Miriam is one of the UK’s leading experts on positive psychology. She is one of 100 global experts invited to contribute to the World Book of Happiness and can talk about any aspect of positive psychology and what it takes to flourish.
Miriam has a reputation as a highly-engaging motivational speaker, which draws on a background in broadcasting and a lifetime of ‘accidentally inspiring’ people. She delivers keynote speeches, presentations and lectures at conferences and events around the world. She has presented at the Bristol Happiness Lectures, whose speakers include Oliver James and Dr Phil Hammond. Another highlight was being invited to speak at the G200 Youth Summit to young leaders and parliamentarians at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany.
Topics: Positive psychology, positivity, happiness, well-being, strengths, resilience, flourishing, mental health. See below for previous topics.
Miriam is a frequent guest on BBC Radio and has appeared on Woman’s Hour, Off the Page & Sunday on BBC Radio 4. She is a regular on BBC Radio Bristol and has been interviewed for BBC News, ITV News and as an expert on the BBC2 series the Secret Life of the Airport.
“Miriam Akhtar is a powerful speaker with a professional and engaging approach. She is equally at ease in front of a large audience or broadcasting live in a studio. Miriam’s knowledge about and enthusiasm for her subject makes her a positive and inspirational speaker who gets straight to the heart of the matter. Her warm and friendly manner combined with a pleasing broadcasting voice mean she is often invited to contribute to BBC national and local radio programmes, who wish to draw on her expertise. Miriam’s background in the broadcast media has given her an insight into effective presentation and storytelling skills that educate, interest and entertain an audience.”Jenny Walmsley, Editor, BBC Radio.
Miriam was one of the keynotes at St John’s College Oxford for the launch of Students for Happiness. Here she is with fellow speakers Nic Marks, creator of the Happy Planet Index (left) and Prof Mark Williams, who developed mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (right).
“I saw Miriam speak for the first time at the University of Bristol Happiness Lectures. Feeling such a connection and so inspired, I have seen her speak several times since! Weaving a potent mix of experience, research and stories with humour and passion for her subject, you cannot help but absorb every morsel! Her message is one of such importance for all human beings, that I frequently point my friends, colleagues and clients in her direction.” Jen Gash, Coach & Consultant.
Coming up in 2018
- The Positivity Panel, Ryvita with Cancer Research UK, London, March 2018
- Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression, University of Kent, March 2018
- Happiness Habits, Hadlow College, Kent, March 2018
- Positive Psychology In Practice, 26th April, Danubius Hotel, London. Keynote speech.
Previous speaking engagements
- What is Post-traumatic Growth, book launch, London, June 2017
- Second Wave Positive Psychology in Practice, University of Lisbon, May 2017
- The Power of Positivity, business conference, Athens, May 2017
- The Growth Mindset, BBC, March 2017
- Sustainable Well-being, Stella McCartney, March 2017
- Resilience – Personal Resourcing, Nationwide, December 2016
- Stressing the Positive, Imperial Healthcare, December 2016
- The Pursuit of Happiness, National Women’s Register conference, October 2016
- Positive Leadership, Slovenian Chamber of Commerce, Ljubljana, September 2016
- Keynote speech on resilience at the Positive Psychology Marathon, Ljubljana, September 2016.
- Perceiving Happiness, G200 Youth Summit, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, April 2016.
- Resilience, Penny Brohn Cancer Care, Somerset, February 2016
- Think, Tedx event, University of Stirling, April 2016.
- Blue Monday, Bristol, January 2016.
- Positive Psychology in Leadership, Invited Speaker, McCormick emerging talent event, Oxon, December 2015.
- Positive Leadership: Resilience & Relationships, Pope, Wainwright & Wykes, London, October 2015.
- What I have gained with age? Sunday Telegraph/Dove event. Invited speaker alongside Dame Jenni Murray. London. August 2015.
- Positive Education. How to Create Happy, Effective Learners. Keynote speech at education conference in Wales, July 2015.
- Making a Habit of Happiness. Public lecture, University of Lisbon, May 2015.
- What Does it Mean to be Happy? Launch of Students for Happiness, University of Oxford, alongside Prof Mark Williams & Nic Marks, May 2015.
