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Kim Smiley

Designer and Social Entrepreneur

Kim Smiley is the creative force behind Sapphô by Kim Smiley, a social enterprise that promotes beauty for the public good. She is also the Founder and Curator of The Empathy Effect, a 365 day social experiment to test whether empathy is infectious.

For more than a decade, Kim served as a senior executive in the charitable sector, where her work focused on empowering vulnerable populations. Kim pursued advanced degrees at McGill and Harvard University. She is the recipient of many academic honours, including the John E. Thayer Award, bestowed by Harvard University to the student who graduates at the top of their class.

Following her passion for women's issue and the power of empathy, Kim sits on the Board of Directors of Up With Women and the Human Kindness Project.

Born in Montréal, Kim currently resides in Toronto.
What Social Media Can Teach You About Living a Fuller

What Social Media Can Teach You About Living a Fuller Life

Let me fill you in on a secret: It's because you are too busy focusing on you, your company and your brand. You. You. More you. Forget about yourself for a second. Focus on the scintillating stars around you. They are gorgeous, captivating and brilliant! There is so much to discover. It is there waiting, just like you. All you have to do is open years eyes, click and share.
10/16/2014 05:13 EDT
Ten Reasons Why I Love Amal

Ten Reasons Why I Love Amal Alamuddin

I must admit: I used to be quite smitten with the man you married. Now, I only have eyes for you. We have never met, but the truth is I love you all the same, from a distance bridged by sisterhood and solidarity.
10/05/2014 10:40 EDT
Why Competition Holds Entrepreneurs

Why Competition Holds Entrepreneurs Back

We tend to be so hung up on rising to the top that we fail to realize that being overly competitive can actually push us down. True greatness comes to those who elevate others; who lift them up without regard to where it will place them in the hierarchy of the marketplace of life.
10/03/2014 12:28 EDT
A Woman's Guide to the Impostor

A Woman's Guide to the Impostor Syndrome

I am not saying that we should not strive to be the very best people and professionals we can be. This is not a call to "lean out." By all means, let's strive to be amazing, but let's also aspire to be more gentle with ourselves and with others.
09/30/2014 05:28 EDT
The Successful Woman's Secret?

The Successful Woman's Secret? Sisterhood

There is a wellspring of magic in women empowering other women. I would argue that it is one of the most transformational forces in the world for stretching our purpose on this planet. But I have witnessed that as powerful as we can be in uplifting each other, we are also a formidable force for bringing each other down.
09/25/2014 12:30 EDT
When Boundaries Are

When Boundaries Are Healthy

I know, in the internet age, many people think boundaries are passé. This is clear to me when I contemplate people's selfies on social media and their transgressions on Twitter. But I want to reframe the discussion to show that boundaries can be healthy. So let's explore some of the benefits.
09/19/2014 05:57 EDT
I Can Keep a Secret, Can

I Can Keep a Secret, Can You?

As a girl, a wise woman told me my eyes would elicit people's secrets throughout my life. I took her words to heart. From that day forward, I resolved to be a gatekeeper not a gossiper, and in some mystical way, like a magnetic field, her prophecy came true.
09/13/2014 10:41 EDT
Tips To Help You Stop Engaging in Malicious

Tips To Help You Stop Engaging in Malicious Gossip

The more exceptional the individual, the more vulnerable they are to the green-eyed monster. It would be intellectually dishonest to say that I never gossip myself. I succumb to the temptation too. We all do. Because we are human. But I strive to honour the wisdom I have learned from academia and everyday experience about the devastating effects gossip can have.
08/31/2014 04:15 EDT
10 Life Lessons from History's Most Famous

10 Life Lessons from History's Most Famous Artists

Everybody's a critique. Paul Cézanne, the Post-Impressionist painter, was mercilessly ridiculed by critics when he exhibited with the Impressionists. Claude Monet's paintings were called "formless, unfinished and ugly." Aside from the art of perseverance, what can the greatest artists of all time teach us? Here are my top 10 takeaways.
03/02/2014 01:24 EST
How to Bring Out Your Inner

How to Bring Out Your Inner Buddha

For a Jewish, middle class, Montrealer, I've spent a lot of my life in the company of the Buddha. I have had an 18-year on-again, off-again relationship with the Buddha. He's been by my side during the ups and downs. I never practiced Buddhism, but I have been a student of the religion for half my life.
02/20/2014 12:29 EST
Why Philanthropy is the Best

Why Philanthropy is the Best Medicine

I know several philanthropists who will only fund the projects that no one else will touch. Give me the most stigmatized cause, the most complex client group! What does this teach us about life? The nobility of standing in solidarity with the marginalized.
02/10/2014 05:06 EST
How Famous Recluses Teach Us Important

How Famous Recluses Teach Us Important Lessons

Our society typically believes the individual who sequesters himself from the outside world is mad, while we laud individuals who erect social media shrines to themselves, enabling them with "likes" and "retweets." What would J.D. Salinger have to say about the "selfie"? Probably that we're all a bunch of "phonies," myself included.
01/27/2014 08:33 EST
The Ugly Truth About the Beauty

The Ugly Truth About the Beauty Business

Like the ancient Greek poet Sappho, I revere women. Rubenesque. Skinny. Tall. Short. Old. Young. Hourglass. Pear. Every woman. But when I contemplate fashion's cult of perfection and the rise of eating disorders and so-called "fat-shaming," I think beauty standards have become a form of tyranny.
01/20/2014 12:08 EST