About Institute for Sustainable Development

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ISD is a 501(c)3  "action tank"  (we turn ideas into action) made up of long-term recovery, resilience, and community economic development experts. We were  founded in the North Carolina Research Triangle in 2003 by a unique combination of business leaders and academics in efforts to help our communities become more resilient, sustainable, and successful.

Who We Are

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We focus on persistent development issues that are under-addressed. For the past two years, because of the magnitude of recent disasters, the bulk of our work has tended to focus on resilience and long-term disaster recovery.

Our heroes are positive change agents and members of the "conspiracy for good" - people who aren't afraid to take on existing preconceptions and look for better solutions.

What We Do

  • Small business resilience and entrepreneurship empowerment

  • Distributed and sustainable community economic development

  • Housing and urban development

  • Climate adaptation and critical infrastructure protection

  • International development

  • Population displacement, refugees, and diasporas

  • Inner city chronic stresses

  • Rural development

  • Education and workforce development

  • Community health

  • Legacy systems of the past

  • The role of technology and innovation in the future of sustainability

Our Focus

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  • We research and curate existing best practices, research, and useful news and tools

  • We develop proprietary research, analysis, and after action reports

  • We work with big businesses to empower small businesses.

  • We work with federal agencies to help smaller communities.

  • We work with subject matter experts to help level the playing field for areas that typically don't get the same access to resources.

  • We develop public-private partnerships and identify other ways to build capacity.

Our Methods

  • Research into gaps, failures, challenges, and how to make them better

  • After Action Report on Hurricane Harvey: Need to Level the Playing Field for Smaller Communities

  • After Action Report on the Thomas Fire: Need to Promote Resilience Measures for Small Businesses to Cope with the Recovery Process

  • After Action Report on the Woolsey Fire: Need to Develop "Common App" and Other Assistance Measures

  • Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

  • Supporting the County of Hawai'i Disaster Economic Recovery Framework​

  • Community Resilience Improvement

  • Supporting Rocky View County READI Resilience

  • Business Resilience Network Support

  • Community Stakeholder Engagement and Healing

  • The ISD Sustainable Community Buyers Guide

Our Projects