Keynote speaker John Jacobs is co-founder and CCO (Chief Creative Optimist) of Life is Good, which spreads the power of optimism through inspiring art, a passionate community, and groundbreaking nonprofit work.
John and his brother Bert launched their business with $78 in their pockets, selling T-shirts in the streets of Boston. Today, Life is Good is a $100 million positive lifestyle brand sold by over 2,000 retailers across the US and Canada.
John wrote and illustrated his first (poorly spelled) book at the age of five. He’s been writing and drawing ever since, graduating from the University of Massachusetts with dual degrees in English and Art. John began designing and selling T-shirts with his brother Bert during his senior year. After five years traveling in their van together, the brothers officially launched Life is Good with the mission to spread the power of optimism.
Early on, John and Bert were inspired by stories of people, mainly children, facing great adversity. These stories illustrated that optimism is most powerful in the darkest of times and fueled the creation of a fully integrated business model dedicated to helping kids in need. Life is Good donates at least 10% of its annual net profits to the Life is Good Kids Foundation to positively impact over 120,000 kids daily facing poverty, violence, and illness.
John provides the creative vision to guide the art and messaging direction of Life is Good to inspire optimism in everyone the brand touches. John enjoys outdoor adventures with his family, awkward dancing and diving into the water to catch things.
To inspire others to choose optimism and grow the good in their lives, John and Bert wrote Life is Good: The Book/ How to Live with Purpose and Enjoy the Ride, published by National Geographic in September 2015.
John has been awarded honorary doctorates from several universities for entrepreneurship, business innovation and philanthropy. He and Life is Good have been featured on CNNMoney, CNBC’s Business Nation, ABC News’ Nightline, NBC’s The Today Show, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, and Men’s Health Magazine, among others. John and Bert are the youngest of six siblings from Needham, MA. They credit their mother as the first powerful optimist in their lives, and the inspiration for Life is Good.