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Soulaima Gourani

SPEAKER, ADVISER, WRITER, DEBATER, AND BOARD MEMBER

Soulaima Gourani is a keynote speaker and an advisor to major companies on customer loyalty, strategic networking, change management, employee motivation and future of business. She is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, and the owner of tradeconductor.com and womenreignite.com

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The person

“There is more to life than work . . .”

I am the proud co- founder of Womenreignite 

I like to show people around the world that even a school drop-out, a homeless child, and an unwanted immigrant can get to the “top”.

I have had many struggles, and as a result, I have written and co-written more than 14 books on all the mistakes, failures and obstacles I have had throughout my life. I was born in Morocco, grew up in DenmarkMy pain transformed into my path in 2007 when I was fired while I was pregnant.

It was the most challenging moment in my life. I was a mom to be and the breadwinner of the family, and I’ve just been fired from my job as a global sales director. It was at that moment that I decided never again to be in a position where anyone could fire me. That same year, I decided to start my own consulting company. I had no idea what to do, but I needed to make a living. All I had was my skills in sales, sales training, strategic sales/strategic partnership, supply-chain management and strategic networking.Those are my “hardcore” skills and talents, and it was easy for me to teach others. So, I decided to start training others. That was the beginning of my consulting company, which led me to become a global keynote speaker, life design coach and author.

However, if it weren’t for my strategic networking skills and the ability and courage to speak out on topics that I am passionate about, I would not have been able to succeed. As a result, today I have done about 200 public talks/year around the world, in more than 33 countries, with some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Volvo, Siemens and Maersk.

Adversity made me stronger. Throughout my upbringing, I developed some qualities and survival techniques that still play an essential part in my drive for success today. I was separated from my parents when I was only 13 years old (in Denmark), I was kicked out of school in 7th grade, and went through the foster-care system. However, I still managed to succeed and have been recognized with various awards.

My adversity and struggles have become important motivators for me. I cannot change my childhood, but I can appreciate that it is over. What’s important is not where you come from, but where you are going. Having a great career and personal life are all about having the courage and the ability to seize the opportunities that you run into and to have a great method.

I believe that people can decide to become successful and reach essential goals through hard work and perseverance. The foundation for my leadership, my values, my focus, and my sense of responsibility can be tracked all the way back to my challenging childhood, but my days of hardship have been transformed into something very positive. I have shared those thoughts in many podcasts and books available in english. I also wrote about this journey and shared my leanings in the e-book “Ignite your Career” and it was downloaded in more than 300.000 copies. Buy it here

Against all odds I received an E-MBA from Copenhagen Business School in 2007 and have received further education and executive training from a number of institutions, including Yale University, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, INCAE Business School and ISB India. I now teach online and at leading business schools around the world in “life design.

I support many organisations and charities, including UN Women Advisory Group (Denmark); SAC World Economic Forum, YGL, Gender equality (Geneva); The School Challenge Team (world wide), The Global Teacher Prize and many more – read more here

Today I get to work in many countries and I work with some of the smartest people on earth. I dedicated my own life to improving the lives of others. I am a life coach and offer 1:1 sessions online. I make people brave, shine, bold and I help them to unleash their enormous potential and find their talents and passions.  I own 3 “online paid membership platforms- and member communities”. One of them being the biggest online life design community in Scandinavia with participants from over 42 countries.   

In the USA I teach people online “how to design their lives”.  For more inspiration look at Womenreignite 

You can book me via my speaking agent CraigS[at[bigspeak[dot]com

I advise major companies on topics such as customer and sales loyalty, strategic relationships with stakeholders, change management, employee motivation and the future of business. You can ask me about my cases and results at sg[at]soulaima[dot]dk

I am still married to my loving husband for 24 years, a mom to our two kids age 9 and 11.

Avoiding adversity is impossible. What is important is how you tackle adversity. Do you give up, or does it make you stronger?

Today I reside in Palo Alto, California, where I continue to advise American leaders, entrepreneurs and companies in areas such as strategy, management and leadership.

If you want to follow my work feel free to read my weekly FORBES

Privately

After 14 years in Denmark we decided in 2016 to move to USA first to Texas and now California, Palo Alto. It is healthy to move to other countries once in a while. I have lived in Luxembourg, Switzerland and Norway and find that these moves boost my creativity, network and cultural understanding.

Interests

Naturally my family, being the proud mom of two. I am passionate about traveling, art and sport. I have always been very active in sports with passion for extreme disciplines. I was one of the finalists in the 1995 Miss Fitness Denmark competition, and I have participated in a couple of “adventure extreme races,” which are twenty-four-hour orienteering races with a multitude of athletic challenges.

Gourani-familien
This is Soulaima Gourani with her family