Pando Populus produces hyper-local initiatives on environmental, social, and economic matters, strategically chosen to help fast-track a more resilient LA County.  We bring some of the most unlikely partners together to make great things happen.

Every January, we gather creative and passionate change-makers from academic, government, art and design, faith (and no faith), business, and activist communities to assess eco and social justice challenges.  Brainstorm ingenious solutions (we call it, “thinking wrong”).  And develop action plans based on small, achievable bets that in aggregate might really add up to something.

Then we follow through on plans over the coming months in collaboration with an ever-enlarging circle of large and small organizations, adjusting to input as we go.  

Our inaugural event in June of 2015 brought together 1,500 people from around the globe to rethink civilization in explicitly ecological terms. John B. Cobb, Jr., pioneer at the intersection of philosophical theology and the environment and Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, served as intellectual architect.

Read more about the Conference.

Since then, we’ve put shovels in the ground for an eco-homeless shelter. Developed community gardening and urban farming initiatives in the cities of Carson and Ontario. Helped launch a field-based education program related to the region’s great watersheds.  Deepened interfaith collaboration for the Earth.  And, with the Maryknoll Sisters in Monrovia, created a remedy for burnout among local social justice and environmental change-makers.

We’re now deepening our collaboration with Maryknoll Monrovia to experiment in creating what we call a “residential research park for integral ecology,” based on the vision of Pope Francis in his 2015 encyclical to the world, Laudato Si’.

In all these initiatives, we create capacity for our partners. And help them accomplish work together that is difficult to pull off alone.  Think old-fashioned barn-raisings, with an urban and eco twist.

Read more about our initiatives and events.

In 2017, we launched the CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer) Strategic Taskforce to focus on a countywide sustainability vision that’s larger than any siloed interest.  Taskforce members come from the leading government, business, and academic institutions in the County.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz helped launch the initiative.  Caltech CSO John Onderdonk serves as Taskforce chair.

Read more about the CSO Strategic Taskforce.

We’re launching initiatives and events at sites across Los Angeles County (and sometimes, even beyond). Recent and upcoming projects include:


Creating standout prototype examples of water and power conservation.


Contemplative journey to the home of the largest living organism on Earth.


Peer facilitation for best practices, innovation and consultation in creating a sustainable city.


Where change-makers go to unplug and recharge.

DO YOU PANDO? We’re growing the rootball and hope to include you!

"Pando launched with the biggest of big ideas – to rethink civilization with the Earth in mind. We’re now bringing those ideas down to Earth in LA County.” — John Bielenberg

Latest Posts

Massive Organism Is Crashing on Our Watch

The first comprehensive assessment of the Pando aspen clone by researchers Paul Rogers and Darren McAvoy reveals critical threats to this unique single-tree forest.

Philosophy at Large in the Ecosphere

Every so often a culture undergoes a radical re-assessment of its primary operating assumptions. It happens rarely and slowly, because such re-imaginings are considered highly dangerous and disruptive. At their most disruptive they can alter reality, which, according to Bill Vitek, is precisely what ecospherism has done.

Defending the Boundary Waters

Joseph Goldstein explains why the fight for our planet is “all about the small steps forward…about getting back up despite setbacks, about consistently showing up, and about staying even when you’re discouraged,” like the defense he and his peers have mounted on behalf of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

A Unique Historical Opportunity

In this far-ranging and inspirational speech for a meeting of women religious in Monrovia, CA, John Cobb discusses major influences that have shaped our current situation and the alternative vision of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’. He concludes with ways that Pando at Maryknoll might incarnate integral ecology.