March 2019: The Importance of Listening for and Sharing Stories

March 1, 2019
March 2019 Newsletter

Education Incubator

Our work continues with our cohorts at Roosevelt High School, Hālau Kū Māna Public Charter School, Voyager Public Charter School, Kāneʻohe Elementary School, Kinai ʻEha, and the Ola Nā Kini project schools on the West side of Oʻahu.  This month, the students are working to capture the stories of their innovation journeys and how their ideas and inventions will help benefit their communities as measured in multiple forms of wealth. We are so blessed to be working with so many students who have so many innovative ideas for positive change in their communities! Please stay tuned for updates on their prototypes and public announcements of each cohorts Spring Demo Day coming up in April and May.

Last Monday, we welcomed the newest school to our program, Central Middle School.  We started our day the way we’ll start every Monday for the next 6 weeks – with a walk from Central Middle School to XLR8HI, our site host and partner.  Over the coming weeks, these students will be reimagining downtown and innovating for transformation of this place where they work and play. We’re excited to learn more about this very important financial center of Hawaiʻi alongside the kids, and to learn more about the youth and their community as this is our first Downtown Honolulu cohort – stay tuned for the rest of this story!

Our CEO and Founder Miki is recognized as one of Hawaiʻi Business magazine’s 20 for the Next 20: Hawaiʻi’s People to Watch. Each year, Hawaii Business recognizes 20 people who are proven in their fields via accomplishments, passion, and leadership, and who are additionally projected to have a major impact on shaping Hawaii over the next two decades.  Congratulations to Miki, and on behalf of EI, congratulations to all of the partners and ʻohana that have helped to make our programs and endeavors a success. A recognition for any of us is a recognition for all of us!

Kealakekua Meyer and Kamahaʻo White of ROOTED.684 (@rooted.684) were named finalists for the Hawaiʻi Venture Capital Association’s Student Entrepreneur of the Year award. Kealakekua and Kamahao were part of the founding team who invented Rooted.684 last year during their senior year at Roosevelt High School, through EI’s Moonshot Lab Hawaiʻi program. The fundraising venture to benefit native plants derives its guiding principle from ʻolelo noʻeau #684, he keiki aloha na mea kanu which translates as beloved children are the plants. Each shirt features an original design by the team representing an endemic and endangered plant, along with moʻolelo or a story about the significance of that plant.  Visit them at @rooted.684 on Instagram, and DM for details on where to pick up your shirt, scrunchie, or cap!

The March issue of Hawaiʻi Business holds photos and info about both of these amazing accomplishments.  Mahalo HB!

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]

Since StoryCorps birth in 2003 with the opening of a StoryBooth in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, to receiving its 1 millionth download in the App Store in 2017, this movement has changed the way the mainstream thinks about storytelling.   With a mission to “preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people, and create a more just and compassionate world,” StoryCorps reminds us that every person has a story, and that every story matters. Each week, the StoryCorps podcast shares the wisdom and beauty that exists in unscripted conversations and personal interaction.

Mentimeter is an online interactive presentation software that is free and completely web-based. With no limits on the amount of people that can participate with you in your presentation (quiz, poll, idea generation, etc), Mentimeter provides a simple and powerful way to engage your audience  – live updates and summaries of poll results means that we (and audience members) can see results as they roll in in real time. At EI, we’ve used Mentimeter in various formats and sizes of presentations and workshops, and find it very especially useful in a larger audience where personal interaction is limited, or in places where anonymous responses create a space for safe and open conversations about difficult subjects.   Again, the importance of capturing the stories and thoughts your audience develops during your talk can mean so much to your evolution as a speaker and convener.

Unrulr. We are excited to team up with Unrulr to help pilot some of their newest features with our various innovation cohorts – our students have dubbed this app “like Instagram, but for learning”. Created by local app developers Fred Delse, Will Reppun, and Mark Egesdal, Unrulr is an engaging digital platform that takes us a step closer to solving the challenges we face in moving towards a truly innovative and rapidly evolving learning and teaching environment.  Through stories of their own learning and personal connection from learner to audience, students are able to document their accomplishments and offer reflections to share with and get feedback from their learning community.

EI Book


We recently discovered “The Next Person You Meet in Heaven”, Mitch Albom’s sequel to that book you may have read over a decade ago, “The Five People You Meet In Heaven”.  Through both books about what an afterlife might be and the journey within ourselves in shaping our present and future states, Albom shares with us the value of story-telling, story-sharing, and story-shaping, and the relationships that tie us all together.  Here are some of our favorite quotes from the books:

Hye Jung noted: “The children’s stories and all of their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.”

Miki noted: “Holding anger is a poison.  It eats you from the inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us.  But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.”

Hye Jung noted: “ When we build, we build on the shoulders of those who came before us. And when we fall apart, those who came before us help put us back together.”

Miki noted: “No story sits by itself.  Our lives connect like threads on a loom, interwoven in ways we never realize.”



Check out the EdTechTeam’s Hawaiʻi Summit, happening on Oʻahu March 19-20, 2019 at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (click here for Hawaiʻi Island March 21-22).  Explore what can you CREATE – to inspire enthusiasm for learning in your students, to integrate new ways of teaching using technology, and to make connections, memories, opportunities, and experiences with other educators!


Join us on March 22 & 23 for a Design Thinking for Educators Workshop at Hālau ʻĪnana! This 2-day course that has been offered across Hawaiʻi and the continent will guide educators through the design thinking process to to help build innovative learning spaces that promote student agency and empowerment. SPECIAL: In honor of hosting this workshop in our home community of Hawaiʻi, we’re pricing at 50% off the standard price!  Learn more and sign up at


Originally planned for March 7, we will be rescheduling this event to March 28.  Please join us from 6-8pm on March 28 at Hālau ʻĪnana, where we’ll 1) explore ideas such as a podcast, book club, ShareFest, keiki care hui, advocating for a living wage in Hawaiʻi, and other community engagement and abundance-growing opportunities, 2) create working groups around each topic, and 3) devise a process for keeping in touch and moving forward towards a sharing and cooperative Hawaiʻi.


Stay tuned for our SUMMER OFFERINGS!  Details to come about the following 1-week keiki camps in June 2019:

  • Innovation With Aloha – Entrepreneurship Camp
  • Wayfinder Week with Project Wayfinder
  • Digital Storytelling in Collaboration with NatGeo
  • Superpower Academy Design Lab

Featured Partners
and Opportunities

XLR8HI: Hawaiʻi’s Entrepreneurship Center is a physical and virtual hub for anyone and everyone who is interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. Join them for their first course series since the February launch, Pitch Perfect, which meets every Wednesday from March 13 through April 3, 6-8:30pm.  Learn these essentials of pitching, including how to frame your pitch to fit any situation and how to tell a captivating story that incites an emotional response.