What's New


We re-launched pando.sc at the ICLEI World Congress 2015! Over the last three years, Pando has become a fully-featured collaborative platform, designed to be used as a virtual boardroom: a place to meet, share ideas, and work towards common goals.

New features include:

  • Groups - A space for organizations and groups of individuals to form public and private discussion boards.
  • Projects - A virtual project room, complete with task organizer, for keeping track of collaborative work.
  • Topics - Pando, divided into 20 different areas of sustainability. Click a topic to see everything related to it.

We have also just rolled out our new site design, which aims to make Pando faster, keep it secure, and provide you an intuitive way to use the site.

Our Aim

Pando.sc is an online community with a collaborative focus, where researchers and sustainability practitioners share knowledge, network, and work toward solutions that can be enacted at the community level— solutions such as green building, reduction and recycling of local waste, water management, participatory democracy, land use, and much more.

Join the conversation! Register online to become a member.

Pando is a collaboration between:

What can I do on Pando?

On Pando | Sustainable Communities, you'll enjoy opportunities to meet, discuss, share and collaborate with professionals from around the world researching and working on community-level sustainability solutions.

Key features include:

  • current, high-quality content tailored from your professional and research interests;
  • moderated, members-only discussion forums;
  • private group and project spaces to work with your organization;
  • a place to share sustainability success stories and cutting-edge research;
  • events of interest to the sustainability community;
  • job bulletins, RFP postings, and calls for grant proposals;
  • advanced search features enabling you to locate colleagues, tools and resources most relevant to you

If you’d like to know more about the network, please keep reading our Frequently Asked Questions
[FAQs] below.


What is Pando | Sustainable Communities?

Pando.sc is a multilingual, international online community with a professional focus, where researchers, academics, and public- and private-sector practitioners share knowledge, network, and collaborate on sustainability solutions that can be enacted at the community level—such as green building, reduction and recycling of local waste, water management, participatory democracy, land use, and much more. Although Pando members seek to act locally, they think globally, and are definitely informed by broader sustainability concerns such as climate change, species extinction, ocean pollution, deforestation, and international initiatives like the UN's 2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Why the name Pando?

The name Pando was inspired by the renowned aspen grove of the same name on Utah’s Colorado Plateau. Covering 43 hectares, its more than 47,000 tree trunks look like separate trees but actually comprise a single living organism connected by a massive root system. At an estimated 80,000 years of age, Pando is one of the world's most resilient living things. Scientists named this enormous aspen stand Pando because its Latin equivalent means "I spread." Its qualities are reflected in our online collaboration platform: a strong, resilient and international network of researchers and practitioners dedicated to innovation for more sustainable communities.

Our namesake: PandoOur namesake: Pando

Why is Pando necessary?

Creating sustainable communities—a term we use here in the physical sense, referring to human settlements that range from remote and rural to large and urban—is one of our greatest challenges. Despite huge progress developing sustainability goals over the past two decades, communities continue to struggle with insufficient capacity, expertise, and resources to implement them. Pieces of the puzzle exist among diverse people and communities, and many success stories and failures aren't widely shared. Meanwhile, many researchers in academia, NGOs, and government are keen to connect with communities that need their assistance—but how? Conferences offer opportunities for researchers and practitioners to share, inspire, and connect, but not everyone can get to the  same events. Pando was designed to address these problems.

Who uses Pando?

Typical Pando users include staff and elected officials from all levels of government, urban planners, environmental consultants, members of non-governmental organizations, researchers, university professors and graduate students. However, anyone who spends a significant part of his or her professional life grappling with local sustainability challenges will find value in Pando.

Pando is now available in eleven languages.

What will Pando do that other leading social media don't?

Pando is the only online community that we know of that actively seeks to strengthen relationships between researchers (in academia, government, and NGOs) and practitioners (in NGO, government, and private firms) focused on local (as opposed to national or global) sustainability challenges. Pando sources the most innovative communication principles from other social media and the result is a one-stop shop for collaboration, research and action for sustainable communities.

What can I do on Pando?

On Pando | Sustainable Communities, you'll enjoy unparalleled opportunities to meet, discuss, share and collaborate with professionals researching and working on community-level sustainability solutions. By becoming a member, you'll be able to access all of the features unavailable to casual visitors to the site:

  • Researchers enjoy connecting with a broad network of of researchers and practitioners focused on sustainable communities-related issues. Participation in Pando will keep you tuned to communities' current sustainability-related challenges, identifying opportunities for more relevant and grounded research.
  • Practitioners enjoy sharing knowledge and resources with a global community of colleagues facing challenges like yours. Furthermore, you will have help navigating the wealth of academic research on sustainable communities as well as opportunities to build relationships with academics and researchers keen to work with you.
  • Pando members recognized by their peers for their expertise in subject areas and generous contribution of time to the betterment of the Pando community are offered opportunities to moderate discussions and contribute to Pando governance.

How much does it cost to be on Pando?

Nothing. Pando has remained free for everyone since it started and we will do our utmost to ensure that it remains so.

Who's behind Pando?

Pando was conceptualized by Dr. Mark Roseland, Professor and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Community Development at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in British Columbia, Canada, and funded by a generous grant from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.  Other partners include the Centre for Sustainable Community Development, the BC Climate Action Secretariat, and the journal Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. Pando was launched globally in June 2012 at the Urban Research Symposium of the 2012 ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability World Congress, an event associated with the Rio+20 Earth Summit. Pando is re-launching with its new design and features at the ICLEI 2015 World Congress and International Researchers Symposium.  

The current Pando Team (left-to-right): James Benoit, Technology Wizard; Mark Roseland, Founder and Director; Maria Spiliotopoulou, Community Animator 

How do I start?

If contributing to and learning from a vibrant community of people who actively work towards sustainable communities appeals to you, please join us! To get started, just click Join Pando Today.

Join our Community

Join the global Pando Community of sustainable researchers and practitioners.

Featured Topic

Civic engagement is the encouragement of the general public to become involved in the political process and the issues that affect them. It is the community coming together to be a collective source of change, political and non-political. ...