Global Mindfulness in Education Summit 2020 Speaker Info

Speakers Info

Dr. Helen Maffini •



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Helen is the Director of MindBE Education and the creator of the MindBE Curriculum and the Thriving Kids Program, She is the host of the 2018 Preschool Mindfulness Summit and Co-Author of Developing Children´s Emotional Intelligence and Sammy´s Next Move.

Books: Developing Children’s Emotional Intelligence (Bloomsbury Education)

Sammy’s Next Move: Sammy the snail is a travelling snail who lives in different countries

Dr. Christopher Willard •


Dr. Christopher Willard is a co-host of the 2020 Global Mindfulness in Education Summit, he is a psychologist and educational consultant based in Boston specializing in mindfulness. He has been practicing meditation for 20 years and has led hundreds of workshops around the world, with invitations to more than two dozen countries. He has presented at TEDx conferences and his thoughts have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post,, and elsewhere. He is the author of Alphabreaths, Growing Up Mindful (2016) Raising Resilience (2017), and eight other books for parents, professionals, and children, available in more than ten languages. He teaches at Harvard Medical School.

Freebie: Animated Gifs and Videos

Alphabreaths: The ABCs of Mindful Breathing

 Raising Resilience: The Wisdom and Science of Happy Families and Thriving Children

Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience


Nicola Wakeling •

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Nicola is a British qualified teacher with a background in Special Educational Needs. She moved to Abu Dhabi with her family 5 years ago and has worked in several British schools since. 

After her daughter was identified as autistic with a diagnosis of anxiety back in 2017, Nicola became aware of her own neurodivergence and gained a deeper understanding of the reasons she had battled with anxiety throughout her life. 

Mindfulness not only became a vital tool to support her own well-being but one that she felt passionately about sharing with her family as well as with children in the community.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 

Nicola will talk about the importance of mindfulness for neurodiversity and how it has supported her on her personal journey with understanding and accepting her neurodivergent brain. Highlighting the benefits of a mindful approach to students and learning in the classroom that goes beyond a quick ‘mindfulness session’ and provides connection, acceptance, and trust.

Freebie: Mindful Magic Parent toolkit

Session Title: Mindfulness & Neurodiversity

Book: Currently working on my first book idea. Dear Teacher, it’s not me, it’s you.


Janet Etty-Leal •

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Janet Etty-Leal is an author, speaker, and pioneer of mindful education for children. Her creative programs, combining a fusion of creative mindfulness and tenets of positive education, have enhanced curriculum for thousands of students for over 20 years. Janet provides staff training and classes for students in all school sectors. Studies based on her programs have been undertaken by Masters and Ph.D. students in Universities in Australia and internationally.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
Big challenges, like a pandemic, call for agile, creative minds. A range of ways to mindfully support children exists: to reset the nervous system, review mindsets and perspectives … and renew a positive outlook. Creative ways to equip children with a palette of inner resources to cultivate kind, compassionate choices for the self, others and the world.

Free Learning Resources: Pivoting in the Pandemic: Ways to reset young minds

Link to Resource: (will supply this soon)

Session Title: Pivoting in the Pandemic: Cultivating New Perspectives for Young Minds

Book: A Head-Heart Start to Life: Creative Mindful Discoveries for Young Children

Lorraine E Murray •

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Lorraine Murray is an international speaker and founder of the Connected Kids Programme – an online training programme to upskill adults to teach kids and teens meditation (of all abilities including SEN and trauma) – teaching since 2003.

She is the author of 2 best-selling books about child and teen mindfulness training.

She has worked with educators and other professionals for nearly 18 years to help bring mindful skills into the classroom.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

The world is waking up to how important meditation skills are for kids, but for stressed out
educators, it is your hidden superpower to help you in a class where kids and teens struggle
with stressed behaviour.

Expert Lorraine Murray will offer you some practical, simple ideas to help all educators cope
with the stress of being in education!

