Today’s episode of the Take Me Outdoors podcast, a co-branded program between Verde Communications and SHIFT through the 2017 SHIFT Festival, focuses on sharing insights into SHIFT’s core mission for 2017: making the business case for public lands protection. In this episode, hosted by Kristin Carpenter-Ogden, Marketing and Business Consultant at Verde, you’ll meet Jainee Dial of Wylder Goods and Gavin Noyes of Utah Diné Bikéyah, who will be part of the SHIFT for the Planet program, which takes place Nov. 1 from 3-5 PM at Snow King Resort.
SHIFT for the Planet is a platform connecting some of the most innovative and impactful examples of outdoor recreation and conservation in the country with funders seeking to catalyze just such organizations. This unique opportunity to showcase the most innovative, impactful, and replicable outdoor work in the country was designed in partnership with 1% for the Planet, Silicon Couloir, George B. Storer Foundation and Blue Sky Funders Forum.
Stand-out moments from the episode include:
“Environmentalists love Bears Ears because it’s beautiful and there is so many recreational opportunities and it has power there that just speaks to your soul. What I think surprised people about Bears Ears is the reservation communities and that part of the country, this is as remote of a place as you can get. It’s seven hours from four different major cities which is pretty far away. On the Utah portion of the reservation where there’s about 8,000 people, about 40% of the Navajo’s living there have no running water and no electricity, yet they are the most passionate conservationists that you’ll meet. I think there’s a lot of reasons for that but some of those reasons are that they totally know how to live on our public lands. That is their future. If times ever get tough, that’s where they’re going to go. They can live there forever. They’ve always lived there forever and there are pieces of it is … they’ve had international companies come in and uranium operative, pollute all their water, destroy all their soils.
There’s huge environmental injustice around what has been done to native people in that part of the country. Bears Ears has been left intact until it’s almost a stark opposite of what’s happened on the reservation. Those are pieces that they are adamant about preserving. It’s their cultures, it’s their history, it’s their future. It’s pretty surprising to just understand how vastly different that is than why a lot of conservationist are out there demanding protections for these public lands.”
“We’re in the process of becoming a B corps which is a certifying organization, bcorps.net, and they basically hold you to an incredibly rigorous set of standards all the way down to the soap that you use in your buildings to the way that you treat your employees because we’re so early in a stage. We’re on a 10-month-old business at this point. We’re a little bit early so it’s going to take us a little bit of time to meet the criteria. Our hope is that by the end of 2018, we’ll be a B corps. We’re registered as a benefit corporation. The journey has been complicated honestly. It’s really difficult.
… Sometimes I think it may have been easier for us to just be a regular old corporation and do what everybody else is doing but neither Lindsey or I can … you can’t unknow what you’ve learned. We’ve been astonished and very disheartened by a lot of green washing, a lot of brands out there who claim to be environmentally friendly and who really just have marketing budgets. It’s really difficult and we’re tiny. We’re completely boot strapped, completely self-funded. In some ways, we … Lindsey says that we act like a nonprofit in a lot of ways. We’re very scrappy and we work long hours but we’re in it for the long haul and we’re in it for the cause.
We really think that by implanting really forward facing icons then infographics on our website and giving people an invitation and the education that they need to make better decisions. I think that’s what we’re trying to accomplish. The work is really never done. As soon as we find some sense of success in one area, we’ll move on to the next one because there’s so much intersectionality that exists with these problems of ecology and lands and diversity. I think that’s why SHIFT is so important. It’s going to bring together all of the myriad stakeholders to have really interesting and fascinating deep conversations around where all of these things cross over into each other and where that intersectionality exists and that’s what we’re most excited about diving into while we’re there and just in general with our business.”