Speakers

Dr. Mariana Brussoni​

Dr. Mariana Brussoni

University of British Columbia

Dr. Mariana Brussoni is a developmental psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. She is an investigator with the British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the British Columbia Injury Research & Prevention Unit. Mariana investigates child injury prevention and children’s risky play, focusing on parent and caregiver perceptions of risk, and design of outdoor play-friendly environments.

Deb Doncaster

Earth Day Canada

Deb has dedicated more than 25 years to the fields of human rights, animal welfare, environmental conservation, planning and stewardship, green energy and outdoor free play. She has been the President of Earth Day Canada since January 2014. Her primary reason for joining EDC was to lead a strategic shift in focus toward connecting people to nature and the introduction of outdoor play as the foundation of environmental education for children. Immediately before joining Earth Day Canada, Deb spearheaded a multi-sector coalition calling for a Green Energy Act for Ontario. This resulted in Ontario’s Green Energy and Economy Act which was passed into legislation in 2009, and the establishment of a $20 mm/yr fund to support farmers, First Nations and community organizations to participate directly in the ownership of renewable energy projects and production of green power.

Deb Doncaster

Tim Gill

Tim Gill

Researcher and consultant

Tim Gill is an independent researcher and consultant based in London, whose work focuses on children’s play and free time. The New York Times described his 2007 book No Fear: Growing up in a risk-averse society as “a handbook for the movement for freer, riskier play.” In 2017 he was awarded a travelling Churchill Fellowship to study child-friendly urban planning and design. He is a former director of the Children’s Play Council (now Play England) and in 2002-3 led a major government review into children’s play.

Charles E. Pascal

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto

Charles E. Pascal is an internationally recognized educator with expertise in early and higher education, public policy, leadership/organizational development and strategic philanthropy. His 2009 seminal report to the Premier of Ontario — With Our Best Future in Mind — continues to inform policy and practice in early childhood education within and outside of Canada. A former college president and Ontario deputy minister, Charles is currently Professor of Applied Psychology & Human Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto where he is coordinator of the PhD Program in Early Learning. During his time as Executive Director of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation, the foundation played a key role in developing Ontario’s poverty reduction strategy, developing the conditions for Ontario’s early learning program’s success and developing and implementing the Canadian Index of Wellbeing. He was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in December of 2014. 

Charles E. Pascal

Dr. Mark Tremblay

Dr. Mark Tremblay

Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute​

Dr. Mark Tremblay is the Director of Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research (HALO) at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute and Professor of Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, President of the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance, Founder of the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network, Chair of Outdoor Play Canada, and Adjunct/Visiting Professor at five other universities on four continents. Dr. Tremblay has published more than 440 scientific papers and book chapters in the areas of childhood obesity, physical activity measurement, exercise physiology, sedentary physiology and health surveillance. 

Marlene Power

Child and Nature Alliance of Canada

Marlene Power founded the Carp Ridge Forest Preschool, Canada’s first outdoor, nature-based Forest Preschool, and created Forest School Canada, a national initiative to promote nature-based education. In December 2014 she was appointed Executive Director of the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada (CNAC) and currently runs the Ottawa Forest and Nature School at CNAC’s headquarters, delivering Forest School programs to the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and the regional community. 

Marlene Power