E Komo Mai!
Of all the places you could be
to learn, serve, and design a sustainable future, Hawai‘i is it.
ln our very connected world it is fascinating that we turn to the planet’s most isolated geographic location for inspiration and solutions to our greatest challenges. That’s because it is this very isolation that incubated transformative responses, not just in the evolution of flora and fauna, but in the ways that their human neighbors inhabited these islands. Then Western development produced more social and environmental challenges that, while not unlike the rest of the world, are particularly heightened in island ecosystems. Hawai‘i presents a wonderful confluence of environment, history, culture, values and innovation that help inform just solutions for the entire world.
Five years ago Hawai‘i state, county and private sector leaders adopted the Aloha+ Challenge: He Nohona ‘Ae‘oia, Building A Culture of Sustainability, Hawaiʻi’s statewide goals encompassing economic, social, and environmental priorities. This initiative positioned Hawai‘i as a leader on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and led to Hawai‘i’s recognition as one of the world’s first UN Local2030 Hubs for local solutions to global challenges.
Hawai‘i is so much more than the beauty for which it is so well known. The islands are a place of almost unparalleled bio-diversity and they are the endangered species capital of the world. Hawai‘i contains more than 2/3 of the planet’s climate regions. Within this environment one can find markers for the planet’s struggles and harbingers of hope for our future.
Hawai‘i boasts a powerful mix of the ancient wisdom and beauty of our Native Hawaiian culture and the multitude of other cultures that have come to call these islands home. Alongside the not unexpected struggles that accompany such a complicated immigrant history are the triumphs of a way of life grounded in generosity, welcome and respect that is the heart of our spirit of aloha.
Prior to western contact in 1778, as many as 800,000 Native Hawaiians lived sustainably in the islands for nearly 2,000 years. They were the finest open ocean navigators, with a sophisticated understanding of astronomy. Their ancient understanding of natural ecosystems is increasingly embraced today with the public and private sector’s adoption of the Native Hawaiian ahupua‘a land and watershed management approach. Hawai‘i’s modern history is also filled with the struggles of colonialism, geo-politics, and a salad bowl of multi-cultural existence. In this way Hawai‘i is a microcosm of our world.
Wisdom & Values
Embedded in the values that defined life in pre-western contact Hawai‘i is a consistent focus on balance, harmony, mutual respect and living in concert with not just our human brothers and sisters but with all of the natural world. Imbedding these essential values with the technology available today and yet to evolve can inform a wise and wonderful future