Our Mission

The Sun Valley Institute for Resilience is a center for policy leadership, public engagement and targeted investments to advance the economic prosperity, environmental protection and human well-being in its home community of Idaho’s Wood River Valley and beyond.

re·sil·ience noun \ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s\
“Resilience is the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change.”*

Leaders in the Wood River Valley of Idaho founded the Sun Valley Institute for Resilience in the spring of 2015 to ensure the prosperity of this special place for future generations of residents and visitors alike, and to serve as a resource for vulnerable communities everywhere.

Leaders around the world are embracing resilience as a critical priority to deal effectively with shocks and our rapidly changing times, the increasing risks we face from greater economic interdependence and environmental disruptions. The concept of resilience is receiving great attention from individuals, businesses, communities and nations alike.

The Wood River Valley community is prioritizing resilience to strengthen the area’s ability to bounce back from harm to the local economy, whether from wildfires, poor snowfall or global economic conditions. Addressing these risks—including from energy insecurity, water scarcity, food availability and costs, and by investing in greater resilience through critical infrastructure such as for communications and health care—is key to preserving the region’s quality of life.

*The Rockefeller Foundation

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What We Do

Leaders around the world are embracing resilience as a critical priority to deal effectively with shocks and our rapidly changing times, the increasing risks we face from greater economic interdependence and environmental disruptions.

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Why Sun Valley

At the end of the railroad tracks that led to the founding of Sun Valley Resort, the Wood River Valley is a haven in the mountains of Central Idaho—a destination for enjoyment of its natural beauty and for inspiration and learning.

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Support

Your support will help Sun Valley Institute for Resilience fulfill its mission and carry out its important work within the Wood River Valley and beyond. The Institute is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.

Ways to support

Objectives


The Institute’s objectives are two-fold: build resilience in the local community and serve as a resource for
other vulnerable communities around the world.


News

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Words from the Community

As a resident of the Wood River Valley for over two decades, I am excited about the Sun Valley Institute for Resilience efforts on behalf of this very special place. I have also been a member of the Board of Directors of NRG Energy since 2003. As a leading independent power producer and the largest solar power developer in the U.S., NRG is committed to innovative, renewable solutions and a commitment to sustainability and overall resilience.
— John Chlebowski, Lead Independent Director, NRG Yield Co., Inc. and founding Advisory Board Member, SVIR

Words From the Community

“The Idaho Conservation League’s focus on Idaho’s natural capital brings us in contact with extraordinary people and ideas. In a time of increasing environmental risks and threats, solutions will be found in harnessing human capital, often on a local level, and the Valley is a recognized center creativity and energy, We’re pleased to play a part in this new endeavor.”
— Rick Johnson, Executive Director, Idaho Conservation League

Words From the Community

“For the past decade, Wild Gift has been providing unconventional support to young talented social entrepreneurs with big out-of the box “wild” ideas to create a more resilient and sustainable world. There is nothing more powerful than combining these brilliant minds with backing from a community embracing real change to transform the world. Wild Gift is pleased to partner with the Sun Valley Institute for Resilience as we work towards this common mission.”
— Deborah Knapp, Executive Director, Wild Gift

Words From the Community

“By highlighting and supporting both the for-profit projects led by businesses and investors, and the work of local non-profits, the Institute will work to attract capital investment into the community. The Institute’s activities may include providing support for non-profits whose missions improve our communities’ resilience, for example, cost effective alternatives to pesticides, or they may include partnering to create financing products that enable economically competitive solar installations on homes and commercial buildings. Investment opportunities may include funding local greenhouses, community solar projects, or the deployment of water conservation technology. Improving local food and energy production, and managing water scarcity in the face of growth, are just some areas of focus the board has discussed.  The portfolio of investments should be competitive in our current economic landscape, with asymmetrically higher potential economic, social, and/or environmental benefits should that landscape change.”
— Werner Morawitz, investment adviser and founding Board Member, SVIR

Words From the Community

“I retired to this area from a career in the energy industry.  I’m committed, as are other SVIR board members, to reducing our carbon footprint, to energy efficiency, to renewable energy, in short to energy resilience.  The Institute will help us focus on these issues, test, import and create best practices and export success stories.  But it will reach far beyond energy into water, health, food and communications, all of which are critical to a vibrant and resilient economy.  And we hope what we do here in Sun Valley will reach far beyond our geographic area.”
— Alan Richardson, Former CEO, American Public Power Association, co-founder and founding Board Member, SVIR

Words From the Community

Community is about people and place. Among our biggest challenges locally and globally is to create stable and sustainable economies while practicing responsible stewardship of our most essential resources like water and energy. This is the nature of resiliency. What we learn and accomplish here can have the broadest applications.”
— Larry Schoen, four-term Blaine County Commissioner, farmer, Chairman of the Idaho Association of Counties’ Environment, Energy and Land Use Committee, Member of the National Association of Counties’ Environment, Energy and Land Use Steering Committee and Rural Action Caucus; founding Advisory Board Member, SVIR

Words From the Community

“Everywhere I travel, inside the United States and worldwide, I’m finding small communities struggling to figure out how to meet basic needs of food, energy, water, and so forth in a world that appears more wobbly and uncertain every day. The Sun Valley Institute for Resilience holds the promise of providing them much-needed hope, ideas, and guidance.”
— Michael Shuman, Author of Local Dollars, Local Sense and Fellow, Cutting Edge Capital and Post Carbon Institute

Words From the Community

“Thanks to an all-star team, Sun Valley has become a hub of bottom up innovation in America. I’m thrilled to be involved.”
— Peter Sims, Author of Little Bets and True North, co-founder of The Silicon Guild, and founder of The BLK SHP (“black sheep”) Foundation, founding Advisory Board Member, SVIR