Emerging Leaders Program

Interested in supporting The Emerging Leaders Program?

Review our 2020 ELP partnership opportunities.


The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) trains early career leaders to help develop our work at SHIFT and in America. Our vision is to build a diverse coalition of advocates who can champion the health benefits of nature and fight for a more sustainable future for the planet.

By developing tools and strategies for reconnection with our natural world, the program provides leadership training through a framework that empowers participants to address problems facing public health, conservation, advocacy, structures of oppression and community engagement.

Dr. Morgan Green, a pediatrician and 2018 ELP Fellow, is the Director of the ELP. Under his leadership, each year’s curriculum incorporates feedback from past ELP Fellows in order to honor topics surrounding equity, inclusion and structures of oppression. This in turn allows us to more deeply consider the intersections of health and nature, innovation in conservation, stewardship, outdoor recreation and advocacy, and how such discussions impact participants’ diverse lived experiences while also harnessing the ingenuity and creativity that makes the program innovative.

ELP is developed, facilitated and led entirely by program fellows and Center for Jackson Hole board and staff. Each ELP is comprised of two distinct components. During the program itself—which is held at Heart 6 Ranch in Jackson, Wyoming—a series of discussions, led by our facilitator team, explores our core content. The second half of the experience is The SHIFT Summit. Cohort fellows are invited to participate as panelists, speakers, hosts and moderators throughout the Summit, working alongside veterans in the space to ensure their priorities and perspectives are included in conversations of national importance.

About The Application Process

After applications for participation in the program are diligently reviewed, qualified candidates are invited to a 30- to 60-minute interview with one of our past fellows and a 60-minute interview with Dr. Green.

Once evaluations are complete, candidates are selected to join the cohort. Cohort members will be notified of their invitation before any formal announcement is made.

Once ELP participants are selected, their skill sets and how best to present them at SHIFT are ascertained via a survey. This ensures that participants help determine how they want to be seen professionally, even before programming is solidified for SHIFT.

Although the program takes place over the course of a week, conversations in the months leading up to ELP help build community amongst the cohort, lay the groundwork for group discussions during ELP and prepare cohort members for their roles at SHIFT. These conversations may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • 2-3 monthly conference calls with the cohort and facilitator team to discuss relevant items of the program’s curriculum
  • Planning for group presentations about topics that further explore our curriculum’s content. These presentations are led at ELP by participants themselves. Facilitators coordinate each small group in the months leading up to ELP and are available to answer questions and provide guidance and support.
  • Cohort members who are selected to participate in SHIFT are invited to join conference calls with national leaders who serve as their peers on panels and in think tanks, ensuring ELP participants are recognized as equal contributors during the ideation process.

During each ELP, participants gain familiarization with content that will be discussed at SHIFT. They have the opportunity to lead group discussions during ELP and explore different perspectives with fellow cohort members and ELP facilitators. The experience allows them to discuss issues relevant to their work amongst their peers, prepares them for substantive interaction at SHIFT and provides them with tools they can use to bring SHIFT’s coalition-building model back to their communities.

As much as ELP is a program, it’s also a collaboration. We want to make sure the fit is right for you. The following five core values shape our foundational community agreements.

Making Differences Our Strength

At the core of our vision is the belief that bringing together leaders from various sectors, cultures and lived experiences to discuss the most challenging problems facing our public health and our natural world’s survival makes us stronger, smarter and more resilient.

Sharing the Gift of Mutual Respect

Personal investments in one another are our foundation. When we invest in trust and respect, we grow individually and as a community. This allows us to build upon our shared experiences at SHIFT and ELP with new allies and partnerships.

Advocating For Our Planet and Its Inhabitants

We are part of the natural world. We learn from it and about it, and are partners in its future.

Embracing Personal Challenge

Building a diverse coalition is difficult and complicated. We enter this work with the expectation that deeply held beliefs may be challenged—and that changing our perspectives and our minds to develop new ways of thinking may be critical to our shared success.

Leading with Relationship

SHIFT and ELP are built to foster and create personal relationships. The resulting alliances make our work fun, sustainable and enhance our ability to protect our natural world.

The 2020 ELP will take place from Saturday through Tuesday, Oct. 10-13. We encourage young leaders between the ages of 21-33 to apply.

Applications may be made here.

The deadline to apply for the 2020 Emerging Leaders Program is June 26. We encourage young leaders between the ages of 21-33 to apply and look forward to receiving your application.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Green at drmorgan@shiftjh.org.

Rocket Fuel