2019 SHIFT Awards Announced – Awards honor work at the nexus of outdoor recreation, conservation and public health

Jackson Hole, WY – July 3, 2019 – What do a surfer, a wilderness school and a GIS service have in common?

They’re all Official Selections for The 2019 SHIFT Awards.

As such, they’ll all become integral parts of The 2019 SHIFT Festival and its focus on “nature as medicine.”

Each autumn in Jackson Hole, The SHIFT Festival explores issues at the intersection of outdoor recreation, conservation and public health. 

The event builds each year’s program around The SHIFT Awards, which recognize initiatives that make innovative, impactful, and replicable contributions to conservation and public health through human-powered outdoor recreation.

In 2018, SHIFT convened proponents of outdoor recreation, conservation and land management with members of the health care, funding and research communities to explore the connection between outdoor recreation and public health.

The results, as documented in the May 2019 cover story in Outside Magazine, underscored the health benefits of nature — which SHIFT organizers believe can strengthen the argument for nature itself.

“How do we raise the value proposition of nature at a time when society’s move away from it is accelerating?” asks Christian Beckwith, SHIFT’s Director.

He believes that one way to do so is by highlighting its connection to public health.

“Public health as an ecosystem service is a nonpartisan issue that has the potential to revolutionize our appreciation for nature,” he says. “Simply put, the health benefits of nature are not possible without nature itself.”

For 2019, SHIFT is developing the business case for nature as medicine: how time spent outside can offset medical health care costs, contribute to military readiness and become a sustainable revenue model for insurance companies.

Official Selections for The SHIFT Awards, which SHIFT researchers identified after evaluating more than 300 initiatives at the nexus of outdoor recreation, conservation and public health, will be featured during the 2019 programming in workshops, in panels and as keynote speakers.

SHIFT Award Official Selections include The Trust for Public Land’s (TPL) geospatial data and analytics services, which provide the data infrastructure to help fund, develop and design parks and open spaces; the Gateway Mountain Center, which transforms the lives of youth through nature-based learning and wellness adventures; and Cliff Kapono, PhD, a professional surfer, chemist and journalist who contributes peer-reviewed publications to the fields of molecular bioscience and produces award-winning films that discuss indigenous activism, ocean conservation, and virtual reality.

“Our societal disconnect from nature is occurring at the exact moment our need to fight for it has become imperative,” says Beckwith. “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 adds billions of dollars to health care costs, this year’s SHIFT Award Official Selections are making the critical connection between time outside and public health and wellbeing.”

“We’re looking forward to honoring them at this year’s SHIFT.”

2019 SHIFT Award Official Selections are now on SHIFT’s website. Categorical award winners will be announced at The 2019 SHIFT Festival, which takes place October 16-18 in Jackson, WY.

Tickets for the 2019 SHIFT Festival will go on sale August 1. For more information, visit www.shiftjh.org.


SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow) is an annual festival that explores issues at the intersection of outdoor recreation, conservation and public health. It is a project of The Center for Jackson Hole, whose mission is to strengthen the coalition of interests devoted to our natural world. Join the SHIFT movement: sign up for our community at SHIFTJH.org, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Media Contact
Company Name: Center for Jackson Hole – SHIFT
Contact Person: Elizabeth Hutchings
Email: Send Email
Phone: 3072009735
Address:110 N Millward
City: Jackson
State: WY
Country: United States
Website: http://shiftjh.org/