110 N. Millward St.
SHIFT Festival 2019Jackson, Wyoming
Nature as Medicine
Started in 2015, SHIFT (Shaping How We Invest For Tomorrow) is a program of the Center for Jackson Hole—a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the coalition of interests devoted to our public lands by investing in the future of their constituencies.
Through the SHIFT Festival, which explores issues at the intersection of conservation, outdoor recreation and cultural relevance; and the Emerging Leaders Program, which trains a culturally diverse cohort of young outdoor recreationists to lead the conservation conversation; these two programs advance cutting-edge ideas that are revitalizing the American conservation movement.
The 2019 SHIFT Festival’s theme was “Nature as Medicine.” The event was a continuation of 2018’s public health theme in 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. By highlighting the health benefits of nature, we can raise its value proposition in a time of unprecedented threat.
SHIFT connects businesses, nonprofits, elected leaders, athletes, journalists, and many more stakeholders from around the country to overcome the risk of fragmentation and lack of diversity in the fight to protect public lands. Come to the “crucible for conservation”—Jackson Hole, and enjoy passionate and empowering presentations, discussions, workshops, and films as well as the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in all of their autumn glory.
Sustainability ManagementSection Performance - 75%
SHIFT’s management team utilized the STOKE Sustainability Management System Template to create their own comprehensive set of policies and procedures for their sustainability initiatives and goals. Their SMS has improved year-over-year as they reached new goals and set new milestones. The SMS is the sustainability equivalent of a floor plan, operational program, delegate management system, and banquet event order all rolled into one. It guides all management practices, staff training, policies and procedures, goals, and implementation strategies. This is their go-to document and your guarantee for an epic event that enables you to #STOKEresponsibly.View Criteria
Maintaining strong communication lines with the public and various community stakeholders about the event’s plans for the future is a vital strategy for SHIFT’s success in advocating for the protection of public lands. Besides doing year-round engagement through digital newsletters, breakout sessions, and grassroots activism, SHIFT uses the Whova app to run a paperless communication platform with all attendees about the SHIFT Agenda and sustainability initiatives. SHIFT creates a comprehensive communications strategy each year before the event that adheres to the STOKE template for ensuring transparent, honest, and consistent messaging across all platforms to mitigate the risk of greenwashing. This way, you stay informed and can get stoked on authentic sustainability programs that your festival pass gets access to.View Criteria
- 1.1 Sustainability Management System
- 1.7 Communications Strategy
Social and Economic Impacts ManagementSection Performance - 76%
Making sure everyone—no matter what their ethnicity, sexual identity, or economic status is—has an equal opportunity to attend an event, should be a defining trait for any sustainable event. SHIFT takes this seriously as it is devoted to bringing a more diverse audience and voice to the national conversation over the use and protection of public lands. Besides their scholarships for the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) and sponsored grant programs for nonprofits who tackle equitable access issues, SHIFT makes this a centerpiece of their event agenda. The “Trust: The Secret Sauce” workshop discussed how to listen to a community’s needs before trying to incorporate them into city planning for outdoor recreation access. Mickey Fearn—a public servant in packs, recreation and conservation for over 50 years—led a “Conflict Resolution Workshop” in conjunction with 2019 Emerging Leaders Program participants Madison McCoy and Joe Fairbanks, to lead attendees through the challenges and strategies at the heart of constructive dialogue and conflict resolution to transform inclusionary public engagement, end racism and create equity. Several other panels and workshops addressed this issue throughout the event including the “Access for All” and “Community Toolkits and Metrics for Equitable Access to Nature” workshops.View Criteria
One evening, SHIFT held a screening of Love Thy Nature which shows the ways a renewed connection with nature is key to our personal health and that of our planet. Narrated by Liam Neeson, the award winning film underscores how deeply we’ve lost touch with nature and how a new era of nature-connection has led to “Biomimicry” where scientists look to the natural world for the most brilliant inventions, social ecologists unveil how nature restores our communities, and doctors are finding new ways in which nature heals the body, mind, and brain. Presented in person by Director Sylvie Rokab, Christopher Golden, PhD, Aruni Bhatnagar, PhD, and the Trust for Public Lands’ Linda Hwang for a conversation about the connection between public health and the health of the planet that provides a global context for SHIFT’s 2019 theme.View Criteria
SHIFT encourages healthy outdoor lifestyles and had several walking tours with leading medical professionals about prescribing recreation to align with 2019's theme of Nature as Medicine. Ron Schneidermann, CMO & COO of AllTrails, and Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, AllTrails’ Medical Advisor and the Medical Director of The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, led a hike alongside Snow King Mountain’s lead guide, Sue Muncaster, to introduce participants to the medical indications for time outside. Following SHIFT 2018’s connection with Forest Therapy, the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT) is a 2019 SHIFT Award Official Selection and the most experienced global leader promoting the development and practice of Forest Therapy. Their workshop featured a hands-on exploration of Forest Therapy benefits with the organization’s Founder, Amos Clifford, its Medical Director, Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, and Juan Lazo Bautista, a participant in the 2019 Emerging Leaders Program.View Criteria
- 2.7 Equal Access
- 2.1.4 Community Development - Arts
- 2.1.3 Community Development - Health
Cultural Heritage Impacts ManagementSection Performance - 95%
