Peer Learning

Innovations in Building Resilient Communities II

Peer Learning Recap

Local leaders across the country—prompted in many cases by more frequent and intense extreme weather events—are striving to strengthen their communities. They are trying to better understand, prepare for, and manage these disruptions and the increasing risk they pose to residents, businesses, infrastructure, and the economy.

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) will gather cross-sector teams from 8-12 U.S. communities, cities, and metropolitan regions to explore innovative approaches to building resilient communities and turn ideas into action at our Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy in Pittsburgh, PA on April 16-18.

This opportunity is meant for communities interested in an approach to community resilience deeply rooted in equity and social cohesion that emphasizes collaboration across sectors and jurisdictions. It will help community teams explore how to create more inclusive processes, reach across sectors, and build or strengthen relationships within their region to bring solutions to scale.

During this intensive and customized three-day workshop, each team will have a unique opportunity to share perspectives and develop strategies with leaders from across the nation on robust actions for equitably addressing climate risks and building more resilient communities.

In 2017, ISC offered a similar Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy built around the needs of 12 teams. Over 100 people participated in this event in Denver to 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. More information on the participating teams, the event agenda, and resources are available here.

Questions? Contact Emily Hlavka, 802-229-2911

Photo credit Benjamin Thacker

There is no question this workshop has been the perfect excuse to assemble the kind of brain trust we have needed for many years to put our resilience plans into action. Thanks for helping us align the stars.

–Aidil Oscariz, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy for Catalyst Miami,
on the 2017 SCLA in Denver

Presenters, Advisors, and Staff:

Details will be made available closer to the event.


Since 1991, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has worked in the United States and around the world to help communities, cities, industry, and NGOs accomplish their environmental, economic, and social goals. ISC uses training, technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning, and demonstration projects to help unleash the power of local people and institutions to address immediate challenges and opportunities – all while building those on-the-ground solutions into national and international best practices and policy. At the heart of the organization’s approach is results-focused, authentic and pragmatic engagement with all stakeholders, which unearths locally-driven and equitable solutions to the biggest challenge we face – global climate change. Learn more at


ISC will bring together teams from 8-12 communities working to develop inclusive resilience plans and projects in their region. Teams will be be composed of individuals with decision-making authority who are best positioned to transform knowledge and information from the Leadership Academy into tangible, on-the-ground action once they return home. Team members will include, but are not limited to:

  • Local government department staff
  • City councillors, mayors, or other elected leaders
  • Individuals from nonprofit organizations
  • Representatives from electric or water utilities
  • Staff from state agencies
  • Staff from regional entities, such as COGs, MPOs, and RPCs
  • Representatives from economic development, workforce development, business, or industry organizations
  • Community leaders and equity advocates
  • Individuals from financial institutions



Additional resources will be made available closer to the date of this event.


The workshop is intended to be customized and relevant to each team. This is a unique chance to dive deeply into a community’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. It will include a blend of skills-based clinics to address each team’s specific implementation challenges, interactive panel discussions on resilience from leaders across the nation, and small-group working sessions to discuss strategies and develop solutions. 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 effective communication strategies
  • Creating and measuring resilience goals

In 2017, ISC offered a similar Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy built around the needs of 12 teams. More information on the participating teams, the event agenda, and resources are available here.

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