“This program provided the space to accelerate my thoughts and ideas with others who were thinking and working at the same frequency.”

— Kahealani Acosta, Founder and CEO, Vegetation Continuum

   (K)new Futures cohort 2020, Purple Prize cohort 2020

Watch the Pitch

Ka Maka ʻĪnana and (K)new Futures is a joint initiative of the Purple Maiʻa Foundation, the University of Hawaiʻi Office of Indigenous Innovation and the University of Hawaiʻi Office of Sustainability.  Started in 2019, this program connects community members to explore cultural practices, radically re-engineer the design thinking process, and create (k)new solutions to local challenges.

What grounds us? Hulihia.

Huli.hia – Pas/imp. of huli; overturned; a complete change, overthrow; turned upside down.

In a world where man and capitalism are causing the destruction of our ecosystems, where pandemics destroy our communities, and where structural inequalities destroy futures and societies, we are at a critical point in humanity where we must restore indigenous and ancestral practices if we are going to survive with abundance and resilience. 

We are now in the times of hulihia, where systems are destroyed so they can be rebuilt stronger.

In Kānaka Maoli world view, hulihia brought forth disruption and required that resilience be made core to the development of community, political, economic, and technological structures. 

These ancestral systems had deep knowledge gleaned from generations of keen observation and interaction with the natural world, which over time have shaped cultural practices which respond to the powerful forces that influenced ʻāina, culture, and community. One such metaphor is the story of Pele and her sister Hiʻiaka, which symbolizes that destruction begets creation (Source).

We are called to respond to our current times of hulihia in a manner that our kupuna did. This is your opportunity to build back our structures a(k)new.

Who should apply?

Despite this being a virtual program, we maintain a highly-collaborative environment, which requires consistent and active engagement, open-mindedness, diversity, and respect from all cohort members. 

The Ka Maka ʻĪnana cohort is open to 20 participants age 16 and older. 

(K)new Futures participants must be currently enrolled as a student at the University of Hawaiʻi. 10 students will be chosen to participate in (K)new Futures. 

Program Details

Program Length: 16 weeks

Schedule: Wednesdays and some Saturdays from November 13, 2020 – March 27, 2021

*Break from December 19, 2020 – January 6, 2021

See Calendar below for more details.

Class Capacity: 30

Program Format: Virtual using Zoom video conferencing

Technical Requirements: Computer with webcam, internet or network access. Anyone without access to a computer may have one provided to them.

Program Calendar

November 2020

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
  • Ka Maka ʻĪnana x (K)new Futures Kickoff
  • Orientation - Ka Maka ʻĪnana x (K)new Futures
  • Introduction to Indigenous Design

The (K)new Futures Advantage

As a University of Hawaiʻi student, you can participate in (K)new Futures, an academic expansion to the Ka Maka ʻĪnana experience. Taking place during weeks 4-7 of the program on Fridays from 12:30-3pm, you’ll have the chance to hear from leading experts from this year’s focus areas — Biomimicry, Regenerative Economies, Moʻolelo Technologies, and Regenerative Business — providing you with the context to use these frameworks to design (k)new solutions in phase 2 of the program.


Biomimicry is a practice that learns from and mimics the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges — and find hope along the way.

See: biomimicry.org

Regenerative Economies

Strategies for economic development that place our kuleana to steward precious, limited resources in a manner that ensures our long-term horizon as a viable island people and place.

See: ʻAina Aloha Futures

Moʻolelo Technologies

Technologies that allow native stories, indigenous languages, and indigenous knowledge to be brought into contemporary spaces like digital and social media. 

Model Initiatives

Regenerative Business

“Transformatively innovative businesses have to be viable in the current economy and simultaneously transform the business ecosystems they participate in…..the goal is to create busineses that support win-win-win solutions, systemic health and collaborative networks that serve people and planet.”

Daniel Christian Wahl

Meet the Speakers

Jaclyn Lindo

Jaclyn “Jackie” Lindo is an Economics professor at Kapiʻolani Community College. She is deeply embedded in the subject areas of Aloha ‘āina, Civic engagement, Circular economy, and what she calls the Quadruple bottomline: Purpose, People, Planet, and Profit.

Kūhaʻo Zane

Kūhaʻo Zane is the only child in a family with deep artistic and Hawaiian cultural roots: His father is Sig Zane, the aloha shirt designer, and his mother is Nalani Kanakaole, a renowned cultural practitioner and kumu hula.  Kūhaʻo has emerged as a designer, leader and cultural practitioner in his own right as the creative director and chief of operations at Sig Zane Designs and SigZaneKaiao. He is the president of the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation, serves on the advisory board of the Moku O Keawe Foundation, and is a consultant for Ala Kukui.

Kelsey Amos

Kelsey Amos is a Co-Founder of the Purple Maiʻa Foundation. In 2016 and 2017, she founded and helped run the Purple Prize, accelerating its evolution from a prize competition to an incubator. Kelsey is also the former Board Vice President of Hawaiʻi People’s Fund.

Tricia Dang

With over a decade of experience, Tricia W. Dang brings to the program her global experiences and interdisciplinary knowledge. She is passionate about the generation of meaningful, long-term solutions that support our communities.

Kealohi Reppun

Kealohi Reppun, a revered kumu, Native Hawaiian scholar, and cultural practitioner will be joining us as a speaker once again in this year’s Ka Maka ʻĪnana. 

Meet the Team

Kamuela Enos

Director of the Office of Indigenous Innovation

University of Hawaiʻi

Alec Wagner

Director, Mālama

Purple Maiʻa Foundation

Daniel Kinzer


Pacific Blue Studios

Jackson Solomon

Program Facilitator

Ka Maka ʻĪnana

Matthew Kamakani Lynch

Director of the Office of Sustainability

University of Hawaiʻi