Dr. Catherine O’Brien has been actively engaged in sustainability efforts locally, nationally and internationally for more than 25 years. As a participant in the Global Forum of the 1992 Earth Summit, she served as a co-coordinator of the alternative Debt Treaty that was forged by non-governmental organizations from around the world. Her doctoral research at the Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India explored its pioneering work in education for sustainable community development.

Catherine is an education professor at Cape Breton University (CBU), Canada where she developed the world’s first university course on sustainable happiness based on the path breaking concept of sustainable happiness she created – integrating sustainability principles with positive psychology with the aim of fostering well-being for all, sustainably. The course is an elective in CBU’s Bachelor of Education program. Catherine has also developed a teacher’s guide that applies sustainable happiness to health education outcomes for every Canadian province with an international version for educators outside of Canada (It is also available in Spanish and French).

Catherine’s work in sustainable happiness and child-friendly planning was recognized in 2010 with her designation as an Outstanding Post-Secondary Individual by the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication. In 2012 she was invited to participate in the United Nations High Level Meeting in New York that explored the implementation of the UN Resolution on Happiness. Her publications are available at: www.sustainablehappiness.ca
Education
PhD, McGill University, 1998
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Education, sustainability, well-being
Websites