2013: TEDxHonolulu

TEDxHonolulu Logo Translucent (2)

“Cultivating Community”

November 16, 2013, Hawai‘i Theatre, Honolulu, HI

TEDxHonolulu 2013: Cultivating CommunityThe 4th Annual TEDxHonolulu Conference celebrated “Cultivating Community” with live entertainment and inspiring presentations from some of Hawai‘i’s most brilliant minds.

In the spirit of the TEDxHonolulu 2013 theme, we gathered and highlighted local ideas for community building and development in Hawai‘i.

Our speakers, partners, volunteer organizers and attendees represented various fields such as technology, entertainment, art, science and education. They shared their personal and professional insights on how we can cultivate and engage Hawai‘i’s diverse multi-cultural community and drive positive change.

The conference also featured the introduction of the TEDxHonolulu Scholarship Program and the Sustainability Team to extend the reach of our project to new communities, and to share in the collective responsibility to malama aina, both locally in Hawai‘i, and globally.

We’re proud that as a result of our efforts TEDxHonoululu 2013 received recognition as a Certified Green Event from the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s Green Business Program!



TEDxHonolulu2013_PACIFICtonguesPacific Tongues

Jamaica Osorio, Ittai Wong, Alaka’i Kotrys, William Giles, Harrison Ines, Serena Simmons, and Joanna Gordon

Idea Worth Spreading: Provide a safe and central location in the Hawaiian Islands to facilitate a cross-cultural exchange within Pacific influenced populations through spoken arts education.

Pacific Tongues is a non-profit organization that cultivates an active artistic Oceanic community of writers, spoken word performers, leaders, educators and students of all ages. Their commitment is to honor the practice of kuleana through creative workshops, public events and pedagogical development. Youth Speaks Hawai‘i, a program of Pacific Tongues which is supported by the Hawai‘i Arts Alliance, promotes teen literacy and civic engagement through slam poetry by offering weekly writing workshops, hosting monthly poetry slams and open mics, organizing interscholastic poetry slams, and sending a youth team to a national competition every summer. Their writing workshops reach over 1,000 students every year, and their monthly poetry slams and open mics attract more than 600 guests a year. Every year since 2007, their national team has made semi-finals at the Brave New Voices International Youth Slam Poetry Festival, winning back-to-back international titles in 2008 and 2009. While education and arts funding are slashed from school budgets, they help youth develop the critical literacy, writing skills, and public speaking skills they will need to succeed. In addition, they challenge disenfranchised youth to become socially aware and engaged in their communities by providing them with a positive outlet to confront the issues they face with constructive dialogue.

Click here to watch the video PACIFIC_TONGUESvideoTN


TEDxHonolulu2013_ENDOKenny Endo


Idea Worth Spreading: Engage in activities which promote mind-body-spirit harmony.

One of the leading personas in contemporary percussion and rhythm, Kenny Endo is at the vanguard of the taiko genre, continuing to carve new territory in Japanese drumming. A performer, composer, and teacher of taiko, he has received awards and accolades, including a very special recognition in Japan— the first foreigner to be honored with a “natori,” a stage name, in Japanese classical drumming. Endo was a featured artist on the PBS special Spirit of Taiko in 2005. He has performed for the late Michael Jackson and Prince. He opened for The Who, and performed for Princess Diana, and Prince Charles. Endo performed a duet with singer Bobby McFerrin and is featured on the soundtracks for Kayo Hatta’s Picture Bride, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now and worked on James Cameron’s Oscar-winning film Avatar. He is one of the few people in O‘ahu to have a day named on his behalf by the Mayor of Honolulu (“Kenny Endo Day”), and was honored by the National Endowment for the Arts for American Masterpieces. Kenny Endo is a consummate artist, blending Japanese taiko with rhythms from around the world, original melodies, and through his collaborations with artists. Born in Los Angeles, he matriculated at the University of Hawai‘i.

Click here to watch the video ENDOvideoTN


TEDxHonolulu2013.BUMPPaul Bump

Marine Biologist

Idea Worth Spreading: Cultivate the unseen and under-appreciated community.

At heart, Paul Bump is an explorer. This Southern California native is currently pursuing his studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where he is exploring genomics based approaches to better understand the function and ecosystem interactions of marine organisms. In his research Paul uses molecular approaches to explain how humans interact with the marine environment at the macro and micro level. After giving several presentations and receiving substantial accolades, Paul decided that communicating science is just as much of his passion as learning about it, leading him to TedxHonolulu and the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington D.C. If you cannot find him in the lab or under the water you will probably find him out on the Ultimate Frisbee field!  

