Shannon Binns is the founder and executive director of Sustain Charlotte, a nonprofit organization helping to advance the long-term social, economic, and environmental health of the Charlotte region. Prior to launching Sustain Charlotte in 2010, Shannon worked at The Nature Conservancy in Washington, DC where he was part of their climate change science and policy team. He has also served as an agroforestry volunteer with the Peace Corps in Senegal, helped found a tsunami relief organization in Thailand, and served communities across the Northeast US as a member of AmeriCorps. In the private sector, Shannon has worked as an industrial engineer for Motorola, General Motors, and Trane. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University.
This episode is perfect for anyone interested in sustainability and smart growth, and a life of humanitarian work and service.
IN THIS EPISODE
- Shannon explains the mission and work of Sustain Charlotte.
- He defines what sustainability means to him.
- He shares what gets in the way of sustainability and the benefits of long-term thinking.
- He addresses whether an unregulated free market is the best mechanism for addressing present and future needs.
- Shannon discusses smart growth and the costs and benefits of new modes of travel.
- He talks about why Sustain Charlotte is necessary.
- He addresses the symbolism of becoming a low-carbon city.
- He reveals what’s on his mind as a leader of the organization.
- Shannon describes his childhood in Iowa and the irony of his family business.
- He talks about a teenage trait he still has to this day.
- He shares what changed in his life when he studied abroad.
- He details his humanitarian work after college and managing the work emotionally.
- Shannon identifies the book that most influenced him and his career.
- He shares a period of depression and what brought hope and optimism back to his life.
- He answers what motivated him to start Sustain Charlotte.
- He talks about Crystal Tayara and Edie Binns.
- Shannon reveals the values he carries in his wallet and what he wants his to be about.