Unconference Planned to Explore Sustainability


A pair of local sustainability experts is inviting other like-minded people to come together for the Sustainability Unconference.

My favorite kind of conference is an unconference, which is still a conference, but one that tries to shed all the baggage that typically comes with them:pre-defined themes and sessions, sponsor-centric panels, and tedious speeches and presentations. An unconference program is built on the fly by the people who show up, and the speakers are any participant who has something to say.

Burt Lum, my frequent partner in digital diablerie, spearheads Hawaii’s longest-running unconference, cheekily named the Unconferenz. (The eighth-annual event is set for May 16 at the ‘Iolani School Sullivan Center.) Kamehameha Schools had its second education unconference, KSUNcon, last June. Heck, people even come from outside the islands for their own unconferences, most famously The Lobby.

The Sustainability Unconference, set for Feb. 7, is being organized by Scott Cooney and Andrea Bertoli. Cooney is the founder of Pono Home, runs the CleanTechnica blog, and teaches sustainability for the MBA program at the University of Hawaii. Bertoli, meanwhile, handles marketing for the climate focused startup Oroeco and runs the Vibrant Wellness Journal.

The pair say the event will foster “collaboration, ingenuity and creation,” and while the topical sessions will be organized on the fly, there is some programming: a business planning competition, a wellness hour and a speed networking event. The $35 registration fee ($25 if you buy your tickets in the next day or so) includes “organic coffee, tea and delicious, healthy foods.”

Event sponsors include The Indigenous Soap Company (“using native medicinal herbs and oils from all over the world”), TLDYEU (“an all-natural deodorant handcrafted in Hawaii”), Honolulu Furniture Company (“quality craftsmanship with locally sourced materials”), Oahu Fresh (“delivering fresh local produce to your doorstep”) and Natural Investments (“sustainable and responsible investing since 1985”).

The Sustainability Unconference will be held at ProtoHUB Honolulu (458 Keawe St. in Kakaako). For more information or to register, visit the Eventbrite page. or the Sustainability Unconference page on Facebook.

3 Responses

  1. January 24, 2015

    […] event is a “mashup” of a conference and an unconference (they’re all the rage), with the focus of two of three sessions decided on the spot. Last year’s […]

  2. March 1, 2015

    […] in 2008 (the eight-annual event coming in May) to Kamehameha Schools’ KSUNCON to the recent Sustainability Unconference, the open, peer-driven format certainly makes sense for teachers and school leaders who are looking […]

  3. March 7, 2015

    […] businesses, and support them via sustainable investing. Earlier this year, we had a sustainability unconference here in Honolulu to explore all things […]

Discover more from Hawaii Blog

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading