The Indiana Sustainability and Resilience Conference (ISRC) connects Hoosier climate leaders to the knowledge, tools, and resources that can accelerate climate action and resilience efforts in Indiana.
The conference brings together sustainability professionals, scholars, and climate advocates from across the state to enhance cross-sector collaboration, share best practices, and strengthen Indiana's climate and resilience network.
Join more than 350 sustainability professionals, scholars, and climate advocates on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024 at the IUPUI Campus Center for a day of knowledge-sharing and networking to advance climate resilience in the Hoosier State.
Registration is $50 for general admission and $25 for students. Space is limited, so individuals are encouraged to reserve a seat well in advance of the event.
Hosted by Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute and presenting supporter the Indianapolis Airport Authority, the 2024 Indiana Sustainability and Resilience Conference will feature training, speakers, and panels that cut across sectors and highlight opportunities for collaboration and funding. Michelle Moore, author of “Rural Renaissance” and CEO of Groundswell, a nonprofit organization focused on building community power in rural and small-town America, will deliver the keynote address.
ISRC breakout sessions will cover a range of sustainability and resilience topics, such as:
climate pollution reduction planning
funding for resilience implementation
corporate climate leadership
climate careers and workforce development
decarbonizing the built environment
Other planned events include a conference expo and networking happy hour.
Michelle Moore is author of “Rural Renaissance” and CEO of Groundswell, a nonprofit organization that builds community power by eliminating energy burdens and increasing economic opportunity with community solar, resilience centers, residential energy efficiency, and pioneering research.
A social entrepreneur and former White House official with roots in rural Georgia, Moore is a relentless agent for change. Her accomplishments range from cutting the government’s energy bill by $11 billion and deploying 3.2 Gigawatts of new renewable energy for President Obama, to developing LEED into a globally recognized brand for the US Green Building Council.
ISRC attendees can check in to the conference and pick up name tags at the fourth-floor lobby of the IUPUI Campus Center. A light breakfast will be available in the adjoining conference room.
9 a.m. Welcome and introductions
9:30 a.m. Break
9:45 a.m. Breakout session 1
Building up a community’s resilience to the negative impacts of weather-related disasters begins with planning and design. Communities must first identify their risks and vulnerabilities and then formulate strategies and responses that proactively address them. During this two-part session, panelists will examine what this process can look like in the context of resilient building infrastructure and emergency and disaster management response. Specifically, the panelists will discuss:
Passive survivability, or a building’s ability to shelter people for an extended period during and after a disaster situation
A community engagement framework that can inform emergency and disaster management response efforts during climate change-related natural disasters
Daniel Overbey, assistant professor, Ball State University
Amy Murphy-Nugen, associate professor, Indiana University School of Social Work
Many corporations are working to integrate sustainability into company culture and business practices. Organizational challenges, however, threaten to derail progress on sustainability goals. During this session, industry leaders will discuss a few of these hurdles, including leadership buy-in and data collection, as well as strategies and tools to help overcome them.
Brian Mormino, executive director of technical and environmental systems, Cummins
Emily Law, sustainability lead, AXIA Consulting
Stephanie Richards, managing principal, Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute
Allyson Mitchell, vice president of sustainability, Mobile reCell
Spurred by new federal funding opportunities, public and private organizations across the Midwest are developing plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In Indiana, climate action plans are being developed at the state, regional, and local levels in advance of federal deadlines this spring. What do these planning efforts reveal about Indiana’s roadmap to a sustainable future? This session will explore organizational frameworks being applied to advance climate action and provide insight into ongoing planning efforts in Indiana and nearby cities.
Amber Greaney, livable city solutions manager, KERAMIDA Inc.
Annie Dixon, long range transportation planner, Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization
Therese Dorau, assistant director for policy and implementation, IU Environmental Resilience Institute
Jessica Murray, environmental manager, Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Trees and forests provide many benefits in mitigating and adapting to climate change, however, they are also vulnerable to extreme conditions fueled by a warmer planet. Incorporating the best available science into forest and land management practices and prioritizing climate resilience is critical to the long-term health of Indiana’s natural landscapes and urban trees. This session will examine initiatives being implemented in the state to promote tree and forest health and ensure that future generations of Hoosiers have access to the climate and ecosystems services of resilient forests.
Michael Spalding, program coordinator, Southern Indiana Sentinel Landscape
Richard Sample, forest ecologist, US Forest Service
Sarah Mincey, managing director, IU Environmental Resilience Institute
11 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m. Breakout session 2
Employers in all sectors are confronting mounting challenges in the space of sustainability and environment—including carbon reduction strategies, environmental investing, health and safety, regulatory compliance, and supply chain issues—leaving them scrambling to find workers with relevant skillsets. During this session, industry experts and academic leaders will explore how to build public-private partnerships that can be responsive to employers’ evolving needs and equip graduates with the most modern and up-to-date skills.
