Watching Blooming Innovators – Hawaii Business Magazine
The potential for innovation to blossom, like a sprout in a garden pot, is limited by the size of its borders. In 2050, students will learn under the infinite sky. With more outdoor education centers in each school complex than quiet classrooms, each site is a star in a constellation of learning that stretches from Mauka to Makai.
At Kona’s Coastal Center, wide-eyed kids admire a sea cucumber clinging to the cupped hands of their classmates. The kupuna that placed it there grins as he describes how its alkaline excrement strengthens coral reefs. “Eh!” they squeak.
Another group of kids huddle around a fish bot and tinker with its robotic innards on the deck of the learning pier. They agree that it’s the tail fin that needs tuning to make it really swim 20 meters away in Papio training biomimicry.
“I would like a place that advances in technology and beauty, but also doesn’t forget where they came from. Hawaii is a beautiful place with a lot of history, so it would be respectful to pay tribute to it.”
– Erin Song, student, McKinley High School
Her teacher stands three paces between the two groups at the edge of a black ‘a’ā tide pool, noting observations into her smartware. It’s just the kind of qualitative data that allows a friendly artificial intelligence to tailor individual lesson plans to each student’s strengths, joys, and inclinations.
In the decade since Hawaii became a world leader in climate innovation, the booming industry has transformed the state’s economy and supercharged school capacity. Now our teachers act as facilitators of personalized revelation rather than managers of mini knowledge factories. Each student is valued for the unique and creative potential they bring to their island’s future.
“I hope that in 30 years Hawaii will be using cleaner energy and … not seeing the effects of climate change. I hope that our consumption changes and that we protect and preserve the land around us. … I see Hawaii shifting its reliance on the tourism industry and becoming self-sustaining.”
– Marc Gamayo, student, Waipahu High School
Indigenous science, born of hundreds of generations of continued shaping of regenerative systems thinking, has reclaimed the zeitgeist. Rivers, farmers, dryland forests and retired neighbors are invaluable resources for innovative ideas and hyper-local knowledge. Autonomous electric buses shuttle students safely between hubs, and public Wi-Fi is an afterthought, as is the fresh air they breathe throughout the school day.
At each location, students learn by closely observing the country they will lead into a new age of holistic resilience, their island is a microcosm of the potential of our shared planet.
Artists observing innovators in bloom
Xochitl Cornejo is a Mexican-American illustrator and 2D animator from Kailua with a passion for bright colors. Inspired by magical realism, Ghibli films and the everyday life they experienced in Hawaii, they enjoy creating fun and whimsical worlds in their art. Her previous work includes animated short films, children’s book illustrations and background graphics for the animation industry.
Hawaii business magazine, in association with Hawaiian Electric, in this six-part series entitled “Hawaiʻi of Tomorrow,” evokes the optimistic spirit of practical imagination to consider what Hawaii would be like in 2050, with a special focus on the challenges of the decades to come. Click any title below to explore this series!
Part 1: The tranquility of transport
Imagine a future with Hawaiian Electric where nights are filled only with the sounds of leaves rustling on trade winds…read more.
Part 2: Food Powered by ʻĀina
The self-reliance of Native Hawaiians provides a template for envisioning a future of innovative stewardship of our natural resources in Part Two of Hawaii of Tomorrow, a six-part series presented by Hawaiian Electric…read more.
Part 3: Revitalizing communities with streams and sunlight
“Revitalizing Communities with Streams and Sunlight” and local artist Kate Wadsworth pays homage to the restoration of indigenous systems that have existed in Hawaii for generations…read more.
Part 4: A hub for hydrogen innovations
In this installment of Hawaiʻi of Tomorrow, local artist Lauren Trangmar envisions a future where power generation systems flow back into the ʻāina, powering our communities…read more.
Part 5: Oceania’s climate resilience
Hawaiian-born artist Solomon Enos is creating a vibrant new Waikiki in 2050, a place that has become an amazing model for climate change adaptation…read more.
Part 6: Watch thriving innovators
In 2050, students will learn under the infinite sky. With more outdoor education centers in each school complex than quiet classrooms, each site is a star in a constellation of learning that stretches from Mauka to Makai. Educational centers offer an immersive learning experience in the latest edition of Hawaii of Tomorrow, presented by Hawaiian Electric…read more.