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Past Summits

Piʻo Summit 2023: Advancing a Circular Economy in Hawaiʻi

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

2023 Piʻo Summit: Advancing a Circular Economy in Hawaiʻi
Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Hawaiʻi Convention Center

The pursuit of convenience today has led to rampant consumerism, throwaway culture, and monumental waste. Product design and manufacturing is focused on efficiency and low cost, with little regard for sustainability. As a result, the linear “take, make, use, waste” economy is built on continuously extracting finite resources just to create products destined for landfills.

In recent years, growing scrutiny around the linear economy has sparked a demand for urgent action on issues regarding limited natural resources, biodiversity loss, climate change, energy efficiency, mass waste, and pollution. Governments across the globe are searching for solutions that decouple economic growth from environmental degradation while ensuring long-term prosperity. One steadily advancing movement is aimed at designing a Circular Economy, where waste is minimal, materials and resources are preserved for as long as possible, and modes of production mimic nature’s regenerative processes.

In ancestral Hawaiʻi, a similar “give, take, regenerate” circular system led to the development of balanced structures of resource management. One example of this can be seen in the ahupuaʻa, a unit of land division and an efficient socio-political management structure that enhanced ecosystems health. Ahupuaʻa, in partnership with a sophisticated governance structure, ensured a successful ancestral circular economy, where resources were managed effectively to promote abundance. Combining contemporary Circular Economy solutions with ancestral knowledge creates integrated approaches to sustainability that are both environmentally regenerative and socially just.

As the state’s largest research institution, the University of Hawai‘i (UH) has an obligation to help improve the quality of life for our residents and to those around the world through innovative research and education. This year, in partnership with the Dana Naone Hall Endowed Chair we created a Piʻo Summit to highlight the need for courageous leadership and ancestral innovation to solve the complex problems of our times. Advancing a Circular Economy in Hawai‘i brings together UH and community partners to advance contemporary applications of ancestral innovation and resource management sciences to help develop sustainable and just solutions for healthy communities in Hawai‘i and around the world.
Advancing a Circular Economy in Hawai‘i is sponsored by the University of Hawaiʻi Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, The GSI Family of Companies, Elemental Excelerator and Kamehameha Schools in partnership with Piʻo Summit 2023 and Ulupono Initiative.

Piʻo Summit 2022: Wai Sovereignty & Justice

Thursday, December 15, 2022

2022 Piʻo Summit: Wai Sovereignty & Justice
Thursday, December 15, 2022
Imin International Conference Center & Kennedy Theatre, UH Mānoa

Wai Sovereignty & Justice
was chosen as the theme of our inaugural summit to draw attention and action to the current state of our wai, along with the constant threats our water resources are currently facing. Wai Sovereignty & Justice brought together esteemed community leaders, advocates, and truth speakers who are advancing aloha ʻāina and water justice. The summit consisted of two day-time panels, a networking mixer event and an evening keynote discussion.