- The 2nd Annual Happiness Lectures Online on Love & Purpose, March 2015.
- Sustainable Happiness, The Better Lives Series, British Psychological Society & London College of Fashion, January 2015.
- How to Coach Strengths, Bristol & Bath Coaching Network, September 2014
- Positive Psychology, Science of Strengths & Well-being, Solihull School, August 2014.
- Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression: A Bibliotherapy Intervention, ENPP conference, Amsterdam, July 2014
- Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression: A workshop at the ENPP conference, Amsterdam, July 2014
- Positive Emotions at Work, Comic Relief, June 2014
- The Happiness Lectures on Sustainable Happiness, May 2014
- Positive Relationships, University of Lisbon, March 2014
- Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression, MSc Sports Psychology, Brunel University, Jan 2014
- Strengths-based Working with Young People, Cardiff Against Bullying conference, Nov 2013
- Positive Psychology for Resilience, Keynote speech, Legal Ombudsman, Nov 2013
- Happiness Habits, School for Social Entrepreneurs, Bristol, Oct 2013
- The How of Happiness, Hawkwood College, Stroud, Oct 2013
- Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression, University of Lisbon, June 2013
- Positive psychology for Overcoming Depression, keynote speech, ENPP conference, University of Brno, Czech Republic, May 2013.
- Positive Emotions, ENPP conference at the University of Brno, Czech Republic, May 2013.
- Positive Psychology Interventions in Practice, University of East London, May 2013. Also 2009-12.
- The Positive Psychology of Bookwriting, Alternatives, May 2013
- Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression, Alternatives, Piccadilly, January 2013
- Positive Psychology for Mental Health, Bristol Mind AGM, Nov 2012
- Interrogate Happiness festival, 2 panels alongside Prof Richard Layard (Action for Happiness) & Sue Baker (Time for Change). Oct 2012
- Positive Psychology Coaching, Bristol & Bath Coaching Network, May 2012
- Positive Psychology at Work, 02, Apr 2012
- Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression, Penny Brohn Cancer Care, April 2012
- The Science of Happiness, Women’s Institute, Bleadon, Jan 2012
- Positive Psychology Interventions, University of the West of England, 2012, 2011.
- The Science of Happiness, University of Bath, 2011.
- Positive Psychology for Depression, Keynote speech, The Bristol Happiness Lectures, May 2010.
“Thank you Miriam for an inspirational and uplifting keynote speech. You really helped us to consider how Positive Psychology strategies can be used to enhance the wellbeing of staff and pupils. I am excited to see how schools implement what they have learnt in the coming school year.” Dr Rob Kempson, Educational Psychologist.
“Miriam’s session on ‘Positive Emotions at Work’ was both inspiring and engaging. She shared practical tips backed up by theory and helped staff to practice their happiness habits through a mixture of discussion and group activities. Miriam was easy to listen to and created a relaxed atmosphere in which the group felt comfortable and able to ask questions and get involved.” Katie Knight, Comic Relief.
“I would highly recommend Miriam to any organisation that is looking to inject some well-being into their culture. We had Miriam deliver an INSET session with our staff and it was very well received. What is great about Miriam is not just her knowledge and expertise, but also her enthusiasm and authenticity which suggests that she lives by the same principles that she is extolling to the group. Her presentation is both engaging and interactive; even the most ardent cynics will come away with something of value.” Ben Sandford-Smith, Solihull School
Miriam is often asked to combine her expertise in positive psychology with her media background.
Miriam is a skilful brand ambassador and a real pleasure to work with. Expertly combining best-in-field knowledge and experience of positive psychology, with an experienced editorial nous and strong knowledge of how the communications industry works – she hits key campaign messaging and delivers genuine help for consumers. I am definitely looking forward to working with Miriam again in the future.” Laura Dodgson, Account Exec, Edelman PR
“Golley Slater worked with Miriam as part of a launch when we tapped into her insight and expertise as a Happiness Expert. Miriam was an absolute pleasure to work with, responding to requests quickly and professionally. As part of the campaign, Miriam participated in a series of radio interviews, relaying key messages clearly as part of a natural dialogue. We look forward to working with Miriam again.” Helen Smith, Senior Account Executive“