PD ’22 Salon Events

Pando Days ’22 Salons rolled out across four locations over the week of November 7-11, exploring some of the biggest assumptions at the root of sustainability.

Pando Days Salons launched in November 2022 with four wide-ranging events involving students from LA Trade Tech, Santa Monica College, and California State University, Northridge. 

The Salons brought together diverse students in background, experience, and age – from undergrad to graduate students. In a variety of settings, we prototyped different approaches to what a Salon event might be, and the environments most conducive to encouraging deep thought. 

Formats ranged from in-class discussions to small gatherings over coffee. Experience from the November events will inform upcoming Salon structures. 

Salons are distinguished from other Pando Days events through their intent to stimulate broad and open-ended thinking about fundamental assumptions, as opposed to problem-solving with a specific Pando Days team project. 

Salons are a forum for probing big questions. They are more about seeking than they are about finding solutions. 

Salons ask questions or probe assumptions related to ideas that, while obvious, are often ignored. Questions like:  What actually is worth sustaining in the modern world? And, why? What is worth holding onto? What might we let go?

We posed these sorts of questions at our November ‘22 events. Discussions ranged widely. No thought was off the table. But every idea eventually had to face the question of Why?, and then Why again. 

Our aim was to hit bedrock assumptions and see which assumptions held.

Read the deck to explore the Salon format of the prototype season. 

Student reactions:

“Thinking is a lot harder than I thought it would be.” 

“It’s a little disturbing. But I like it.”

“I never thought of asking, for instance, exactly why climate change is bad – I just took it as a given. To actually question that kind of assumption is something that would be really hard to talk about in class normally.”

“I loved being able to talk about anything – and not worry what others would say.”

“I think we need more time to think.”