son as he climbed the financial industry ladder from the very bottom.  Through sharing his personal journey, he inspires audiences on personal responsibility, overcoming adversity, self-belief, and achieving your full-potential.

Keynote Speeches

Virtual Keynotes & Webinars
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The Pursuit of Happyness | Motivation for Change and Growth

Drawing from his own experiences, Chris Gardner will share the obstacles he faced and the steps he took to transform his life into the inspiring success he has achieved today. 

In this deeply moving and powerful keynote, Chris shares how he went from being a homeless single father to climbing to the top of the financial industry from the very bottom of the ladder.  He empowers audiences to take ownership of their lives: through thoughts, actions, beliefs, and the “Pursuit of Happyness”. Chris captivates his audiences through hope and motivation, and inspires them to reach their full potential through the transformative power of hard work and personal responsibility. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The concept of the “Universal Dream” –  a lesson from his mother on the importance of channeling one’s inner spirit to have the ability to accomplish any desire.
  • His C-5 Complex format for any life plan – Clear, Concise, Compelling, Consistent and Committed
  • The value of “keeping the P’s” of promise, passion, and planning in life.


Audience reviews:

  • “Thank YOU for making it awesome...you are spectacular. You made our theme come to life, thanks for your inspiration" - VP of Sales at Amgen
  • “Chris is a truly gifted speaker, teacher and life visionary. I have heard Chris speak many times and each opportunity has left me mesmerized by the power of his observations, his wisdom, and his humanity.” - Executive VP at Caesars

Speaker Biography

Gardner’s rags-to-riches story—from a homeless solo parent to a successful stockbroker— was his personal journey into creating the life that he wanted. Having survived and overcome many obstacles, Chris continues to inspire audiences and help others achieve their potential. 

His “The Pursuit of Happyness” autobiography became a New York Times #1 bestseller and an Academy Award nominated film starring Will Smith, which can now be watched on streaming services like Netflix and Apple TV. Gardner’s most recent book, “Permission to Dream”, was selected as Book Of The Month by the Wall Street Journal upon its publication. 

After ‘retiring’ from a thirty-seven year career in the financial services industry, Gardner describes himself as a 68 year old ‘start up’ with a noteworthy interest in fin tech. He actively serves on the boards of Verify Me, The Change Company (CDFI established by the U.S. Treasury Department) and Smart Easy Pay. He has became the oldest “recruit” in the history of the United States Navy and has spoken on a variety of issues pertaining to recruiting and retention of talent for Career Development Symposiums (CDS) at naval bases and air stations worldwide.

An avid philanthropist, Gardner is committed to many organizations including his own, The Christopher P. Gardner Foundation, which is working to change the trajectory of young people’s lives.