Denver, CO (August 1, 2012) - At the 2012 Outdoor Retailer Winter Show, Deanna Lloyd and Stasia Raines had the idea of gathering a group of young, inspiring outdoor industry folks for a conversation. They called it The Futurist Project, and invited seventeen people to join them, creating a space for meaningful conversation. “We didn’t have a prescriptive outcome, but felt there was a groundswell of young people in the industry eager to connect on issues that we find to be important,” said Raines, co-founder of The Futurist Project and Director of Marketing and Communications for The Outdoor Foundation.
“We were excited to bring together our peers and define the future of the outdoor community in a way that was authentic to us,” said Lloyd, co-founder of The Futurist Project and Manager of Recruitment at Patagonia. “We wanted to discuss our collective experiences, share our stories and see what came from that.”
On the evening before Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, 100 Futurists were invited to attend The Futurist Project, for influential leaders in the industry - 35 years and younger. In order to expand the conversation, they’ve teamed up with Outdoor Nation and The Outdoor Foundation.
“We want to facilitate a larger gathering where new leaders representing all facets of the industry can connect,” said Lloyd. Raines and Lloyd hope this will make waves in the industry by creating a unique space to discuss issues related to their generation, the future of the industry and their relationship with the outdoors. They hope these conversations generate innovative ideas; ideas that can turn into funded action.
“Partnering with Outdoor Nation gives us the ability to not only talk about good ideas, but to make them happen, which is truly a game-changer,” said Raines. Last year, Outdoor Nation gave away $150,000 in activation grants and this year plans to double that to $300,000. The organization intends to finance proposals that may result from The Futurist Project and understands the importance of letting younger people lead these efforts.”
“Over the past two years, Outdoor Nation has been empowering a new generation of outdoor leaders -- providing a growing community with the platforms, infrastructure and resources to spearhead activities and activism, said Christine Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. “With major support from The North Face, REI Foundation and other top outdoor companies, we’re excited to work with young industry leaders and explore ways they can champion innovative ideas that increase outdoor participation.”
Launched in 2010 by The Outdoor Foundation and a coalition of more than 100 organizations, Outdoor Nation is a Millennial-led movement that is working to reconnect a new generation with the outdoors. From bringing together thousands of young leaders at regional summits to investing in innovative on-the-ground projects, Outdoor Nation has emerged as a major force of thought leaders and change makers who are mobilizing thousands of young people to get outdoors and get active.
About The Outdoor Foundation
The Outdoor Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor leaders and enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, youth engagement and empowerment and effective grant making, the Foundation works with young leaders and partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In 2010, the Foundation launched Outdoor Nation, a pioneering initiative that empowers young leaders to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities across the United States. To date, the successful initiative has engaged tens of thousands of youth and invested more than $200,000 in over 50 innovative projects spearheaded by young leaders and change-makers. For more information visit: OutdoorFoundation.org and OutdoorNation.org.