During our annual Summit, attendees have the opportunity to participate in interactive talks, small group activities, and outdoor challenges to discover new ways to create value in their local community.
The Higher Purpose Summit is an intimate and interactive experience designed to connect leaders from a variety of fields. Over the course of 4 days, 40 accepted applicants will have an opportunity to experience the very best of the Southwest; participating in outdoor challenges, interactive talks, creative workshops, small group activities, and intimate dining experiences with the strongest members of our community.
Upon acceptance into The Higher Purpose Project, you will attend a 4-day Summit Experience. At the Summit, we bring together leaders varying in age and ethnicity from all corners of the world that have developed unique skill sets in their perspective fields. As an organization, we value the importance of intimate environments and pride ourselves on the quality of our mentors, speakers, and attendees.
For each Summit, mentors are carefully selected based on the unique needs of the attendees. Mentors are down to earth, outliers in their fields, active leaders in their communities, and excellent teachers. By keeping the Summit extremely intimate, you will have time to connect with everyone directly in a truly, memorable environment.
At the Summit, mentors and speakers share insights and skill sets they’ve found most useful in making an impact. We don’t believe in podiums, canned speeches, or a division between speakers and attendees. Through our carefully designed, interactive program, you will explore new ways to elevate impact in your career, community, and personal life.
The Summit is not a passive experience. All topics that are discussed are immediately followed by outdoor activities. Over the course of 4 days, attendees will enjoy outdoor challenges, beautiful hikes, and small, interactive discussions in a variety of natural settings.
The Higher Purpose Project selects the most beautiful US destinations to hold Summits. These carefully chosen locations serve as the ideal training ground for personal growth and provide a safe and comfortable environment to disconnect from daily distractions.
Summits are held all over the country with the goal of introducing attendees to different cultures and communities. During the experience we highlight unique speakers, mentors, artists, and performers to expand perspectives. In addition, attendees are selected from all parts of the world to share insights they have gained from their career and personal experiences.
Every element of the Summit – from the music to the decor – is intentionally designed to expand your creativity. We don’t believe in cookie cutter experiences and spend a great deal of time creating unique environments that empower, rejuvenate, and foster connection. To get a better feel for past Summit experiences, please visit our photo section.
By being a part of The Higher Purpose Project, you will have an opportunity to build relationships with some pretty amazing individuals. All accepted applicants will work in small groups with mentors that will assist in facilitating the experience and creating a comfortable, inclusive environment. Below, you will find a list of some of our past mentors.
Don Hahn is an American film producer that has created some of the most successful Walt Disney animated films of our time, including Beauty and The Beast and The Lion King. Some of the other notable films Don has worked on include Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Malificent. Hahn has also had success as an author, director, artist, and storyteller in a multitude of different mediums.
John is an award winning artist that began painting after losing his sight in 2001. John learned to distinguish between different colored paints by feeling their textures with his fingers and using raised lines to help him find his way around the canvas. John’s art has been displayed in more than thirty countries, and he has been the subject of numerous media stories including a video that was voted Most Inspirational Video of 2008 (Youtube). He was awarded three U.S. presidential awards in 2005, 2006, and 2007 for his creation of a series of free art workshops designed to bring art to people and neighborhoods which lack access to art instruction.
Kerri Strug is an Olympic gold medalist that came into the national spotlight after her courageous performance in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Her gymnastics career helped build popularity in the sport and taught millions of people around the world the power of overcoming adversity. Following the end of her athletic career, she received her graduate degree from Stanford and gained experience in various industries. Despite her demanding schedule as the mother of two young children, Kerri works on behalf of the Department of Education and volunteers for a number of charitable causes.
Erik took an untraditional route in Hollywood by writing, producing, and starring in independent films alongside his college classmates that would later form the production company, Broken Lizard. In addition to Super Troopers, Erik has also appeared in Club Dread, BeerFest, The Onion Movie, The Sweetest Thing, and Watching The Detectives. In 2015, Erik and his team successfully raised over $4.5 million in just 30 days for the sequel to Super Troopers. Their highly publicized crowdfunding campaign set the second highest mark for funds raised for a feature film.
Peter is an award winning author, travel writer, and long-time correspondent for Outside magazine. His articles have appeared in Smithsonian, The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Men’s Journal and many other publications. His most recent best selling book, Astoria, details the thrilling, true tale of the 1810 Astor Expedition, an epic, now forgotten, three-year journey to forge an American empire in the West.
Alan Webb electrified the track & field world by setting the high school American record in the mile (3:53.43), gaining international media attention and early comparisons to Steve Prefontaine. Following his early success, Alan represented the United States in the 2004 Olympic Games and set the American record in the mile in 2007 (3:46.91).