Company: Connected Kids


Session Title: Activate your Mindful Superpower to Soothe Challenging Behaviour in Class

Book: Connected Kids – Help Kids with Special Needs and Autism Shine with Mindful Activities

KarKheng Yeoh • KarKheng Yeoh

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Dr. KarKheng Yeoh obtained his doctorate degree in Organic Chemistry from Oxford University and is currently a senior lecturer in Universiti Sains Malaysia. He is a Certified Teacher of Search Inside Yourself (SIY) program, a mindfulness-based emotional intelligence curriculum originally developed at Google. He is also the founder and Chairman of the Malaysia Mindfulness Association.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
Why Emotional Intelligence is Important for Students?
How to develop Emotional Intelligence using Mindfulness?

Session Title: Developing Emotional Intelligence Using Mindfulness

Free Learning Resources: MINDFULNESS For Finding Peace in a Frantic World (2-hour talk)


Salla-Maarit Volanen • Salla-Maarit Volanen

I am a mindfulness researcher (Ph.D.) and the leader of the pioneering Healthy Learning Mind (HLM) research and implementation project in Finland. In the research project, we explore the effectiveness of a mindfulness intervention program compared to a standard relaxation program among 12-15-year-old students (N=3519) in the school context for the first time in Finland.
Additionally, we implement mindfulness and SEL skills into Finnish schools mainly by training teachers, educators, and leaders. I have been socially active during these years, and e.g. given numerous lectures for laypersons, teachers, educators, and authorities in the education, academic audience, and e.g. the members of the Finnish parliament regarding HLM research project and beneficial outcomes of mindfulness and SEL skills in the school context. Additionally, I have given several TV, radio, and newspaper interviews in order to increase the knowledge among Finnish people regarding this “new” approach of promoting well-being and happiness among
children and adolescents in the school context.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
Finland is a Nordic country with a world-famous education system and every Finnish teacher must have a master’s degree to qualify. Surprisingly, our teacher education at universities neglect subjects such as well-being and SEL skills, even though these skills are included in our national curriculum and recognized as crucial for learning. The NPO Healthy Learning Mind offers teachers a continuing education by training them mindfulness and SEL skills since 2016. The following topics will be discussed in the interview: The process of implementation of mindfulness and SEL skills in Finland and the importance of teacher training (over student training); The self-reported outcomes of mindfulness for Finnish teacher’s own well-being and whether teacher’s own mindfulness and SEL training affect and benefit their students in Finland; The rationale for tailoring an own mindfulness-based training for Finnish leaders in the field of education. Finally, the first results of Healthy Learning Mind Research (N=3519) conducted among 3519 Finnish students aged 12-15 years will be discussed.

Session Title: Healthy Learning Mind- Mindfulness Research and Teacher Training Project in Finnish Schools

Free Learning Resources: Social Cognitions and Mental Health as Predictors of Adolescents’ Mindfulness Practice. Mindfulness

Healthy Learning Mind – Effectiveness of a mindfulness program on mental health compared to a relaxation program and teaching as usual in schools: a cluster-randomized controlled trial. Journal of Affective Disorders

Applying behavioral theory to increase mindfulness practice among adolescents: an exploratory intervention study using within-trial RCT design. Mindfulness

Healthy Learning Mind – a school-based mindfulness and relaxation program: a study protocol for a cluster-randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychology, 2016, 4:35.

Orla O’Sullivan • Orla O’Sullivan

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Orla has been practicing mindfulness for over 20 years in the tradition of Plum Village / Thich Nhat Hanh and is a leader in Mindfulness & Strengths practice. She works directly with schools, teachers, and families to help them take care of themselves and build happier communities.
She is the founder of four mindfulness community groups for children, youth, and adults.
She co-organized Ireland’s first mindfulness retreat for educators.
Orla is the international coordinator for Plum Village’s Wake Up Schools. and co-produced the first International Family Retreat in Summer 2020. She is a founder member of Mind & Life Europe’s Community of Contemplative Education and is an Advisor & Host for the World Happiness Festival.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
In this session we’ll explore how children’s imaginations can help them to recognize and accept themselves fully, using Orla’s mindfulness-based practice The Land of You. Allowing creative space to explore their sense of themselves, children can map out a landscape that includes anxiety, anger, and other challenging emotions, and frames these within a wider perspective of their whole being. This is a pathway of our imagination that can lead to a sense of integration, acceptance, and self-care.

