The 2018 SHIFT Awards

Each year, SHIFT researches individuals, organizations and initiatives from around North America that leverage outdoor rec for conservation gains and evaluates their work using specific criteria: Impact, Innovation, and Replicability.

The work determined to be most impactful, innovative and replicable is considered for The SHIFT Awards. (A complete list of work researched to date and criteria used in our evaluations may be found here.) Representatives of official selections for the Awards are then invited to the annual SHIFT Festival, where they participate on panels, as keynote speakers, and in workshops and meetings throughout the proceedings.

The 2018 SHIFT Award winners represented the culmination of a year of research. To start, SHIFT researchers identified more than 300 initiatives from around North America, then made further evaluations of more than 160 initiatives in six categories: Non-Profit Leadership, Business Leadership, Public Land-Management Innovation, Technology, Youth Engagement, Adventure Athlete and Clinical Research.

Because The 2018 SHIFT Festival focused on the connection between public health and public lands, an additional “Outside Rx” criterion—”Does the initiative help advance and promote the health benefits of time outside?”—was then applied to the evaluations, and weighted double to help insure the nominees aligned with the overall theme.

Marc Berejka, REI’s Community and Governmental Relations Manager, accepts the Business Leadership Award on October 17.

Representatives of the top 25% of the nominees evaluated were invited to participate in The 2018 SHIFT Festival as SHIFT Award Official Selections. They received complementary Festival passes and were recognized during the Festival for their work—part of SHIFT’s commitment to showcasing on-the-ground work that is successfully meeting challenges at the nexus of outdoor recreation and conservation in communities around the country.

The top 10% of the initiatives in each category (or the three highest-ranking initiatives, whichever is higher) comprised the finalists for The 2018 SHIFT Awards.

On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, the winners of both The 2018 SHIFT Awards and the People’s and Jury’s Choice Awards for this year’s SHIFT for the Planet were announced.

A complete list of 2018 SHIFT Award Official Selections and Winners is as follows: