Pando Days ’24 launches with thematic spotlights

Artwork by Michael Braley, Braley Design.

Pando Days ’24 launches with thematic spotlights

By   |  May. 30, 2024

So much for resting on laurels. Having wrapped up Pando Days 2023-24 in April with a rousing Awards ceremony, Pando is already nursing springtime buds with the announcement of Pando Days 2024-25.

If you’ve been following Pando Days over the years, you’ll see the program unfolding much the same as you know – but with exciting developments.  

First, we’re looking to grow. And while we’ve enrolled as many as 25 Southland colleges and universities in Pando Days over the past four seasons, we’re eager to expand into every higher educational institution in the region – and beyond.  

To get there, we want to develop a network of support that extends beyond those who create projects for Pando Days and involves those who are just learning what Pando Days is and just beginning to dream how they might get involved – now and into the future.

To this end, we will be making widely available all of the knowledge-based content to schools that are interested – whether or not they aim to submit projects for the current Pando Days competition.  Our aim is to increase the number of schools that benefit from our resources, particularly in communities where there has not yet been Pando Days representation. Our hope is that if we can support them with rich Pando Days content, we can begin to stir their imaginations for full-fledged involvement in the program.

For schools interested in mounting projects for the Pando Days ‘24 competition, we will be supporting them with the same framework and resources as in the past. Our commitment is to provide the knowledge- and skills-based support they need to create outstanding projects – and meet or exceed the level of quality to which the program has become accustomed. Augmenting their work, we will continue to provide high levels of professional networking and advisory support. 

Perhaps the biggest change in Pando Days ‘24 lies in what we anticipate will happen once the April awards are over. Where with previous Pando Days seasons, our professional work in support of the projects largely stopped once the awards were made, for the 2024 season we want to extend an opportunity to selected projects to help them take further steps in project development and implementation in the real world.

Toward this end, we want to provide a kind of accelerator environment that tailors mentoring and specialist help to well-prepared projects that would benefit in targeted ways. Regarding the accelerator, watch this space to learn more. 

Pando Days ‘24 spotlights: water, power, open call

This year, we’re also getting back to the idea of spotlighting content areas within the sustainability plan that deserve special emphasis and focus. Spotlights for the 2024 season are on water and power with “open call” welcoming all other topics under the sustainability umbrella. 

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWDSC) and the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (LACSD) have teamed up to focus a spotlight on water. In support, the agencies are offering special opportunities, fieldtrip access to water treatment sites and other important physical features in the water cycle, and an introduction to some of their cutting-edge research on water infrastructure.

Teams interested in exploring the water spotlight may explore the full spectrum of water sustainability concerns facing Los Angeles County: maintenance of a clean water supply; strategic reduction of commercial, residential and recreational water use; conscientious recycling and disposal of “grey” and waste water; steps to ensure the long-term health and preservation of the Colorado watershed; responsible contingency planning for the possible ramifications of climate change; equitable access and distribution of water resources for all communities, and more. 

The Metropolitan Water District works to “provide its service area with adequate and reliable supplies of high-quality water to meet present and future needs in an environmentally and economically responsible way.” Its support for Pando Days gives us confidence that, together, we are on the right track.  Likewise, the support of LA County Sanitation Districts, whose mission is “converting waste into resources,” offers our teams not only welcome encouragement but actual hands-on models from which to draw inspiration.  

To provide a Pando Days spotlight on power, we are delighted to once again be in partnership with the Clean Power Alliance and Calpine Energy Solutions, a company whose work seeks to help businesses transform their energy/carbon management programs. Special knowledge-based and advisory opportunities related to power will be offered. 

The Pando Days open call category attracts projects that focus on any of the 12 OurCounty LA sustainability goals.  

Interested in learning more about Pando Days ‘24?  Check out the Pando Days ‘24 webpage. Sign up for regular updates.  Submit your proposal to be part of the Pando Days ‘24 program.  

And hey, what about that Pando Days ‘24 graphic image?  Designer Michael Braley is on the job with stunning work to support the Pando program season. Thanks, Michael! 

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