Blog by Patti Witten
Armed with a tongue-in cheek slogan and a shared passion for the environment, Joseph “Jay” Siegel (M.R.P. ’14) and and cohost Scott Breen produce SustainabilityDefined, an interview-format podcast that aims to push sustainability forward and help listeners define sustainability “one topic (and one bad joke) at a time.”
Siegel, a real estate investment adviser at JLL in San Francisco, and Breen, a senior coordinator in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Sustainability and circular Economy Program in Washington, D.C., met at the 2016 Net Impact Conference. In a follow up conversation, Siegel suggested that they work together to create a podcast on sustainability topics. Breen’s dual degree in law and public affairs and Siegel’s degree in planning and background in environmental activism were a perfect fit.
The pair came up with a spreadsheet of “personal sustainability contacts” who would be invited to participate as experts on a topic in various sectors –energy, cities, natural environment, transportation, business, policy, and social. Their first episode was released on Arbor Day 2016, and featured an interview with a co-founder of Riide, an electric bike water infrastructure (cities), circular economy (business), agroecology (natural environment), and conservatism and climate change (policy). Combined, the topics filled out an organizational “tree” that helps to define sustainability and foster action toward a more resilient future.
Overall, the podcast aims to publish content that leaders in the sustainability field respect while still being easily accessible to those less familiar with sustainability. The podcast has been downloaded more than 25,000 times, with approximately 15% of listeners based outside of the U.S. It has been featured by GreenBiz as one of “Seven Exceptional Sustainability Podcasts You Should Listen To,” and was named one of “5 Great Sustainability Podcasts to Play Now” by the website 1MillionWomen.
SustainabilityDefined is available on Apple iTunes and Google Play. More information on the podcast may be found at their website.