2011: TEDxHonolulu

TEDxHonolulu Logo Translucent (2)

“It’s About Time…”

November 11, 2011, Cupola Theatre, Honolulu, HI

TEDxHonolulu_2011_time_graphic copyTime. We all perceive it. We all are run by it. We all see its effects, good or ill. Humanity has measured it – through the moon’s phases, the sun’s traversing of the heavens, the pendulum’s swing, and the cesium atom’s radiation – scrutinized it, philosophized about it, feared it. Time is one of our most important intellectual categories and one of our most precious commodities. And, time waits for no one! On November 11, 2011, the convergence of history and our measurement of time uniquely landed on 11-11-11: a rare occurrence of calendrical numerology. What better time to have explored technology, entertainment, and design and their relevance to Hawai‘i? To understand Hawai‘i’s unique historical and cultural legacy? To explore time and its importance to innovation and the creative process?



Ka’ala Souza 

Master of Ceremonies

Ka’ala is the owner of a training and consulting company where his major goal is helping clients achieve theirs. Born and raised in Hawai‘i (along with some well-spent formative years in the continental U.S.), he blends Hawaiian-style flow and island culture feel with business best practices. With a background in marketing research and a pastor with the Hope Chapel family of churches, Ka’ala brings a unique perspective to his work. He speaks and writes on topics ranging from leadership and management development to diversity, team-building and customer service.



michaelLIUheadshot2011Dr. Michael Liu 

“Telescopes as Time Machines”

Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Michael’s undergraduate work at Cornell University and his doctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley, led him to the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where he is a faculty member. He studies how stars and planets form. To do this, his research uses the world’s most powerful telescopes both on and above the Earth, including the Keck Observatory on the Big Island of Hawai‘i and the Hubble Space Telescope.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_LEEpicEdgy Lee

“Jams. Jellies, & Art: Cultural Reduction in a Homogenized World”

Classically trained in piano and violin, Edgy, a fifth generation Hawai‘i-born writer-producer-editor, studied fine art at the San Francisco Art Institute. One of Hawai‘i’s premiere filmmakers, Edgy’s nationally award-winning films include The Hawaiians – Reflecting Spirit and Paniolo O Hawai‘i. She is founder of Pacific Network.tv, a Hawai‘i-based internet portal to the world – a nexus for arts, culture and environmental news, entertainment and educational programming from the Pacific region, streamed free to the world. Edgy’s television work includes a number of popular series – Artists of Hawai‘i, Local Justice, America’s first interactive TV courtroom series, Shaka Shakedown and a prime time one-hour special on education – How We Learn.

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Sig Zane & Kuha‘o Zane

“The Inspirational Island: Moku O Keawe”

Sig Zane is a fisherman, surfer, dancer, artist and cultural practitioner. A native of O‘ahu, he moved to Hilo seeking an unhurried life and became a student of Hawaiian culture in the mid-1970′s. He joined Hilo’s Hālau O Kekuhi in 1981, and his immersion in hula formed the core of his understanding of the plants of Hawai‘i and their uses in Hawaiian culture. Under teachers Edith Kanaka’ole and her daughters, Nalani Kanaka’ole and Pua Kanahele, he learned that hula and the natural world are inseparable. Sig Zane Designs, his iconic clothing brand, fuses cultural authenticity and excellent design. Kuha’o Zane created his first design when he was five years old: a toothy, modernistic image of an ulua fish on a white T-shirt. Years later, he designed an orange tux (with tails!) for his senior prom. In design school in Los Angeles, he added an urban edge to his rural-native-organic core. At 28, Kuha‘o Zane is chief of operations and head of design and marketing at Sig Zane Designs. Alongside the design aspect of his life, Kuha`o has been dancing for his mother’s Hālau, a lineage that traces back seven generations. He credits his approach on design to the hula lifestyle that he was raised in.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_CHAUpicVivian Chau Best

“A Simple Gift”

Vivian, a gifted educator at Kahala Elementary School, is a passionate advocate for sustainability and local agriculture. She founded “Give It Fresh Today” (G.I.F.T) at the farmer’s market at Kapiolani Community College to provide an opportunity for weekly shoppers and home gardeners with a convenient way to donate locally grown fruits and vegetables to those in need. Recognized by Pacific Business News as one of Hawai‘i’s “40 Under 40,” and the Honolulu Star Advertiser as one of “10 Who Made a Difference” in 2010, she enriches the lives of children with service, learning and origami, is a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method, and enjoys swing dance.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_ALMpicRobbie Alm