Siân Mooney, dean, IU O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Suzann Lupton, associate dean, IU O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Agriculture accounts for approximately 7% of Indiana’s greenhouse gas emissions, but adoption of “climate-smart” practices could turn the industry into a climate leader for the state. From expanded cover crop use, to innovative water management practices, to adoption of technology-enabled efficiencies, Indiana farmers are playing a key role in advancing climate solutions. Yet, the work is far from complete. This session will provide an overview of how agriculture is changing to account for climate and existing barriers that threaten to slow the rate of progress.
Sara Beth Aubrey, founder, IN-Climate
High-performance buildings save money, improve efficiency, lower carbon emissions, and create healthier places for people. During this session, attendees will hear from local leaders about the strategies involved in constructing high-performance buildings, from siting, to materials, to energy solutions.
MaryEllen Etienne, associate director, US Green Building Council
Increased adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is a critical part of the plan to decarbonize the US transportation sector. As part of that plan, the Indiana Department of Transportation is investing nearly $100 million in federal funds to build an EV charging network at strategic locations along Indiana’s interstates and highways. Other efforts funded by the US Department of Energy are focused on gaining workplace commitments to clean transportation and charging stations. Attend this session for a comprehensive look at these initiatives and their role in shaping a sustainable and electrified transportation future.
Morgan Humburg, events and communications coordinator, Greater Indiana Clean Cities, Inc.
Diane Newton, associate vice president, HNTB
12:15 p.m. Lunch program
1:05 p.m. Keynote address with Groundswell CEO Michelle Moore
2:15 p.m. Conference expo
3 p.m. Breakout session 3
The Fifth National Climate Assessment, released in Nov. 2023, revealed that Americans increasingly see and feel the impacts of climate change in their own communities. In response, many communities and organizations are taking bold action to protect people and contribute to a healthier environment. During this session, attendees will hear about:
A $15 million plan to decarbonize the operations of five national parks around Lake Superior
Flood resilience strategies developed by the City of Goshen after the community experienced catastrophic flooding in 2018
Evidence-based practices that can reduce the risks posed by extreme heat to workers’ health
Yash Pinapati, program manager, Willdan
Siavash Beik, principal engineer, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LLC
Nathan Stinnette, sustainability and resilience planning consultant, RS&H
The built environment represents around 60% of total global carbon emissions, including materials, construction, and operations. Creating greener, eco-conscious buildings and retrofitting old ones demands a wide range of innovative approaches centered on a few fundamental concepts. During this session, attendees will learn about the sustainability strategies guiding the transformation of a 200-year-old convent and its 300-acre campus in Bardstown, Ky. as well as efforts to construct the first full-scale carbon neutral cement plant in the US.
Wendy Krause, Midwest director of environment and sustainability, Heidelberg Materials
Billions of dollars in federal funds for climate and resilience projects have been made available to states, businesses, and communities through the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act. How successful has Indiana been in securing grant funds for Hoosiers? During this session, panelists will discuss how Indianapolis and other Hoosier communities are benefiting from federal investment and what funding opportunities are on the horizon.
Alex Crowley, executive director, Indiana Energy Independence Fund
Mo McReynolds, senior project manager, City of Indianapolis Office of Sustainability
Bill Brown, assistant director for strategy and engagement, IU Environmental Resilience Institute
Indiana generates less than 2% of its electricity from solar energy today. Over the next five years, however, the state is set to experience a solar boom, with a projected 5x increase in solar capacity. With rapid growth, it’s important to ensure the solar industry and customers adopt sustainable practices and that the benefits of solar are accessible to all Hoosiers. During this session, industry professionals will discuss best practices for sustainable solar development and alternative financing models for businesses and communities.
Tyler Kanczuzewski, vice president of sustainability, Inovateus Solar
Kelly Weger, director of sustainability, Qcells Solar
Zach Schalk, Indiana program director, Solar United Neighbors
We encourage all attendees to consider the many transportation options available. Take a look at our Car Free Guide containing resources that will help you understand your alternative transportation options to and from the conference.
Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for registration and breakfast. You are welcome to arrive between 8:30 and 9 a.m., when the program will promptly begin.
Upon arrival, check in at the registration table located on the fourth floor just off the escalators. Here you will receive your name tag and program. The event program will be offered in a physical and virtual format.
2023 conference overview
The 2023 Indiana Sustainability and Resilience Conference took place on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023 at the IUPUI Campus Center.