The Pando Story isn’t really about Pando.

It’s about LA.

It’s about Angelenos.

It’s about our better angels.


It’s about how the bravest of our better angels are working to muster and inspire people who are imagining the unimaginable:

A brighter and better future for Los Angeles.

The people behind Pando

We’re a group of educators, philosophers, entrepreneurs, writers, producers, artists, architects, designers, civil servants, politicians, policymakers, human rights activists, clergy, ecologists, business people, lawyers, engineers, gardeners, nuns and sisters, and even gangsters. 

Eugene Shirley
Founding President

Lyn Goldfarb
Creative Producer of Pando Days

Mark Eckhardt
Advisory Board Member

John B. Cobb, Jr.
Founding Board Chair

What we do

Pando is on a mission to restore community to the heart of education with programs that bring about positive, on-the-ground change.

We’re a non-profit producer of educational programs that deepen the civic engagement of K-12, higher ed, and informal learners across communities and generations. We offer project-base learning. Skills development in social entrepreneurship. Attention to big ideas.

Los Angeles County has adopted an ambitious plan for regional resilience that integrates a broad range of human and natural systems goals. Our programs aim to help implement the plan.

For a brighter and better future.

No one is innovating civic engagement like Pando.

How we work

Our programs embed a project acceleration process for taking on issues that matter most to LA’s future and creating positive change.

We’re not talking about just talking. We deliver measurable impact in collaboration with public agencies, higher ed and K-12, business, and NGOs.

CSO Taskforce

The CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer) Taskforce is a network of LA County’s sustainability professionals. Taskforce meetings are typically held three times a year and give members the opportunity to focus on regional sustainability matters outside of their own siloed interests. The Taskforce also provides its members the environment for qualified service opportunities in collaboration with project-centered courses/studios/labs in higher ed.

The CSO Strategic Taskforce includes Chief Sustainability Officers from government, business, and institutions of civil society across LA County and launched as a collaborative initiative with former Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz.

Collaborators & Sponsors

We collaborate with some 70 Southland organizations and dozens of funders to catalyze for regional resiliency.

More about Pando

Pando Populus is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in the fall of 2014.

The big ideas that motivate us relate to the interconnectedness of all things. We take our name from the largest organism on Earth, a giant quaking aspen and one-tree forest named Pando.

Our inaugural conference was held on the campus of Pomona College in Claremont, CA in June of 2015 for some 1,600 people. The event, titled “Seizing an Alternative,” explored more than eighty different tracks in the sciences and humanities focused on vitalizing human and natural systems. John B. Cobb, Jr., member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, was the intellectual architect of the conference and is Pando’s founding chair.

Like to connect? We’d love to hear from you! Email: Or reach us off-line: 8023 Beverly Blvd. Suite 1, #460, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Phone: 310-428-6406.