The SHIFT Festival has always been a shared platform for Native American communities to lead discussions around public access, equitable access, and land acknowledgement. In 2019, Len Necefer, SHIFT’s board chair and founder of Natives Outdoors, kicked off the event with a land acknowledgement. The ELP was facilitated in part by Shonto Greyeyes and included indigenous and POC participants as well which were represented throughout the event at various workshops, mixers, and the final day’s breakfast keynote.View Criteria
The motivational speaker or most popular artist should not be your only attraction. Advocates for the outdoor and action sports lifestyle seek out the best events which feature unique cultural and environmental interpretive experiences that engage, educate, and empower attendees with new knowledge or perspectives they didn’t have before. Something profound they can take home with them and share in their circles. Beyond SHIFT’s use of the Whova App to communicate various environmental and cultural interpretive experiences to complement the event’s agenda, the SHIFT Summit included panelists and speakers from all different types of backgrounds (Native American groups, State officials, National Park rangers, etc.) to give rich context to public lands and recreation conservation and activism stories and strategies. SHIFT also partnered with the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center to deliver a Bird Language Workshop. Birds are the sentries of the natural world, and our key to understanding a language we all used to understand. The calls, postures, and behaviors of birds convey much information to those who understand their patterns, because they serve as an early warning system to ensure peace and safety. Pediatric nurse and nature educator Atiya Wells and Dan Gardoqui, a registered Maine Guide, Certified Wildlife Tracker, and science and audio editor led an afternoon walk, “What the Robin Knows”, to explore core routines for deepening participants’ connections to nature.View Criteria
- 3.5 Incorporation of Culture
- 3.4 Interpretation
Environmental Impacts ManagementSection Performance - 84%
From the 2016 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), Ciarra Greene was awarded the $10,000 SHIFTx Fellowship Fund grant for her proposal to promote the restoration and conservation of her Nez Perce environment in 2019 and 2020. “Nimiipuu’neewit: Lifeways of Our Homelands” is a collaboration between the Nez Perce Tribe and local academic institutions and agencies that will create a camp for Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) adults in order to strengthen participants’ cultural identity, connection to place, and stewardship of the land. Made possible by a $10,000 grant from Patagonia, The Fund supports projects by Emerging Leaders Program alumni that address issues of importance to their communities. Greene’s week-long program, which will take place on Nez Pierce homelands with a resident elder, will improve community health by promoting subsistence consumption and outdoor activity and introduce education and career pathways in environmental fields. Following the summer program, learning will continue with guest speakers, webinars, and service learning activities in collaboration with partners such as the US Forest Service, Idaho Fish and Game, Department Idaho Parks and Recreation Department, Northwest Indian College, and Lewis-Clark State College.View Criteria
Through a partnership with local farmers via Wyocompost as well as Teton County Integrated Waste and Recycling, SHIFT recycled 52 pounds (separated aluminum, plastic, glass, paper) and composted 123 pounds of organic waste over three days to achieve a 83% diversion rate (36 lbs of trash). Klean Kanteen provided aluminum pint cups to all pass holders as well so attendees could reuse their cups all three days and then take them home.View Criteria
Due to the reduced size in scope of the event and their 100% wind energy purchase through Lower Valley Energy, SHIFT 2019’s footprint was only 0.1 metric tonnes of CO2 (mtCO2e) due to staff travel. SHIFT purchased verified carbon offsets from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Natural Methane Capture project in La Plata County, Colorado for their emissions plus 13 attendees who voluntarily offset their travel when purchasing their festival passes. This project on Native American owned land prevents the leakage of methane and provides an alternative source of income instead of fossil fuel and mining projects for the Southern Ute Tribe. To eliminate Scope 1 shuttle emissions, SHIFT promoted the use of the free transit bus around town as well as the local bike share program.View Criteria
100% of SHIFT’s energy demand was supplied with renewable energy through the Lower Valley Energy Green Power Program, which purchases clean energy from the Horse Butte wind farm south of Idaho Falls, ID and the Foote Creek wind farm between Rawlins and Laramie, WY. Lower Valley Energy (LVE) is the local grid supplier who offers this Renewable Energy Credit (REC) program to residents and businesses of Jackson and SHIFT partnered with LVE and Energy Conservation Works to promote the program and encourage more residents to sign up. There is no on-site renewable energy at any of the venues and no generators were used during the event, but SHIFT hopes to get one of its venues to invest in on-site renewables in the future.View Criteria
- 4.4.7 Biodiversity Conservation
- 4.4.4 Waste Management
- 4.4.1 Emissions & 4.4.2 Alternative Transportation
- 4.2.2 Renewable Energy
Commitment to a Sustainable Future
“Three years in a row, we have become a STOKE Certified event. After improving to the Sustainable level in 2018, we’re proud to have held onto that status for 2019 with a different scope of the event,” said Christian Beckwith, Director of SHIFT. “We’re grateful to the folks at STOKE, Mac Dukart and the amazing community partners that have made this possible over the years.”
Going forward, our sustainability goals remain the same, but with more engagement:
- Embed the cost of offsetting attendee travel into the price of admission. Educate attendees on their role in nature-based solutions.
- Increase the number of local residents in Jackson who sign on to the Lower Valley Energy Green Power program to source more clean energy from local wind farms.
- Reduce the amount of outside waste brought in by attendees and suppliers to the event and strive for a 90%+ diversion rate.
Thank you for taking in an interest in SHIFT and our fight to protect public lands and we hope to see you at the next SHIFT Summit.
Christian Beckwith – Director