Keynote speaker


Malene Rydahl is a passionate keynote speaker who connects with her audience through her key messages about trust, being true to yourself and having purpose and engagement in life inspired by the Danish model. In English and French, she explores the conditions and values necessary to live better together, as a society and also in corporations where it is proven to increase productivity and engagement. Her investigations about why the Danes are amongst the happiest people in the world and her extensive experience in the corporate world give her a unique way to talk about these essential topics. In her keynote speeches, she puts the focus on what we can do individually to improve the way we live and find more happiness. She exposes how corporations can increase engagement and well-being amongst employees and why it is profitable to everybody.

Based on her research from her second book on money, power, beauty , fame and sex, she also talks about some of the illusions and pitfalls of the pursuit of happiness, and suggests concrete ideas to move forward and find our own path to a happy life.

Duration of the keynote speech?

  • 1 hour, followed by a Q&A session

Who is the audience?

  • Malene Rydahl works closely with a large number of French and international corporations. Her keynote speeches are addressed to executive managers as well as their teams, regardless of their level of responsibilities.
  • She is also in high demand as a keynote speaker at international institutions and elite schools such as OECD,Sciences Po Paris, HEC, ENA, INSEAD.

The main themes are :

  • The Danish method to more well-being and performance in companies. Inspired by the Danish model the keynote is focused on three core values being trust, the freedom to be you and engagement in a purposeful project.
  • How to live a happy life free from inhibitions – get rid of the illusions of money, power, beauty, fame and sex. Backed by research, statistics, and stories from real life, Malene Rydahl explores some of the surprising and nefarious side effects of beauty, money, power, fame, and sex, highlighting the dangers of constantly comparing ourselves to others and guides us toward how we might better avoid disillusionment to find our own path to true happiness.




1. Keynote speech: The Danish method to engagement and performance

According to an extensive survey by Gallup, 87% employees in the world say that they are “not engaged” in their work, 24% are actually actively not engaged. At the same time, Denmark, home of Lego and Maersk, has the highest rate of job satisfaction in Europe (Eurostat, 2013). It’s also the country where inhabitants and workers feel the happiest, as shown by numerous studies over the last 40 years.

Danish management is centered on employees’ well-being, work/life balance and equality between women and men. It has had remarkable positive effects in terms of productivity, creativity, involvement and loyalty of workers in a world in which firms fight for the best talent. This certainly explains at least partly why the World Bank has acknowledged Denmark as number two of the “ easiest economies to do business ” in their Doing Business 2017 report and why it is, according to the IMD World Talent Report 2016 report the second most attractive country for talents.

Malene Rydahl takes up the challenge of exporting the lessons of Danish happiness and corporate management at an international level. She has had 18 years of experience in the corporate world (luxury and hotels) and found her own special path to happiness by becoming a writer, keynote speaker and executive coach.

 She has identified three ways to follow this example:

  • Trust in oneself and others: treating people as adults by trusting them, encouraging them to feel individually responsible, and enhancing autonomy, flexibility in schedules (home working, etc);
  • The freedom to choose to be you:  getting to know yourself, understanding others and valuing everybody’s talents thanks to empathy;
  • Engagement: feeling engaged in one’s job, being part of a common purposeful project, and feeling useful.

Based on scientific research and the Danish case study, Malene Rydahl invites innovative leaders to come together on these three ideas in order to define universal yet concrete means of re-focusing the corporate world on more purposeful actions, well-being and employee engagement to obtain better results.

2. Keynote speech / Special edition for luxury brands, hotels and private banks: Understanding the world of the “happy few”

the keys to building a successful customer relationship with the wealthy, powerful, famous and beautiful people

When having a professional career in the luxury field, it can be a real challenge to understand the mindset and of the ones who seem to “have it all” in terms of money, power, beauty and fame. It can easily be intimidating or even stressful serving personalities who incarnate powerful success stories because of the steriotype we assume regarding these “happy few”.

Malene Rydahl has great expertise on these concerns thanks to 18 years of rich and extensive corporate experience in the luxury world and after having researched the topic in depth in her book “ The illusions of Happiness. She invites us to foster customer relationships centred on emotional intelligence, she also deconstructs the myth of people’s “perfect lives”, in order to encourage more simple interactions with prestigious clients and to provide an adequate service based on empathy and understanding the mindset and some of the struggles they have in life despite a sometimes perfect appearance





3. Keynote speech: How to live a happy life free from the illusions of money, power, beauty, fame and sex

The belief that “If only I were more beautiful, rich, powerful, famous, and had lots of sex, I would be happy at last” is very common. Backed by research, statistics, and stories from real life, Malene Rydahl explores some of the surprising and nefarious side effects of beauty, money, power, fame, and sex, highlighting the dangers of constantly comparing ourselves to others. Analyzing the power of television, magazines, social media and more, Rydahl underscores that our struggle with the illusions of happiness is as timely as ever, and guides us toward how we might better avoid disillusionment to find our own path to true happiness.

In our current political and social climate, it seems not only like an important issue but one that urgently needs to be explored. Isn’t the 45th President of the United States the incarnation of money, power, and fame (and his obsession with sex and female beauty) a pretty strong example? Nowadays, more than 50% of teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 want more than anything to be famous, with no specific motive besides fame itself. 61% of French people say they “don’t have enough money to be completely happy,” 1 and 94% of Americans agree that money can indeed buy happiness.. 2 The thirst for power pushes people to constantly seek “success” often without having first defined what success means for them, and at the cost of their mental and physical health. It’s even worse when it comes to beauty and sex. Only 2% of women think they are beautiful, and every year plastic surgeons “make over” tens of millions of people in the US alone. While sex is often cited as a main source of “happiness,” more than 60% of young people today get their sex education from pornography sites, where sex is completely disconnected from emotion.

To overcome our inhibitions and help us see through them, the expert on happiness Malene Rydahl, reveals what lies behind people’s “perfect lives”. She explores the latest studies and international academic references but also brings in her personal observations, to guide us through the five traps to happiness, i.e. beauty, money, power, fame and sex. This big splash into the biggest delusions of our time will set ud free from the need to constantly compare ourselves to others, and help us find out how to be happy in our own way.

4. Keynote speech: Welcome to the happiest country in the world: the Danish recipe for happiness

For decades Denmark has ranked at the top of the world’s happiness surveys. How is it that these 5.6 million Danes are so content when they live in a country that is dark and cold  nine months out of the year and where income taxes are at almost 60%?

At a time when talk across the modern world is focused on unemployment woes, government overreach, and anti-taxation lobbies, our Danish counterparts seem to breathe a healthier and fresher air.

From open-air vegetable stands, to leaving their babies unattended while the parents have a coffee, to very generous paternity leave policies, Malene Rydahl explores how the values of trust, education, and a healthy work-life balance – to name just a few – contribute to a “happy” population. Furthermore she provides tips that we can all apply to our daily lives regardless of where we live.

It is not a matter of starting a revolution, but just remembering that change begins with oneself. Interweaving personal anecdotes and careful research, Malene Rydahl steers clear of any preaching and tackles the ostensible paradox of the Danish model, offering easy, entertaining, and thoughtful ways to be happy – or at least as happy as a Dane.

To go further: Read Malene Rydahl’s books Happy as a Dane and The illusions of happiness , and take a look at the following additional consulting formats:

  • On request, we can develop and conduct an opinion poll within the company for a detailed analysis of the level of well-being in the organization and recommendations on how to move forward
  • Masterclasses based on interactive work-shops to implement the Danish management method.
  • Personalized executive coaching programs at executive committee level

















For requests concerning Malene Rydahl’s speaking engagements, please contact: