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The Futurist Project Launches Two New Programs For Young Leaders in the Outdoor Industry

May 31, 2022

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Outdoor Industry Association Future Leadership Academy founder and dedicated alumni joining forces to launch The Futurist Project Leadership Institute and Leadership Lab.

May 31, 2022, Boulder, Co — For the vast majority of outdoor industry companies, the last few years have been a time of major changes, as a result of the global pandemic. Many in-person learning opportunities were put on hold, including Outdoor Industry Association’s Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy. Original program founder Stasia Walker and alumni Sablle Sheppmann, Kelsey McGrew, and Carrie Watson decided to take action by forming a new organization. Now The Futurist Project is a reimagined program and launching a new class in 2022. Thanks to the dedicated support from FLAGs (Future Leadership Academy Graduates) and in partnership with OIA, the new cohort is set to kick off at ORSM in June. They are asking OIA member industry leaders to get involved as mentors.

“The original Future Leadership Academy started as a grassroots movement where emerging leaders wanted to grow together. With generous support from OIA, we created an amazing program that impacted over 150 young leaders – many of whom have gone on to change the outdoor industry for the better,” said FLA program founder Stasia Raines Walker. “Now we hope this program will provide the same opportunities to a new class of emerging leaders.”

On nights and weekends, the women began building a program that would offer the same personal insight and perspective they had once experienced. They wanted to give to a new class of emerging leaders – the people they had been years ago when initially applying for the program.

“We wanted to give back out of gratitude for how much we were given through the program. FLA was a unique experience we didn’t think should cease to exist. The industry strongly benefits from having an integrated network of leaders. It makes us better on every level,” said Sablle Scheppmann, Director of Sales for Mountain Hardwear.

Applications are now closed for The Futurist Project’s Leadership Institute 2022, but the group is still working to identify critical mentors for the program. If interested in getting involved, contact the founders. Leadership Lab, the second offering from The Futurist Project is also launching this year with the first group kicking off in October. This is a three-month virtual program led by FLA alumni Greer Van Dyck focused on leadership development, professional skill-building, and network expansion. It was created for those new in their outdoor industry careers or wanting to break in and is highly customized so that each participant walks away with personal and impactful key learnings. The program costs $1,200 and is discounted to $800 for OIA members. To become an OIA member and access this discount, contact the OIA membership team.

Those interested in mentoring for the institute or participating in Leadership Lab can learn more and sign up at For media inquiries or questions about the program please contact