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Michael Acton Smith

speaker location icon London, UK

Co-Founder and Co CEO of Calm - valued at more than a $1 Billion

Founder of Mind Candy and Co Founder Firebox

Leading technology entrepreneur, author and Bafta award Winner

Michael Acton Smith OBE is a highly successful technology entrepreneur and leader.    He is the co-founder and Co CEO of Calm, whose mission is to make the world a happier and less stressed place by bringing meditation and mindfulness to the mainstream.

Calm is the #1 app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation, with over 80 million downloads and over 1,000,000 5-star reviews.   They were an Apple BEST OF 2018 award winner, Apple’s App of the Year 2017, Google Play Editor’s Choice 2018, and to be named by the Center for Humane Technology as “the world’s happiest app”.  In 2019, Calm became the World’s First Mental Health ‘Unicorn’ – valued at more than a billion USD.  They would like to make Calm the Nike of the mind.

He has written a game-changing book on the subject, “Calm” (2015), which is described as “a practical and pleasurable guide to twenty-first century mindfulness.   The Daily Telegraph calls him “a rock star version of Willy Wonka”; The Independent “a polite version of Bob Geldof.”

In 2004, Michael founded entertainment company Mind Candy, and from a sketch on a napkin in a South London coffee shop, he built Moshi Monsters into a global online brand with over 80m registered users.  Moshi Monsters was later expanded offline into books, magazines, toys, music albums, trading cards and a movie. Mind Candy, valued at £200 million, also produced the award-winning Perplex City, a global hunt for a buried stash of £100,000 with players searching for clues across various online media and real world locations.

In 1998, Michael co-founded the online gadget and gift retailer Firebox.com which became the UK’s 13th fastest private business and was listed on the Sunday Times ‘Fast Track 100’. It has successfully diversified into the mail order, corporate and wholesale sectors.

Michael is a founder of Silicon drinkabout, a weekly tech/media meetup in Shoreditch, London and Berwickstock, a boutique music festival. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to the creative industries.

Themes and Topics

  • Building winning teams and a growth culture
  • Marketing insights that make the difference
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation – persistence and overcoming setbacks
  • Mental health and well-being at work

Our Comment

"Michael is an inspiring storyteller and speaks passionately about building businesses, creating brands and the importance of corporate and personal wellness."

Calm: Calm the mind. Change the world

Calm combines extracts from fascinating neurological research with wisdom from history’s great thinkers and the real-life experiences of individuals across the globe. It demystifies mindfulness and shows you the many simple ways to be mindful while carrying on with your life. It is also a beautifully crafted object, filled with artwork and artistry, that will change your perspective by showing you the pleasures of the world anew. Take a walk with nowhere to go, savour a chocolate on the tip of your tongue, plant a seed, doodle aimlessly, turn off your mobile phone for five short minutes. Smile, breathe and go slowly.

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