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Advisory Board

Our High-Level Advisory Board consists of Scientific and Innovation Oversight Panels composed of world-renowned experts on the topics of nature-based solutions, urban resilience, human health, sustainability, physical activity and innovation. The Advisory Board convenes at least once a year to evaluate project achievements and to provide recommendations on future strategy and planning.

The Scientific Oversight Panel is chaired by Prof. Claudio R. Nigg, Chair of the Health Science Department at the University of Bern, while the Innovation Oversight Panel is chaired by Terri Morrissey, Founding Director of the This Is coaching network.

Experienced Professor with a demonstrated history of working in Physical Activity and Multiple Health Behaviour Change. Skilled in Theory, Epidemiology, Research Design, Program Evaluation, Program Development, and Grant Writing. Strong education professional with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) focused in Psychology from University of Rhode Island.

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Terri co-founded This Is… in 2004 with Dr Richard Plenty.  This Is…specialises in organisation and leadership development. She took time out to take on the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Psychological Society of Ireland from 2015-2019 where she initiated a major organisation change programme.
Now back in This Is… she specialises in leading in uncertain times; coaching for women and emergent leaders; innovation and entrepreneurial leadership and thought leadership with CEO’s and Boards. She co-facilitated with Richard “The International Summit on Psychology and Global Health: A Leader in Climate Change” in Lisbon (November 2019) which brought together over 45 Psychological Associations to produce a proclamation of climate change and a series of actions. This Global Psychological Alliance still meets, and she is currently the convenor of the Climate Change Grouping.
 
Terri lectures in the Centre for Innovative Human Systems, Department of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin on Leadership, Risk and Uncertainty.  She also co-facilitates the Airports Council International global programme on Human Resource Strategy. Previous roles include Partner in Emerge Consulting; Faculty Member, Michael Smurfit Business School, University College Dublin; and a coach with the London Business School. She has also held numerous senior management roles in the UK and Ireland. She is co-author with Richard Plenty of the book “Uncertainty Rules? Making Uncertainty Work for You”  published by Cork University Press on 29 May 2020.

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Scientific Oversight Panel

Alan Ringland currently works at the Institute of Technology Tralee, Institute of Technology, Tralee. Alan does research in Secondary Education, Higher Education and Curriculum Theory. He was Team Psychologist for the Beijing 2008 & London 2012 Paralympic games and has many insights into working in the elite athletic sector. He is currently working on research with the GAA into the use of sport psychology and the gender psychological difference between genders in the sport.

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Andy Lane is a Professor of Sport Psychology and Director of Research Excellence at the University of Wolverhampton. He is a Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). He is Health Professional Council registered and a British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist. He began lecturing at Brunel University before moving to the University of Wolverhampton in 2000.He has authored more than 200 peer refereed journal articles, given numerous keynotes talks, and is on or has been on editorial boards of prestigious journals in sport sciences (Journal of Sports Sciences), Sports Medicine (Journal of Sports Science and Medicine), psychology (Personality and Individual Differences) and education (Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism). He has edited five books including the book Case Studies in Sport Science and Medicine) , a co-authored work with Prof Greg Whyte and sport psychology and nutrition in running

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Annalisa’s background is in experimental Cognitive Psychology across the lifespan and in particular in ageing. She is interested in the association between perception/cognition, physical exercise and falls, as well in investigating of the relationship between the environment we live in and perceptual/cognitive processing for the long term purpose of informing rehabilitation strategies. Annalisa is  also interested in coaching to foster healthy lifestyle and enhance cognitive performance. She is currently collaborating with The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at TCD on the epidemiology of multi-sensory processing. Annalisa is currently third year head of CK120 (Applied Psychology); co-coordinator of the ISS21 Ageing Cluster and member of the Mercer Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA). She is a member of the Editorial Board of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience and has  served as ad hoc reviewer for many international journals including Cortex, Neuropsychologia, Cognition, Experimental Ageing Research and Cognitive Neuroscience. Annalisa’s  current research is funded by the IRC and the HRB.