An avid climber, skier, and mountaineer, Stacy Bare has transitioned his skill sets from the military into serving as the Director of Sierra Club’s Outdoor Recreation program. Named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year for his work with veterans, he’s also the recipient of the Bronze Star for merit and combat action badge for his service in Iraq. Stacy currently serves as an ambassador for North Face and continues to create new adventures that empower people to embrace the outdoors.
Pat Solomon is a commercial and film director that created the award winning documentary, “Finding Joe”, focused on the work of Joseph Campbell and the power of the hero’s journey. Based in Southern California, Pat is a father, avid surfer, and outdoor enthusiast always looking for the next adventure.
Born without arms and legs, Kyle never succumbed to the idea of limitation. An avid wrestler, Kyle won 32 matches his senior year in high school despite losing every match for 2 1/2 years . Not content with his athletic achievements as a teenager, he fought an MMA fight against an abled body opponent that was featured in the ESPN documentary “A Fighting Chance”. In 2011, he co-created Mission Kilimanjaro focused on confronting fears and limited perceptions to reach the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro without assistance. He succeeded and became the only man to crawl up Africa’s largest peak, winning his second ESPY for male disabled athlete of the year.
Erik dealt with adversity early in life when he lost his vision at the age of 13. Those early struggles led him to the world’s highest peaks, becoming the first blind person to reach the top of Mt Everest and complete the seven summits. Erik is the founder of No Barriers USA and spends his free time white water kayaking, acrobatic skydiving, long distance biking, marathon running, skiing, and free style rock climbing.
An avid adventure seeker, Jeff served as the “eyes” for blind climber, Erik Weihenmayer, in his quest to become the first blind man to summit Mt. Everest. Since the 2001 expedition, Jeff founded the adventure company, Mountain Vision, and has appeared in several documentaries and television shows. Currently, Jeff serves as a motivational speaker and expedition guide for Soldiers To Summits.
Karen is the 9th American woman to summit Mt. Everest and the only mother in the world to take her 13 year old step son along for the journey. In 2011, she completed the Seven Summits and helped her step son to become the youngest person to accomplish this feat. In addition to mountaineering, Karen is a former All-American Skier and has participated in adventure races on every continent around the world.
While climbing to the summit of Hinchinbrook Island, off the coast of Australia, Warren became trapped beneath a one-ton boulder in a freak rock fall. As Warren lay crushed, his travel companion raced down the mountain to get help. It was two days before a helicopter arrived and he was rescued. The accident cost him the loss of both legs, amputated at mid thigh. Just ten months later, Warren climbed Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain using a modified wheelchair and the seat of his pants. In February 2003, he became the first double above-knee amputee to reach the summit of Africa’s tallest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro. More recently, in a spectacular effort requiring 2800 pull-ups over 3 days, Warren made an ascent of America’s tallest cliff face, El Capitan.
An award winning director/writer, Takashi made the conscious choice to pursue his passion for film despite having no formal education or experience in the industry. A Fighting Chance, his first feature documentary, premiered on ESPN in November 2010 and in a 2-week sneak preview launched as the #1 Film and #1 Documentary on Hulu. He is the youngest person to sell a film to ESPN in addition to being featured in the Washington Post, MovieFone, IndieWire, Fancast, Short of the Week, and Director’s Notes, among others. Currently based in Southern California, Takashi is represented by WME and is currently directing a feature film that will be released in 2016.
Dr. Nassir Ghaemi
Dr. Nassir Ghaemi is a Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, serving as the head of the Mood Disorders Program. A NY Times best selling author, Dr. Ghaemi is focused on changing the way we view mental illness. In his book, A First Rate Madness, Ghaemi examines the lives of prolific, historical figures arguing a connection between mental illness and leadership ability. His work is redefining how we perceive ADHD, mania, schizophrenia, and other forms of mental illness and he is on the cutting edge of developing new treatment procedures.
Ryan Duzer is an award winning filmmaker and television personality that has appeared on Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and Men’s Journal. Ryan has embarked on interesting adventures including biking from Honduras to Colorado, winning the popular Discovery series, “Out of Venezuela”, competing in several ultra marathons, and creating community events in Boulder, CO to share his love for the outdoors and physical challenges. Ryan brings a host of different experiences and unique talents to the community.
A leader in the corporate world and small business owner, Pat serves as the VP of IMG Creative and co-owner of the Atlanta based flower shop, Blooms of Dunwoody. In his “free time”, Pat hosts local events in his two acre, old-english style garden that he constructed in 2013. Pat bring years of marketing experience and a special ability to lead teams in getting an idea off the ground.
Mandy is an award winning musician that has received national attention for her vocal abilities. While enrolled in Colorado State University, Mandy unexpectedly lost her hearing at age 18 and was forced to find new ways to utilize her talents. She pursued several career options, including education, but returned to music in 2008. She is now an acclaimed performer with multiple albums and has maintained perfect pitch despite her complete hearing loss through creative use of modern technology.
An award winning filmmaker and climber, Michael has conquered Mt. Everest 5 times and is the Founder of Outside Adventure Film School in Boulder, CO. His inspiring films, “Farther Than The Eye Can See” and “High Ground” highlight the power of the human spirit.
“The Higher Purpose Project was very different than anything I have experienced and I really enjoyed being part of it. I had the opportunity to do things I have never done before and meet interesting people from around the world. I definitely gained some new perspectives about my role as a mom in this next stage of my life.”
“The Higher Purpose Project will challenge you to be the best version of yourself. I feel very fortunate to now be part of this community and have enjoyed meeting so many interesting individuals from different industries. If you are looking to make some positive changes in your life, this is the place to go.”
|“The Higher Purpose Project challenged me in ways I have never been challenged before. This experience has helped me build a stronger foundation mentally and physically that I believe will pay huge dividends in my career and personal life. I definitely look forward to coming back and am excited to be part of the community.”
Chandler Fenner, Superbowl Champion & Current NFL Player
|“I had such an incredible weekend at HPP. It was more than I could have hoped for and came at a perfect time in my life. The energy, the people and the community that The Higher Purpose Project has created is so special and unique and I am so grateful to be part of it.The Higher Purpose Project is changing people’s lives and I really look forward to the next one!”
Asha Mevlana, Lead Violinist for Trans-Siberian Orchestra
|“Eye-opening. Heartfelt. Powerful. HPP is more than just a forum for like-minded individuals, it’s an experience with others who want to elevate not only their lives and minds, but also people around them. Experiences like HPP are few and far between. I am thankful and blessed to have joined, highly recommend to anyone looking for a life-changing experience, and look forward to participating in future events to come.”
Derrick Deese, General Manager at Amazon
|“After my fourth Summit Weekend, I can say with 100% confidence that The Higher Purpose Project continues to reach new heights and create profound change in my attitudes, beliefs, and confidence in the future. Through the power of an open, honest, and compassionate community, HPP is not only creating a support system, it’s accelerating a shift in social consciousness.”
Patrick Conreaux, VP of Creative IMG LIVE
|“To say that I was deeply impacted [by HPP] would be diminishing. Right when I walked in I could feel the energy bounding from each of the participants. I spent the entire day finding new expressions of good living, learning, absorbing and doing my best to give it all back in return. I walked away feeling like I had been plugged into a life outlet and wanted nothing more than to keep paying it forward. I look forward to the next Summit!”
Jeff Evans, Expedition Guide, Reality TV Star, & Owner of MountainVision
|“If you need a change, a spiritual boost, and time with positive leaders, then an HPP Summit is for you. After experiencing 3 Summits, I’ve witnessed strangers become the closest of friends and stay connected, spurring powerful collaborations. Over the last decade, I have spoken to over a million people, mostly teenagers, in hundreds of conferences across the country. The Higher Purpose Project provided me a place to get away and better understand my strengths. It is truly a unique experience out of all the conferences I’ve attended.”
Craig Scott, Survivor of the Columbine Shooting & Filmmaker
|“HPP takes you into a collaborative community to explore your internal world to create magic in your external world. “It was great to have an opportunity to meet so many interesting people in one location. I really enjoyed connecting with people through fun, outdoor challenges and look forward to building upon these relationships as I pursue adventures in a new state.”
Jordan Romero, Youngest Person to Summit Mt. Everest & Complete The Seven Summits
Alan Webb addresses attendees at our past Summit in the Mt Hood National Forest outside Portland, OR.
