ISI & ZPH November 2021 Virtual Conference


Equitable & Sustainable Infrastructure
Delivering Merit & Climate Resilience Virtual Conference
November 17 & 18, 2021

The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) and the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at Harvard University (ZPH) are proud to be hosting the Equitable and Sustainable Infrastructure / Delivering Merit and Climate Resilience conference on November 17 & 18, 2021.  A day before the official conference there are pre-conference courses and a networking session for all ENV SPs.  ENV SPs will be able to complete all education hours over the course of the virtual conference — including prescribed hours on Tuesday, 11/16. We’re offering three live courses, all of which qualify for prescribed hours; they can be attended individually or in any combination.  

This conference takes a 360-degree view of what it means to design, build, and implement infrastructure systems that deliver merit, by deconstructing the term, as well as defining and measuring “merit.”

Merit can be viewed through a series of lenses, including economic, social, environmental and climatic implications. Experts will share new perspectives on the factors that influence the way infrastructure is implemented. Since public policy and funding opportunities often shape the direction of the industry, infrastructure professionals must balance responding to both policy and stakeholder needs, all while securing adequate funding for projects to be successful.

Historically, infrastructure decisions have played a role in creating and amplifying the vulnerability of underserved populations. With climate change, those populations tend to be even more vulnerable to extreme weather. The mindset must now be shifted to correct historical injustices and use infrastructure to provide equitable services to all communities.

Participants in this conference will walk away with a better understanding of the broader landscape of the infrastructure industry today and will see new ideas for how infrastructure can better serve communities with merit.

Who should attend?

  • ENV SPs
  • City officials
  • Thought leaders
  • Infrastructure industry professionals (planners, architects, engineers, developers, owners, constructors, operators)
  • Public sector agency employees
  • Students
  • Sustainability and resilience experts and novices alike – anyone with a desire to learn something new!

Pre-Conference Course & Networking
Tuesday, November 16


Envision Implementation: Organization-wide Strategies
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 

*This course qualifies toward one prescribed hour of education toward ENV SP credential maintenance.
Zoom registration link
Course Description: An increasing number of public and private sector stakeholders are using Envision to plan, design, and deliver more sustainable infrastructure by setting standards, establishing policies, and pursuing verification. The purpose of this course is to demonstrate how Envision can be used to develop a holistic approach that extends beyond individual project success. Leaders from across all industry sectors offer detailed examples that illustrate ways Envision has bolstered their sustainable business practices. These examples are intended to inspire new approaches that can be strategically integrated into everyday operations.


Best Practices for Using Envision on Projects and Across Portfolios
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

*This course qualifies toward 1 prescribed hour of education toward ENV SP credential maintenance.
Zoom registration link
Course Description: The purpose of this course is to demonstrate how Envision may be used as a tool to implement best practices and enhance designs beyond the success of individual projects.  The examples illustrated throughout this course are models for Envision use that standardize implementation approaches across the project lifecycle.


Foundational Decade for Advancing Sustainable Infrastructure
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

*This course qualifies toward 2 prescribed hours of education toward ENV SP credential maintenance.
Zoom registration link
Course Description: ISI’s 10-year history is built on a foundation of grassroots advocacy by people who are passionate about sustainable infrastructure. This course showcases the key influencers along with the milestone projects that served as the platform for ISI’s growth and increasing Envision use across the U.S., Canada, and globally.  This course prepares ENV SPs for advocacy by strengthening their foundational knowledge of ISI and the Envision framework. Examples are presented to demonstrate success by ISI members, ENV SPs, and project teams throughout the past 10 years; these examples inform future efforts and inspire expanded use of Envision.


Remo Open House and Networking
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. 

Remo registration link – Click “Save me a Spot!”
Join us on Tuesday evening before the conference begins to meet your fellow attendees and familiarize yourself with the Remo platform. Great opportunity for first-time Remo users and anyone wanting to make the most of conference networking sessions.



Day-1 Agenda
November 17


Day-1 Keynote
Wednesday, November 17
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
– 10:00 a.m. / Welcome and Opening Remarks
– 10:15  a.m.  / Day One Keynote Speaker (to be announced) and moderated Q&A
Zoom registration link


Session 1: Thinking from the Outside-In
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.   