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Christopher studies memory using a combination of cognitive psychology, neuroimaging, and computational modelling methods. He is particularly interested in what makes some experiences more memorable than others (such as emotion, reward, and motor processing) and how these influences can manifest in future behaviour, such as decision-making. Christopher also specialises in characterizing inter-individual differences in brain morphology, particularly with respect to ageing, dementia, and cognitive abilities. Christopher conducts research across a variety of topics, including emotional memory, risky decision-making, and embodied cognition. He studies these topics using behavioural paradigms, as well as fMRI, EEG, and structural MRI. Christopher is affiliated with several research groups, including Cognition and Language, Computational Neuroscience, Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre (SPMIC), Precision Imaging, and Accident Research Unit.

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Associate Professor of Spatial Planning at the University of Trento. Specialised in impact assessment of projects, plans and policies; spatial and urban planning; ecosystem services; multicriteria analysis. Former Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Sustainability Science Program (2010-11), and Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment (2014). He has consulted for private and public bodies internationally, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UN-HABITAT, and the European Commission. Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management and deputy Editor of the open access journal One Ecosystem. He has been Principal Investigator/Work Package leader in 10 international research projects. PhD from Free University Amsterdam. He is lead partner in the Horizon 2020 consortium and support action ReNature.

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Francesco's work lies at the intersection between cities and technologies. His goal is to build better cities through technology, innovation and citizen participation. He focuses on empowering local communities with cutting-edge technology and enabling them to act on pressing environmental issues in their local environment. Fransceso is  leveraging his European projects to bring climate action in education. Specifically,  showing children in primary and secondary schools how they could have an active role in making our cities and communities more sustainable. By co-designing, co-deploying and co-monitoring nature based solutions with the children in schools to explain them and show them with the data from sensors how these green solutions have multiple positive impacts on the local environment. Francesco’s area of expertise is smart cities and in specific geospatial analysis and modelling of urban dynamics, which involves the development of GIS based models and decision support tools, in order to pre-empt the impacts resulting from the interactions between human population and the environment. By using a range of pervasive and community sensing applications as a means of calibration and validation of these GIS tools. Francesco then integrates the GIS models and data streams from pervasive sensing deployments with advanced machine learning algorithms to gain a better understanding of the spatial dynamics in cities. Francesco was a member of the coordination team on the iSCAPE project.

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Heidi Tuhkanen is a senior expert at SEI (SEI Tallinn Centre) focused on urban environmental/sustainability related governance issues. Topics of interest include ecosystem approach, nature-based solutions, urban planning, climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction, equity, wellbeing, green finance, and local level capacity building. Heidi holds a Master´s degree in Urban Environmental Management from Wageningen University (NL) and is currently working on her PhD at University of Helsinki. Heidi is member of the CICERO-led Expert Network on Second Opinions (ENSO) which provides Second Opinions of Green Bond and Green Finance Frameworks, the Advisory Group in the SEI Gender, Social Equality and Poverty Programme, the Urban EbA FEBA and PEDRR joint working group, and a founding member of the IRDR International Centre of Excellence on Transforming Development and Disaster Risk.

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Karen’s early research work looked at developing landscape and seascape assessment methodologies as effective planning tools. She later focussed on the vernacular Irish landscape, examining landscape preference, drivers of landscape change and exploring scenario-based tools to engage with a range of stakeholders. More recent research centres on urban open space, identifying tools and techniques to develop robust multifunctional landscape typologies in cities that satisfy social and environmental needs. Karen was one of the lead instigators of “Turas”, an EU funded research project bringing together urban communities and businesses along with local authorities and researchers to collaborate on practical new solutions for more sustainable and resilient European cities. Currently, Karen is on the High Advisory Board of “Connecting Nature”, a €12 m Horizon 2020 Innovation Action which will position Europe as a global leader in the innovation and implementation of Nature-based Solutions. She leads the CCAT project on coastal communities adaptation to climate change which is funded by INTERREG.

