Hawaii social investment: ulupono initiative for sustainability

kyle datta and ulupono initiative

Let's hope Hawaii's social entrepreneurs are lining up for this: a significant source of funding for new business models in "indigenous renewable energy, local food production, and waste reduction", through the Omidyar's just-launched Ulupono Initiative.

Now settled in the islands, Pierre and Pam Omidyar are plunking down heavily to support "Hawaii's transformation to sustainability", and it's not just about money…more about catalyzing change.

As leaders in "social investment" with nearly $1B already committed planet-wide, Omidyar intends this island team, led by Kyle Datta and Robin Campaniano, to help "grow a 21st century economy where economic progress and environmental stewardship go hand in hand."

From earlier conversations with the Omidyar team, I know they share my sense of great momentum and potential for Hawaii, and they'll be building on efforts across the islands.

Already in the Ulupono quiver are Sopogy, Kanu Hawaii, and Ma`o Farms, and the Datta/Campaniano team is scouting both "for-profit investments and non-profit grants in local efforts that can bring about measurable change."

BTW, ulupono means to prosper in the pono way, and:

"The Ulupono Initiative has been formed to help increase the resources dedicated to and focus on these and new efforts. By providing the right catalyst, we help them prosper so that they can help Hawai‘i prosper. We believe that sustainability is essential to our future prosperity, and we know that working together is the key to achieving this success. Together, we can grow a 21st century economy where economic progress and environmental stewardship go hand in hand."

Oh, and, if you're thinking of getting in this line, Ulupono is all about innovation and local leadership with technologies and business models that are "in a position to grow and succeed due to our involvement" and are "scalable and applicable globally." According to their founding 'white paper', "we are not looking to support established efforts with large-scale support. "

Ulupono believes that, "as the world becomes more sophisticated in its approach to sustainability, Hawai`i can both learn from others and help lead the way", and they are "especially excited by market-based solutions".

So, bring yer 'A-game', and let's get'r done!

Published by Ken on July 24th, 2009 tagged Community Initiatives, Island Vulnerabilities

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