December 2018: Embracing Creativity

December 1, 2018
December 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to our 2nd monthly newsletter! We hope you found our first newsletter informative and exciting. We would love to hear your thoughts and reflections on how we can best provide updates on our work and food for thought for the community — please email us at [email protected] with your suggestions and comments. We look forward to learning with you!


Education Incubator

November was ideation month for all our innovation programs!  Students began to imagine all kinds of ways to potentially solve for the needs presented by our community clients.  These wonderings led to the birth of little “idea babies”, which were then grown to improbable proportions through our EI version of “Yes! And…” a technique with its roots in improvisation (learn more about Yes! And in our PD section below). The EI version invites students to review everyone else’s project ideas and add new direction or depth to them through Yes! And statements.  In this process, there are no wrong answers. Ideas can be as broad and bold as possible – not even the sky is the limit when you are engaged in moonshot thinking!  Whether talking about their own ideas or ideas of others around them, Yes! And helps every student innovator to push themselves to go beyond what they thought possible, and think deeply about the change they can make in the world around them with hard work and ingenuity – a great exercise in growth mindset.

Kāneʻohe Elementary School haumana brainstorming on a Blue Zones design sprint – “How might we make the healthy choice the easy choice?” Every school should explore how to promote healthy living and being!

Hālau Kū Māna students working on growing their ideas collaboratively at Hālau ʻĪnana.
Hālau Kū Māna project creation wall, exploding with ideas!
Ola Nā Kini innovation cohorts and guests from our expert network – what an incredible day of learning and doing!

Keoni Lee providing feedback to students from Ka Waihona o Ka Naʻauao PCS on their project ideas.

Students from Mālama Learning Center’s Ola Nā Kini program met at Hālau ‘Īnana in November to work with us on innovating with aloha to help heal the land and sea of the Leeward coast and watersheds.  They started by sharing their initial project ideas with one another, giving and receiving feedback, and then grew the idea babies through the process of Yes! And…. From there, the groups created empathy maps to help understand and unpack the potential needs and concerns of the community stakeholders who would be impacted by their proposed projects, and started on user journey maps to help understand how a person would engage with and in their project idea.  The day ended with the development of quick prototypes and drafting of 1-minute “elevator” speeches to help the students in sharing their ideas with community clients.  Students were joined by entrepreneurs and innovators to help them hone in on their ideas and messaging, and hear different perspectives on problem-solving and solution-seeking.   Mahalo to Donovan Kealoha (Startup Capital Ventures and Purple Maiʻa), Keoni Lee (Waiwai Collective and ʻŌiwiTV), Brian Dote (Bank of Hawaiʻi and Tapiki), Doorae Shin (Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation’s Plastic Free Hawaiʻi Program and Good Food Movement), and Omar Sultan (Sultan Ventures, XLR8UH, and XLR8HI) for spending time with our Ola Nā Kini students and teachers, and to all of our participants for your hard work and brilliant ideas!

Imagine a
Plastic Free Hawaiʻi…

Students attending the First Annual Plastic Free Hawaiʻi Summit making commitments and memories!
Students working on their empathy maps and discussing their project ideas for a plastic free Hawaiʻi.

As part of the 1st Annual Plastic Free Hawaiʻi Youth Summit, EI co-hosted a day of guest speakers, activities, and design sprints on November 11th at Hālau ʻĪnana with Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation’s Plastic Free Hawaiʻi team. During the last two hours of the summit, EI facilitated a short design sprint around being plastic free and caring for our environment. After generating ideas, students voted on the most interesting of all the project ideas then split up into groups to work on empathy maps related to each of the top-voted potential projects.  Special guest speakers and organizations included Kim Johnson of KHF/PFH, Kahi Pacarro of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaiʻi, Michael Dooshi of Algalita Foundation, Jaclyn Johnson of Bureo, Dyson Chee of Project OCEAN and Kennedy-Anne Marx and Christian Robbins of Wild Kids.

Workshops and

Our founder and CEO Miki was a featured speaker at this year’s Schools of the Future Conference, so EI swung into high gear to present on both days!  We focused our first day on sharing our Innovation With Aloha framework and approach, helping our audience to unpack concepts like place-based entrepreneurship and innovation for social impact in the classroom.  On our second day, we walked participants through the importance and process of developing passion projects to link meaning and purpose in project work.  If you missed our presentations and want to learn more about these topics, please contact us at [email protected] to schedule a meeting with us!

Day 2 participants exploring how passion + skills/content + community need = purpose project

PD is Only
a Click Away

Professional (and Personal!) development is not limited to what you find at conferences and in courses – check out this sampling we’ve gathered this past month. If you have some to share, we would love to hear from you – email your suggestions to [email protected]


Create new holiday treasures and reduce your rubbish with these awesome ideas for repurposed and recycled DIY christmas crafts!  From plastic bottle penguins to christmas trees made of corks, this site has 20 creative ways to upcycle the holidays.  Upcycling is more than just recycling – it is a way of looking at waste as a resource for creativity and invention, typically resulting in a more valuable product than the pieces you start with.  AMAZING! Read more about this incredible form of “Yes! And” from Upcycle That.