Click here to watch the video BUMPvideoTN



National Disaster Preparedness Training Center

Idea Worth Spreading: We can cultivate a stronger community by understanding the nature of hazardous weather events and appreciating the scientific and technological advancements that allow us to better prepare and cope with the challenges posed by weather.

Owen Shieh is the Weather and Climate Program Coordinator at the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) in Honolulu. As a meteorologist, his fascination with weather and storms began at an early age in Florida, where he frequently experienced the wrath of tropical storms and severe weather. He temporarily left the warmth of the tropics for the wintry cold of the Ivy League to study atmospheric science at Cornell University, where he graduated Magna cum Laude with distinction in research. For the next several years, Owen was selected to participate in VORTEX2, the largest government- funded tornado field program in history. After obtaining his M.S. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma, Owen moved to Hawai‘i in 2010 to pursue Ph.D. research at the University of Hawai‘i to improve tropical cyclone forecasting through collaboration with the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Pearl Harbor. As the Weather and Climate Program Coordinator at the NDPTC, Owen brings his broad experiences across the field of meteorology to oversee the development of FEMA hazardous weather training courses that will be deployed across the United States. His vision is to build national resilience to natural hazards by enhancing a “whole community” discourse that combines scientific research, operational forecasting, emergency management training, public policy, and public awareness.

Click here to watch the video SHIEHvideoTN



The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i

Idea Worth Spreading: Revive and revitalize the tradition of caring for the land and sea, so that our communities, in turn, can thrive in a sustainable way.

Manuel Mejia is the Community-Based Marine Conservation Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i. He specializes in community-based conservation efforts. He’s dedicated more than sixteen years in leading biodiversity conservation projects across the Asia-Pacific region. His focus is the human dimension of marine conservation and he believes that while the measures for success are ultimately biological, the only way to achieve them are through social, cultural, political and economic change—in other words, through and by people and communities. He recently launched a Marine Conservation Fellowship Program, which provides dedicated young conservationists with professional development and growth opportunities in Hawai‘i. Manuel is a graduate of McGill and Columbia University where he concentrated on the earth sciences and environmental policy for his BSc and MSc degrees. Mejia has two children (ages 9 and 11) and he dedicates his life’s work in conservation to them. He believes that through collective action and wise stewardship of our island’s natural resources, nature and our communities can be healthy again. “Hawai`i is a wellspring of stories that depict how our collective actions as a community can both destroy and heal vital ecosystems.The challenges looming before Earth come from problems that are essentially man-made. Community action is critical to stemming the tide of environmental degradation.”

Click here to watch the video MEJIRAvideoTN


TEDxHonolulu2013_NAGATOMatthew Nagato

Hawai‘i Primary Care Association

Idea Worth Spreading : Health is in everything we do, and the surest way to creating a thriving, healthy society is through the power of community.

Matthew Nagato is the Communications Director for the Hawai‘i Primary Care Association, a nonprofit public health organization dedicated to improving the health of communities. He is also the writer, director, and producer of the acclaimed documentary “Ola – Health is Everything.” Since 1987, he’s worked in a variety of Hawai‘i’s health care organizations, leveraging his experience in strategic planning, operations, communications, and information systems. After many years in the care delivery and financing sectors, Matthew now devotes his energies to transforming public health and creating thriving communities. In 2012 he developed the “What is a Community Health Center?” animated advocacy project, which received national and international attention for its clear and inventive use of video for patient education. He speaks regularly at health care conferences and to medical organizations on system transformation, health care reform, and innovation.

Click here to watch the video NAGATOvideoTN


TEDxHonolulu2013_SHAOLINAu’s Shaolin Arts Lion Dance

Lion Dance with Ben Seng Au

Idea Worth Spreading: Share the cultural understanding and benefits of the Shaolin Temple of China.

Au’s Shaolin Arts is a non-profit cultural arts and amateur athletic sports corporation dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Martial and Healing Arts of the Shaolin Temple of China. ASA gives instruction in two styles of Traditional Southern Shaolin Kung Fu – Hung Gar and Choy Lee Fut (CLF) Kung Fu from Grandmaster Kong Buck Sam of Hawai‘i and for the more serious CLF practitioners, Choy Lee Fut from Grandmaster Chan Yong Fa of Australia. Chief Instructor Ben Seng Au has been in the arts for 47 years; a teacher for 36 years. He’s been inducted into several martial arts hall of fames including the prestigious Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame as Kung Fu Artist of the Year. Known for being an ambassador of goodwill for the arts, he has traveled to South Africa, Great Britain, Australia, Siberia, Poland, Canada, Germany, Puerto Rico and China. This performance will highlight the most famous sworn brothers; Liu Bei Lion, for its colorful yellow golden lion with a dragon on it’s horn; Kwan Kung.