This year has highlighted diviseness and inequality throughout societies. As human beings, we need to know that we belong. The first step is to allow all the parts of us to belong, just as we are. As we deepen our understanding and care, we can allow our family and class to belong, just as they are.

Session Title: Imagination as a Portal to Belonging and Acceptance

Free Learning Resources: The Land of You: a fun practice to nourish your belonging
 (please note that this page is not
live yet but it will be!):

Nimrod Sheinman •


Nimrod Sheinman B.Sc., N.D., is one of Israel's leading mind-body experts and an international spokesperson advocating holistic and integrative education and mindfulness-based pedagogies. He is the founder and director of Israel's Centre for Mindfulness in Education, co-founder of Israel’s Centre for Mind-Body Medicine, and initiator and director of the International Soul of Education Initiative. He is on the International Advisory Panel of Sejahtera Leadership Initiative, a Malaysia-based organization supporting humanistic and wellbeing programs, locally and globally. He can be reached at

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

Education’s future paradigm will emphasize the teaching and cultivation of awareness, emotional intelligence, curiosity, creativity, collaboration, communication, resilience, and wellbeing. In this regard, mindfulness might be the best pedagogy we have for accomplishing that! However, there’s an urgent need for cross-fertilization between the numerous models around the world, and better integrations of long-term, whole-school approaches.

Session Title: Mindfulness-based Pedagogies and Integrative Education

Free Resources: Mindfulness in Education as a whole school approach: principles, insights, and outcomes.

Vienna University Conference, January 2019 Rediscovering the Soul of Education: Mindfulness-based perspectives and education future paradigm

Bangkok Conference, December 2019 Transformative Learning – Education’s New Paradigm

Jana York • 

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Session Title: Responding to a Pandemic – Practical Applications for Introducing Mindfulness to Children, Teachers and Parents

Free Learning Resources: how to order the book U Is for Understanding – Claire’s Journey toward Mindfulness. Here is the link if you could kindly add. Thank you, Jana

Associate Professor Angie Chew •


Assoc Prof Angie Chew is the Founder and CEO of Brahm Centre, a charity with 40 staff, dedicated to promoting healthier and happier living. She is a certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Dot-b, and Paws b mindfulness teacher.
She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of mindfulness at the National University of Singapore. She has taught mindfulness to more than 10,000 people across all ages.
Her corporate clients extend across various industry sectors – from finance (DBS Bank, Goldman Sachs); healthcare (Ministry of Health, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, SingHealth Polyclinics, Institute of Mental Health, Community Psychology Hub, Agency for Integrated Care) reaching out to psychiatrists, doctors, psychologists, nurses, and other allied health professionals; to education institutions (Ministry of Education, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Hwa Chong Institution, Raffles Institution, and Nanyang Girls Secondary), just to name a few.
Prior to her founding of the Brahm Centre in 2012, Assoc Prof Chew served in senior positions at
Singapore Airlines, Visa International, Accenture, Hewlett-Packard, and government agencies.