In the age of technology, efficiency and convenience, the hack has become a regular resource in the age of YouTube.  A “hack” is something that helps to make a task or job more efficient or less difficult. Check out these awesome Holiday Hack Videos from Tim Holtz, a maker and creator in the design and development of cutting edge products.  He offers time-saving strategies and creative DIY ideas to hack all aspects of the holidays, from decorating to celebrating and everything in between.


In honor of our December theme of Creativity, we are featuring a favorite from one of our team members.  The Unmistakable Creative Podcast offers caring conversations centered around deeply personal, insightful and thought-provoking stories.  Host and Chief Creative Investigator Srini Rao has interviewed over 600 interesting and inspiring people from all walks of life doing unmistakable things in the world.  Check it out today from your podcast source!

EI Book


Creative Confidence – Unleashing the creative potential within us all

By Tom Kelley and David Kelly

As two people most closely associated with creativity and innovation, brothers Tom and David Kelley share with us that it is a myth that some people are creative and some people are not – we are all innately creative, and tapping into that creative potential can unleash success and fulfillment in our personal and professional lives.

This month, our team dove into Creative Confidence, and explored the ways that schools, work, and society support or hinder the creative genius in us all.   We reflected on how we have found ourselves in similar situations, where our creativity was threatened or silenced, where conformity was praised, uniqueness was punished, and complacency and unoriginality was expected.   Sadly, this seems to be the everyday experience for most. We invite you to join us on our journey to step outside this norm, fail forward, live in beta, and embrace creativity!

PS Let us know if you want to borrow a copy of any of the books we read – we are happy to share.

Favorite Creative Confidence quotes from our staff:

“Being creative doesnʻt have to mean starting from scratch or being the sole originator — itʻs about adding what you can, about making a creative contribution.” (Hye Jung)

“While everyone has enormous potential for creativity, our experience suggests that successfully applying creativity in your work and life requires something more: the courage to leap.” (Maggie)

“What matters most in the end, though, is this: you believe in your capacity to create positive change and the courage to take action. Creativity, far from requiring rare gifts and skills, depends on what you believe you can do with the talents and skills you already have.”  (Miki)


December 14


Come experiment with some Do-It-Yourself, Recycled, and/or Zero Waste gift ideas.  All ages are invited. We will have 4-6 different activities that feature low impact, zero-waste or upcycled material gift ideas.  For the DIY toothpaste and seasoned salt station, there will be a $5 combined activity charge to cover the costs of the ingredients and jars. Please bring your own tshirts, empty jars with lids, and even your own gift ideas to share with others!  This is a partnership event by Education Incubator and Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation’s Plastic Free Hawaiʻi program. Parking information will be sent out a few days before the event with an event reminder; there are lots of free street parking options and some pay parking options in walking distance.  See you there!

If you can donate supplies, we are seeking:

  • Tee-Shirts of all sizes
  • Jars with lids
  • Metal hangers
  • Newspaper

Also – after the holidays this month, keep your used wrapping paper and ribbons, and stay tuned for upcoming events and crafty recycling tips in January!

Postponed until February (Originally scheduled for December 15 9a-12n)


Postponed until February (Originally scheduled for December 15 9a-12n)

Join us as we dive in to some digital resources that promote place-based ʻike and ʻolelo Hawaiʻi for various grade levels and content areas.  Let us know if you have any resources to share – the more the merrier! We will have some giveaways from Pāhana ʻĀina Lupalupa for you and your classrooms.  Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.  See you there!

Tuesday Evenings at Hālau ʻĪnana


EI is excited to collaborate with XLR8HI, the community accelerator and entrepreneurship program of Sultan Ventures, to bring their workshop series to Halau ‘Inana.  Each week features a new topic, with classes led by industry professionals. To register and learn more, please visit Classes run now through the Spring.



Every program EI offers begins with the story of your name, including the names of the spaces that host us.  Name stories are important for building the foundation of respect and importance of knowing your past when leaning in to your future. You may have noticed that many of our programs take place at Hālau ʻĪnana Ma Kapaʻakea in Mōʻiliʻili.  Hālau ʻĪnana Ma Kapaʻakea = meeting space for sparking creation, in the place of the hard white stone.

EI is a lead partner in this new community education co-working space, humbly working alongside Kamehameha Schools, University of Hawaiʻi Hawaiʻinuiākea, and Chaminade University to explore programs and services that support ʻōiwi leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship.  Come work to fulfill the potential of Hālau ʻĪnana with us!