Virtual Leadership Summit
September 21-23 and 29-30, 2020

Let’s turn things Inside-Out

We believe that the well-being of children and the wild places we love are inextricably linked. And while research tells us that regular time outdoors is essential for children’s healthy development, today’s kids are less connected to nature than ever before.

We also know that longstanding systems of injustice have impacted the design and distribution of green spaces, and call for new policies informed by Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other People of Color. Now is the time to strengthen our efforts to advance racial equity in access to nature.

This is why we gather—as leaders, educators, activists, practitioners and parents—to turn the trend of an indoor childhood back out to the benefits of nature, and to increase safe and equitable access to the natural world.

With COVID-19 risks ongoing, the Leadership Summit will be hosted online.

Online Summit Dates

September 21-23 and September 29-30, 2020


The Leadership Summit provides a forum for strategically selected leaders to share big ideas and advance action agendas. Through an application process, participants are selected to represent diverse perspectives, skills, voices, disciplines and approaches to connecting children to nature. Participants will work in 6 action areas that support the healthy development of youth:

  • City Government
  • Health & Nature for Community Well-being
  • Nature Connection for Youth Development
  • Green Schoolyards
  • Advancing Policy for Youth Outdoor Engagement
  • International Action: #NatureForAll

Action Area descriptions can be found in the Program section.

At this time, Action Areas are full. Please email to be placed on our waitlist.


The Summit will be offered in 3-4 hour segments over five days:

Monday, September 21

  • 12:00-1:00pm CDT: Welcome, keynote address and gallery
  • 1:00 – 3:00pm CDT: Deep dive into the policies, practices and norms that allow inequities in access to nature persist. Breaks included.

Tuesday, September 22

  • 12:00-4pm CDT: Action Area welcome and kick-off, break-out groups and networking. Breaks included.

Wednesday, September 23

  • 12:00-4PM CDT: Action areas, break-out groups, report outs and closing speaker. Breaks included.

September 29-30

  • 12:00-2:30pm CDT: Skill building workshops

Cost (in U.S. Dollars)

  • Virtual Summit registration fee: $195 (discounted from original in-person summit fee)
  • Movement Builder virtual registration: $395 (original summit fee to support the work already done to produce an in-person event and the shift to online)
  • Young Leader Discount: (up to age 30) $150


Join us in advancing the best ideas for turning the trend of an indoor childhood Inside-Out!  

Monday, September 21
12:00-3:00pm CDT:

Deep dive into the policies, practices and norms that allow inequities in access to nature to persist.

Tuesday, September 22
12:00-4:00pm CDT:
Opening Keynote and Action Areas:

Health & Nature for Community Well-being

In partnership with the Salzburg Global Seminar, explore ways in which nature access can impact public health, youth development, mental health and health equity.

Recommended for: Health care providers, policymakers and planners, community development leaders, youth development practitioners, city leadership, researchers.

Green Schoolyards

Advance and activate the national Green Schoolyards Action Agenda’s vision that “All U.S. communities offer access to green schoolyards by 2050 to enhance children’s healthy development, community wellbeing and positive environmental impacts.”

Recommended for: Community leaders, city representatives, school districts, health departments, park districts, and nonprofits interested in green schoolyards as a strategy for nature access.

Nature Connection for Youth Development

Explore best practices and strategies to combine youth development and nature-based programming towards a common goal of supporting the positive growth and social emotional learning of young people.

Recommended for: Leaders and providers of nature-based programs (i.e. environmental education, conservation) and/or youth leadership and development programs.

Advancing Policy for Youth Outdoor Engagement

Discuss strategies and define the most effective tools to implement policy initiatives designed to increase equitable connections to nature on a state, federal and/or municipal level.

Recommended for: Policymakers, leaders and youth development advocates currently interested in implementing policy on a state, federal or municipal level.

International Action: #NatureForAll

In collaboration with #NatureForAll, explore the most promising opportunities to connect children with nature at a global scale. Develop an action plan to increase the collective impact and influence with a focus on health and wellbeing, cities, childhood development, and international policy.

