JACKSON, Wyo. — On Wednesday, Oct. 5, the Charture Institute will hold its annual “22 in 21: Jackson Hole in the 21st Century” conference. The event will run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Grand Teton ballroom at Snow King Resort. The theme of this year’s 22 in 21 is “Jackson Hole: How Healthy Are We?”

Tickets are $100 and include lunch and a post-conference social hour. Discounted tickets are available to those needing assistance – Contact Jonathan Schechter, Charture’s executive director and conference organizer, 307-733-8687.

Historically, 22 in 21 conferences sell out; register now.

The theme “Jackson Hole: How Healthy Are We?” draws from the vision statement of the Jackson/Teton County Comprehensive Plan: “Preserve and protect the area’s ecosystem in order to ensure a healthy environment, community and economy for current and future generations.”

“Jackson Hole: How Healthy Are We?” will focus on the major goals and questions
suggested by the vision statement:

  • What is a healthy environment? How healthy is ours? How do we know?
  • What is a healthy community? How healthy is ours? How do we know?
  • What is a healthy economy? How healthy is ours? How do we know?

There is an urgent need to explore these questions, for the greater Jackson Hole region is at an inflection point. As ecosystem health, community character, and economic well-being is increasingly challenged by the flood of people, remote jobs, wealth, and investments pouring into the region, it’s clear traditional approaches are no longer working.

Through a combination of speakers and attendee roundtables, “How Healthy Are We?” will begin addressing this extraordinary challenge. Following speakers’ talks, attendee roundtables will dig into the conference’s foundational questions. Their work will form the basis of future efforts to address each question. Confirmed speakers are:

Economy

  • Joe Quinlan – Head of CIO Market Strategy, Chief Investment Office, Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank
  • Gary Trauner – President, Silicon Couloir
  • Sandy Hessler – President, Vibrancy Consulting

Environment

  • Chip Jenkins – Superintendent, Grand Teton National Park
  • Chad Hudson – Supervisor, Bridger-Teton National Forest
  • Susan Clark – Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative & Professor, Yale Univ.

Community

  • Hailey Morton Levinson – Mayor, Town of Jackson
  • Laurie Andrews – President, Community Foundation of Jackson Hole
  • Jimmy Bartz – Rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church

The Challenges Facing the Greater Jackson Hole Region

For two reasons, the challenges facing Jackson Hole are especially problematic. First, each of the Vision Statement’s three goals lacks a clear definition, assessment tools, and metrics. As a result, each stands at great risk of becoming little more than a platitude – an empty phrase disconnected from strategy, policy and means of evaluation.

Second, in the 250 years since the Industrial Revolution began, Jackson Hole is the only place on Earth that has developed a successful industrial or post-industrial economy without fundamentally compromising the health of its ecosystem. Given the Vision Statement’s shortcomings and the socio-economic trends shaping greater Jackson Hole– most notably that Teton County leads the nation in both per capita income and income inequality – it seems likely the Tetons region will fall victim to the 250-year precedent.

Can Jackson Hole buck the 250-year precedent and continue to enjoy a thriving environment, a thriving community and a thriving economy? If so, how? Through “How Healthy Are We?” we can begin to understand and address this foundational challenge.

“How Healthy Are We?” is sponsored by Merrill Private Wealth Management. Additional support has been provided by the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole and St. John’s Health.