Wild Gift Fellows Ready for the Idaho Backcountry


Friday, January 29, 2015


This week, four emerging social innovators will head out for an unforgettable 14-day winter alpine expedition in the Idaho backcountry with Wild Gift, a Hailey based non-profit program that supports and inspires social entrepreneurs using an extraordinary classroom – the wilderness.

The adventure will take place from February 6-21. Wild Gift leader Scott Douglas and Sun Valley Trekking will guide Tinia Pina, Michael Long, Leo Pollock and Jon Duval up into the Baker Creek and Sawtooth Mountain areas to unplug, incubate ideas, envision their lives and work and gain perspective and balance critical to effective leadership

This year’s entrepreneurs have all founded companies that are aimed at promoting a diversity of social benefits, including:

  • Re-Nuble – Developing a renewable and sustainable natural fertilizer for hydroponic growers that increases yields with safer ingredients while reducing CO2 from fossil fuels.
  • SailFuture – Creating second chances for high-risk juveniles through a unique transformational experience using the ocean wilderness as its classroom.
  • The Compost Plant - Diverting food waste from urban landfills by providing organic waste pickup for local restaurants, food-processors and businesses while producing high quality compost and other products.
  • LocalVote – Increasing public participation in the political process with a  mobile application connecting municipal governments with their stakeholders and constituents in a new and more effective manner.


During the trek, these entrepreneurs will learn wilderness survival skills, meet with mentors and business experts and develop their vision for a better world.

The road to social change is not an easy one.  For those choosing that path, the  ability to sustain personal clarity and strength of vision are as important as a good business plan or raising capital”, said Wild Gift’s Executive Director Deborah Knapp.

Wilderness challenges us physically, intellectually and spiritually, while maintaining the contemplative space for thoughtful reflection on oneself and our relation to the world. On the trek, our fellows gain confidence,  resilience, a deeper understanding of the connections between seemingly disparate efforts, the collaborative spirit necessary to social change work, and grit – the ability to weather the storms and seize challenge as opportunity.”

Founded in 2003, Wild Gift helps emerging social innovators ages 21-35 translate their transforming ideas into social ventures worldwide. Using wilderness as a springboard, its unique 16-month Fellowship provides mentoring, seed funding, networking and other related services to lift their ventures off the ground.

To date, Wild Gift has mentored 47 Fellows, who are driving innovation globally in the areas of education, agriculture, renewable energy, community development and land preservation.

The group will be talking about their experiences and businesses at a free public event  hosted by the Ketchum Innovation Center on February 23rd  from 5-8 pm. They will also meet with local school children  from 4-5 pm at KIC to inspire their young minds to think out of the box and be change makers themselves.

For more information about Wild Gift, please contact Deborah Knapp at: [email protected] or 208-471-5091.