SHIFT Publishes Preliminary 2018 Festival Schedule

The 2018 SHIFT Festival, which will take place October 16-18, 2018 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, will focus on the health benefits of time outside.

Entitled “Public Lands, Public Health,” the event will explore how natural allies in outdoor recreation, conservation, land management and health care can work together to advance and promote the benefits of time outside on our public lands.

Workshop, panel, and keynote details are currently being finalized and will be announced by September 1. The preliminary schedule for the 2018 event is as follows.



How natural allies in outdoor recreation, conservation, land management and the health care community can advance and promote the benefits of time outside on our public lands

Dates: October 16-18, 2018
Location: Jackson, Wyoming



Overview: The 2018 SHIFT Festival is informed by The Center for Disease Control’s social determinants of population health, as well as by the evidence for the health benefits of time outside, including research documented on sites such as Active Living Research and Institute of the Golden Gate.

From October 16-18, SHIFT will feature the innovators, early adopters and opinion leaders at the forefront of the “Public Lands, Public Health” movement in a program that weaves together a “top-down” and a “bottom-up” approach to create a stronger connection between, and thus a stronger argument for, outdoor recreation, public health and public lands.


Communication: How do we communicate the health benefits of time outside? This “top-down” track will showcase ways we can disseminate the research, data and information critical to the success of the Public Lands, Public Health movement to the health care community, policy makers and the public at large

Activation: It’s not enough for your health care provider to tell you to get outside. (Indeed, people from low-income and vulnerable communities who benefit disproportionately from connection with nature often don’t have access to health care.) The health care community needs support from other sectors if it is to succeed in making time outside the next big medical revelation.

This “bottom-up” track highlights best practices from around the country that are connecting Americans to time outside in impactful, innovative and replicable ways, with a particular focus on the civic planners, community-based organizations and natural allies in outdoor recreation, conservation and land management who are successfully connecting people with nature via their programs and initiatives

Both tracks will be developed around two elements integral to our goal of facilitating networking and the showcasing of best practices:

  • Official Selections for The SHIFT Awards, which feature representatives of the work determined to be the most innovative, impactful and replicable in the space by our researchers
  • The Emerging Leaders Program, which prepares exemplary young leaders in the field to help facilitate conversations at the heart of outdoor recreation, conservation and public health.

The growing disconnect from nature not only adds billions of dollars to health care costs; it simultaneously undermines the value of nature and our public lands in society. At a time when the average American child spends seven hours per day in front of screens and seven minutes in unstructured play outside, and diseases such as obesity, diabetes and mental anxiety are chronic, this year’s SHIFT makes the critical connection between time outside on our public lands and waters and the health of our citizens.


8 a.m.: State Offices of Outdoor Recreation Workshop

Snow King Resort

On Tuesday, October 16, at The 2018 SHIFT Festival, SHIFT’s third annual State Offices workshop will continue to develop efforts to advance state leadership positions in support of outdoor recreation. The 2018 State Offices of Outdoor Recreation Workshop will focus on a specific element of the Confluence Summit Accords—the Health and Wellness pillar—allowing participants to continue to develop the connection between outdoor rec and the health benefits of time outside.

The workshop will focus on best practices that leadership positions in state offices can and should support. It will highlight Colorado’s Outdoor and Health Collaborative, Utah’s work on health and wellness as well as initiatives and developments in other states in an effort to provide a tool kit state leadership positions can use in developing health and wellness opportunities in their states.


8 a.m.: Insurance 2.0 Workshop

Snow King Resort

Time outside in nature is good for your health. Would insurance companies cover it if they had demonstrable evidence that it lowered costs and thus increased their bottom lines? This workshop features participants from the American health insurance community in an exploration of the opportunities to advance policies that support getting people active outside.

11 a.m.: Public Land Management Innovation Lunchtime Discussion

Location TBD

2018 SHIFT Award Official Selections will be highlighted throughout SHIFT, including during lunchtime discussions developed around each Award category.

The Public Land Management Innovation lunchtime discussion will be held from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. at Location TBD in downtown Jackson, WY. The discussion will convene stakeholders in the public land management sector for networking, a discussion of challenges common to the space and a showcase of the ways Award category representatives are addressing them with their work.