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Leah Goldfarb is a Senior Science Officer at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  Working Group I (WGI: Physical Science) Technical Support Unit (TSU) for the 6th Assessment Report. She joined the TSU in July 2019, and before that she worked on international science policy and educational initiatives within the International Council for Science (now the International Science Council), Center for Science and Technology Policy Research,and Office for Climate Education.  Leah has a PhD in physical/atmospheric chemistry from the University of Colorado.

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Dr. Matilda van den Bosch is a trained physician and has a PhD in Landscape Planning and Public Health. She is an Associated Researcher at the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal) and Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She is also an Affiliate Researcher at the Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden, and an Adjunct Scholar at the Faculty of Science, Dalhousie University, Canada. Her research investigates how urban nature can improve human health, with a particular interest in childhood health and development. Her current projects relate to, for example, how prenatal environmental exposures influence birth and later life neurodevelopmental outcomes. Ultimately, the goal of her work is to contribute to healthy conditions for both people and ecosystems by increasing our awareness of the importance of nature for everyone. She has published extensively on health benefits from nature and is the primary editor of the Oxford Textbook on Nature and Public Health. Matilda was a major contributor to the recent Horizon 2020 BlueHealth study on the impact of blue natural spaces on health. Matilda has also contributed to the GREEN SURGE project funded under Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Currently, Matilda leads the nationally funded Born to be Wise CIHR-funded project and the Marie Curie project Green CURIOCITY.

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Niki Frantzeskaki is a professor of urban sustainability transitions at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. She holds a PhD on ‘Dynamics of Sustainability transitions’ from Delft University of Technology. She researches contemporary sustainability transitions and their governance across Europe, USA, Brazil and in developing countries like Vanuatu, and Ghana. She has coordinated and led research on environmental governance, and urban sustainability transitions in a portfolio of research projects including: CONNECTING NATURE, IMPRESSIONS, GATE, ENABLE, URBES, ARTS, SUSTAIN, MUSIC, RESHARE, RWS funded project on Sustainability in Large Infrastructures and NGI Self-organisation of infrastructures, GUST, RESILIENT EUROPE. Three of her leading research projects had been awarded research excellence awards: URBES, ARTS and SUSTAIN. She has edited 15 special issues in top-ranked journals about sustainability and sustainability transitions.

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Stephanie is a critical health geographer with an overarching concern for how everyday social and material contexts matter for health and health equity. She is particularly interested in how taken-for-granted and often unquestioned-features of day-to-day environments become implicated in the production of health outcomes, behaviours, and inequities. Stephanie's current focus in this stream of work is on the role of place in the gendering of physical activity, which she has explored via gyms and other micro environments. She also has an interest in qualitative and creative methods as a substantive research area, particularly in relation to questions of rigour and empirically evaluating potentially innovative techniques. Cross-cutting these interests is Stephanie’s commitment to making research more useful and applicable in the real-world so that it can be used as an instrument for positive change. Part of this work involves her collaboration on multidisciplinary initiatives, including the Sex/Gender Methods Group, to understand how sex and gender shape the very production of health research knowledge and to develop tools to better integrate sex and gender considerations in health research practice.

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Innovation Oversight Panel

Alice Charles leads the Cities and Real Estate workstreams at the World Economic Forum. This includes the Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization, the Real Estate Industry Action Group, co-leading the Net Zero Carbon Cities: An integrated approach initiative and the Biodiverse Cities initiative, the production of all cities and real estate related content and events at World Economic Forum Summits (including Davos).

She is also a Member of the European Commission Intelligent Cities Advisory Board, a Member of the UN Habitat Stakeholder Advisory Group, a Member of the Commission for Innovation and Inclusive Growth for the City of Belfast,  a Member of the Mayors' Global Council for the City of Buenos Aires, a member of the Visiting Committee of the Senseable City Lab, MIT, a Member of the Urban Leadership Council (ULC) for the Coalition for Urban Transitions, Jury Member of the WWF One Planet City Challenge and a Jury Member of the Real Play City Challenge.

