Nov 14, 2017
Charles Thomas is creating a more beautiful and connected world.
He is a program director for the John S. and James L. Knight
Foundation. He invests foundation funds in journalism, in the arts,
and in the success of the city of Charlotte - one of the cities
where the Knight brothers once published a newspaper. Charles is
the former founding executive director of Queen City Forward, a hub
for social entrepreneurs. His work included launching the
organization and building programs to support social
entrepreneurship and civic innovation. Charles is also a
professional photographer and artist who earlier in his career
served as director of education for The Light Factory Contemporary
Museum of Photography and Film. He began his career working as a
consultant for Andersen Consulting (Accenture). Charles earned his
bachelor's degree in economics from Duke University.
This episode is
perfect for anyone interested in grant-making and community
building, and a personal quest to create greater equity and
connection in the world.
explains what he does as a program
director and the mission of the Knight
- He shares the conversation the Knight Foundation
is having behind the
scenes about their investments and what Knight is
seeking to accomplish.
- He talks about how Knight is exploring the impacts
of Artificial Intelligence on journalism and concerns
about computer-generated news and commentary.
- Charles reveals what is top of mind for
him as he sits at the Knight Foundation table,
the typical day of a program director, and what makes for
a good grant application.
- He shares his strategy as a program director for Charlotte
and the challenges and
opportunities he is facing in his role.
- He discusses what he
would fund if he was investing his own
monies and how and why he wants to get better at
- He talks about what's frustrating him at work, what he's
learning to do, and what he
knows now about himself now that he didn't know when
he took the job.
- Charles describes growing up, being raised as an
only child by a single mom, and how the absence
of his father influenced him.
- He reads from an article he wrote about the Keith Lamont
Scott shooting in Charlotte
and his hopes and vision for the
- He shares his mission and
purpose and what sustains him.
- Charles discusses what's important in life and his
sense of destiny.
After the conversation, host Mark Peres adds a personal word
that begins this way, "This is what I know about Charlie
Thomas. He has a larger vision of himself based on a more
beautiful and connected world..."
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