Who We Are

How We Began

We founded Mindful Society Global Institute in 2012. 

We began as a community of faculty and advisors practicing mindfulness at the University of Toronto. Through events and our annual conference, A Mindful Society, we expanded into an international community of practice. We’ve partnered with many of the leading mindfulness organizations around the world over the last 8 years.

Led by founder, Michael Apollo and guided by our Advisory Board, we've launched 7 globally recognized annual conferences, beginning with A Mindful Society 2015: Integrating Mindfulness Into Society. Since then, we’ve hosted over 307 workshops, 332 featured speakers, and attracting over 4,000 in-person attendees at our annual flagship event. 

In 2020, we launched our community-based platform for annual members.

Our Mission

To create a more mindful society by integrating mindfulness into all facets of work and life.

By empowering mindfulness champions, we can create more meaningful changes in society. Our impact, therefore, depends on the success of our community members and our partners. Our success depends on our ability to cultivate:

  • Authentic personal connections 
  • Community growth
  • Openness to different perspectives
  • Strategic design and experimentation
  • Working together toward emerging opportunities and challenges

Our Advisory Board

Barry Boyce

FOUNDING EDITOR, MINDFUL MAGAZINE AND MINDFUL.ORG

 

Valerie Brown JD, MA, PCC

AUTHOR, FORMER BUDDHIST NUN THICH NHAT HANH TRADITION

Michele Chaban MSW/RSW PhD

FOUNDER APPLIED MINDFULNESS MEDITATION PROGRAM U OF T

Mabinti Dennis

CHAMPION FOR DIVERSITY & INCLUSION IN MINDFULNESS

 

M. Lee Freedman MD

CO-FOUNDER MINDFULNESS TORONTO PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY 

Elisha Goldstein PhD

FOUNDER CENTER FOR MINDFUL LIVING, PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR

Allan Goldstein

COFOUNDER MBPTI UCSD, FOUNDER MBSR MENTORSHIP 

Thupten Jinpa PhD

FOUNDER CCT, PRINCIPLE TRANSLATOR FOR HH DALAI LAMA

Theo Koffler

FOUNDER MINDFULNESS WITHOUT BORDERS

 

Michele Milan MA

FORMER CEO ROTMAN EP, CHIEF CURATOR MINDFUL SOCIETY GLOBAL INSTITUTE

Jackie-Gardner Nix MB.BS., PhD, MRCP(UK)

FOUNDER MINDFULNESS-BASED CHRONIC PAIN MANAGEMENT

Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw

FOUNDER TRANSFORMATIVE MINDFULNESS

John Rice

ANISHINABE NATION ELDER

 

Patricia Rockman MD, CCFP, FCFP

CO-FOUNDER CENTRE FOR MINDFULNESS STUDIES

Zindel Segal PhD

CO-FOUNDER MBCT, PROFESSOR UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

Jay Vidyarthi MSc

ATTENTION ACTIVIST, EDUCATOR, DIGITAL STRATEGIST

Elli Weisbaum MES

MINDFULNESS TEACHER AND RESEARCHER

 

Meet Our Team

Michael Apollo 

FOUNDER

Why are you here?

I'm here because I've personally experienced the immense impact of mindful communities of practice, and I'm driven to help advance these communities around the world.

What do you believe?

I believe that mindfulness creates sustainable positive change and that by connecting and supporting the growth of the mindfulness community we can create a more mindful society.

Ryan Dobran PhD

DIGITAL MARKETING

Why are you here?

Because mindfulness, compassion, and meditation can alleviate human suffering.

 

What do you believe?

I believe in compassion, social and economic justice, and lyric poetry.

 

 

Sarah Kraftchuk MSc

COMMUNITY COORDINATOR

Why are you here?

Connection, community and new ways of seeing.

 

 

What do you believe?

When we slow down and listen deeply there is potential for understanding ourselves, each other and the world in new ways.

 

Marie Masse

OPERATIONS MANAGER

Why are you here?

I am here because of the community and the continuous learning

 

What do you believe?

I believe in the power of mindfulness and how it can heal the world.

 

 

Michele Milan MA

CHIEF CURATOR

Why are you here?

I am here to support and be supported by amazing, inspiring people who bring mindfulness and compassion to life.

What do you believe?

I believe that a more mindful, just and equitable society is both necessary and possible.

 

 

Anna-Roza Tamas

STRATEGY PLANNING & INNOVATION

Why are you here?

I am inspired to see first hand what can be achieved when a compassionate community works and lives in integrity with their values ... and has fun while doing it :)

What do you believe?

I believe that the future will be filled with unprecedented complexity that will challenge us as a collective humanity to grow both as individuals and as a community - and mindfulness is a tool to support us in this process. 

Jasna Todorovic

WEB DEVELOPER

Why are you here?

I am here because something beautiful can happen when people choose to live in integrity with their values, and when groups of such people come together.

What do you believe?

Between a worldwide pandemic, an increasing crisis of loneliness and mental health, compounding climate catastrophes, and a media landscape that prioritizes capturing our attention over providing truth, our world is in serious crisis at unprecedented levels. We must learn to become the kinds of people who can face these problems head-on with clarity, conviction, and care - and mindfulness is an integral part of this process.

Jay Vidyarthi MSc

DESIGN STRATEGIST

Why are you here?

This is a community that inspires me. The people here remind me of what's possible when you stick to your values and devote yourself fully to what matters.

What do you believe?

Mindfulness emerged as a spiritual practice. In the past half-century, it has become a health intervention, too. I believe now it is also becoming a vital tool to help us resist the commoditization and colonization of our minds.

 

 

Matt Wellman

DESIGNER

Why are you here?

To make us all look good while we make a great product and offer meaningful services. To propel the human race forward by bringing people together!

What do you believe?

That purposeful design, used for good, can make a difference in people’s lives.