Catherine O’Brien, Ph.D.
Cape Breton University
Nova Scotia, Canada
Ph.D., Administration and Policy Studies in Education
McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 1998
(Focus: Education and Sustainability)
Master of Education, Guidance and Counselling
University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, 1987
Bachelor of Education
University of Western Ontario, 1978
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
University of Western Ontario, 1977
Sustainable Happiness: This is a concept I developed in order to merge the best elements of happiness studies with sustainability. My aim is to assist individuals, organizations, and governments to understand the link between our pursuit of happiness and sustainability.
Living Schools: Exploring how a vision of well-being for all is being realized in schools that integrate sustainability education, new pedagogies, outdoor learning, and much more. These pockets of excellence suggest that Living Schools contribute to student and staff well-being.
Sustainable Food: Our production and consumption of food is interconnected with human and environmental health and well-being. From the United Nations, to environmental activists, and the EAT-Lancet Commission, we know that our relationship with food impacts climate change, energy and water usage, sustainable lifestyles, food security, equity, and much more. It is the quintessential focus for climate action and well-being for all. My aim is to capture the hopeful stories of transformation that are part of a new global narrative around sustainable food as cities embrace edible landscapes, schools plant gardens and connect with farms, and individuals are making healthier, more sustainable food choices.
Living Schools and Sustainable Happiness, Keynote at the 2019 Living Schools Symposium, Concordia University, Montreal
How Living Schools are supporting well-being for all, Keynote at the Health, Wellness & Sustainability conference, University of Toronto, January, 2018
Sustainable Happiness: How your happiness and well-being are intertwined with sustainability, Keynote, Environmental Education conference, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, January 2018
Sustainable happiness and well-being for all. Sustainability Alliance of New Brunswick, November, 2017.
O’Brien, C., & Murray, S.E. Transforming ourselves and education through food.International Food Studies conference, Rome, October, 2017.
Sustainable Happiness and Well-Being (keynote). Holistic Teaching and Learning Conference. Winnipeg, May, 2016
O’Brien, C., & Murray, S.E. Wellbeing for all, sustainably: Repurposing education. First International Conference on Positive Communication, Seville, Spain, March, 2015.
Sustainable happiness. Professional development workshop for Dawson College faculty, Montreal, October, 2014.
Sustainable Happiness Certificate Program, Montreal, May, 2014 and 2015.
Positive Aging and Sustainable Happiness, workshops, Montreal, April, 2014.
Sustainable Happiness, webinar for the Canadian Positive Psychology Association, November, 2013.
Sustainable Happiness, Canadian Schools of Nursing Association conference, September, 2013.
Sustainable Happiness, Sustainability and Environmental Research Symposium, Dalhousie University, March, 2013.
Happy, Healthy Communities for All Ages, Plenary panel, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Sustainable Communities conference, Windsor, February, 2013.
Sustainable Happiness, AHIMSA and Sustainable Happiness Conference, Cal Poly Pomona, CA, November 2012
Sustainable Happiness, Keynote, St. Anthony, NL, May 2012
Celebrating Sustainable Happiness in Nunavut, Keynote, Nunavut Teachers Association Conference, Iqaluit, February 2012
Sustainable Happiness, Building Healthy Communities, Keynote, St. John’s, Canada, November 2011
Sustainable Happiness workshop, Iqaluit, Nunavut, November 2011
Sustainable Happiness, Intelligent Mobility, Keynote, Guadalajara, Mexico, November 2011
Sustainable Happiness, TEDxUTIHP, Toronto, September 2011
Sustainable Happiness, Green Roots Symposium, Keynote, Halifax, NS, March 2011
Sustainable Happiness and Education: Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, February 2011
Sustainable Happiness and Children’s Mobility: Healthy Children, Healthy Spaces, Keynote, Ottawa, 2010
Child and Youth Friendly Planning Guidelines, On the Move in the Community, Montreal, 2010
Sustainable Happiness and Livable Communities, Keynote, Brantford, September 2009
Sustainable Happiness and Active and Safe Routes to School,Toronto, March 2009
Planning for Sustainable Happiness, Keynote, National SRTS conference, Dearborn, Michigan, November 2007
Walking and Sustainable Happiness, Keynote, WALK21, Toronto, October 2007
Sustainable Happiness: Fostering Individual, Community and Global Well-Being, University of Cassino, Italy, June 2007
Policies for Sustainable Happiness, University of Siena, Italy, June 2007
O’Brien, C., & Howard, P. (Eds.). (forthcoming). Living schools: Transforming education. Winnipeg: Education for Sustainable Well-Being Press.