In this episode, we interview Peter Stark, an award winning author, travel writer, and long-time correspondent for Outside magazine. His most recent best selling book, Astoria, details the thrilling, true tale of the 1810 Astor Expedition, an epic, now forgotten, three-year journey to forge an American empire on the Pacific Coast. Stark offers a detailed […]
In this episode, we interview Michael Brown, an award winning filmmaker, mountaineer, and Founder of Outside Adventure Film School. Michael has reached the summit of Mt. Everest 5x and discusses his many adventures around the world capturing powerful stories. Michael is the founder of Serac Films and has directed the award winning films, Farther Than […]
In this episode, we interview Stacy Bare, an avid rock climber, hiker, and skier that was recognized as the National Geographic Adventurer Of The Year in 2014. Stacy currently serves as the director of outdoor programming for the Sierra Club, sharing insight into the transition from decorated military officer to his current career in the […]
We are excited to announce mentors for the upcoming summit outside Portland, OR August 27-30th. Accepted applicants will have an opportunity to experience the very best of Oregon, participating in outdoor challenges, small group workshops, and intimate dining experiences with the strongest members of our community. APPLY NOW Alan Webb Alan Webb electrified the track & […]
Olympic Gold Medalist, Kerri Strug, joins the 2015 Summit outside of Atlanta and shares some insight.
Ryan Van Duzer discusses his experience on the Discovery show, “Out of Venezuela”
In this episode, we interview Erik Stolhanske a writer, actor, and stand up comedian best known for co-creating and starring as “Rabbit” in the 2001 comedy, Super Troopers. A founding member of the production company, Broken Lizard, Erik and his team have taken an unconventional route to build their own path in the film industry. […]
If you answered “YES” to the above questions, then there’s a good chance you’re a good fit for our upcoming Summit in New Mexico. APPLY for an opportunity to join us!
Yes, all accepted members are required to attend the ENTIRE Summit experience (Thursday-Sunday). This is non-negotiable and is emphasized to obtain the full value of the program.
The goal with the HPP Summit is to get attendees outside of their traditional routine and reconnect with nature, however, you will not have to be an Eagle Scout to enjoy this experience. No previous outdoor experience is required to succeed in this intimate event.
All resort locations will provide Wi-Fi, hot showers, central heating, prepared meals, warm beds, and many of the basic amenities that you enjoy at home.
The Higher Purpose Project will provide 10 needs based scholarships to accepted applicants, covering between 50-100% of tuition costs. Applicants that qualify for a scholarship will be required to fill out an additional application once accepted.
Please be mindful. Every year we get more scholarship applications than we are able to fulfill, and we have to turn away many deserving candidates. Please only apply for a scholarship if you truly need financial assistance in order to attend the The Higher Purpose Project.
Scholarships are awarded based on two criteria:
The Summit experience is kept as intimate as possible with 25 applicants selected from around the world. 15 spots are usually kept available for returning members, bringing the total number of Summit participants to 40 each quarter.
Despite conducting Summits at different locations around the country, we strive to keep costs around $1000 for attendees with early sign up incentives and scholarship opportunities. Summit costs are determined by a host of factors and scholarships are awarded based upon financial need.
SUMMIT TUITION INCLUDES:
Yes, attendees of all fitness levels can enjoy the Summit. That being said, we ask that each member come in the best shape possible to maximize the experience. Why not take accountability for your physical health while participating in this program?
The Higher Purpose Project encourages attendees to take control of their physical health. At the Summit, we will provide healthy, organic menu options for each prepared meal. Attendees have the ability to choose between many hearty vegetables, fruits, lean protein sources, and gluten/dairy free options to ensure all dietary needs are met.
Yes, we will gladly refund your money prior to the departure for the HPP Summit. Refund requests must be made at least 30 days prior to the Summit to ensure it can be processed before reservations are finalized. Those that have to cancel at the last minute will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
We strive for a 50/50 breakdown between male and female attendees, incorporating people from many different industries. Our median age for the Summit experience is 35, however, we have accepted attendees ranging from 18 to 65.
After applying, a member of our team will contact you to ask additional questions about your application. If we feel that you are a good fit for the program structure, a call with be set up with a member of the leadership team.
The HPP Summit has taken place in different parts of the United States. Since 2013, The Higher Purpose Project has led Summits in California, Oregon, Arizona, Massachusetts, Colorado, Georgia, and Tennessee.
Yes, attendees will have access to Wi-Fi and cell reception at the Summit location. We strongly encourage attendees to disconnect from electronic devices to maximize the experience, however, understand different needs may arise. Attendees will be given free time during the day and at night, to handle these responsibilities without disrupting the experience.
The Summit experience provides opportunities for attendees to hike, climb, swim, row, and participate in various outdoor challenges that will elevate the heart rate. If attendees feel that their exercise needs are not met, additional opportunities will be provided during free time in daily scheduling. The Higher Purpose Project is an active experience and we will customize to the needs of each attendee.
The Higher Purpose Project focuses on the principles of love, compassion, and acceptance without emphasizing specific religious beliefs. We have attendees from all around the world that adhere to different perspectives and we aim to create a safe environment in an outdoor setting to re-evaluate ways to provide value and improve quality of life.