The discussion is open to the public, and local public land management stakeholders as well as SHIFT attendees are invited to participate. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Participants are asked to leave ample time to return to the Snow King Hotel by 1:45 p.m. for the start of the SHIFT Summit.

10-1 p.m.: SHIFT Registration

Snow King Resort

1 p.m.: Welcoming Remarks

Snow King Grand Teton Room

Christian Beckwith, Director, SHIFT

Introduction of the 2018 SHIFT Festival theme; the sub-themes for the event; Summit objectives; and agenda review.

1:15 p.m.: Public Lands, Public Health: A National Challenge

Opening Keynote by Dr. Michael Suk

Snow King Resort

One of the nation’s top experts on the correlation between health and outdoor recreation, Michael Suk, MD, JD, MPH, was chosen in 2003 as a White House Fellow with the U.S. Department of the Interior. As Special Advisor to Gale Norton, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Dr. Suk co-wrote a law review piece with Secretary Norton that investigated the relationship between a healthy lifestyle and participating in outdoor activities such as bicycling, hiking, and camping. In 2011, Dr. Suk’s activism in this matter contributed to the National Park Service’s adoption of a number of key values in its Centennial “Call to Action: Preparing for a Second Century of Stewardship and Engagement.” 

Dr. Suk will present an overview of current research to help contextualize the proceedings that follow and catalyze the national challenge in a call to action for Outside Rx.

2 p.m.: SHIFT for the Planet

Snow King Resort

A collaboration with 1% for the Planet, Silicon Couloir, and The George B. Storer Foundation, SHIFT for the Planet features a pre-vetted selection of the most innovative, impactful and replicable work in the country in an event designed to amplify and enhance the collective impact of funders. Eight SHIFT Award finalists will be invited to present their work to an audience that includes funders and peers. The five-minute presentations will feature the work’s focus, its impact, and a central challenge facing its ongoing success.

5:30 p.m.: Walk with a Doc

Walk with a Doc was started in 2005 by Dr. David Sabgir, a cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio. Frustrated with his inability to affect behavior change in the clinical setting, Dr. Sabgir invited his patients to go for a walk with him in a local park on a spring Saturday morning. To his surprise, more than 100 people showed up. Since that first event in 2005, Walk with a Doc has grown as a grassroots effort, with a model based on sustainability and simplicity. Walking has been recognized by the Surgeon General of the United States of America as one of the single most important things we can do for our health. In these special sessions of Walk with a Doc, SHIFT participants join doctors from around America for walks along Jackson Hole’s blue-ribbon trails.

5:30-7 p.m.: Happy Hour: The Modern Activist


This panel discussion features Official Selections from The 2018 SHIFT Awards’ Adventure Athlete category in a conversation about being a responsible athlete in an increasingly fragile world.

7-9 p.m.: StorySlam, featuring The Emerging Leaders

Pink Garter Theater

The stories we tell of our relationships to the land connect us not only to our communities, but also to one another. By understanding how people from radically different backgrounds have arrived at a shared commitment to protect the places in which we play, we develop a more nuanced perspective of the opportunities that await collaboration around a common agenda. This special evening features the stories of participants from the 2018 Emerging Leaders Program who, in telling them, show how seemingly disparate pieces of the American puzzle can fit together around our public lands.

The StorySlam will be followed by an ELP mixer that gives SHIFT participants a chance to network with the leaders of tomorrow.


8 a.m.: Exercise: The Last Big Medical Revelation

Breakfast Keynote by Professors Arthur Kramer and David Strayer

Snow King Grand Teton Room

It’s difficult to imagine today, but there was a time when the connection between exercise and cognitive and brain health was not broadly understood. Professor Arthur Kramer’s work in the 1990s helped bring that connection to the public’s attention, and today exercise is part of the medical community’s basic recommendations for health. Together with the University of Utah’s Professor David Strayer, Professor Kramer is now exploring how physical activity in nature helps address chronic health care conditions such as obesity, diabetes, mental anxiety, social isolation and cognitive decline. With Outside Rx” poised to become the next big medical revelation, what lessons can we learn from the exercise revolution to make physical activity in nature a basic part of medical recommendations?