Howard, P., O’Brien, C., Kay, B., & O’Rourke, K. (2019). Leading educational change in the 21st century: Creating living schools through shared vision and transformative governance. Sustainability.
O’Brien, C., & Murray, S. (2018). “Sustainable happiness and well-being for all: Repurposing education”. In José Antonio Muñuz Valázquez & Cristina Pulido (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of positive communication, London: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
O’Brien, C., & Adam, C. (2016). Sustainable happiness, living campus, and wellbeing for all. International Journal of Innovation, Creativity, and Change, http://www.ijicc.net/images/Volume2issue22015/Sustainable_Happiness_May_2016.pdf
O’Brien, C. (2016). Education for sustainable happiness and well-being. New York: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/products/9781138640801
O’Brien, C., & Howard, P. (2016). The Living school: The emergence of a transformative sustainability education paradigm, Journal of Education for Sustainable Development 10(1). pp 115-130.
O`Brien, C., & Murray, S. (2015). Sustainable wellbeing, creativity and innovation. International Journal of Innovation, Creativity, and Change. http://www.ijicc.net/images/volume2issue1may2015/obrien%20and%20murray%20may%202015.pdf.
O`Brien, C. (2014). Sustainable happiness: Assisting pre-service teachers to understand the relationship between sustainability education and well-being. In F. Deer, T. Falkenberg, B. McMillan, & L. Sims (Eds.), Sustainable well-being: Concepts, issues, and educational practices (pp. 157-172). Winnipeg, MB: ESWB Press.http://www.eswb-press.org/publications.html
Ramanathan, S., O’Brien, C., Faulkner, G., & Stone, M. (2014). Happiness in motion: Emotions, wellbeing and active school travel, Journal of School Health,84(8).
O’Brien, C. (2013). Happiness and sustainability: Together at last!! Sustainable happiness. Canadian Journal of Education, 36(4).
O’Brien, C. (2013). Who is teaching us about sustainable happiness and well-being? Journal of Health, Culture and Society, 5(1).
O’Brien, C. (2013). Lessons in Sustainable Happiness. ebook.
O’Brien, C., & Murray, I. (2013). Sustainable happiness? Six ways to get there.YES! magazine. http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/sustainable-happiness-6-ways-to-get-there.
O’Brien, C. (2012). Sustainable happiness and well-being: Future directions for positive psychology. Psychology, Vol.3, (12A) 1196-1201.
O’Brien, C. (2012). Teaching a university course in sustainable happiness, Solutions Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, June.http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/node/1108.
O’Brien, C. (2012). “Sustainable happiness” In J. Murray, G. Cawthorne, C. Dey, & C. Andrew, (Eds.), Enough for all forever: A handbook for learning about sustainability, Illinois: Common Ground.
O’Brien, C. (2011). “Sustainable happiness and education”. In K. Bartels & K. Parker, (Eds.), Teaching sustainability, teaching sustainably, Virginia: Stylus Publishing.
O’Brien, C. (2011). Sustainable happiness for teachers and students, Canadian Teacher Magazine, November/December, 18-19.
Kelsey, E., & O’Brien, C. (2011). Sustainable happiness. Green Teacher, 93, 3-7.
O’Brien, C. (2010). Sustainability, happiness and education. Journal of Sustainability Education, (1).
O’Brien, C., & Gilbert, R. (2010). Child and Youth Friendly Land Use and Transport Planning Guidelines (Nova Scotia) Centre for Sustainable Transportation. University of Winnipeg. www.kidsonthemove.ca (Guidelines are available for every province)
O’Brien, C. (2008). Sustainable happiness: How happiness studies can contribute to a more sustainable future. Canadian Psychology, Vol 49, No 4, 289-295.