Zoom registration link Session 1
– 11:30 a.m.  / Panel 1: Evolving Public Policy and Funding
– 12:30 p.m.  / Panel 2: Local Examples of Implementing Polices and Securing Funding
The technical program opens with a discussion of the factors that shape infrastructure development. Speakers will discuss the needs of the “outside world” and how those needs can be met by infrastructure professionals, or the “inside world.” Speakers addressing public policy issues will touch on climate change, lifecycle cost effectiveness in terms of post-pandemic recovery, and equity. Experts will shine a light on public sector funding in the form of stimulus and grants, as well as private sector funding. Examples of localized success stories will be shared.


Awards Ceremony and Moment of Recognition
1:45 p.m.– 2:45 p.m. 

Zoom registration link awards ceremony
Join our special 1-hr webinar as we celebrate the recent achievements of the ISI and ZPH networks. Recent project award recipients will be invited to share highlights from their Envision projects.


Session 2: Engaging Stakeholders
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  

Zoom registration link Session 2
– 3:00 p.m. / Panel 1: Connecting Communities through Robust Stakeholder Engagement
– 4:00 p.m. / Panel 2: Results and Outcomes: Effective Stakeholder Engagement In Practice
Assessing stakeholder needs allows us to be better positioned to identify appropriate solutions, and this session puts a laser focus on best practices in stakeholder engagement. Always with an eye toward creating a two-way street of communication between stakeholders and infrastructure professionals, speakers in this session share perspectives from the asset owner, infrastructure users, and the “host” community. Special attention will be paid to engaging multiple public community groups in cases where stakeholders have been previously disconnected, and in cases where communities are working towards climate resilience. Additionally, lessons learned from the pandemic will be discussed in terms of how COVID has changed how we engage our stakeholders and which new best practices are here to stay.


Networking Session
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. 

Remo registration link Networking Session – Click “Save me a Spot!”
Register to attend this interactive networking session using the Remo platform. Participants will be able to engage with conference attendees through round table discussions.


Day-2 Agenda
Thursday, November 18


Day-2 Keynote
Thursday, November 18
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 

Zoom registration link
— 10:00 a.m.  / Welcome and opening remarks
— 10:15 a.m.  / Keynote speaker (to be announced) and moderated Q&A


Session 3: Serving the Underserved
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  

Zoom registration link Session 3
— 11:30 a.m.  / Panel 1: Who are the underserved and what is their infrastructure reality?
— 12:00 p.m. / Panel 2: How can infrastructure serve as connections to opportunities?
— 12:30 p.m. / Panel 3: How is the infrastructure community engaging with Envision to lift the underserved that are impacted by climate change?
— 1:00 p.m.   / Moderated Q&A with all panelists
For generations, infrastructure projects have resulted in a mixture of impacts and benefits.  Many of the impacts flowed to communities that struggle to access opportunities to improve their lives. In this session, we will shine light on the realities of infrastructure development including tradeoffs we have all faced as we strive to deliver solutions that serve the needs of the broadest communities. Panel 1 will focus on the practical realities of infrastructure development including ramifications of our decisions and how steps are being taken to be sure that the long-term interests of entire communities are adequately addressed.  Panel 2 will examine how three generations of engineers view their evolving roles in infrastructure development and the challenges of gentrification verses connectivity that enables less advantaged people to access a range of opportunities that enhance their lives. Panel 3 will focus on specific examples of 21st Century Infrastructure projects engaged with the entire cross section of communities and delivering solutions that serve present and future generations in ways that lift all lives.


Posters and Networking Session
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Remo registration link Poster and Networking Session

Register to attend this interactive poster and networking session using the Remo platform. The poster session is an opportunity to share your work on sustainable infrastructure and engage with conference attendees. For more information and to submit a poster for consideration, please click here and complete the Google form.


Session 4: Thinking from the Inside-Out
3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Zoom registration link Session 4

– 3:00 p.m. / Panel 1: Designing for Merit
– 4:00 p.m. / Panel 2: Data, Technology, and Innovation that Deliver Merit
– 5:00 p.m. /  Closing remarks
Throughout the virtual conference, external influence factors have been analyzed with respect to how they may inform infrastructure decisions. As a session intended to culminate the ideas and best practices, the final session is forward thinking and showcases how infrastructure professionals can plan for and design systems that meet current demands. Speakers will define “merit” in the context of infrastructure design and spotlight technology and innovation to deliver merit.

You can download the conference and pre-conference agendas here.