By Adrian McInnis
As a Business & Administration major, I have dealt with many situations in my studies that have been perfunctory and solvable via quantification. For the most part, I was okay with making quick assumptions and running the numbers. A quick calculation here, follow this formula there, and let the numbers run themselves to a final. There were several scenarios where quantification was inadequate and judgment calls needed to be made though.
Those aforementioned judgments were not for me to make let alone anyone else’s; rather, it was a collective decision with multiple different disciplines being involved. The opportunity to work as a Fellow for the Shi Center allowed me to coerce with multiple disciplines and yield more sustainable answers. Decisions whereby all parties had a say in the outcome of a dilemma. Much like the decisions of the Green Ribbon Advisory Committee, sustainable solutions were always the better answer.
Though most people believe sustainability to relate to the environment, I believe it to be a holistic approach. The dimensions in my fellowships included the local community, tourists, private business, wildlife, and the environment. There were many priorities in decision making that yielded alternative responses; it may have been cost, it may have been political given upcoming elections, it may have been private economic development to boost the economy, and at times was about the environment.
During my work there, all of the reasons listed were given equivalent weight in discussions. The most notable aspect though was that sustainability was woven into every decision. At this fellowship, I had the chance to compile a comprehensive report that considered multiple factors as to why Greenville could upgrade their building codes to the International Green Construction Codes. The experience allowed me to develop new relationships, experience new ways of thinking, and contribute to my growing lists of environmental accomplishments.
Here, change is ongoing and the people of City Hall guide the direction of that change. I am thankful to be blessed with an opportunity that the David E. Shi Sustainability Fellowship offered and encourage everyone that is able to apply for this position.