Rootball keeps you up to date on all things Pando Populus. Here’s the latest.
A Dozen JUNK BATTLE! Teams Expected
Los Angeles County’s art and design communities are taking on waste at the Pando Populus JUNK BATTLE! April 20.  A dozen teams and at least five educational institutions are preparing now to shine a spotlight on the problem of trash countywide.    

Produced in collaboration with the UCLA Office of Sustainability and events producer NCompass, JUNK BATTLE! challenges teams of the most creative students in the southland to make something amazing and useful out of their institutional waste streams.  

UCLA, ArtCenter, CalArts, and LA Trade Tech are forming a total of about a dozen participating teams.  They are supported by semester-long coursework at each of these institutions.  Pasadena City College is also involved. 

JUNK BATTLE! takes place at the LA Cleantech Incubator and combines project exhibition with Ted-style talks, celebrity judging, and a blow-out event.  A specialist zero waste symposium will follow (date TBD), in collaboration with UCLA.  
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Western Aspen Alliance director Paul Rogers (right) with Roadtrip to Pando participants Shannon Scrofano from CalArts (center) and Nathan Cooke from ArtCenter (left) at the Pando Clone in September 2017, Fish Lake, Utah.
Federal Budget Cuts Jeopardize the Pando Clone
Efforts by the Western Aspen Alliance (WAA) to preserve Utah’s endangered Pando aspen clone will be seriously strained this year due to new federal policies that will not only delay renewal of the organization’s base-funding grant but might completely eliminate it.

WAA director and scientist Paul Rogers, who has been studying the quaking aspen for more than two decades, says, “Pando is dying from within. We’re in an emergency situation in terms of the next five to ten years.”  The plight of the largest living thing on Earth was featured in the December issue of Discover Magazine.

Make a donation to the Western Aspen Alliance to ensure that research and conservation work continue.  Help spread the word by sharing this message within your social media networks.

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Pando Designs Honored
You've probably often thought that Michael Braley’s designs for Pando should be awarded. Now they are!  

Four Pando Hubs posters (above) were honored with a silver medal recently at the American Advertising Awards/Lexington.  

And Michael’s designs for Pando’s 2015 inaugural conference “Seizing an Alternative” have just been published in the 6th edition of Graphic Design Solutions, the most comprehensive reference for print and screen media.  
Pando Populus Board News
We’re delighted to welcome Brandt Williams to the Pando Populus Board of Directors!  

As a serial entrepreneur, Brandt has served in founder/co-founder, VP and/or CEO roles for several early stage ventures.  He takes a lean approach to growth and wears many hats. Brandt seeks to build sustainable business models and connect people and resources for the highest purpose. Most importantly for our purposes, he’s a certified Wrong Thinker!
Pando Blog Highlights
Nineteenth century currency issued by the State Bank of Michigan.
Despite Bipartisan Support, Public Banking in Michigan Spurs Skepticism.
Part four in our series on public banking takes us to Michigan where a public banking bill has received bipartisan support but has one critic raising serious concerns.  Series editor S.L. Mintz is exploring public banking in depth for us and taking account of its critics. He writes:  

"Recapturing tax revenues in a state bank sounds to fans like a solution. To finance professor Andrei Simonov at Michigan State University, however, it sounds perilous. A giant pot of money susceptible to political motives alarms him, notwithstanding an auditor general and other assurances of insulation. ‘I would love to be convinced that politicians can run banks,’ says Simonov, ‘but everything in me tells me it cannot be done.’"

Stay tuned for a look at a successful government-run, alternative financing program in Virginia (it’s not exactly a bank, but it’s making loans), and a final piece in the series where public banking advocates assess criticisms and weigh in.  
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