Talks

Head here for a list of Tim’s upcoming talks.

Screenshot from BvLF online launch event
Online launch of Urban Playground, February 2021

“Tim has delivered a range of services that have been eloquently tailored to our local context with an informed eye and agile mind… Tim’s ability to adapt his message and delivery-style to connect with a diversity of audiences was regarded as a key strength.” Testimonial from Fraser Keegan, State Manager, Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle Program, South Australia

Tim is in global demand as a public speaker and workshop leader. As befits these strange times, he is equally comfortable with online and in-person events. See below for a list of selected forthcoming events.  Contact Tim for more details, or to book him as a speaker or workshop leader.

Topics and audiences

  • Child-friendly urban planning and child-friendly communities
  • Taking a balanced approach to managing risk in children’s play and learning
  • Risk aversion and childhood
  • Walking, cycling and children’s independent mobility
  • Reconnecting children with nature
  • Creating and sustaining playful spaces
  • Why children’s play and free time matter
  • The Covid-19 pandemic and children’s learning, play and mobility

Tim is at home with audiences of academics, policy makers, public and NGO sector leaders, planners, designers, service managers, corporate clients, educators, playworkers, childcare practitioners, environmentalists, campaigners, community groups and parents and carers.

Online talks
In 2020 and 2021 Tim gave online talks and ran virtual workshops for the British Academy, Design Council, Festival of Place, NACTO, London Healthy Cities Design, Royal Town Planning Institute, International Play Association/UNICEF, Child in the City, Play Wales, Institute of Chartered Foresters, and many others, including events organised in Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, London, New York, Poznan and Sydney. 

In-person talks and workshops
Since 2004 Tim has given talks and run workshops across the length and breadth of the UK: from Belfast to Shetland, and from Swansea to Suffolk, and on the Isle of Man and Jersey. He has also presented in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Japan, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.

In 2017 Tim was the guest speaker at a Harvard University seminar on early childhood development for executive leaders from South America. The event was hosted and organised by the Center on the Developing Child and supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

Tim talking at Loeb House, Harvard University in 2017

Loeb House, Harvard University, March 2017

In 2016 Tim was an invited expert at a three-day seminar in Bogotá, Colombia, organised by the Bernard van Leer Foundation, linked to its Urban95 initiative.

Tim is a regular visitor to Australia, and made extended visits in 2008, 2011, 20122013 and 2016. He also gave talks in New Zealand in 2008, 2016 and 2017.

Tim has also gained a profile in Canada. He first visited in 2010, and in 2015 he undertook a nationwide series of talks and workshops. In 2016 he was an invited guest of the Lawson Foundation at the inception meeting for its ambitious play strategy. In 2017 he returned to Calgary to speak at the International Play Association international conference, and in 2018 he spoke at events in Quebec City, Montreal and Edmonton. In 2019 he spoke at the ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ outdoor play symposium in Ottawa, hosted by the Children and Nature Alliance of Canada.

In 2015 Tim was invited to teach on a week-long residential course at Schumacher College, on the theme of the Rewilded Child.

Tim talking at Sir John Cass Primary School, London in June 2017

Sir John Cass Primary School, London, June 2017

Here is a link to a video of a 13-minute introductory talk on child-friendly places in London that Tim gave in 2012 at a meeting of the Urban Design Group.

Here is a visual note of a talk on risk Tim gave in North Wales on 25 March 2015. Thanks to Fran O’Hara for permission to reproduce this.

Risk visual note

Forthcoming talks and workshops

2021

7 May
1 pm BST: online CPD event on child-friendly urban planning for Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA members only)

10 May
8 am BST (9 am EST): online talk for European conference on child and youth friendly green mobility (in English with simultaneous translation into French, German and Russian)

12 May
10 am BST: online talk on child-friendly urban planning for Town and Country Planning Association Spring Conference

12 May
7-8:30 pm BST: online workshop on risk and outdoor play for Kildare County Childcare Committee (contact Tim for details)

18 May
5 pm BST (12 noon ET): online talk on child-friendly planning and design for US child-focused think-tank Capita

19 May
Time tbc: online keynote on child-friendly urban planning for Iran University of Science and technology ‘Children’s Utopia’ conference

1 June
Time tbc: online talk on child-friendly urban planning and play for an event organised by the city of Barcelona.

7/8 July
Keynote on child-friendly urban planning at conference on children, play and space (possibly online, or in person at Birmingham University)

9/10 September
Online talk (time tbc) on child-friendly urban planning at Child in the City seminar [this event has been rescheduled from 17/18 June]

2022

11-13 May
County Cork, Ireland: Talk at Roofed By The Sky (convention on outdoor learning)