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Q&A: Meet Adam Pervez, the Happy Nomad

Q&A: Meet Adam Pervez, the Happy Nomad
Courtesy of Adam Pervez

Adam Pervez seemed to have it all when he graduated from Madrid’s IE Business School with an MBA in 2009. In a tough job market, he’d landed his dream job, a six-figure position in Denmark working for Siemens Wind Power (SI), helping the company develop capacity for offshore wind turbines. But Pervez soon found himself unsatisfied with the corporate lifestyle, even though he was working in a field he was passionate about. He’d focused on corporate social responsibility and sustainability while in business school and realized he wanted to have a direct impact on poor people in developing countries, rather than help the developed world become more energy efficient. So 10 months later, he did the unthinkable: He quit his job and launched what he has dubbed the Happy Nomad Tour and began traveling the world to put the theories behind corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship to the test.

In the past six months, Pervez—who has dubbed himself chief happiness officer—has traveled to 10 countries in Central America and South America, including Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Panama, living on just $10 a day. He spends his time volunteering, offering business advice to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), nonprofits, and family businesses and chronicling his journey on his website. His ultimate goal? He hopes to get the corporate world to think differently about its approach to corporate responsibility, start his own NGO, and inspire MBA students to use their education to help people in the developing world.