Peer Learning

Innovations in Building Resilient Communities

May 3, 2017

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) invites cross-sector teams from 10-15 U.S. communities, cities and metropolitan regions to explore innovative approaches to building effective and inclusive community resilience by joining our Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy in Denver, Colorado on June 26-28.

Local leaders across the U.S. are recognizing the growing importance of community resilience as our country faces economic change, more frequent and intense weather events and long-standing institutionalized social inequality.

The strongest communities are those whose social, economic and environmental agendas respond to the needs of all residents and are collectively developed across institutions. That’s community resilience.

During this intensive and customized three-day workshop, your team will gain an increased understanding of how regional planning, cross-sector collaboration and inclusive community engagement can maximize your impact on both policy development and implementation. Teams will have a unique opportunity to share perspectives and develop strategies with leaders across the nation on actions for addressing climate risks and building more equitable and resilient communities.

Teams will focus on a critical implementation challenge they are facing as they develop robust resilience strategies in their regions. Challenge topics might include approaches to clean energy, stormwater management, transportation, emergency planning or social service networking.

You will leave this workshop with:

  • Practical knowledge and tools to address your particular challenge.
  • An action plan to guide your resilience work upon returning home.
  • Valuable new relationships and ongoing access to peers and experts in community leadership, regional collaboration and resilience.
  • Deepened connections and collective planning within your cross-sector team.
  • Ongoing access to ISC’s large and growing national network of sustainability and resilience practitioners, including access to innovative resources on best practices, through our monthly updates.

Photo credit: Dennis Schroeder/ National Renewable Energy Lab

For more information, please contact Anna Marandi.


June 26-28, 2017


Denver, Colorado

Specific hotel and other location details will be provided upon acceptance.

Who Pays?

Event registration is $400 per person. ISC will cover flight costs (up to $500) and hotel stay in downtown Denver (on June 26 and 27 only) for up to five team members. ISC will also provide breakfast, lunch and refreshments to all participants throughout the course of the program and  will host evening events to network, connect and relax.

Any additional team members beyond five will be responsible for their own travel and lodging costs, as well as the $400 registration fee. Participants are responsible for all other related costs, including ground transportation, dinners and any additional nights of hotel stay.

We welcome all those committed to resilience work to attend. ISC has limited assistance-funding if the registration fee presents a barrier to your team’s participation. For more information, please contact Anna Marandi.

About the Institute for Sustainable Communities

ISC has a 25 year history building the capacity of communities around the world to meet their sustainable development challenges and opportunities. For the past seven years ISC’s national and regional Sustainable Communities Leadership Academies have been providing high-caliber, affordable training and peer-learning services to cities and regions forging local solutions to global climate disruption and fostering sustainable communities. Previous SCLA workshops have focused on low carbon transportation, building energy efficiency and retrofitting; green job creation; climate adaptation and resilience; and sustainable community/regional development.

In all, ISC has managed more than 98 projects in more than 30 countries. For more information, please visit


ISC seeks teams from 10-15 regions working to develop inclusive resilience plans and projects in their region.

Each team should consist of the following:

  1. Team Captain: A team lead who will assemble a cross-sector team, submit an application and serve as the team’s point person.
  2. Team Members: At least four additional team members who are deeply engaged in developing and implementing resilience strategies and projects, ideally in different scales and sectors. Teams may bring an additional two people at their own expense (for a total team size of seven).

Team composition choices should be driven by the nature of your community’s specific challenge. Teams should include partners across agencies, organizations and sectors that will benefit from this unique training and allow for continued collaboration after you return home.

We strongly encourage each team to have at least one member working on on-the-ground implementation and at least one other member representing a regional perspective. Team members will include, but are not limited to:

  1. Community-based organizations
  2. Community leaders (including environmental and social justice advocates)
  3. Regional and local government agencies
  4. City councillors, mayors and other elected officials
  5. Community-oriented foundations

For more information, please contact Anna Marandi.

May 3, 2017


Resources will be added closer to the date of the Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy.

Agenda Overview

The workshop is intended to be customized and relevant to your team. This is a unique chance to dive deeply into your region’s specific challenges, learn from leaders across the nation and dissect strategies with communities working to build more equitable and resilient communities.

The final agenda will be developed in consultation with participating teams. Sample session topics include:

  • Effective collaboration strategies across sectors and jurisdictions
  • Supporting and strengthening the important work of community-based organizations in resilience-building
  • Inclusive community engagement
  • Developing impactful communication strategies
  • Creating and measuring resilience goals

The agenda will allow for intensive and productive work among your cross-sector team of leaders, away from the hustle and bustle of your daily grind. Session formats throughout the workshop will include:

  • Skills-based clinics to address your specific team’s implementation challenges
  • Interactive panel discussions on resilience from leaders across the nation
  • Small-group working sessions to discuss strategies and develop solutions

For more information, please contact Anna Marandi.