“Thriving on Empty”

Robbie is the Executive Officer of the Collaborative Leaders Network (CLN), a group created and supported by the Hawai‘i-based Omidyar family. CLN’s mission is to encourage more productive community dialog and decision-making to create effective, durable outcomes on tough challenges. He is the Executive Vice President of Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc,; Chair of PBS Hawai‘i and Enterprise Honolulu; and serves on the Boards of Helping Hands Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Institute for Public Affairs, and The Friends of Iolani Palace, among others. Robbie teaches a graduate course on leadership in the Public Administration Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and earned his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from University of Iowa School of Law. He and his wife Cindy (an attorney and mediator) have two daughters, Kristin and Rachel.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_KANAKAOLEpicDr. Pualani Kanaka’ole Kanahele

“Haena: Intense Breath of the Sun”

Awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Aunty Pua is regarded as a loea (expert) of Hawaiian cultural practices and a living national treasure. A scholar, educator and practitioner of Hawaiian culture she is an accomplished writer; a music, stage and film producer; a dedicated community leader; and a renowned kumu hula. Born and raised in Keaukaha on the Big Island, she has been highly influential in the resurgence of Hawaiian practices and interest in all things Hawaiian. She is one of two daughters of Edith Kanaka‘ole.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_TOMpicJason Tom

“Vocal Groove”

Based in the Honolulu Arts District of Chinatown, Jason is the founder of the Human Beatbox Academy. He is a human drum machine who fuses musical genres, movement, dance and improvisation. Tom vocally replicates a drum kit, drum machine, percussion, acoustic and electric bass, didgeridoo, ipu, pahu, synthesizer sounds and more. Hawai‘i’s Human Beatbox offers outreach and weekly classes to the youth and local community and teaches the foundation, history, background, beats and techniques in the art of vocal percussion at the ArtSmith.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_BURVALL_MAHELONApicAmy Burvall & Herb Mahelona

“What I Learned from Napoleon and MTV”

A Humanities teacher for 19 years on the island of O‘ahu, Amy Burvall is a leader in educational technology professional development programs. A full-time teacher at the Le Jardin Academy International Baccalaureate (IB) “world school” she has been referred to, along with Herb Mahelona, as one of those Crazy History Teachers. Amy’s work in the History for Music Lovers project has appeared in Wired magazine, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, CBC, NPR, international blogs and media. The videos on Amy and Herb’s YouTube channel – “historyteachers” – have been uploaded over 3.5 million times. Herb Mahelona 
was born and raised in Honolulu, and graduated from Kamehameha Schools and University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He has been a classroom educator for twenty years and works as a composer, arranger, musician, web designer and filmmaker. A resident of the Big Island, Herb is Choir director of the Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i Campus, Alumni Chorus (Mamalahoa Chapter) and recently completed his third opera for the Hawai‘i Youth Opera Chorus. Half of the YouTube duo sensation known as “historyteachers,” he also plays cello in the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra at UH-Hilo and offers private music lessons.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_HONGpicDr. Robert Hong

“A Clinical Approach to Complex Problems”

Born and raised in Honolulu, Rob completed his undergraduate education at Stanford and earned his doctorate in Medicine at the University of California – San Francisco. Robert has served in a variety of medical administrative positions including Vice Chief of Staff, Chief of Staff, and Chief of Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiology at the Queen’s Medical Center. In addition to maintaining his private practice, he is Chief of the Division of Cardiology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and Medical Director of the Queen’s Heart Physician Practice.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_FRITZLERpicJonathan Fritzler

“The Education Energy Movement”

A nearly fatal accident inspired Jonathan to leave a positive impact on humanity. He founded AMP – Aloha Movement Project – a breakthrough educational program while a student at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. The accredited internship encourages students to harness “Education Energy” as a renewable resource by identifying one key issue they would like to see change in their community during a semester. Students then combine their school projects from every realm of study to produce a community action plan portfolio. Students then host events on campus to raise funding, community awareness and implement the change.

