Center Pillars

We are leveraging the gift that established the Adrienne Arsht Community-Based Resilience Solutions Initiative, to create the future Resilience and Sustainability Center.

The Center will be structured around four main pillars:


Our resilience research builds upon and harnesses the existing strengths of Smithsonian natural and social science, to understand the global challenges ahead better than ever before. Scientific capacity and sound generation of knowledge are the basis of the other three objectives. Resilience research is based on the idea of environments as socio-ecological systems, where people and nature are intricately connected and influence each other.

Training & Capacity Sharing

The Center aims to support a signature Smithsonian fellowship program or training center that will include a diverse, interdisciplinary, engaged group of early career scholars, practitioners, and decision makers, inclusive of participants from across the global tropics. Participants will pursue use-inspired research, and will receive training on leadership, science communication, policy engagement and interdisciplinary collaborations. 

Community Engagement

With a focus on programs driven by Smithsonian science, community engagement efforts will embed scientists across the global tropics to work beyond traditional outreach activities by identifying specific community needs, connecting these needs with STRI science, and ensuring the science is relevant to policy. Other goals include developing formal and informal education programs for K-12 students and teachers, and connecting Smithsonian scientists, curators, historians and artists with civil society and scientists involved in policy, to inform critical environment and climate change decisions, and reclaim stewardship of environments and communities. 


This pillar focuses on leveraging partnerships to create a community-based solutions think thank to devise, test and implement solutions to pressing environmental and social crises. Through global thematic convenings, the aim is to gather and connect interdisciplinary thinkers, scientists, artists and planners, communities, policymakers, and educators, as part of a creative outlet that will ensure the initiative’s activities have an impact at all levels.

Proposed Outcomes

These pillars are built on the core values of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion, with the aim of serving and supporting typically underserved people and environments. These values will be embedded at every stage and activity of this Center, from participants to the communities benefiting from the research and impacted by the results.

Expected outcomes will include:

  • Forming a community-based network of scholars and practitioners working collaboratively with the Resilience Initiative and its partners to prioritize local expertise, needs and interests.
  • Establishing a Solutions Design Lab and Innovation for Resilience programs, with rotating annual themes and outcomes.
  • Forming a Resilience Science Advisory Team (R-SAT) that will inform the initiative’s focus and activities.
  • Establishing a fellowship program, the Smithsonian Socio-Environmental Resilience Leaders, to train the next generation of environmental leaders from across the global tropics.
  • Creating an innovative, interdisciplinary, and use-inspired science program to inform community-based resilience solutions.

Join us in creating a more resilient future