Get Involved with the Institute's Mission to Transform Communities

Community Strengthening

Disaster Recovery

Education, Science and Culture


Saving Lives, Improving Living Environments and Safeguarding Livelihoods for the Long-Term



ISD is based on the idea that if the long-term recovery is well-designed, it will incorporate resilience, design-thinking, systems integration, and innovation. This way, if future extreme events occur, they will not take the same toll. This "built to last" mentality is embedded in everything we do. We don't believe in reinventing the wheel, but in learning from past experiences and benchmarking successful practices wherever they may be found. We also believe in leveraging the deep expertise, talents, and resources of the private sector, academia, and civil society organizations. None of us has all of the answers, but when we come together, we can build communities back better.

ISD Services

  • Community Diagnostic Tools
  • Visioning
  • Planning and Strategy
  • Skills-based Volunteer Opportunities
  • Training and Workshops
  • Partnership Facilitation 
  • Case Work


“The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.”




The Institute for Sustainable Development was founded in the North Carolina Research Triangle in 2007 by a unique partnership of academic, business and philanthropic leaders, which included Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro and Greater Durham Chambers of Commerce, and the Fenwick Foundation. The Institute has trained more than 200 chamber of commerce executives across the United States, and 160 small businesses and non-profits in twelve U.S. states. Now, serving as the not-for-profit arm of IO Sustainability, ISD builds on this legacy of bringing together business, academic, and other thought leaders to promote partnerships, policies, and projects that promote (a) community resilience and disaster recovery, and (b) long-term community transformation based on applied innovation and sustainable development principles.



Stay Connected



The Institute for Sustainable Development has been building a matrix that tracks the progress of different recovery sectors and regions. For this, we are analyzing Texas, Puerto Rico, Florida, California, and the US Virgin Islands along different parameters to track their long-term recovery. Make sure to check back regularly as the information is updated!