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“Science Poetry Life”

The founder of Hawai‘iSlam and YouthSpeaksHawai‘i, Kealoha is an internationally acclaimed poet and storyteller, was honored as a “National Poetry Slam Legend” in 2010, and is the first poet to perform at a Hawai‘i governor’s inauguration. Selected as a Master Artist for a National Endowment for the Arts program, Kealoha also holds a degree in Nuclear Physics (and a minor in writing) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has performed at hundreds of live venues throughout the world.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_LEARY2picDr. Lani Leary

“No One Has to Die Alone: You Can Make a Difference”

Lani has over 25 years of experience working with chronically ill, dying and bereaved clients. She served as the director of mental health services at Whitman Walker AIDS clinic, as a professor of Death Studies at George Mason University, and as a researcher at the National Cancer Institute of NIH. Lani also garners wisdom from her personal experience—her mother’s death when she was a child, her father’s death from cancer, her own profound near-death experience—and has sat with over 500 people as they died. Lani’s new book – No One Has To Die Alone – will be published in 2012.

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“Creative Concepts in Musical Innovation: The iPad Inception”

The iPad Band consists of members of New Hope O‘ahu’s Music Department, a Christian church. Brought together by Frederick Alcain, music director at New Hope, to perform a number at the church’s annual conference – the audience response was overwhelming. The group has since performed at conferences on the West Coast, the Hawai‘i Robotics Convention and New Hope’s weekly services. Fred Alcain, Justin Smith, Gaston Souza, MJ Cenido, and Larry Ganiron are staff members of New Hope O‘ahu. Scotty Mearig and Bobby Clay are college students and New Hope volunteers.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_MAURICIOpicMark Mauricio

“Now You See It . . .”

Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Mark has studied under the top professionals in the magic society, both locally and abroad. He has competed in local, national and international magic competitions and is the most awarded magician in Hawai‘i. His titles include Magician of the Year, Most Outrageous Magician, Most Entertaining Magician, and International Magic Champion. He was also presented with the coveted Award of Excellence from the magic community, which is only awarded to a magician who surpasses the standard in the magic arts.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_GOlDSTEINpicBrian Goldstein

“Drive Switch Go: The Future is Now”

Brian is a seasoned executive with a proven track record in growing technology based organizations and leads the Better Place Hawai‘i project. He has over 20 years experience in senior management, business development, sales, and marketing in the enterprise software, data warehousing, business intelligence, consumer internet, medical software, and biotechnology industries. Brian also serves as a Vice-Chair on the boards of Hawai‘i High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) and the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority (NELHA).

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_WALLpicMichael Wall

“Groovin’ Together: Adventures in Interactive Creativity”

Founder of Creative Living Services, Michael wears many hats — percussionist, public speaker, group facilitator, educator, author, songsmith, bard and mentor. His 25 years of experience in “metaphoric learning” — using simulations, games and activities to create fun, high impact situations in which people discover their own skills and inspiration as learners — led him to co-found Fire Tribe Hawai‘i Gatherings, a quarterly festival dedicated to collaborative creativity. His new solo live-looping show, Rhythms of Change, will debut at Honolulu’s Fringe Festival. Michael also offers Playful Percussion team-building workshops.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_DANIEL_SEANpicDaniel Nash & Sean Briel 

“Changing Perceptions of Math by Teaching Students to Teach Themselves”

While studying Mathematics at Michigan State University, Daniel Nash worked on the Undergraduate Mathematics Curriculum Committee, did research for the Biological Mathematics program, and served as a teaching assistant for the Emerging Scholars Mathematics program. As a Math instructor at Waipahu High School, Daniel continues to collaborate with fellow Math teacher Sean Briel on reshaping the way Math is learned and taught. After growing up in Europe and completing his undergraduate education at Southern Methodist University, Sean Briel accepted an offer from Teach For America (TFA) to be a High School Math teacher in Hawai‘i. After finishing his two-year commitment to TFA and his master’s degree at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, his passion convinced him to stay on at Waipahu High School despite other opportunities. This passion continues to inspire him as he teams up with Dan Nash to reshape the very perceptions of how people learn.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_PYLEpicDr. Richard Pyle

“Endangered: Earth’s Greatest Library”

Richard Pyle is an Associate Zoologist, Dive Safety Officer, and Database Coordinator for the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu. His primary research interest is to explore and document the “Twilight Zone” (coral-reef habitat at depths of 30-150 meters), with particular emphasis on the discovery of new species of fishes and other organisms. The pursuit of this endeavor has required Richard to help design and develop new technology and techniques to allow safe access to these depths.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_SHIMABUKUROpicJake Shimabukuro