Session Title: Transforming The Mind, Transforming The World

Free Learning Resources: Guided meditation audio tracks

Marina Lisenberg •

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Psychologist University of Buenos Aires UBA. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program MBSR Instructor / Center for Mindfulness. Postgraduate in Systemic Family Therapy (AAMFT) and Certified Coach (LLC-UB). Specialization Courses at Harvard Medical School and others abroad. I am dedicated to counseling, supervision, and training in psychoeducational mindfulness-based contents in care, educational, and corporate fields. I am the founder and director of Attentia Mindfulness, Atencion Plena para la Comunidad. Academic Director of Diploma in Mindfulness and Program for Mindfulness Executives in UB. National and international university professor. Member and facilitator of Presencia, an Education Program, Fundación Vivir Agradecidos. Author of Atención Plena, Practices in parenting, health, and education, 2018. Author of El Secreto de Emilia. Mindfulness for boys and girls, 2017.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
Being mindful makes such a difference moment by moment…as parents, health professionals, teachers, or simply citizens. Practice can help us to remind what really matters when our world is turning upside down. How can we hold attention and presence in an always changing setting?

Free Resources: Calma, confianza y cuidado ( a short practice in Spanish attached in the mail)

Session Title: What´s Now and What´s Next? Being Present Makes a Difference (Facing COVID-19)

Book: “Atención Plena , prácticas de mindfulness en la crianza, la salud y la educación” Ed Grijalbo PRH (book and ebook)

Sue Langley •

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Keynote Speaker, Global Consultant, Positive Leadership Expert

Sue Langley is a keynote speaker, global consultant, and positive leadership expert. Sue specializes in the practical applications of neuroscience, emotional intelligence, and positive psychology,
synthesizing the science and research into simple, practical tools that anyone can use.

As the CEO and Founder of the Langley Group, Sue has taught thousands of business leaders, coaches, and consultants on how to create positive work cultures and harness the brain’s potential. She created the first Australian nationally-recognized Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing and has a Masters in Neuroscience of Leadership from Middlesex University. Sue was also a featured expert in the hit ABC TV series Redesign My Brain and in the award-winning documentary Make Me a Leader.

Free Resources:

Session Title:  


Alexandra Koster •


My name is Alex Koster, I am a mum, teacher, mindfulness practitioner, and generally “wholesome life” enthusiast with qualifications in Integrative Nutrition, herbalism, and other alternative health modalities. Due to my own experiences and struggles with poor mental and physical health, and limited experience of a more holistic approach by many mainstream practitioners at the time (Thankfully there seems to be a bit of a shift in recent years), I had to take matters into my own hands and thankfully was introduced to mindfulness about 15 years ago. I can honestly say that mindfulness and an integration of mindfulness into everyday life have made a huge difference to my wellbeing. I trained as a primary school teacher in Germany and thankfully the approach we were taught was very much a hands-on, experiential methodology with an emphasis on nature connection, which really is a “mindful” way of teaching.

“Mindfulness” has become very “fashionable” in recent years and many people still seem to be under the impression that it is a fad, a new age spiritual practice, a hippie movement… Others have so much going on in their lives already, that they believe they can’t possibly add another “thing” to their bursting schedules. I personally think that mindfulness is, or should be, an integral part of everyday life, as it can be applied to everything: really tasting that first sip of coffee, really listening to our children when they tell us about their plans, really feeling the weather in our faces when we are going for a walk, basically, mindfulness to me is paying attention to our surrounds, our fellow humans and ourselves more consciously. When we apply mindful attitudes such as kindness, gratitude, non-judgment, self-compassion, patience, and acceptance to our behaviours and beliefs and become more aware of the ripple effect every small action, word, and decision have, we can make conscious changes for the better. Becoming more aware often means slowing things down as well and even just that small change can have a big impact on our well-being. Sometimes it’s all we need, slowing down, taking in this moment, and recalibrating from there. This outlook can be easily transferred to education and teaching. Giving children an interactive, multi-sensory, and motivating learning experience, preferably outside in nature, not only teaches them new information, it promotes co-operation, communication, motor-skills, friendship, problem-solving, and most importantly in our current times, supports positive mental health. When children feel accepted in their individual learning styles and get a chance to contribute in their own way, positively supported by their teacher and classmates, anxiety and stress levels reduce, which in turn enables learning. More specific and formal mindfulness activities, such as breathing exercises, meditations, or body-based activities, for example, are invaluable life skills for dealing with life’s challenges with a little more ease and peace.

