My cup runneth over, with ideas, knowledge and inspiration. I’ve returned home from a full day of TEDx Maui talks by those who have made a difference in art, music, physics, social design and renewable energy. A deep-sea navigator, filmmaker, treehugger, educator, waterman and poet were just a few of the speakers who presented their stories and inspired action on a beautiful Sunday to a full house at the MACC.
Archie Kalepa, big wave surfer
Here’s a quick rundown of a few of my favorite moments and quotes from the day:
Lessons from the Water
“My blood is filled with salt water.” ~Archie Kalepa, Maui County Ocean Safety Operations Supervisor, member of the Hawai’i Waterman’s Hall of Fame, big wave surfer and SUP world record holder
With his words, photos and videos, Archie reminded us of literally the biggest reason we are lucky to live Hawaii, the body of water that surrounds us. Archie is a waterman that demonstrates a love and understanding of the ocean that brings about a respect for its power but also a trust in nature and following one’s instincts. He has tandem surfed, dropped in on a wave in a canoe, rode the waves at Jaws, swam with tiger sharks and stand up paddled from Molokai to Oahu and in the Grand Canyon.
“I started to look at each string as an instrument.” ~ Makana, Hawaiian slack-key guitar master, singer, composer and cultural ambassador
Makana had the audience in the palm of his talented hands with his sense of humor, eloquent way with words, magnetic slack-key melodies and powerful voice. You can listen to Makana’s music here or read his poetic musings on his blog, MindMints.
Cinematic Storytelling: The Heart vs. The Head
“If I can get you to empathize with the scariest fish in the sea, then maybe anything is possible.” ~Paul Atkins, Emmy-winning filmmaker
Paul spoke about the importance of documentary film makers to remember to speak to the heart while presenting facts and information. We, as a species, are storytellers and engaging our emotions is often necessary to bring us to a rational conclusion. Paul has worked on films for National Geographic, PBS and BBC covering marine life, endangered species and preservation.
The Small Island: Edited on Maui and the Mainland
Graham shared his thoughts on how we’ve become land of the big in the last five decades, super sizing our cars, homes, debt, storage space, meals and stuff. He shared with us four basic components of small space living (digitize, edit our belongings, choose products that are space efficient and consider our spaces as multi-functional). Graham also shared a video of a <500 sq foot condo space where one could host overnight guests, a dinner party of twelve and also live/work comfortably.
Kamea Hadar, Lead Director of Pow Wow Hawaii
The Catalytic Nature of Art
“Something of cultural significance doesn’t have to be a thousand years old, it can be something that is created today in your backyard.” ~ Kamea Harda, Artist and Lead Director of Pow Wow Hawai’i.
Pow Wow Hawaii is an annual gathering of artists from around the world that has also played a role in the revitalization of Kaka’ako. Kaka’ako is a former industrial area located outside of downtown Honolulu that has been undergoing change to a mixed urban use in recent years with retail, art, culinary and residential development. Pow Wow Hawaii gathers contemporary artists for one week in February to create and engage the community in their process. The third Pow Wow will be held February 9th through 16th, 2013. Kamea spoke of the origin, mission and impact of Pow Wow.
All of the speakers were thought provoking, a few also moved me to tears. I’ve shared just a few moments here. I encourage everyone to watch the talks from today online if you were not able to make it to the live event. A few of the talks I didn’t elaborate on here included educator’s insights into children’s confidence development (Sherry Lynn), engaging children in questions on social issues and observations (Jenelle Peterson), bringing the power of solar to those in need (Quayle Hodek), the ambitious 2013 world wide voyage of the Hōkūleʻa (Kālepa Baybayan), sustainable urban design (Sean Connelly) and ecological development (Lauren Roth Venu). I’ll provide a link when the videos are up or you can like TEDx Maui’s Facebook page for updates.