2016 Impact-Maker to Watch: Eugene Shirley

On Tuesday, January 19, 2016 in the Tom Bradley room at Los Angeles City Hall, 25 members of the Los Angeles community were honored for their foundational work to make a positive impact in our city.

Eugene Shirley

...moves forward big, transformational ideas and concepts with professionalism, a positive, can-do attitude, and an urgency that underlies the need we have to address climate change sooner rather than later.
— Paul Koretz, LA City Council District 5

Eugene B. Shirley, Jr. is founding president of Pando Populus, a platform at the intersection of intellectual life and civic engagement, for the Earth. Pando’s inaugural conference was held at Pomona College in June of last year and focused on rethinking civilization in ecological terms. It attracted some 2,000 people. Pando’s new initiative will identify, connect, and nurture locations in Los Angeles County where people are doing remarkable things to create a more ecological civilization. Throughout his career, Eugene has built ventures that have to do with big ideas. For twenty-five years, he was an independent filmmaker for PBS and international distribution (some thirty countries). His last film, for American Masters, profiled the architect I.M. Pei navigating the space between modernity and tradition in China. In 1982, he became the first U.S. producer to film in the former Soviet Union, which resulted in a documentary that integrated underground and “official” footage to focus on human rights; the film premiered at the White House. For five years, he served as founding editor of a collegiate journal at the intersection of religion and ethics. Early last year he stepped down as founding CEO of the text analytics firm, Alexandria Investment Research and Technology, Inc. He is a former Jennings Randolph Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace.