May 2019 Newsletter
Congratulations to our RHS Innovation Cohort on a successful Demo Day, and thank you to the community for your support of these amazing youth. Attendees: please share with us your feedback and photos from the event ([email protected] or via social media @educationincubator)
Please join us for our next 3 Demo Days: May 10 Kinai ʻEha, May 13 Hālau Kū Māna and University Laboratory School, and May 15 Voyager PCS. Details in our Events Section below!
In March, we launched a 6-week sprint with Central Middle School students, asking them to imagine innovative ways to better their community by leaning in to their passions. Students spent weeks exploring their place, their interests, and organizations and individuals already work for good in their communities. In April, the innovation cohorts presented their ideas to local entrepreneurs and professionals, investors, community advocates, and education leadership. Ideas ranged from events to uplift community health and well-being, food enterprises with philanthropic focus, video games and board games to teach good values, and community art projects to elevate urban art and discourage vandalism. Students reflected a change in their perception of how much voice and agency they have, how much change they can make in the world, and how much fun learning and doing could be. Stay tuned as we continue our work with Central Middle School in SY 2019-20!
For all of our innovation cohorts, our expert network activated and came through for us in full force this Spring! We are so grateful for your time, energy, expertise, and aloha for our young innovators. We will have many more to mention next month, but for now we stop to mahalo:
Justyn Ah Chong from ʻOlonā Media
Nohealani Hirahara from Native Stories
Jeric Lake from Kroc Center
Estria Miyashiro from Estria Foundation
Kevin Nakata from Waialae Country Club
Nick Pattison from Ormiston Junior College, Aotearoa
Maui Tauotaha from ʻŌiwi TV
And another round of thank yous to our friends Molly from Blue Zones Project Hawaii, Marielle from Hawaii Foodbank, Beth Ann from Kahi Mohala, Pono from Oahu Economic Development Board, and Doorae from Oahu Surfrider!
In April, we wrapped up our 10-week Purpose Moai, part of our continued work to support and elevate the work of the Blue Zones Project Hawaiʻi, specifically in our 4M community – Mānoa, Makiki, Mōʻiliʻili and McCully. A moai is a traditional Okinawan social group, historically a group of lifelong friends that offers support across all aspects of life, for life – some Okinawan moai are over 90 years old, formed when its participants were young children. Blue Zones encourages Walking Moai to integrate physical activity with emotional, social, and spiritual support from a social group; following a BZP Purpose + Potluck workshop, EI helped to launch a Purpose Moai to integrate exploration of purpose and meaning of self and society with a plant-slant potluck aspect. For 10 weeks, we explored food for the mind, body, and spirit together through personal discovery activities adapted from Project Wayfinder, attending various talk stories and events featuring experts on choice and healing, and enjoying good food and great company – what a journey!
The month of April also guided our friend and mentor, Ted Dintersmith, back to Hawaiʻi. Working with Most Likely to Succeed In Hawaii (@MLTSinHawaii), we hosted Ted as the key speaker at two events – XLR8HI Corporate Leadership Series Pau Hana, and a Demo Day for Superpower Academy, a Hawaiʻi founded and operated enterprise whose program is designed to take kids on secret missions to build their powers of leadership, creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and intrapreneurship. At the XLR8HI Pau Hana, Ted shared a side of his journey that educators don’t often get to hear about – his time as one of the most successful investors in the U.S. A former venture capitalist, Ted now invests all of his time and energy into a better world through better education – thank you Ted! We were also able to participate in the ʻAha Kūkā of Many Waʻa One Voyage; one of many inspirational gatherings formed from the momentum of @MLTSinHawaii, this one focused on connecting professional development-focused organizations and leaders together to embark on a collective voyage towards bettering education in Hawaiʻi.
Leaning in to our commitment to Innovation With Aloha, we hosted an Energy Justice Talk Story featuring local energy-resiliency entrepreneurs Forest Frizzell from Shifted Energy and Dennis Furukawa from Real Green Power, and Florida-based special guest T.H. Culhane, a National Geographic Explorer known for his work on energy independence at the home and village-scale. T.H. continued to share his ʻike through our Build Your Own Biodigester workshop, where we learned to build a family-scale biodigester together in the spirit of ma ka hana ka ʻike (we learn by doing). Mahalo to Dan Kinzer of National Geographic for once again facilitating our community in connecting so deeply with another amazing Nat Geo Explorer – we learned so much from John Francis, Planetwalker last year, and from T.H. Culhane this year! And mahalo to Joe McGinn for sharing his super ʻono naturally-farmed tomatoes with our Hālau ʻĪnana family and workshop participants – and for the super ʻono sounds of your pakini bass for the impromptu concert!
Through working with Molly, Colby, and other friends from the Blue Zones Project Hawaiʻi, we have learned so much about the intention of the Blue Zones Project and begun to read into the genealogy of this incredible work. There are many books and studies that have been published by National Geographic Explorer and New York Times best-selling author Dan Buettner which illustrate the types of places and activities that support living well, living longer.
In Blue Zones of Happiness, Buettner goes beyond stories and inspiration, into action – this book provides a self-diagnostic test and tips for boosting joy, purpose, and satisfaction in your life and lead you on the journey towards true happiness.
Bytemarks Cafe is a one-hour radio magazine that showcases the innovation and creativity in Hawaii’s tech community. Hosted by Burt Lum, the program’s purpose is to raise awareness of the tech economy and to engage the listener in the discussion. The show encourages two-way conversation through audience call-ins, emails and blog comments. Our Founder & CEO Miki was most recently on Episode 552: Circular Economy and ʻĀinaFinda.
Thinglink is an easy-to-use editor for images, videos, and 360o media. You can take a flat or 360o asset and create an interactive experience for a viewer by adding your own details as pop-ups within the photo or video. Some of our young innovators integrated this tech into their projects – check out Kacie’s (Roosevelt High School) photos of MAʻO Organic Farms and Kōkua Market, Kinai ʻEha’s worksites, and Hālau Kū Māna’s mural-based project!
Student Corner is a project-showcase platform created by young local entrepreneurs and students on Hawaiʻi Island. In Student Corner, individuals and groups can create project descriptions of customized layouts to share their project details with the world, and add co-authors at any point during the life of the project. Student Corner offers search and filter features that help make it easy to find a project on a particular subject, author, or location you are interested in learning more about. We are utilizing Student Corner as our showcase platform for all student projects being shared at our Demo Days this Spring so viewers can access the project information long after Demo Day has come and gone. We will also be testing out our “no-kill idea-baby shelter” concept, posting project ideas at all stages of development so any of our innovation cohort members can join a team and lift the project to its next step. Visit studentcorner.io/ei/projects/ often as we update our 2018-19 student project descriptions throughout the summer.