She has nineteen years’ experience working in the areas of cities, urban development, town planning, real estate, infrastructure, environment, climate change and public policy globally. She was previously an External Board Member of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), Ireland Planning Advisory Committee from 2010 to November 2020.

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Birgit is an expert on integrated development and urban adaptation to climate change.  Being a curious and adventurous person in the professional area, she is keen to learn and interweave her broad experience as a project and team manager with new topics, tasks and experience. Having originally studied landscape architecture and worked for more than 25 years in different environmental areas such as climate change, urban development, transport planning, ecological planning and assessments, environmental management and biodiversity, Birgit has developed as a European specialist for urban climate adaptation over the last years, she was works as expert on the URBACT programme and the  Urban Innovative Actions programme, the Asian Development Bank as well as for single cities. Birgit has worked as an advisor for several EU projects such as PLUREL, SUME, RESIN and is a frequent speaker and moderator at many events on her topics. She sees herself as a generalist with a holistic systems thinking that brings topics and people together, having developed strength in integrative cross-border and out-of-the-box-thinking. Her approach is to combine creativity with a systematic, efficient and targeted working approach. Teamwork and networking including excellent communication skills are key for my performance. Birgit has worked both at national and international level with various stakeholders ranging from local and national Organisations, European city networks, EU, WHO, UNECE, ADB to UN for bridging environmental science and policy-making.

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Dr. Eddie is a clinical psychologist, mental health expert, author, teacher, & life coach committed to promoting enduring change using cutting edge psychological research to help you become your real self. He completed a Masters in Health Psychology in City University London, his Doctorate of Psychological Science in Clinical Psychology in University College Dublin (1997 – 2000) and the MBA at UCD Smurfit School of Business in 2009.  He is a lecturer, supervisor, researcher and author of professional publications.

Dr. Eddie is a Head of Psychology / Principal Clinical Psychologist working in the HSE and is committed to providing professional psychology passionately and promoting successful outcomes using CBT, Mindfulness, Solution Focused therapies for children, adults, families, communities and organisations. He has a specialist interest in trauma and PTSD. He has a role as the psychologist in the TV series Operation Transformation and is a strong advocate for nature-based interventions for mental health and well-being.

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Emily Ross is an entrepreneur, author, and growth engineer who works with deep tech businesses. She is the CEO and Founder of Inkvine, a consulting firm whose clients include award-winning technology companies across AI, cybersecurity and eCommerce. She is an advisory board member for SXSW Pitch and Sure Valley Ventures. A former Director of Fundraising at UNICEF Ireland, she is a sought-after advisor on communications, business scaling and go-to-market strategy and works with emerging startups at LeAD Berlin, Launchbox and Mentoring for Scale. She writes for a number of national and international publications on communications, technology and innovation.

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After acquiring a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia, Jon worked as an environmental planner for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. He co-authored publications on Potomac River water quality and provided staff support for a regional growth plan for the Washington, DC region. For the past 28 years Jon has been the executive director of the Sports Backers, a non-profit group that inspires everyone in the Greater Richmond area to live an active lifestyle. The organisation offers free fitness classes in 50 underserved locations, hosts kids run clubs at over 70 schools, advocates for safe and accessible walking and biking infrastructure and organises more than 30 events annually that celebrate Richmond’s active lifestyle including Dominion Energy Riverrock, the nation’s largest sports and music festival, the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k with 25,000 runners and the Richmond Marathon which is the 18th largest marathon in the United States. Sports Backers has been named the best sports commission in America 4 times by the membership of Sports ETA.
Previously as an athlete Jon was 5 times Individual World Champion in canoe-slalom and 7 times Team World Champion. He was fourth in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. He worked for NBC Sports as an TV analyst at the Sydney and Athens Olympic games. He has been a founding board member in the creation of 4 different non-profit organisations including Fit4Kids, Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, SwimRVA and Team Up Richmond.  He currently serves on the Richmond Region Tourism Board of Directors.