Click here to watch the video SHAOLIN_ARTSvideoTN


TEDxHonolulu2013_KAPONOHenry Kapono


Idea Worth Spreading: Music can cultivate a community.

Henry Kapono Ka‘aihue is an award winning and Grammy nominated singer/songwriter. He’s won numerous Na Hoku Hano Hano Awards (Hawai‘i’s equivalent of a Grammy) including Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, Single of the Year, and Album of the Year. He is also the author of the award winning children’s book “A Beautiful Hawaiian Day.” Although Henry had no formal musical training, he started singing in a church choir at the age of five. He performed in little joints around Waikiki until he joined a local island group called “Pakalolo.” The group played the islands and the far east where a defunct tour company left them stranded in Vietnam. Putting their situation and talents to good use, they stayed and performed for the troops at fire bases throughout Vietnam. When Henry returned to Hawai‘i, he collaborated with Cecilio Rodriguez, from California, and the duo, known as “Cecilio & Kapono” became an instant phenomenon. Within eight months “Cecilio & Kapono” had a recording contract with Columbia Records, a first for a Hawai‘i group. In 1981 Henry pursued a solo career with the extremely successful release of “Kapono – Stand in the Light.” Since then he has created an incredibly broad range of musical expressions through 17 solo albums.  

Click here to watch the video KAPONOvideoTN


TEDxHonolulu2013_KITAJIMAIan Kitajima


Idea Worth Spreading: Build community strength from personal weakness.

Ian Kitajima is a senior executive at Oceanit, one of the country’s most innovative, and Hawai‘i’s largest and most diversified privately-held technology companies, with 150 scientists and engineers. He is responsible for corporate development and venturing for Oceanit’s award winning innovations, products, and services. Since 2001, he has helped to evolve Oceanit’s culture of innovation to inspire, create, fund, and incubate new innovations with a community mission to create a more prosperous Hawai‘i. Kitajima is a founding member of Hoana Medical, a co-founder of Nanopoint, and IBIS Networks, Oceanit’s 2013 clean tech spinoff. Mr. Kitajima comes to Oceanit with a background in starting companies focused on wireless software systems and global consumer marketing. Prior to joining Oceanit, he was the CEO of a wireless start-up developing virtual communities for mobile phones in Helsinki, Finland. He is the co-founder of the Dual Use Hawai‘i industry group and Design Thinking Hawai‘i. He is also an adviser or board member to several educational, government, and community organizations, such as PBS Hawai‘i, Public Schools of Hawai‘i Foundation, and UH Alumni Association.

Click here to watch the video KITAJIMAvideoTN


 TEDxHonolulu2013_MUNOZJessica R. Munoz

Courage House Hawai‘i Project

Idea Worth Spreading: Justice for child victims of sexual exploitation.

Jessica R. Munoz is the Volunteer Director for the Courage House Hawai‘i Project. Originally from California, Jessica has lived on O‘ahu’s for more than seven years, where she is an active member in the community. She has been involved in youth mentoring and outreach for high risk adolescents since moving to the island. She currently works for a private emergency physician group as a clinical nurse practitioner/ provider at a local hospital. Her nursing career was a key factor in moving to O‘ahu and she initially began working at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children while attending graduate school at the University of Hawai‘i. Her passion for victims of sex trafficking started while writing her thesis on human trafficking and emergency health care professionals. Her research revealed that there is a gross lack of aftercare resources existing for these victims- especially the underage victims. Her family in California was involved with Courage Worldwide and helped in starting the Northern California Courage House. Her husband and parents were also part of the building project for the Tanzania Courage House, fulfilling its vision to build homes for children rescued out of sex trafficking in major cities. Munoz recently published two articles in Emergency Physicians Monthly on identifying victims of sex trafficking.

Click here to watch the video  MUNOZvideoTN


TEDxHonolulu2013_ROBERTSHannah Roberts

Navy Lt. j.g

Idea Worth Spreading: The Runner’s Low: Depression and the Badwater Ultra Marathon.

Hannah grew up mostly in southern Delaware and attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland for her undergraduate studies. She commissioned as an ensign in the navy and met her ship in Pearl Harbor, Hawai‘i. While on sea duty and between deployments, Hannah became very involved in ultra endurance sports, including running and cycling. Happiest on technical single track mountain trails, she trained for the 2012 Badwater 135-mile ultra marathon while underway on the destroyer Hopper, based out of Pearl Harbor. She was one of the youngest runners in Badwater.

