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A look back at Huaka‘i Hawai‘i

in 2020.

Due to COVID-19, the in-person, onsite course was postponed and an online course was offered.

Ka‘ala Farm

22 students from 16 different countries
participated in the Huaka‘i Hawai‘i 2020 online course.
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Huaka‘i Hawai‘i: A Journey of Change and Resiliency, Exploring Climate Impacts in Hawai‘i as a Vehicle for Envisioning Local/Global Sustainable Solutions

Goals of the UWC-SOL Center Short course:

  • Further the mission of the UWC: to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future; 

  • Establish a commitment to climate change mitigation and resiliency solutions;

  • Build a collaborative community that supports participant’s commitments to uphold the UWC and SOL Center values and ideals.


Through the unique history, environment, and cultural wisdom of Hawai'i we explored climate change impacts and solutions for food and energy security; and approaches to systems thinking and strategic planning to help develop changemaker skills for innovative, values-based resiliency solutions.

Each week we met online as an entire group for a presentation, and participants also met in smaller hui (groups) for a one-hour discussion led by our facilitators. We provided approximately two hours of readings, video, and audio content to prepare for the next unit and about two hours of fun interactive assignments that participants could share with each other. Each weekʻs presentation, discussion, and assignments were designed to be informative, engaging and entertaining.  

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Explored the Native Hawaiian understanding of how to thrive within natural systems. 



Learned about modern science explanations of natural systems and how they are impacted by current industrial systems.


Built on this foundational knowledge exploring Native Hawaiian and contemporary food systems, climate change impacts and potential solutions.


Explored energy systems, their climate change impacts and potential solutions using the framework of analysis provided in Weeks 1 to 3. 


Provided the Polynesian planning perspective and contemporary strategic planning practices to help participants design projects to carry on in their own communities.


"This and the many discussions we had through the course inspired me to take action in my own personal life and commit to contributing to a more just and peaceful world.

Even though I learned a lot during those five weeks, the international aspect of the course was the most valuable to me. I connected with amazing people from all over the world with many different cultural backgrounds which nurtured my own international understanding.

I am really grateful for this transformational experience..."

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—Ludmilla, Belgium

"Taking part in the Huaka‘i Hawai'i UWC short course last summer was my greatest honor. It was my only spark and achievement in 2020. I considered the short course as an escape from the grim year we all have been going through. I got to meet amazing people from four continents, and to discover an amazing island that I am looking forward to traveling to."

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"I really enjoyed the summer course. It gave me the opportunity to meet other people with similar interests as well as to learn about a culture very different from my own. Above all, it allowed me to think about my impact on the environment in ways I hadn’t considered before."

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—Rachel, England

"I met a lot of other students who joined this course with me, although it was only through the screen but we really enjoyed each other."

"Although it was just a 5-week online course, it also made us eager to meet each other every week, sharing many things about the countríe which we live, smile and laugh together. Indeed in the current Covid-19 context it is difficult to attend a full course, but actually the Huaka‘i Hawai‘i Team has done a great job to help students get the best lessons and experiences. I am really happy to be able to take this course. Diversity, Sustainability and Happiness are the things I found from Huaka‘i Hawai‘i."

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