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Mark has worked in the environmental and energy sectors for over 25 years. He has vast experience of EU funding mechanisms and has worked as a National Contact Point across a number of European framework programmes (CIP Eco-innovation, FP7, Horizon 2020). He currently works as an NCP for Environment related activities in Horizon Europe - the research and innovation framework programme running from 2021-2027. Mark also acts as lead national expert in relation to the EU Ecodesign Directive and associated regulations which focus on improving the energy efficiency and environmental performance of a wide range of products.

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Martin has over 30 years experience of working mental health in Ireland, both in the statutory and voluntary sector. As a former Chair of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (www.iimhl.com) Martin  has active links to International leaders in mental health and is networked into emerging and promising practice across the World. Over Martin's career he has had the opportunity to meet some extraordinary people with self experience, their families, communities, mental health professionals, and volunteers in Ireland and overseas. Along the way Martin has gathered skills in wide-scale change management, consultancy, mental health law, service design, advice, innovation, health economics, resource management, mental health promotion and advocacy.

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As an ecological engineer, driven by a love for ecology and a fascination with technology, Nadina researches, designs, and pilots emerging technologies to build better urban ecosystems for people and nature. A framework she calls the “Internet of Nature”.

She delivers keynotes, moderates global events, disseminates knowledge, and launches products at the nexus of cities, ecology, and technology. Work that has been recognized by National Geographic, Forbes, The Next Web, Newsweek, ELLE, and the European Space Agency.

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Russell Galt works for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), where he serves as Head of the Urban Alliance – a broad coalition of IUCN Members concertedly striving to bring cities into balance with nature. His role entails facilitating debate and knowledge exchange, catalysing projects and partnerships, and developing tools and knowledge products. From Brussels, Cape Town, Nairobi and Edinburgh, he has spent the last dozen years working internationally for the United Nations Environment Programme, South African National Biodiversity Institute and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. He holds an LLM in Natural Resources Law and Policy, a BSc (Hons) in Ecological Science and is presently pursuing an Executive MBA at the University of Edinburgh.

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After acquiring a Bachelors of Science in Genetics in UCD, Saoirse gained practical knowledge of the environmental challenges by working with people saving seeds, planting trees, and restoring soil. Saoirse went on to complete a Masters in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Lancaster University, with a focus on the politics of food production, and from there she went on to work with the Irish Seed Savers Association in Co. Clare, where she became acutely aware of the fragility of our food system. This led her to get involved with Food Sovereignty Ireland, and also on the committee of the Organic Growers of Ireland. Saoirse sees the policies that govern how we interact with our environment as crucial leverage points in our fight against climate change and has engaged with the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) on creating a proposal for a Common Food Policy for the EU to replace the Common Agricultural Policy. She has been politically active working on several environmental and electoral campaigns over the last few years.

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Tamás Kállay is an expert on green spaces and sustainable resource use. He completed in 2000 an MSc in Agricultural Sciences, and in 2002 an MSc in Environmental Sciences. Tamás has been working as a consultant in the field environment since 2002. He currently acts as an URBACT Lead Expert of the Health&Greenspace Network that promotes health-responsive planning and management of urban green spaces. He is also an UIA Expert of the CLAIRO project, that aims at improving air quality with the use of nature-based solutions. He specializes in health-oriented green space design, sustainable resource use, circular economy, air quality, eco-innovation and policy analysis. For 10 years he was working at the Head Office of the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), where he was the leader of the Sustainable Resource Use Topic Area. For six years he was a contributing expert of the European Topic Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (ETC/SCP) of the European Environmental Agency. From 2011 to 2014 he was leading the activities of REC under the ETC/SCP. He was a Thematic Expert of the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform responsible for resource efficiency and circular economy. Tamas was involved in a number of policy studies for the EC and EEA in the field of industrial competitiveness, and resource use, as well as on air quality and industrial emissions.

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