Pando Days


Pando Days is our flagship program that brings together educators from the arts, humanities, sciences, and communications to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing LA County. And asks them to inspire each other. And their students. And Angelenos. And the world. With ingenious new solutions and plans.

Pando Days creates collaboration between higher education, public sectors, and business to help advance the Sustainable Development Goals in our region. Collaborating higher educational institutions dedicate full courses, studios, or labs to developing ingenious solutions that promote a more vital and resilient Southland.

We support their work with curricular resources, a Pando Days Fellowship opportunity for the program leads, and honoraria. 

End-of-project deliverables combine innovation with practicality for on-the-ground engagement and community improvement. Projects are showcased at premiere events and a judged finale.  We award cash prizes and facilitate the connections needed to help push promising ideas forward. 

Projects range from edible salt-water gardens to artificial intelligence algorithms addressing homeless needs. From biodiversity solutions at the treetop level to green transportation in disadvantaged areas.    

Pando Days first developed as Junk Battle in 2018, bringing colleges and universities together to develop solutions for their own waste streams. In 2019, Pando Days energized and enlarged the Junk Battle idea with a widened view, taking in the whole of sustainability for Los Angeles County as articulated by the OurCounty LA plan.

Since that time, Pando Days has accelerated the development of more than two dozen new sustainability initiatives across the Southland.  

Four projects from the 2019-20 season were picked up by outside funders, including Google and Mellon. Six from 2021 are currently in discussion with public agencies and NGO partners.

Pando Days empowers teachers and students to use their intellectual and creative assets to build the future they want to inhabit, and gives them tools to do it. It grounds civil discourse in civic engagement.  

Pando Days is produced in consultation with Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Officer Gary Gero and in collaboration with the CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer) Taskforce.

Participating schools

How it works

Pando Days is an intercollegiate, project-driven program for civic engagement focused on the region we love and call home.  

The program integrates across a broad range of curricula.  Pando Days resources support transdisciplinary learning that’s values-focused – for the Earth and its people. 

Our season begins every year in the spring with outreach to fifty-some colleges and universities throughout the Southland.  An April launch event informs schools about the nature of the year’s program and how the season will unfold.  Program applications are accepted over a month-long period. 

Southland instructors from across departments and disciplines apply for the opportunity to enroll their fall-term courses, studios, or labs in the Pando Days program.  

End of spring, we support 10-12 of the most promising proposals by naming the relevant instructors as Pando Days Fellows for the fall term.  We provide them with honoraria and a broad range of curricular resources.  

Pando Days program resources are provided free of charge and include:

1.

Framework

The Pando Days framework begins with a launch and project selection period in the spring; offers full-suite curricular support with embedded competition event over the fall term; and culminates with end-of-project premiere events and judged finale at year’s end. Cash awards seed further project development.

2.

Workshops

Workshops include our design thinking innovation Blitz led by legendary pros in the field. Expert coaching focuses on narrative construction, management and more. We offer supplemental learning resources in support, such as suggested reading/viewing lists. We help with access to specialist advisors and speakers.

3.

Salons

Salon events are held on relevant Pando Days topics and sustainability themes with key figures, leading intellectuals, activists and others.  The events are hybrid, in-person and virtual, held at campus locations across the County, and open to the public. 

4.

Implementation

Following the Pando Days season, we support selected projects on an as-needed and mutually-agreed basis with community-building, advice, and help with project funding connections. As warranted, we provide services to project teams, such as serving in the role of fiscal agent. 

Pando Days Seasons 2018-22

Pando Days ’22

2022 Season

Pando Days is back and focusing on the neighborhood for its 2022 Season.

Pando Days ’21

2021 Season

Ten of the most creative college and university minds take on four challenges within the LA County sustainability plan.

Pando Days 2019-20

2019-20 Season

Southland colleges and universities come together with courses, studios, and labs to build County sustainability.


Selected Blog Posts

Pando Days ’21 Premiere Recap

Pando Days coming to life: UCLA’s Biophilia Treehouse

Pando Days Update: Berenika Boberska, Woodbury

Pando Days Update: Gina Valona, Otis


Thank you!

Pando Days is a collaboration with the CSO Taskforce for LA County and made possible in part by The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.