Free Learning Resources: Meditation Wheel use code wheel2020

Session Title:  Everyday Mindfulness – Mindfulness as a way of educating, parenting and living rather than an add-on

Book: Roots and Wings – Childhood needs a Revolution


Michael Sanderson •


Michael hails from London UK, went to business school in the US, and has been living in Poland for 30 years – the last 8 of which spent working as a mindfulness teacher (MBSR, MBCT). He has also qualified to teach the Mindfulness in Schools Project curricula .b, paws b, .b foundations. Michael recently co-authored “Developing Mindful Awareness”, a teaching program aimed at 11-15-year-olds.

Free Learning Resource: Making the practice of stopping accessible to schoolchildren (aged 5-12)

Session Title: “Drawing out” – exploring the scope for mindfulness practice within youth education

Rahim Essabhai • 

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Rahim Essabhai has been an educator for fifteen years now. In addition to facilitating the Business and Cooperative Education curriculum, he has completed a Masters of Education in Applied Psychology & Human Development. While traveling, teaching, and volunteering in more than 25 countries, Rahim often spends his time gazing at maps searching for the next eye-opening experience; this led him to East Africa to volunteer within a secondary school located in one of the world’s largest refugee camps, and also has helped to lead groups of students to build schools in Nicaragua and Ecuador. Rahim teaches at John Polanyi Collegiate Institute within the Toronto District School Board and is a 2016-2017 recipient of the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence. 

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
Authentic growth occurs within the individual first and ultimately throughout the entire community. During this conversation, I will share the amazing efforts of my students, co-educators, families, and remarkable community partners. While connecting with the PACT Urban Peace Program for over a decade, we have showered experiential specialized programs such as Urban Farming and the Culinary Arts to students and residents from Toronto’s priority neighborhoods and are currently working to develop an equitable and social plan to rebuild positive holistic community infrastructure. Also, I have had the blessed opportunity to further links to the I-Think (Integrative Thinking) Initiative based out of University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management where our work has assisted teachers to deepen their teaching practice for students to solve real challenges and consult to diverse non-profit and for-profit organizations. I would also like to share the amazing story ‘THE CITY’ (Change Impacting Toronto’s Youth); a school-based initiative which has raised over $120, 000 with a team of dedicated students, teachers, and donors who address local and global issues in order to strengthen communities through Social Entrepreneurship. In 2013, the team volunteered to build a school in Nicaragua and in 2019, within the Amazon region of Ecuador. In 2014 and 2015, this team won National Social Entrepreneurship Competitions and represented Canada at the International SAGE competitions in Russia and South Korea. The ultimate aim of sharing these beautiful stories is to promote the endless brilliance and dedication our children have to offer the world. And more importantly, I would like to add that as educators and caring adults, it is our responsibility to help our children find and amplify their own voices to empower them to gracefully navigate our world in an empathetic and kind manner.

Free Learning Resources: Impact Statement of the PACT Urban Peace Program
Websites of key educational partnerships/initiatives:
1. PACT Urban Peace Program
2. I-Think Initiative 
3. Video introducing Integrative Thinking
4. I-Think Resources which shares teachers and leaders discuss the work 
Additional online personal profiles:

Session Title: The Essence of Experiential Learning and Community Building

Book: 1. The Opposable Mind by Roger Martin
2. Creating Great Choices: A Leader’s Guide to Integrative Thinking by Jennifer Riel And Roger L. Martin

Michael Bready •

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Session Title: 


Dzung X. Vo, MD •

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Dzung X. Vo, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, and clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine, Vancouver, Canada. He co-developed (with Dr. Jake Locke at BC Children’s Hospital) a mindfulness training program called MARS-A, or Mindful Awareness and Resilience Skills for Adolescents. Dr. Vo is the author of The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time (New Harbinger, 2015). Dr. Vo also serves on the Board of Directors of the Mindfulness in Education Network (MiEN) and is also the founding Director for the BC Children’s Hospital Centre for Mindfulness.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
Mindfulness is a powerful way of life that can help teens cope with stress, and thrive to live their lives to the fullest in the face of adversity. Right now during the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and increasing racism in our society, mindfulness is more important than ever. Mindfulness, self-compassion, and mindful action can help teens cope with the stress of the twin pandemics, and help lead the way to a better world.