Click here to watch the video ROBERTSvideoTN2



Master of Ceremonies

Kealoha is an internationally acclaimed poet and story teller, and the first Poet Laureate of Hawai‘i. He has performed throughout the world- from the White House to Brazil and Switerland, and is the first poet in Hawai‘i’s history to perform at a governor’s inauguration. Kealoha represents Hawai‘i at the National Poetry Slam, has been honored as a “National Slam Legend”, and featured HBO’s Brave New Voices Series. He is an MIT graduate with a degree in Nuclear Physics, and internationally celebrated for articulating his passion in a way that engages audiences around the world. Kealoha was a previous TEDxHonolulu speaker in 2011, TEDxHonolulu emcee in 2012 and once again the emcee for 2013.




Sergio Garzon

Multi Media Artist

TEDxHonolulu was proud to feature excerpts from Sergio Garzon’s  wood cut art work as inspiration and directly in our design theme for our 2013 event. 

Artist Sergio Garzon originally born in Bogota, Colombia lives and works in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. His paintings and prints consist of abstract figurative narratives of his memories in Colombia focusing on people, culture and the politics of history. Garzon is also co-creator of the non-profit artist co-op studios Fishmarket in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. He has studied under internationally known installation artist Sandy Skoglund and nationally renowned painter Michael David Singer, whom he assisted during 2008 in his development of his work. Myriam Farrero has interviewed Sergio Garzon in National Public Radio and was feature in All things Considered radio program. Sergio Garzon is also project coordinator of PRINT BIGGER, a community driven event that is helping break down the barriers between the studio, the gallery and the public by taking the art making process onto the streets.

TEDxHonolulu2013speakersBANNERTEDxHonolulu 2013 Organizing Volunteers:

Genesis Leong License Holder and Lead Curator

Aleeka Kay Edwards Productions Team | Speaker Concierge

Alexandra “Alex” McDougle Social Media Team

Bobby Evans Sustainability Team

Brent Nakano Volunteer

Cornelia “Conny” Jolitz Design Team | Leader

Danielle Jones Design Team | Photographer/Video

Danny Terlip Sustainability Team | Co-Leader

Danylle Soloman Registration Team | Leader

David Aquino Sustainability Team

Dhevhan Keith Design Team

Dorothy Sekowski Sustainability Team

Emi Hart Post Party

Eric Gudmundson Design Team

Gene Shofner Productions Team

Heather DeWoody Interactive Team

Hue Oldham Volunteer

Inah Golez Pre-Party & Interactive Team

Ivan Lui Interactive Team

Jason Mateo Productions Team | Leader

Jennifer Killinger Sustainability Team

Joe Heaukalani Interactive Team | Leader

Justine Espiritu Sustainability Team | Co-Leader

Karen Tanigawa Design Team

Kevin Shin Interactive Team

Kun lian “Zoey” Xu Interactive Team

Malana Panaro Scholarship Team & Design Team | Photographer

Martha Guinan Registration Team

Matt Lynch Volunteer Coordinator

Matt Moore Sustainability Team

Matthew Tengansantos Volunteer

Michael Brady Sustainability Team

Moriell Greenleaf Volunteer

Nicole “Coco” Marie Sandry Social Media Team

Rachel Yergan Sponsorship Team

Ray Sutherland Volunteer

Rey Valdez Business & Merchants Coordinator

Ruby Menon Registration Team & Pre-Party

Samantha Hudson Sustainability Team | Curator

Sarah McCann Sustainability Team

Shannon Hines Sustainability Team & Sponsorship Team

Sherry Campagna Sponsorship Team

Stephanie Hughes White Registration Team

TEDxHonolulu 2013 Volunteers (Day of Event):

April Dodge Registration Team

Anika Amayi Redden Interactive Team

Austin Weihmiller Registration Team

Brittnie Cornell Volunteer

Bridie “Bea” Farley Volunteer

Emi Weihmiller Volunteer

Gwen Kobashigawa Registration Team

Harriett Antonio Registration Team

 Ivy Wong Registration Team

Jared Christenot Volunteer

Koli’i Remigio Volunteer

Kimberly Seko Productions Team | Stage Manager

Kristine Averill Volunteer

Lachmin Singh Volunteer

Lauren Carson Volunteer

Lealyn Poponi Volunteer

Marcos Bendana Volunteer

Mia Cremer Volunteer

Richard Yamane Volunteer

Robert F. Ripp Volunteer

Rong Fang Volunteer

Stephen Maybir Volunteer

Sylvia Flores Social Media Team

Susan Schwichow-Lord Volunteer

Tara Buckly Registration Team

Tara Coomans Social Media Team | Leader



TEDxHonolulu 2013 Partners