Peer Learning

Innovations in Building Resilient Communities

Denver, CO | June 26-28, 2017

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has invited cross-sector teams from 12 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.

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.



More resources will be added after the completion of the Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy.

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