Thank you to our speakers, our volunteers and to everyone who attended “The Future of Agriculture in Hawaii!” Read about our speakers, watch the videos and take a look at the Word Clouds generated by feedback from attendees.
The more we learn about it, the more we understand that everything is deeply interconnected with agriculture in Hawaii: sustainability, development, community, health, culture…and so much more.
TEDxHonoluluSalon 6 explored “The Future of Agriculture in Hawaii.” It focused on how agriculture will be more integrated into our communities, and how technology will address the pressures of climate change, population growth and profitability. We also examined how changing our perspective of the public’s role in agriculture can change agriculture’s role in society.
From small farmers to high-impact investors, everyone seems to have a vision for Hawaii’s agricultural future. Our featured speakers included representatives of three of the most fascinating players in this phenomenon:
Steven Chiang is co-founder of GoFarm Hawaii, Hawaii’s premier beginning farmer training program working to enhance our food security and economy by increasing the number of local agricultural producers. GoFarm Hawaii is an innovative role model for other programs that help turn the Ag-Curious into successful commercial farmers. Steven is also Director of the Agribusiness Incubator Program at the University of Hawaii, and has contributed to hundreds of businesses in a wide range of industries across the U.S. in his career as a leader, mentor and management technology consultant.
Kyle Datta is a general partner of Ulupono Initiative, a Hawaii-focused impact investing firm focusing on locally produced food, clean renewable energy and waste reduction. In his role at Ulupono, Kyle forges and manages partnerships and guides system transformation and investment strategy. Kyle has received master’s degrees in public and private management from the Yale School of Organization and Management and in environmental science in resource economics from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is co-author of the RMI books “Winning the Oil End Game” and “Small is Profitable.” Kyle lives on the Big Island and Oahu and likes to camp, kayak and play music with his wife and daughter. He’s an avid gardener and local food gourmet cook, as well as a student of art.
Vena A’dae Romero Briones
Vena A’dae Romero-Briones (Cochiti/Kiowa) is the Director of Community Development for Pulama Lana’i, an “island community driven by economic diversity, powered by renewable energy, and marked by rich cultural and natural resources.” She previously worked for First Nations Development Institute and The Indigenous Food and Agricultural Initiative. In 2015, she was recognized by President Barack Obama as a White House Champion of Change in Agriculture. She currently serves a five-year term on the National Organics Standards Board. A’dae graduated with an advanced law degree (LLM) in Food and Agriculture law as a Fulbright Scholar from the University of Arkansas. She also holds a JD from Arizona State University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.