Biography

Cris Rowan is an outspoken critic on the impact of technology on human development, behavior, and productivity, and is passionate about changing the ways in which humans use and interact with technology. Cris has developed a concept termed Balanced Technology Management (BTM) where humans strive to manage balance between healthy activity and technology. Cris has implemented BTM initiatives in six sectors: parents, teachers, health professionals, government, researchers, and even technology production corporations. She works globally and locally and has cross culture relevance from indigenous and developing communities. Cris is a visionary, who clearly sees that the ways in which humans are using technology are not sustainable, and the time to act is now. Activist, advocate, author, and prolific speaker, Cris helps people move from the virtual, back into the real world.

A frequent guest on radio, TV, and featured in CBC TV’s Doc Zone documentary “Are We Digital Dummies”, Cris speaks passionately about how technology is eroding children’s foundations for development and learning, as well as negatively impacting on human health and productivity in the workplace. Working as an occupational therapist for over 30 years, Cris  has witnessed dramatic changes in how children play, resulting in rising levels of obesity and developmental delay, as well as social and mental disorders. Worker health has reached an all-time low, with mental illness and use of psychotropic medications affecting over half of the worker population. Through her academic research review and clinical work, Cris has first-hand knowledge and understanding of how technology has caused profound changes in human development, behavior, ability to pay attention and learn, and achieve health and productivity in workplace settings.

Cris resides in Sechelt, on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia, and has a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and is a SIPT certified sensory integration specialist.  Cris is a member in good standing with the British Columbia College of Occupational Therapists, and an Approved Provider with the American Occupational Therapy Association and is authorized to provide Continuing Education Units for professionals who attend her workshops. For the past 25 years, Cris has specialized in pediatric rehabilitation and workplace ergonomics, and has worked for over a decade in the Sunshine Coast School District in British Columbia.

Cris is CEO of Zone’in Programs Inc. offering webinars, workshops, consultation, and training to enhance human health and productivity. Cris has performed over 400 workshops and webinars on topics such as sensory integration and attention, motor development and literacy, attachment formation and addictions, early intervention, technology overuse, media literacy programs, school environmental design for the 21st century, ergonomics, and human productivity for teachers, parents and health professionals, and businesses throughout the world.  Cris is an expert reviewer for the Canadian Family Physician Journal, is a committee member on the Institute for Digital Media and Child Development, authors the Zone’in Development Series Newsletter, and is author of the following initiatives: Unplug – Don’t Drug, Creating Sustainable Futures, and Linking Corporations to Community.  Cris is author of her new comprehensive and research referenced book Virtual Child – The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children, now available in Chinese and Spanish versions and authored peer reviewed published paper Unplug—Don’t Drug: A Critical Look at the Influence of Technology on Child Behavior With an Alternative Way of Responding Other than Evaluation and Drugging.

Cris has two children; Matt who has an MSc in Sustainable Resource Development and works for the Canadian Coast Guard and Katie who has a business degree and is an accomplished equestrian and fashion designer. Cris loves the outdoors and travel and avidly pursues kayaking, hiking, swimming, reading, and gardening. Cris works in First Nations communities throughout British Columbia providing both clinical and workshop services, as well as program planning to enhance child health, and recently completed Crash-N-Bump, a weekly gym-based program for children. Cris has helped hundreds of thousands of parents, teachers, health professionals, media, researchers, government officials, and technology designers negotiate the maze of balanced technology management. Through her workshop/webinars, consultation services, and training programs, Cris is truly a light in the area of improving human health and connectedness in the digital era.

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