Recommended for: Leaders and practitioners from outside the US and US-based practitioners interested in partnering internationally.

City Government

Advance the role of city government in increasing equitable access to nature with a focus on partnerships, policies, funding models, and program planning. (By invitation only; contact

Wednesday, September 23
12:00-4:00pm CDT:
Action Area regroup

September 29-30
12:00-2:30PM CDT:
Skill Building Workshops

Register for hands-on workshops led by experts in the field, offering practical tools and resources and cross-sector networking:

  • Building a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Movement
  • Activating Research to Make the Case for Equitable Nature Connection
  • Advancing Policy for Equitable Access to the Outdoors
  • Working in Constellations: Expanding and Strengthening Your Network
  • Using Strategic Communications to Advance Your Work

How do I apply?

WE ARE NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS AT THIS TIME, as all action areas are full. Spaces may open up as we shift to an online Summit, please email to be placed on our wait list.

Application Deadline:

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until all Action Areas are full.

How are Summit participants selected?

Participants will be selected by a committee consisting of leaders from various disciplines and Children & Nature Network staff. The selection committee will work to ensure each action area has a wide range of perspectives, skills, diverse voices and strategic thinking. (If you received a personal invitation to participate from an Action Area leader, you do not need to apply. Please follow the registration instructions provided with your invitation.)

Virtual Summit Faqs


How do I register? If you were registered for our in-person event in Atlanta, your registration will carry over to the online Summit. You will receive an email with information about discounted registration fees and instructions for confirming your attendance. If your application is still being reviewed or if you are on our wait list, spaces may become available with our shift to an online format; we will contact you via email.

Can I transfer my registration to a colleague? Because we are committed to representing the diverse people and perspectives of the children and nature movement, registration transfer requests must be reviewed and approved by our selection committee. Send transfer requests to

Refund policy: A full registration refund is available up to 48 hours after purchase. If you wish to cancel after 48 hours, submit a request by August 21, 2020 to and your registration will be refunded, less a $50 USD administrative fee. No refunds will be issued after August 21, 2020. 


Attendee List: When you register, be sure to check the box indicating that you wish to have your contact information included on the Summit participant list, which will be shared with Summit attendees.

Create or update your profile with your bio and photo in Sched, our online Summit platform. After you register for the Summit, you will receive an email from Sched with log-in instructions. Email if you have any problems logging in.

Make your Sched profile public:  New privacy laws require that your Sched information remain private unless YOU mark it public. To change your profile from unviewable/private to viewable/public, modify your profile settings by clicking the “Make my profile & schedule public” toggle button. 


Share your Summit experiences on social media with hashtag #InsideOut2020

To Blog about the Summit, especially take-aways that will advance your work and inspire others, email Jenette Restivo at


Sponsorship: Engage with children and nature leaders and help advance the movement as a sponsor. Contact


Summit keynotes, presentations, workshops and Action Area sessions and report-outs will be recorded and made available to all Summit participants. 


By registering for the Summit, you are granting the Children & Nature Network permission to record and/or film you and, if applicable, your presentation; and to share photos and video of you and, if applicable, your presentation on our website, social media channels, in print collateral and for future Summit promotions. Contact with questions.


Preliminary planning for our 2021 International Conference is underway:

-RFPs for 2021 presentations, workshops and posters will open in Fall 2020. 

-Registration will open in late Fall of 2020.

-For information about becoming a sponsor or exhibitor in 2021, contact us at


2021 Inside-Out International Conference:

June 3 – 5, 2021
Atlanta Hyatt Regency, Atlanta, GA

Outcomes from the 2020 Leadership Summit will drive programming for the 2021 International Conference, open to all. This premier gathering of the children and nature movement will feature inspiring keynotes, hands-on workshops and peer networking opportunities for up to 1,000 sector-disciplinary leaders who are making real progress in increasing equitable access to nature in their communities.