OPENING UP THE OUTDOORS INDUSTRY GROUP LAUNCHES
Leading outdoor brands, The North Face, Arc’teryx, Adidas Terrex, Patagonia and Vivobarefoot launch a commitment to equity & inclusion by establishing Opening Up the Outdoors, a brand created by We Are Pi.
September 2022, sees the launch of Opening Up the Outdoors (OUTO), a not-for-profit organisation founded by outdoor brands, experts, and organisations. Incorporated into the It’s Great Out There Coalition, OUTO is committed to breaking down the barriers to inclusivity, and supporting the changemakers, across Europe, who are doing the work to make the outdoors a safe and welcoming space for everyone. Conceived in 2021 as a response to systemic racism, anti-Asian sentiment and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, OUTO envisions an outdoor community and industry that is truly diverse, equitable, anti-racist and accessible to all.
The OUTO brand and strategy is inspired by research conducted by We Are Pi in 2020. We Are Pi then worked with the industry coalition to turn a report on Opening Up The Outdoors, into a multi-brand commitment and that's now been launched as an industry backed foundation and community-led brand.
Ahead of launch, in spring 2022, the Founding Members of OUTO facilitated a pilot Changemaker Programme in the UK. Lead by entrepreneurship organisation Hatch Enterprise the programme has supported six changemakers from ethnically diverse backgrounds whose businesses, initiatives and groups are working to build a more diverse, equitable and anti-racist outdoor community, providing them with expert-led masterclasses, peer mentoring, business coaching and skilled consulting. The first cohort to take part graduated on Friday 02 September and will have the opportunity to apply for development grants of up to 11,000 Euros to invest directly in their organisation. A new programme will be launched in Spring 2023.
Joining the It’s Great Out There Coalition, an international, not-for-profit organization based in Brussels, will allow OUTO to scale its work beyond the UK and across Europe, as well as benefiting from an established governance structure and synergies between the two Coalition groups. The It’s Great Out There Coalition promotes the positive impact of outdoor activity on individuals and society and, as a partner of industry body the European Outdoor Group (EOG), leads the sector’s #itsgreatoutthere campaign across Europe.
Amanda Calder-McLaren, Senior Brand Director for The North Face has been appointed Chairperson of the OUTO Council with journalist and filmmaker Keme Nzerem taking the role of Vice-President It's Great Out There Coalition Board. Two open posts for Community Members will be filled with a focus on ensuring there is diverse representation throughout.
Keme Nzerem, VP of the It's Great Out There Coalition Board said:
"Spending quality time in the great outdoors is a right everyone should be able to enjoy, but ever since I began hiking, mountain biking and skiing I've often been one of the only Black or Brown faces on the trail (or piste). For a multitude of reasons, many of us miss out on the joys, thrills and spills of outdoor sport and adventure. At the core of OUTO's work is our Changemaker Programme. I'm honoured to help support grass roots visionaries and pioneers from across our ethnically diverse communities, who are helping transform the outdoors into a more accessible playground where everyone feels welcome and included. I'm proud to see OUTO develop from a pilot to a robust and permanent charity."
Margo De Lange, Policy Officer, the It’s Great Out There Coalition, said:
“This is an exciting new era for the It’s Great Out There Coalition. Since the coalition’s foundation in 2017, we have helped grass roots organisations around Europe introduce thousands of people to the enjoyment and benefits of outdoor participation for the first time. By investing more than 500,000 euros in over 30 projects, we have clearly demonstrated the positive and lasting impact of bringing new and more diverse groups into nature. Now, with the incorporation of Opening Up the Outdoors, the #itsgreatoutthere campaign will be able to even more effectively reach those groups and individuals and inspire them to get active in nature.”
Alex Bennett Grant, Founder and CEO of We Are Pi, said:
“In 2020 We Are Pi published an article called “Opening Up The Outdoors' in the first edition of our New Society Rules research reporting on cultural change affecting brands. We’d never have dreamt that two years later that research would inspire an outdoor industry wide organisation on the scale of OUTO. We’re incredibly proud of the impact its already having and hope it inspires others to unite purpose and business towards opening up more industries.”
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NOTES TO EDITOR
Founding Members of Opening Up the Outdoors:
For OUTO news and events: firstname.lastname@example.org
For OUTO membership: email@example.com
To work with us, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Opening Up the Outdoors
Co-founded in 2021 with the ambition of making the outdoors across Europe, a safe and welcoming space for everyone. OUTO is also a response to systemic racism, anti-Asian sentiment and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. As a not-for-profit, it focuses on the continued inclusion, education, and enjoyment of outdoor spaces by people of the global majority. We envision an outdoor community and industry that is truly diverse, equitable, anti-racist and accessible to everyone.
OUTO aims to ensure everyone, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual identity, or physical ability is welcomed and included when they step outside. To do this, OUTO has partnered with industry and community leaders, to remove barriers to the outdoors by educating and supporting those interested building a more diverse, equitable and anti-racist outdoor community.
Supporters and friends of OUTO
The integration of OUTO into the It’s Great Out There Coalition and the successful completion of OUTO’s first cohort of Changemakers is the culmination of months of hard work. We are fortunate to have worked with groups of amazingly supportive and dedicated people who have voluntarily given us their time, expertise and encouragement. They include:
All conditions media
I Am Here International
Kendal Mountain Festival
Leeds Beckett University
Sabrina Pace Humphreys
We Are Pi
About It’s Great Out There
The It’s Great Out There Coalition is a not-for-profit collaboration on a European level launched by the outdoor industry in 2017 to increase public awareness of the benefits and positive impact of outdoor activities for individuals and for society.
Our mission is to get Europe Active outdoors. To make that happen we motivate, activate and advocate, inspiring and enabling individuals and communities, and working towards more diverse, inclusive and responsible participation in outdoor activity.
Press pack photo credits
Soraya Abdel-Hadi - All the Elements
Mari Uri - United We Climb
Haroon Mota - Muslim Hikers
Marlon Patrice - We Go Outside Too
Yvette Curtis - Wave Wahines
Sonny Peart - Black Trail Runners
Frit Tam - Passion Fruit Pictures
Agency: We Are Pi
Strategy, branding, website
CEO: Alex Bennett Grant
Managing Director: Patrick Garvey
Senior Strategist: Paris Bethel
Head of Client Partnerships: Agathe Derrstroff
Business Director: Daniel Padwick
Account manager: Caitlin Dorling
Design Director: Seth Josephs
Senior designer: Gemma Stoner
Motion Designer/Illustration: Nick Fatouris
Creative Director: Taylor Black
Creative Director: Daan van Dam
Copywriter: Maya Halilovic
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About WE ARE Pi
We Are Pi is an award winning Creative Innovation Consultancy that partners with clients to build brands worthy of thriving in changing times by initiating transformation programs. We Are Pi Client partners include Amazon, Nike, IDFA, Heineken, Intersport, Pepsico and Patagonia. We Are Pi was named Small Agency of the Year 2018, 2019 and 2020 by Creative Pool and Ad Age.
We Are Pi cultural research platform, New Society Rules, helps brands navigate cultural change. We Are Pi content arm, Pi Studios, produces ground breaking stories about cultural change. We Are Pi is proud sponsor of Black Strat, Plus Plus One and Creative Jam Session.