Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
HeatWise Policy Partnership

HeatWise Policy Partnership

For more information about the HeatWise Policy Partnership, contact Ashley Ward, director of the Heat Policy Innovation Hub at the Nicholas Institute.

Record-setting heat has taken a devastating toll on human health and economic productivity in the United States in recent years—and climate scientists predict that heat seasons will continue to lengthen and intensify. The scope and magnitude of this deadly threat is awakening new political will as decision-makers confront the inadequacy of current systems and the urgent need for innovative policy solutions.

Enter the HeatWise Policy Partnership Summit, held June 24-26, 2024. At this invitation-only event, more than 100 researchers, policymakers, and corporate and community leaders converged at Duke University in Durham, NC, for robust cross-sectoral dialogue about how to make communities more resilient to heat events.

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HeatWise Policy Partnership Summit June 24-26, 2024

During dynamic roundtable discussions, attendees identified gaps, shared insights and lessons learned, and mapped out evidence-based, community-centered solutions. Discussions focused on three core themes: 

  • Data for risk, exposure, and impact,
  • Blended finance and the future of the insurance industry, and
  • Rural heat interventions.

The summit launched the HeatWise Policy Partnership, which will network attendees for sustained collaboration—creating a “brain trust” of leaders committed to accelerating extreme heat solutions in the United States. The HeatWise Policy Partnership is organized by Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, and the summit was supported by generous sponsors.

The Nicholas Institute will follow up on the summit by publishing a report identifying concrete recommendations on the core themes. These will form the basis of an outreach and education program aimed at policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as public agency leadership.

Throughout the summit, participants identified additional themes for exploration at future HeatWise Policy Partnership events, setting the stage for ongoing engagement and the evolution of ideas. 


Sponsors of the 2024 Summit

The HeatWise Policy Partnership Summit was made possible by support from generous sponsors. We are so grateful to these organizations for investing in policy leadership to protect communities across the US in the face of extreme heat.

For inquiries about sponsorship, please contact Ashley Ward (director of the Heat Policy Innovation Hub):

americares logo
Duke Office of Climate and Sustainability
Hagerty logo
The Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation
Museum of Life + Science logo
Natural Resources Defense Council logo
NC Biotech Logo
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Swiss Re logo
Trane Technologies logo