9:00 a.m.: Panel Discussions

Snow King Resort

Panels are designed to frame the topics under consideration with topic experts. Panelists will begin with a five-minute presentation about how their work is impacting the topic in positive ways, followed by moderated discussion and Q&A.

At the conclusion of the panels, panelists and audiences break into small groups that employ the World Cafe format to facilitate dynamic interaction and networking among participants and to crowdsource solutions to challenges identified during the panel.

An overview of panel design may be found here.

Communication: Just The Facts, Ma’am

Being outdoors has a demonstrated de-stressing effect. Spending time outside reduces inflammation. Enjoying the outdoors helps eliminate fatigue. Outdoor experiences may help fight depression and anxiety. Being outside may protect your vision. Spending time outside lowers blood pressure. How do we know? This panel features the research, and researchers, behind the scientific evidence as we discuss ways to communicate it to the world.

Activation: Community Based Organizations

Meeting community members where they’re at, on their terms, creates immediate and effective relationships. For the Outside Rx movement to succeed requires collaboration with organizations at the front lines of work with vulnerable communities. This panel looks at successful community based organizations who are integrating the health benefits of time outside into the lives of the people who need it most.

Activation: Cross-Sector Collaboration

Collaborations across sectors allow stakeholders to build partnerships and networks that in turn allow them to achieve impact they would not be able to attain on their own. This panel features representatives of successful cross-sector collaborations that are addressing issues at the heart of the outdoor recreation/health and wellness movement.

12:00 – 2 p.m.: Lunch (on your own)

Location of your choice

Lunchtime networking allow participants to select sessions themed around our SHIFT Award categories, or go outside to experience first-hand best-practice methods for connecting Americans more closely to the health benefits of nature.

Participants are asked to leave ample time to return to the Snow King Hotel in time for the 2 p.m. start to the afternoon panels.

12 p.m.: Shinrin Yoku: Forest Therapy

Demonstration by Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller

Location TBD

Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest therapy.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Researchers have established a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest. The idea is simple: if a person simply visits a natural area and walks in a relaxed way, there are calming, rejuvenating and restorative benefits to be achieved.

Join Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, Iowa’s first fellowship-trained and board certified medical doctor in integrative medicine, in a hands-on exploration of the benefits of shinrin-yoku.

Youth Engagement Lunchtime Discussion

Location TBD

The Youth Engagement lunchtime discussion will be held from 12:15-1:30 p.m. The lunch will convene stakeholders in the SHIFT Awards’ Youth Engagement category for networking, discussions of challenges common to the space and a showcase of the ways Award category representatives are addressing them with their work.

Technology Lunchtime Discussion

Location TBD

The Technology lunchtime discussion will be held from 12:15-1:30 p.m. The lunch will convene stakeholders in the SHIFT Awards’ Technology category for networking, discussions of challenges common to the space and a showcase of the ways Award category representatives are addressing them with their work.

2 p.m.: Panel Discussions

Snow King Resort

Communication: The Health-Care Community

For the health-care community to get behind the public lands, public health movement, they need metrics: cold hard facts that back up their recommendations for all Americans to get outside.

The evidence is there. How do we communicate it to health care associations and community members alike? This panel showcases innovative methods for getting the evidence into the hands of the professionals.

Communication: Policy Makers

Arming the health care community and the public with the evidence prepares us to influence legislation. How do we effectively persuade the policy makers to incorporate the health benefits of time outside in public policy? This panel features the men and women at the edge of the conversation.

Activation: Natural Allies

Health care professionals need help in the effort to promote large-scale adoption of the health benefits of time outside. This is where stakeholder communities come in—and there’re plenty of reasons to do so.  Innovative land managers have long recognized the value of focusing on public lands as resources for public health. For the conservation community, the prescription of time outside in nature presents the opportunity to create a new generation of supporters and advocates, while the incentive for the outdoor industry to plug into the Outside Rx movement transcends the economic impact of new customers to align with their core values. This panel features representatives of various stakeholder communities that are organic allies in the effort.

