Dear readers, friends, and family,
About seven months ago, we hatched a plan. Our goal was to build an event that celebrates all of the things that we love most about surf and outdoor culture. We wanted to bring our community together: athletes, activists, artists, and thought leaders. All in the same room. All with one common aim: fostering constructive conversations on important topics in surf and outdoors. Share work and get inspired by each other. That’s what happens when interesting, passionate people interact face to face. That passion is contagious. We wanted to create a physical space (not just a digital one made of ones and zeros) to nurture that.
After many, many emails, calls, confirmations, cancellations, meetings, explanations, revisions to the vision, and shared excitement about creating a new type of event, we couldn’t be more excited to announce The Inertia’s first-ever EVOLVE Summit on August 18th in Los Angeles!
EVOLVE is a first-of-its-kind gathering that features world premieres of powerful short films, panels that pair thought-leaders from different spheres of outdoor culture to tackle our most pressing topics, and world-class live music to mobilize innovators in our space as a force for good like never before. We would be absolutely honored for you to join us, and we wanted to make sure you, our readers, writers, videographers, photographers, artists, and environmentalists who comprise our beautifully-diverse community of nearly 3,000 amazing humans receive the news before anyone else.
As for the event itself, we developed EVOLVE with two objectives in mind.
First, we want to unite the brightest minds in surf and outdoors to host constructive conversations aimed at improving our collective future.
Second, we want to honor inspiring individuals who choose to make positive contributions to the culture at large.
And, honestly, the event is shaping up to be more than we could have imagined.
With confirmations from so many talented people who are using their influence to make a positive imprint on our society, to say we’re thrilled would be an understatement of mammoth proportions. Here are a few of the confirmed speakers and honorees. More panels and confirmations are on the way, too:
Tulsi Gabbard, US Congresswoman (also a surfer!)
Jeremy Jones, POW Founder
Tom Carroll, 2x World Champion
Gabby Reece, XPT Founder
Sal Masekela, Host and Producer
Greg Long, 2x Big Wave World Champion
Caroline Gleich, Professional Mountaineer and Environmentalist
Cyrus Sutton, Surfer and Filmmaker
Paige Alms, 2x Big Wave World Champion
Chad Nelsen, Surfrider CEO
Kassia Meador, Founder Kassia+Surfer
Mark Price, Firewire CEO
Leah Dawson, Changing Tides Foundation Cofounder
Forrest Shearer, POW Ambassador
Elena Hight, Olympic Snowboarder, POW Ambassador
Dr. Eric Goodman, Foundation Training Founder
Maricela Rosales, Latino Outdoors
Reece Pacheco, WSL PURE
Sachi Cunningham, Documentary Filmmaker and Professor
Sean Swentek, A Walk on Water Co-Founder
Beyond that, we’re excited for the world premiere of two short films we’re producing: Alternativa, starring Kassia Meador, Leah Dawson, and Lola Mignot, which celebrates three outstanding women who have become leaders in surfing through their penchant for alternative surf craft and an alternative approach to living a fulfilling life.
Our second short film, Boycott the Gunston 500 honors Two-time World Champion Tom Carroll’s unprecedented decision to boycott professional surfing to protest apartheid in 1985. Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke once said, “There is no better example in the history of Australian sport where a champion has been prepared to put principles so manifestly in front of his or her own interests.” Tom will be on hand to discuss the film and his monumental decision to take a stand when his public profile couldn’t have been higher.
A portion of proceeds will benefit Surfrider Foundation and Protect Our Winters, two amazing organizations fighting for the health and prosperity of sacred places on our planet.
Again, we couldn’t be more excited to bring so many talented people together for the betterment of surf and outdoor culture. We hope to see you there. Tickets include dinner from CAVA, drinks, snacks, admission to all panels, and all live music performances.
We hope you’re having an amazing summer, getting some waves, enjoying the outdoors, and we look forward to seeing you August 18th in Los Angeles.
Special thanks to our partners Patagonia, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold, Pau Maui Vodka, Clif Bar, White Claw, Zola, and CAVA for making this monumental gathering possible. Thank you also to Stoke Certified for enabling us to host this event as sustainably as we possibly can.