Speakers

Shane Smith

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Vice Media

Shane Smith is a Canadian Emmy Award-winning journalist and web entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CEO of the international media company VICE Media, operating an international network of digital channels, a television production studio, a record label, an in-house creative services agency, a book-publishing house, and a feature film division.

He attended the Lisgar Collegiate Institute and later graduated from Carleton University with a degree in English literature and political science. Before Vice, Smith went to university in Ottawa, and traveled Eastern Europe before moving to Montreal.
Smith along with Suroosh Alvi and Gavin McInnes bought the youth magazine Voice of Montreal in 1994; and changing its name to Vice. The magazine was originally funded by the Government of Canada government as part of a welfare program. After being acquired in 1999, Smith and his co-founders bought VICE back, and moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2001. Initially publishing print articles based on offbeat alternative culture, VICE moved to creating news content and social criticism on multiple media platforms in the mid-2000s.

In 2006, on the advice from the company’s creative director Spike Jonze, VICE Media began expanding into digital video. This led to a massive expansion of VICE into new channels, including a partnership with Intel in 2010 for The Creators Project, as well as deals with partners like Viacom, YouTube, and HBO, led by Smith.

As a journalist Smith has travelled to locations including North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Liberia, and Greenland, initially for the 2006 online TV series VICE Guide to Travel. Smith has continued to serve as a correspondent for VICE, appearing in online content as well as the host of VICE’s HBO show and VICE Special Reports.

In 2015, Shane Smith accompanied US President Barack Obama as part of the president’s first historic visit to a federal prison, interviewing the President along with five non-violent drug offenders at El Reno Prison. He also conducted the first public interview with the Eagles of Death Metal following the 2015 terrorist shooting at their show at the Bataclan in Paris.