Session Title: The Mindful Teen: Coping with the Twin Pandemics of COVID-19 and Racism

Book: The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time Cover: 

Jessica Morey •

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Free Learning Resources: Session 1 of 10 session course: Master The Basics of Mindfulness for Teens

Jessica Morey, MA is the co-founder, lead teacher, and former executive director of Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), an international non-profit that offers in-depth mindfulness training for young adults, and the parents and professionals who support them. She is also an advisor to the Mindfulness Directors Initiative which brings full time, highly qualified mindfulness teachers into schools across the United States. Jessica began practicing meditation at 14 on teen meditation retreats, over the past 25 years she has attended months of silent retreat, trained with leading Insight meditation teachers, and taught thousands of teens and adults. Before founding iBme, she worked in international climate and clean energy policy. She has degrees in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Development.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

In this interview, Jessica shares about her work teaching mindfulness to adolescents for more than a decade, including published research on the benefits of in-depth mindfulness programs. She highlights why contemplative skills and practices are invaluable during the teenage years and especially give current global trends of technology, social media, environmental crisis, and social uprising. All topics that are particularly important for teenagers. Her teaching and programs emphasize ethics, identity, values, and purpose along with a connection to nature, community, and creative expression.

Session Title: Nature + Mindfulness with Youth


Tara Wosiski •

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Free Learning Resources: Nature Challenge Printable, Watercolor imprints

Tara Wosiski is an artist and art educator for grades preschool through fifth grade in a Quaker school.  She holds a master’s degree in teaching visual art from The University of the Arts. With over a decade of experience teaching, Tara is deeply committed to the social and emotional growth of her students. Tara also teaches mindfulness to children and adults. Motivated by her knowledge and training in mindfulness, Tara’s pedagogical approach integrates mindfulness and an appreciation for nature with creativity through a wide variety of projects and media. She leads annual large scale community works rooted in Quaker values and is energized by her student’s creativity. Tara lives in NJ, loves spending time with her family, in her garden, and enjoys working on many types of creative projects.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

Participants will learn creative ways to incorporate nature into their mindfulness practice as well as how to share these creative practices with children.  Tara will share a mindful creative process that uses watercolor and leaves as well as discussing teaching remotely and keeping students mindfully connected to nature and creativity.

Session Title: Mindfulness, Creativity and Nature – Staying Connected

Briony Morgan • 


I am an active and curious Health, PE, and Inclusion educator and small business owner with a passion for wellness, wellbeing, mindfulness, and the environment. I love the outdoors with the beach and water environments being particular favorites. I am passionate about modeling positive behaviors/actions and motivating others to live in more sustainable ways that reflect the multidimensional and interdependent nature of human existence with the natural environment.

I am a secondary school teacher who finished a Masters of Wellness through RMIT in 2018. My
major project for the Masters was based on Environmental Mindfulness Lessons for Children: A Content Analysis. I presented this paper at the International Mindfulness Conference in Auckland New Zealand in February 2019.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
“What is the nature and content of child-centric environmental mindfulness lessons?”
This research question was the product of a combined passion for the environment, formal and informal mindfulness practices, and education that resulted in us writing the paper, ”Environmental Mindfulness Lessons for Children: A Content Analysis”.

As respectful human beings and certainly as schoolteachers, we have a responsibility to educate and instill actions that address the concepts of sustainability and respect for the natural environment. The first step in moving forward in this process required an analysis of the freely available mindfulness resources and materials that explicitly made connections to the natural environment; the focus of this research.

