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IMBA announces sessions for its biennial World Summit

With two months to go before the sixth biennial IMBA World Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico on October 10-13, the organization released a full schedule of speakers and sessions.

"We received exceptional proposals for summit content," said IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel. "At this point, the strongest applications have been selected and the speakers have been notified. Mountain bike leaders from around the globe are eager to present their best ideas at this gathering and help shape the sport."

The IMBA World Summit officially begins on the evening of October 10, with opening ceremonies at the Santa Fe Convention Center, the home for most summit activities. Festivities will kick-off with an early celebration honoring IMBA's 25th birthday featuring guest speakers and live music from the Daniel Day Trio. A series of pre-summit events, including a riding field trip to neighboring Los Alamos, are also scheduled including a Trips for Kids Conference, an IMBA Trail Solutions Bike Park Workshop, the Southwest Trails Conference, and a Race and Event Promoter Gathering.

Luther Propst, founder and executive director of the Sonoran Institute, will deliver a keynote address on the first full day of the summit. As the leader of a successful nonprofit devoted to helping communities understand and embrace conservation goals and promote local quality of life, Propst offers a valuable perspective for summit attendees.

"Mountain bikers and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts are poised to lead conservation efforts in valuable new directions," said Propst. "People that recreate outdoors have an intimate understanding of the environment - one that lends itself to an authentic public policy platform that benefits not only mountain biking but the quality of our lands and water and the desirability of our communities as places to live, work and play."

Updates on key IMBA initiatives will follow Propst's address, presented in a dynamic format based on the popular five-minutes-per-topic "Ignite" talks. Throughout the IMBA World Summit, attendees will see an emphasis on fast-moving and inspiring plenary presentations featuring multi-media. The second day of the summit will feature a format popularized by TEDx® (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conferences.

"We're calling it 'IMBAx.' The goal is to strike a balance between informing and entertaining the delegates," said Van Abel. "IMBA does so many things around the world - from protecting trail access to building bike parks to developing conservation strategies. Our goal is to inspire everyone in Santa Fe while equipping them with real-world solutions for the challenges and opportunities mountain bikers encounter in their home communities."

Attendees can choose from 24 breakout sessions on a variety of topics during both summit days, with expert speakers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland and the United Kingdom helping lead the seminars. Joining them will be IMBA staff and leaders from the network of IMBA Chapters. Topics include "How to Develop Mountain Bike Destinations," "Effective Fundraising for Local Groups," and "Expert Advice on Developing Youth Initiatives."

As with previous summit gatherings, attendees will enjoy ample opportunities for riding the outstanding local trail network, atop the latest demo bikes from several brands. Each evening of the summit features parties and special events, including Thursday's Community Art Night and Poster Session. Friday night will feature the Plaza Criterium and Party in downtown Santa Fe, starting from the Vendor Expo. The evening concludes with a special screening of the new film, Where the Trail Ends.

"We're mountain bikers, so of course the IMBA World Summit won't be all business," said Van Abel. "The program is packed with opportunities to catch up with old friends and make news ones - that's probably the most valuable part of the entire summit experience." New this year will be opportunities during the day for family members not attending the summit to enjoy guided tours of art and culture of Santa Fe.

The summit is open to the public. For more information, including a detailed schedule and how to register, visit

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