The 2018 SHIFT Festival created a watershed moment. For the first time, proponents of outdoor recreation, conservation and land management—SHIFT’s traditional stakeholder communities—gathered with members of the health care, funding and research communities to explore the critical connection between time spent outside and public health.
The results, as documented in the May 2019 cover story in Outside Magazine, represent one of the most important opportunities of our lifetimes. By highlighting the health benefits of nature, we can raise its value proposition in a time of unprecedented threat.
Inspired by such opportunities, The 2019 SHIFT Festival will continue its focus on “nature as medicine.”
From Oct. 16-18 in Jackson, Wyoming, SHIFT will feature the innovators, early adopters and thought leaders at the forefront of the movement with an agenda that creates a stronger connection between — and thus a stronger argument for — public health and our natural world.
With “SHIFT Rx: Nature as Medicine,” The 2019 SHIFT Festival will complement its focus on the health benefits of outdoor recreation with a showcase of best practices from around the country that are connecting people to time outside in impactful, innovative and replicable ways.
As it does every year, The 2019 SHIFT Festival will build its program around Official Selections for The SHIFT Awards, which honor work that is leveraging outdoor recreation for conservation gains.
The 2019 event will also feature participants from The Emerging Leaders Program, which prepares early career leaders in outdoor recreation, conservation, land management and public health to help facilitate the Festival proceedings.
“SHIFT Rx is the point of the spear on a trans-disciplinary conversation,” says Wallace J Nichols, PhD, Senior Fellow at The Center for the Blue Economy and author of the New York Times bestseller Blue Mind. “The goal is to make ‘nature as medicine’ common knowledge for those who need it most. That’s a world-changing recipe.”
Christian Beckwith, SHIFT’s Director, agrees.
“Public health is the last frontier of ecosystem services,” he says. “By leveraging the health benefits of nature, we strengthen the argument for its protection.”
“We look forward to exploring the topic with the broader community in October.”