July 31, 2017

Location: Athenaeum, Caltech
Featured Presentation: John Bielenberg, Think Wrong

Foreground, left to right: Robyn Eason, West Hollywood Senior Planner, John Bielenberg, Future Partners founder and Pando Populus Creative Director, Mark Spears, Walt Disney Company Sustainable Business Practices Director (ret.).

The inaugural event of the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) Strategic Taskforce kicked off in Caltech’s legendary Athenaeum with the challenge to “think wrong” about LA County sustainability — given the direction that thinking “right” is taking us.

John Onderdonk, CSO of Caltech, chaired the evening and welcomed members to this premiere event. Andy Shrader, environmental policy director from the Office of Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, delivered the Councilmember’s greetings.

John Bielenberg, a founder of Pando Populus and of the Silicon Valley design firm Future Partners, then facilitated the kind of Think Wrong discussions that he has become known for internationally. Breakout sessions generated specific, small-bet ideas addressing countywide sustainability challenges from waste to EV charging to water.

Taskforce members said in post-event debriefings that they were interested in: 1) cross-silo networking; 2) cutting-edge content and best practices; and 3) opportunities to collaborate on specific projects in collaboration with other Taskforce members. They see themselves as a kind of “kitchen cabinet” on sustainability and resource to make key initiatives and events happen.