5 p.m.: Happy Hour: Gotta See It to Be It

Location TBD

At the 2017 SHIFT Festival, the “Gotta See It to Be It” project convened social media influencers to talk about ways they could help disrupt the prevailing narrative of who’s outside. Out of this was born Project Diversify Outdoors, which created a network of social media innovators committed to positive disruption in the space. What will this year’s Gotta See It project produce?

7 p.m.: The Pointy End of the Spear: Nature Therapy for Vets

Pink Garter Theater

According to The Sidran Institute, an estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives and up to 20 percent of these people go on to develop posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. An estimated 5 percent of Americans—more than 13 million people—have PTSD at any given time. Around the country, organizations are working with veterans to address PTSD with time outside. This evening film program showcases the ways this so-called nature therapy is working—and how the lessons we are learning as a result can be applied to the population at large.

Preceding the program, we will recognize the most innovative, impactful, replicable work in the country that is leveraging outdoor recreation for conservation gains with The 2018 SHIFT Awards.


8 a.m.: Breakfast Keynote: Dr. Nooshin Razani

Snow King Resort

Nooshin Razani, MD, MPH is a pediatrician and was trained as a Nature Champion by the National Environmental Education Fund and Bureau of Fish and Wildlife in 2010. Since then, she has worked to forge relationships between parks, health, and communities for the purpose of improving mental and physical health. At UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland Hospital she is part of the FIND Nature! team. In partnership with the East Bay Regional Park District, the FIND Nature! team has started a park prescription and nature shuttle program at the UCSF-CHO Primary Care Clinic.

Dr. Razani also serves as the lead medical consultant to the Institute at the Golden Gate, a think tank for the National Parks, as their Senior Fellow. Dr. Razani other responsibilities include working as principal investigator for a community-based park and health initiative in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood, involvement on the leadership committee for Healthy Parks, Healthy People: Bay Area, and participation in the National Park Prescriptions Initiative. Currently, Dr. Razani sees patients at the Silva Pediatric Clinic and at the UCSF-CHO’s Primary Care Clinic.

9 a.m.: Panel Discussions

Snow King Resort

Activation: Urban Design

With the vast majority of Americans currently living in urban areas, developing ways to connect citizens to nature is a fundamental component of addressing nature deficit disorder. This panel looks at the innovative approaches to urban design that are being implemented to engage the full spectrum of America’s urban populations.

Communication: The Public

Health care providers will have an easier time convincing patients of the merits of spending time outside if the knowledge is public. How do we convey the benefits to the public so they walk into the doctors’ offices asking for it in advance?

12 p.m.: Lunch (on your own)

Location of your choice

Business Leadership Lunchtime Discussion

Location TBD

The Business Leadership lunchtime discussion will be held from 12:15-2 p.m. The lunch will convene stakeholders in the Business Leadership category for networking, discussions of challenges common to the space and a showcase of the ways Award category representatives are addressing them with their work.

Non-Profit Leadership Lunchtime Discussion

Location TBD

The Non-Profit Leadership lunchtime discussion will be held from 12:15-2:00 p.m. The lunch will convene stakeholders in the Non-Profit Leadership category for networking, discussions of challenges common to the space and a showcase of the ways Award category representatives are addressing them with their work.

12:30—5 p.m.: SHIFT Outside

Various locations

Whether it’s a mountain bike ride on the trails of Snow King, fishing on Flat Creek or a run on one of the myriad trail systems around town, SHIFT Outside program allows participants to “network” while immersed in the natural splendor of Jackson Hole.

Free Excursions: Local non-profits will be hosting guided walks, runs and biking excursions for festival participants. (Note – costs related to rental gear may apply)

Private Trips:  Many local business will be offering special discounts for SHIFT participants during the festival dates. 

5 p.m.: The People’s Banquet, featuring TBD

Pink Garter Theater

Jackson Hole’s foodie event of the year, the People’s Banquet celebrates the local food system with a matchup of the valley’s finest chefs and best producers. The evening begins with locally sourced cocktails and hor d’ouevres, followed, at 6:30 p.m., by the keynote speaker’s presentation. The banquet begins at 8:00.

10 p.m.: Apres-SHIFT

We came, we saw, we shifted. After all the events of the past few days, it’s time to let our hair down. Help us put a bow on the 2018 Festival with a private after-hours event.

Rocket Fuel