SHIFTx Stakeholder Discussions

Inspired by the TED Conference and its TEDx satellite events, SHIFT is developing a platform that applies the outdoor rec/conservation/land management coalition to local issues around the country. In this configuration, the October SHIFT Festival will serve as the “mothership” event, and SHIFTx events, run by emerging leaders, will export the SHIFT “formula” (a coalition of outdoor rec, land management, and conservation advocates working together to increase success in the protection of our public lands) on an issues-related basis around the country.

To prepare for export, SHIFT, working in conjunction with the Teton Science Schools, will host a series of local SHIFTx gatherings in Jackson Hole that explore issues pertinent to our community with representatives from the relevant stakeholder groups. The SHIFTx gatherings will allow us to beta-test the idea and the model in the lead-up to the 2016 event.

The informal gatherings will focus on issues that lie at the intersection of outdoor rec, land management and conservation. With facilitation by graduate students from the Teton Science Schools, the goal of the gatherings will be to gather information, share perspectives, and develop a framework that allows us to advance common interests.

These gatherings will use as their foundation the Principles for Outdoor Recreation and Conservation: six Principles that outdoor recreationists, conservationists and land managers have advanced to increase success in the protection of our public lands, waters and wildlife.

Specifically, SHIFT advocates that stakeholders:

  • FIGHT for our public lands and waters
  • PROMOTE responsible recreation that’s inclusive and informed by a conservation ethic
  • MINIMIZE our impacts as recreationists and our conflicts with other users
  • CONTRIBUTE solutions to youth engagement, land-management, conservation and recreation problems
  • RESPECT land-management rules and regulations
  • SUPPORT long-term funding solutions that protect the environment and advance responsible recreation


Emerging leaders facilitate, record proceedings, using graphic facilitation where possible.


  1. Propose issue to be discussed
  2. State a desired outcome that is positive and consensus based
    • Develop group size in relation to desired objective (more people = fewer filters)
  3. Develop equal representation between stakeholder groups
    • Prioritize relevance, influence of participants from each stakeholder group when making invitations
  4. Issue invitations, circulate agenda


  1. Introductions
    • Participants introduce selves, who they represent and why the issue is important from their perspective
  2. Stakeholder Perspective
    • Stakeholder groups take 10 minutes to confer, agree upon their perspective
    • Representative of each stakeholder group articulates perspective to all participants (5 minutes)
    • No comments should be made by other groups at this time
    • Perspectives should focus on elements of the issue that all participants can agree upon, not on the elements that divide stakeholders
  3. Discussion
    • Participants focus on commonality that allows group as a whole to more toward original stated objective
    • SWOT analysis is used to evaluate strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats to achieving objective
  4. Conclusion
    • Facilitator summarizes conversation, outlines next steps
  5. Adjourn


  1. Follow-up to all participants includes thank-you note, follow-up survey to capture key take-aways
  2. Summary institutionalizes proceedings, conclusions, survey results, disseminates outcome

Variables to be tested at SHIFTx gatherings in 2016 in Jackson Hole

  1. Alcohol
    1. Inclusion at gatherings will make them less formal; can undermine seriousness of discussion
  2. Timing
    1. After work is more casual
    2. Meetings held during work are taken more seriously; users can schedule discussions around work schedules, and will take them more seriously as a result
  3. Venues
    1. Restaurants/bars=more casual
    2. Work-place environments=more formal, serious
      1. If we are concerned that people might not order food, upsetting venue owners, consider ordering appetizers / libations.
      2. Additional costs would need to be covered by sponsors
    3. Notice
      1. More advance notice can create opportunities for divisiveness, opposition
      2. Less advance notice coincides with more casual conversation
    4. Seating
      1. Participants are invited depending on stakeholder groups, but seating should be mingled to avoid segregation


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