O’Brien, C. (2008). Sustainable happiness and the trip to school. World Transport Policy and Practice, Vol 14, No. 2.
O’Brien, C. (2007). Policies for sustainable happiness. Paper presented at the Policies for Happiness Conference, Siena, Italy, June.
O’Brien C., & Tranter, P. (2006). Planning for and with children and youth: Insights from children about happiness, well-being and walking. Paper presented at Walk 21, Melbourne, Australia.
O’Brien, C. (2006). A footprint of delight: Exploring sustainable happiness. National Center for Bicycling and Walking Forum, October.
O’Brien, C. (2006). Planning for and with children to create happier, healthier communities. Canadian Children, Vol 31 (1) Spring.
Orsini, A., & O’Brien, C. (2006). Fun, fast and fit: Influences and motivators for teenagers who cycle to secondary school. Children,Youth and Environments, 16(1).
O’Brien, C., Plohman, J., & O’Brien, M. (2006). Community health needs assessment. Merrickville District Community Health Centre. Report.
Gilbert, R., & O’Brien, C. (2005). Settlement pattern, physical activity, and the body weights of children and youth. Report. Toronto: Centre for Sustainable Transportation.
O’Brien, C. (2005). Planning for sustainable happiness. Paper prepared for the 2nd International Conference on Gross National Happiness, Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
Gilbert, R., & O’Brien, C. (2005). Child- and Youth-Friendly Land-Use and Transport Planning Guidelines (Ontario). Toronto: Centre for Sustainable Transportation.
O’Brien, C., & Gilbert, R. (2005). Children’s health and transportation. Information booklets for municipal staff and politicians, public health and recreation, educators, parents, and youth. Toronto: Centre for Sustainable Transportation.
O’Brien, C. (2004). Planning for and with children: Good news for pedestrians and cyclists, National Center for Bicycling and Walking Forum, 10-01-04, December, Washington.
O’Brien, C. (2004). Child-friendly transportation planning. Report, Toronto: Centre for Sustainable Transportation.
O’Brien, C. (2003). Transportation that’s actually good for the soul, National Center for Bicycling and Walking Forum, 12-03-1, December, Washington.
O’Brien, C. (2003). Fresh perspectives on children’s health and sustainable transportation. Paper presented at Health Impacts of Transport on Children, The Hague, Netherlands.
O’Brien, C., & Gilbert, R. (2003). Kids on the move in Halton and Peel. Report. Toronto: Centre for Sustainable Transportation.
O’Brien, C. (2002). Fresh perspectives on children’s health and sustainable transportation. Report. Ottawa: Canadian Institute of Child Health.
O’Brien, C. (2001). Children, A critical link for changing driving behaviour. National Center for Bicycling and Walking Forum, Issue No. 52. August, Washington.
O’Brien, C. (2001). Parent attitudes and travel behaviour regarding the trip to school: Opportunities for sustainable mobility. Report. Toronto: York University.
O’Brien, C. (2001). Ontario walkability study: Trip to school, children’s experiences and aspirations. Report. Toronto: York University.
O’Brien, C. (2000). Way to Go! Getting kids to school the sustainable way. Alternatives Journal, Vol. 26. No. 2, Spring, Waterloo: University of Waterloo.
O’Brien, C., & Kowey, B. (2000). Engaging the public: Starting with our children. Paper presented at the Climate Change and Communication Conference, Kitchener-Waterloo, June.
O’Brien, C. (1999). Fostering sustainable mobility: Starting with our children. Paper presented at the Network on European Communications and Transport Activities and Research Conference, Delft, Netherlands, October.
O’Brien, C. (1999). Children: a critical link for changing driving behaviour. Paper presented at the Transportation Association of Canada Conference, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, September.
O’Brien, C. (1999). Childhood and sustainable transportation. Paper presented at the Social Change and Sustainable Transportation Conference, University of California at Berkley, March.
O’Brien, C. (1996). Barefoot College: Knowledge demystified. Booklet. Education for All, Innovations Series #11, UNESCO, Paris.