Report to Our Community, January 2017

Welcome!
We kick off our blog to release our first “Report to Our Community” summarizing our first year and a half of operations to share our activities and aspirations, and to invite you to join us in our efforts as we seek both to strengthen our local quality of life in the Sun Valley area, as well as to serve as a resource and convener so as to enable others to learn alongside us so as to protect and enhance quality of life around the west, across the country and far beyond.

Resilience requires a willingness to be forward thinking to position ourselves for the new opportunities – and threats – of this changing world. Environmental shifts and economic interdependence as well as social and political upheavals call for proactive leadership to build resilient communities, companies, nations and economies. We see this acutely here in the Sun Valley area, where fires, drought, snowfall irregularity, power outages and income inequality challenge our economy and quality of life. Therefore just as the world seeks to rapidly advance resilience, we at the Institute are building models at the community scale and convening leaders locally and from beyond to share experiences and build collaborative solutions.

To showcase and replicate successful strategies and build new collaborations, the Institute held its first Sun Valley Forum on Resilience in July 2015 with a keynote by U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker, inspiring us with his insights from the recovery after Hurricane Sandy as well as his broader national perspective on strategies for a better future. Over 200 attendees also heard from expert speakers including from The Rockefeller Foundation, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute on Sustainability at Arizona State University, the Idaho National Laboratory, NRG, and SolarCity.

The Institute’s second Forum, July 10-12, 2016, attracted close to 250 attendees and the speakers included author and visionary Paul Hawken, race car driver Leilani Munter, Microsoft Chief Environmental Strategist Rob Bernard,  and leading venture capitalist Nancy Pfund, and ultra-distance athlete and water advocate Mina Guli of Thirst!.

Save the date for our third Forum on July 5-8, 2016, at the Limelight Hotel in Ketchum!

The Institute’s work building resilience at the local as well as global levels is ever more important: this year brought sudden economic, environmental, social and political changes around the world.

The Institute directly strengthens the local community by turning risks into rewards, with early initiatives in energy and food as well as land and water. Simultaneously, the Institute works with local governments, businesses, citizens and non-profits to identify and prioritize community needs to inform strategies in resilience, which will strengthen our economy and quality of life.

Resilience requires investment directed toward multiple outcomes: enhanced natural resources, higher quality jobs, and a diversified economic base. This approach ensures more resilient local, national and global economies with greater quality of life and increased social cohesion. The Institute works with impact investors at the local and global levels to develop new investment opportunities (in businesses and projects) that meet the demands of those seeking to redirect their capital to lower risk, more strategically positioned assets.

We greatly appreciate the support we have received from our donors, staff, and volunteers, without whom we could not have accomplished so much since our founding. We are particularly grateful to the Rockefeller Foundation, the Julie Ann Wrigley Foundation and two anonymous donors whose great early generosity has been central to our impact. Thank you to all of you for your financial contributions, attending our events, putting solar panels on your rooftops, and/or helping us define quality of life for our area. With your help, we have been able to achieve much, and we look forward to even more in 2017.