Peer Learning

Innovations in Building Resilient Communities

Denver, CO | June 26-28, 2017

Application are now closed

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has invited 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, teams will gain an increased understanding of how regional planning, cross-sector collaboration, and inclusive community engagement can maximize the 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.

Participants will leave this workshop with:

  • Practical knowledge and tools to address their particular challenge.
  • An action plan to guide 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 the 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.

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 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 councilors, mayors and other elected officials
  5. Community-oriented foundations



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 participating teams. This is a unique chance for teams to dive deeply into their 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 cross-sector teams of leaders, away from the hustle and bustle of their 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.