Peer Learning

Innovations in Building Resilient Communities

Denver, CO | June 26-28, 2017

Peer Learning Recap

During this intensive and customized three-day workshop, teams gained an increased understanding of how regional planning, cross-sector collaboration, and inclusive community engagement can maximize the impact on both policy development and implementation. Focusing on a particular challenge affecting their ability to develop robust resilience strategies, teams took advantage of this 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. Participants left this workshop with practical knowledge and tools to address their particular challenge, an action plan to guide their resilience work, deepened connections within and across their teams, and ongoing access to ISC’s large and growing national network of sustainability and resilience practitioners.


Presenters, Advisors, and Staff:

Matt Abularach-Macias, California League of Conservation Voters
Paul Aldretti, Mile High Connects
Gretchen Armijo, City of Denver
Amy Coffman, Municipality of Anchorage
Ryan Dicks, Pierce County
Gavin Dillingham, Houston Advanced Research Center
Christopher Forinash, ISC
Beth Gibbons, American Society of Adaptation Professionals
Donna Givens, Eastside Community Network
Michele Hasson, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justic
Wendy Hawthorne, Groundwork Denver
Rick Held, Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development
Ann Helmke, City of San Antonio
Hank Hodde, Smart Home America
Stan Johnson, Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development
Tessa Kaneene, ISC
Susan Kidd, Agnes Scott College Center for Sustainability 
Radhika Krishna, Anchorage Community Land Trust
Arthur Levine, Huerta del Valle
Nora Liu, Center for Social Inclusion
Sonrisa Lucero, City of Denver
Anna Marandi, ISC
Cheryl Markham, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks
Henry McKay, ISC
Emily Mead, ISC
Doug Melnick, City of San Antonio
Becca Najera, Martinez Street Women’s Center
Harrison Newton, District of Columbia Office of the City Mayor
Raj Pandya, Thriving Earth Exchange
Dwayne Patterson, Partnership for Southern Equity
Russ Sands, Brendle Group
Amy Shatzkin, Sound Transit
Jacqueline Smith, NAACP Houston Branch
Ken Snyder, PlaceMatters
Jamie Stroble, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks
Harriet Tregoning, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Molly Urbina, Colorado Resiliency and Recovery Office

An international nonprofit organization, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has 26 years of practical experience working with local leaders to accelerate climate change and sustainability solutions. ISC’s programs are designed to facilitate peer learning and engagement among local leaders charged with the work of making their communities more sustainable. ISC has led more than 110 projects in 30 countries, and currently works in Asia and the United States. Learn more at:


ISC brought together teams from 12 regions working to develop inclusive resilience plans and projects in their region. Teams included partners across agencies, organizations, and sectors that would benefit from this unique training and allow for continued collaboration.



Resource guide for the Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy Innovations in Building Resilient Communities.

Agenda for the Innovations in Building Community Resilience Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy.

Welcome presentation for the Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy Innovations in Building Resilient Communities.

Master presentation for the 5x5 presentations from Ryan Dicks, Michele Hasson, Hank Hodde, Doug Melnick, and Raj Pandya.

Slides from Sonrisa Lucero's presentation for the plenary Resilience a Mile High: The Denver Story.