The world in which we live in is crying out for humans to recognize the interdependence that exists between all life forms. Growing human consumption demands are playing a primary role in the demise of the environment, suggesting a disconnect between human society and its life support systems. A need to create respectful change in our ways is evident, in order to reverse the ecological devastation that humans have imposed on the planet.

The Environmental Mindfulness Lessons for Children: A Content Analysis research we completed outlines the nature and content of child-centric environmental mindfulness lessons, with suggestions for future research and the implications for teacher training and practice to effect quality program delivery and student engagement in environmental mindfulness and pro-environmental action.

Session Title:  Environmental & Nature-based Mindfulness in Education- Lessons for Children

Deborah Mendes • 

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Free Learning Resources: 3 Steps Through the GreenGateway to a Conscious Nature Connection Practic

Deborah Mendes is a Conscious Nature Connector. Deborah helps business owners and purpose-led people to step into their full expression of themselves. Deborah is a trained FTI Forest Bathing Guide and Natural Mindfulness Facilitator and teacher in post 16 education. She has experienced physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual burn out, which started her off on a journey that has led to living a life with awe and wonder. She is passionate about sharing and teaching what she has discovered within her Conscious Nature Connection Academy where she bridges the gap between living a life with purpose and nature connection to help people discover and embody a life-transforming practice.  

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 

-What is forest bathing, and a conscious nature connection practice, and how it relates to a mindfulness practice

– Why the outcomes of mindfulness in nature (specifically self-awareness and enjoying life to the full) is both keys to living a purposeful life

– Why is this such an important time right now and who is this message for?

Session Title: Working with Nature as a Partner in Life and Business

Lyndi Smith •

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Free Learning Resources: Guided nature-based mindfulness audio

Lyndi Smith is a senior trainer of charity Mind With Heart Australia, who has worked with thousands of teachers and students and helped four schools in Europe and Australia integrate mindfulness over 3-4 years as a whole-school approach to wellbeing. Research shows that their programmes reduce stress, increase mindfulness and self-compassion, and improve sleep and overall wellbeing. Lyndi loves practicing outdoors herself and is delighted to share the findings emerging from nature-based mindfulness for staff and student wellbeing.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
We will enjoy a short guided mindfulness practice in nature ourselves, and learn:
—how nature-based mindfulness is innate and intrinsically human
—why mindfulness desperately needs to go outdoors
—how to have a wellbeing “holiday” every day with this kind of practice
—how mindfulness invites us to explore “the nature inside” of thoughts, emotions and sensations
—what staff and students are discovering as they practice outdoors

Session Title: Nature-Based Mindfulness and Schools

Merryl Simpson •

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A heart-centered Environmental Educator and Yogi focused on sharing deep reverence for the ancient wisdom teachings of this land we now call Australia. Creating authentic and respectful spaces in natural places for children and adults to slow down and listen deeply to the environment, to others, and to themselves. Senior Teacher at Pullenvale Environmental Education Centre and Manager/Creator of Heart Earth Radiance. The word, concept, and spiritual practice that is dadirri (da-did-ee) is from the Ngan’gikurunggurr and Ngen’giwumirri languages of the Aboriginal peoples of the Daly River region (Northern Territory, Australia).
Merryl has been gifted permission to share dadirri from Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr.
Please refer to the Miriam Rose Foundation for more information at
And watch this beautiful youtube clip for an introduction to dadirri from Miriam-Rose herself

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
Inspirational reflections from spending time on Country with esteemed Elder of the Nauiyu Community, Miriam Rose, and her teachings on deep listening. Honoring the wisdom teachings of Miriam Rose and other elders of this land we now call Australia, I will share powerful ways o hooking 11-year-olds into a way of being in nature that grows their respect for self, others and the Environment.

Free Learning Resources: Creating a Deep Listening Reflection

Session Title: Slow Down, Listen Deeply, and Connect; Place Responsiveness With 11 Year Olds in Nature



Matthew Harris • 


What we will learn in this presentation or interview
In this interview, we will be looking at how to turn something with intrinsic value, such as time spent in the outdoors, into something profound that facilitates instant and long-lasting change.

