The 2020 SHIFT Virtual Summit

The 2020 SHIFT Summit will be broadcast virtually from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, from October 14-16. Entitled “Healthy by Nature,” the Summit will focus on the mental health benefits of time outside, with a specific focus on health equity and access to nature.

Presented by: SHIFT

Event Details

October 14 - 16, 2020



The 2020 SHIFT Summit has three main goals:

  1. Facilitate networking and transdisciplinary collaboration
  2. Showcase best practices, i.e., work that is impactful, innovative and replicable
  3. Develop substantive outcomes that help advance nature as a social determinant of health

The program will be developed around two elements integral to these objectives:

  • 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 (ELP) which prepares early career leaders to address issues related to public health, conservation, advocacy, structures of oppression and community engagement

The Summit will be feature a combination of keynote presentations, think tanks, workshops, panel discussions and world café-style breakout groups. An overview of the programming is as follows.


Day 1 of The 2020 SHIFT Summit will focus on the evidence for the mental health benefits of time outside, including research that looks at equitable access to nature and corresponding public health outcomes.

The morning’s keynote presentation will be followed by oral lightning rounds on both new findings and established studies. Following the lightning rounds, audience members will self-select to breakout rooms with researchers on the topics of their choosing. Three 30-minute rounds of world cafe-style breakouts will be followed by a thirty-minute “harvest” that reports out on the findings of each table. The results will then be synthesized for distribution among Summit attendees.


Day 2 of The 2020 SHIFT Summit will focus on interventions: the practical application of the evidence for the mental health benefits of time outside, particularly in underresourced and vulnerable communities.

The morning will begin with feature presentations by five of The 2020 SHIFT Award recipients, who will provide ten-minute overviews of their work, with Q&A from the audience.

Three separate discussions will be then be developed in conjunction with SHIFT Award recipients and 2020 ELP cohort members. Each topic will begin with a panel discussion, followed by world-cafe style breakout groups. Topics are as follows:

  • Outdoor recreation and nature-based programming for veterans
  • Community based implementation of intentional exposures to nature
  • Work that enhances access to outdoor recreation, green space and nature for underserved communities


Day 3 of The 2020 SHIFT Summit will explore ways to institutionalize nature as a mental-health intervention within practice and policy at the community, municipal, state and national levels.

The programming will feature three tracks:

  • Land management
  • Social impact
  • Policy

Each track will begin with a panel discussion with subject-matter experts, followed by world-cafe style breakout groups that focus on transitioning the evidence and the interventions into lasting practice and policy.

Registration for The 2020 Summit will open July 21. Stay tuned for more details.



While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff.

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