Change is Another Word for Evolution

In the four Inclusive Summits we’ve held since the spring of 2021 - we’ve seen three different iterations, and we’re switching it up again for our 2024 event. The reason for the continuing change? The evolution of the event. 

Our very first summit in the spring of 2021 consisted of two days and four education blocks - each designed with one speaker and built in reflection/discussion within self-defined identity groups. While there was mostly positive feedback on this design, some attendees felt they might have gotten more out of the reflection session if they were able to debrief with folks from other identities. 

Our second event design (for the next three summits) consisted of three days of education with each day focusing on a different outdoor activity/area.  We’ve covered wilderness medicine, climbing, water sports, winter activities and workplace culture (a staple for each event).  We ended each day with a networking session for reflection and discussion where we let attendees define the different breakout rooms.  Unfortunately, this saw a severe drop in attendance (likely because it was the end of a long day of learning). 

For planning our 2024 event, we’re changing the structure again to include three mini-workshops for attendees to view ahead of time and then one day of live workshops. We’ll also have a workbook that will help guide you through the entire experience. Our final session of the live day will host a panel discussion and then some informal networking/follow up built into the session. 

After each event, Team AORE gathers for its own debrief. We reflect on what went well and what we can improve on moving forward. We also take the time to go through the evaluations and take note of themes we are seeing in this feedback. One thing we realized was that it’s hard to ask someone to take three days to dedicate to an online learning experience - hence the change for 2024. We’re hoping that by providing some of the content ahead of the live session, attendees can go through these mini-workshops (roughly 20 minutes long each) when it works for them. They can then continue the learning from these on-demand sessions in the live workshops on April 24th.

It may feel like we are continually making changes, but it’s really the evolution of an event. Ultimately, we want the Inclusive Summit to meet the needs of our attendees - so they leave with a wider recognition of exclusionary practices within outdoor recreation and education and to help them gain better understanding of how they can actively work to make change as leaders in the industry. 

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