Blitz: Because our streets are their future

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Blitz: Because our streets are their future

By   |  Sep. 6, 2023

With 25 colleges and universities having enrolled in Pando Days since our first season, we’re in the middle of an unparalleled network of higher ed institutions doing amazing work for Southland sustainability.

And all of these campuses are surrounded by bus stops. 

A network of 12,108 of them to be exact, according to Pando Days sponsoring partner LA Metro — which wants to make its stops more than simply places to catch the bus, but to catch inspiration for a thriving future.

Now in its second year of support, Metro sees Pando Days as an opportunity to extend community outreach and engagement. So the Pando Days ’23 Blitz asked all participating college and university teams to take on a single Metro-inspired challenge:

How might LA’s bus stops become something more than hubs to hail a ride — but portals to a sustainable region?

This year, over 70 students and instructors signed up to brainstorm this challenge.

Because young Angelenos know that our streets are their future.

A Camp Pando team will now choose anywhere from one to three ingenious ideas to push forward, with plans and prototypes. Results will be presented at the Pando Awards in April at Caltech. 

How might bus stops become portals onto equity and sustainability? Can they be used as performance spaces? Gardens? To teach about water. Take the chance to think wrong about all these ideas and more at our upcoming Blitz.

A Blitz is what we call the Pando brainstorming model. Based in design thinking, it’s designed to spark brave ideas and generate a firehose of innovation — in a flash. 

The genius of a Blitz lies in its people, so we aim to attract the broadest range possible. Blitzes celebrate the spirit of innovation that results from intersecting diversities. (On diversity and innovation, see one of our favorite books, The Medici Effect).

Blitzes teach a methodology for unlocking creativity and give teams the tools they need for effective brainstorming throughout the whole of their project development process.

The Pando Days ’23 Blitz was led by design legend John Bielenberg, author of Think Wrong the book and Pando’s creative director, and serial entrepreneur Brandt Williams. 

Metro is the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and is the County agency that plans, operates, and coordinates funding for most of the public transportation system in Los Angeles County, the most populous in the country.

To learn more about the Blitz and find related resources, see our Blitz deck.

Members of the Pando writing team include Rich Binell, Alexi Caracotsios, Amy Goldberg, Rebecca Schmitt, and Eugene Shirley.