Session Title: Holiday or Holy Day?


Alexandra Koster •


My name is Alex Koster, I am a mum, teacher, author, mindfulness practitioner, and holistic health and nature enthusiast. Due to my own mental and physical health struggles, I have spent the last 20 years studying and practicing various modalities including mindfulness, integrative health, and nutrition, Reiki, herbalism, crystal healing, nature-based approaches, etc. I grew up on the edge of a small village in Germany right beside the forest and nature was a big part of everyday life. We were outdoors most of the time, sun, rain or snow, much of our meals were substituted with foraged foods and homegrown fruit and vegetables. My mum used to make her own teas, tinctures, and other herbal remedies and from childhood, we learned a lot about nature, plants, animals and the need to love and protect them. Outdoor learning was a big part of education as well and instead of “school tours” we had “Wandertag” when instead of lessons we would bring a rucksack and went for long nature walks. I believe much of this nature connection is lacking in our modern days on more than one level (ie spending time in nature, eating ethically produced, wholesome foods, treating minor illnesses with natural remedies instead of chemicals, etc.) and I believe it is essential that we bring it back, not as an option but as a necessary part of a healthy and happy life.

Free Learning Resource: Meditation Wheel Download with code wheel2020

Session Title: Nature is Not Optional, Not an Add-On – Humans Need Nature Because They are Part of it

Book: Roots and Wings – Childhood needs a Revolution Mindful Games


Janet Etty-Leal •

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Janet Etty-Leal is an author, speaker, and pioneer of mindful education for children. Her creative programs, combining a fusion of mindfulness, positive education tenets and have enhanced curriculum for thousands of students for over 20 years. Janet provides staff training and classes for students in all school sectors. Studies based on her programs have been undertaken by Masters and Ph.D. students in Universities in Australia and internationally.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
Mindfulness is a skill to be in touch with what really matters – for the self, others, and the world. Being in touch with the wonders and wisdom of the natural world brings a host of benefits for the body, mind, and spirit of children. And the need for children to open their minds and hearts to the natural world, with a deep sense of responsibility and compassion, is urgent. Boundless opportunities exist for parents and educators to share imaginative, fun-filled nature- based experiences to heighten awareness of nature for children!

Session Title: Expanding Nature Awareness for Children

Book: A Head-Heart Start for Life: Creative Mindful Discoveries for Young Children

Dr. Sue Thomas •

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Sue Thomas writes about life, nature and technology, Her books include Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age (2017), Technobiophilia: nature and cyberspace (2013), and Hello World: travels in virtuality (2004). Until 2013 she was Professor of New Media at De Montfort University, She is now a Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University and is currently writing her third novel ‘The Fault in Reality’. She lives in Bournemouth, UK.
What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
The notion of digital nature may seem to contradict our desire to bring children closer to the real world, but that need not be the case. There are benefits to experiencing nature via technology, as many have found out during the Covid-19 lockdowns. We discuss what digital nature is, why it can be beneficial, and look at some practical experiments you might like to try.

Free Learning Resources: Gift Excerpt from ‘Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age’ by Sue Thomas Password: wellbeing

Session Title: Digital Nature and Mindfulness

Book: Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age

Philip Snow Gang •


Philip Snow Gang, Ph.D. is the Founder of The Institute for Educational Studies (TIES) and its graduate programs in Integrative Learning and Montessori Integrative Learning. He is a pioneer in the field of integrative, systemic, and transformative approaches to education. He is the author of Rethinking Education, co-author of Conscious Education: The Bridge to Freedom, and developer of the mobile mind-mapping simulation, Our Planet, Our Home.

What we will learn in this session: Montessori for children and adult learners is mindful education

Session Title: Montessori as Mindful Education

Free Learning Resources:

Book: Educating for Right-Action and Love: Extending and Expanding the Montessori Vision

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