“Peace Love Ukulele”

Jake Shimabukuro is on a mission to revolutionize the world’s perception of the ukulele. Starting out at a local coffee shop in Hawai‘i, Shimabukuro has swept onto the international stage, touring and recording with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Bette Midler, Jimmy Buffett, Ziggy Marley, Bela Fleck, and Cyndi Lauper. His unique rendition of George Harrison’s, While My Guitar Gently Weeps has received over 9 million downloads on YouTube. Shimabukuro believes, “If everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a better place.” Jake has electrified audiences at TED2010, TEDxSanDiego, TEDxTokyo, and TEDxHongKong.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_PETERSENpicElyse Petersen

“A Mango in the Sun”

An experienced food scientist in the dairy, seafood, meat and soft drink industries, Elyse served two terms in the Peace Corps helping promote sustainable food security solutions. As Communication Officer for the University of Hawai‘i Solar Decathlon Team, she worked diligently to present the state of Hawai‘i as a world leader in research and development in green technologies. Elyse is an engaged and passionate member of the science, technology and social media community in Hawai‘i.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_LYNCHpicMatthew Lynch

“Beyond Sustainability: The Story of a Reformed Capitalist”

Matthew is a reformed capitalist exploring Regenerative Design Sciences at the forefront of human innovation. He spent two years wandering the planet in search of people, places and projects working to make our world a better place. His work in Regenerative Agriculture, Regenerative Business, and Regenerative Economic Development has taken him (so far) to Australia, New Zealand, Mongolia, Germany, and now Hawai‘i. Matthew is the author of Regenerative Business 1.0: Beyond Sustainability and founder of The Asia-Pacific Center for Regenerative Design.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_COXpicSusan Cox

“No Green Power Hero Left Behind: Activation for the Planet!”

Susan created and implemented the Green Power Hero energy awareness program that has now reached 150,000 students in over 300 schools in Hawai‘i, California and New Orleans. Her Green Power Girl (GPG) and Green Power Hero (GPH) super power characters are designed to educate, inspire and activate our inner hero/heroine so we may become powerful in tackling climate change (or even personal change) and fulfill our MIGHTY mission: Sustain life on earth for all children of all creatures for all time.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_MATEOpicJason Mateo

“Fatherless Fatherhood: Commitment to Love, Time, & a Punch in the Eye”

Jason is a seasoned creative public speaker, arts educator, event producer, husband and father of two sons. With the intent to empower his immediate community through “edu-tainment,” Jason has been seen on prestigious stages and classroom across the world. Since moving to O‘ahu, his focus has been on his family.

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TEDxHONOLULU_2011_NGpicDr. Ho Leung Ng

“How This Chemist Fights Cancer”

Ho grew up in Hawai‘i, received his B.A. from Harvard, his Ph.D. from UCLA, and conducted his postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley, all in biochemistry. Currently a faculty member of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Ho’s research focus is protein structure especially as it relates to drug discovery and cancer.

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“Orloj: The Prague Town Hall Clock – 600th Anniversary”

The Macula, based in Prague, Czech Republic, are a team of artists consisting of Amar Mulabegovic, Daniel Gregor, and Martin Posta. They regularly cooperate with up to a dozen other artists and are trying to push the limits of human perception using intangible images. Their spectacular video mapping technology plays with light, sound and images in a way an audience feels they are witnessing “normal” reality. Their breakthrough work – a visual narrative telling the 600-year history of the world-famous Prague clock tower – has brought them global recognition. [To view the video of Orloj: The Prague Town Hall Clock go to Vimeo and look up The Macula.]

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TEDxHonolulu 2011 Organizing Volunteers:

George Carroll License Holder and Lead Curator

James Davenport

Neenz Fafeafine

Kazusa Flanagan

Shay Fukuyama

Al Garma

Matt Gilbertson

Cory Jim

Cain Kamano

Gwen Kobashigawa

Genesis Leong

Terry Limbaga

Michael Petersen

Gene Shofner

Quincy Solano

Danylle Solomon

Marcus Sortijas

Trey Takahashi

Juanito Torres

Yancey Unequivocally

Ivy Wong


TEDxHonolulu 2011 Partners: