Kynan Kawai – Sustainability Advocate

Kynan Kawai (pictured above) is a participant in our Ka Hana No’eau program on Hawai’i Island. Through his unceasing push for his island’s sustainability coupled with his hard work, Kynan has earned the acclaim of many. He was recently featured in Sustainable Hawai’i Youth Leadership Initiative’s newsletter. Sustainable Hawai’i Youth Leadership Initiative (SHYLI) is a local branch of the Stone Soup Leadership Institute whose mission is “to develop educational tools and train young and emerging leaders to build a more sustainable world.”

Last year, he was nominated to be a delegate for SHYLI to the 8th Annual Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development. The SHYLI youth delegation consisting of Kynan and four other youth from Hawai’i shared their presentations about sustainable initiatives on their island. Kynan’s presentation was about his hope for agricultural business sustainability in Hawai’i. The summit was a weeklong intensive leadership training that helped the attending youth to envision their goals and create action plans for their lives and for sustainable projects.

“This Summit was a real eye opener. It gave me the urge to want to have a vision of what I want my future to be like. It also gave me the tools to help achieve that goal. All the workshops that I was able to be included in for this Summit improved my skills as a future sustainable businessman.”

-Kynan Kawai

Locally, Kynan shared his vision of Sustainable Agriculture & Business at the “North Kohala Growing a Local Food System” with 75 local decision-makers – including Senator Malama Solomon. For his Sustainability-In-Action project, Kynan is helping create the SHYLI Youth Leadership Forum. The Youth Leadership Forum will bring together notable people from the business, government, and education communities on the Big Island for the SHYLI delegates to present their Sustainability-In-Action projects, the lessons learned at the summit, as well as their visions for a sustainable HawaiÊ»i. An essay that Kynan wrote titled Sustainability, It’s Important to Me (link) tells of his history with sustainable agriculture, his time as a delegate, as well as his vision for agricultural sustainability in Hawai’i.

Mahalo to Kynan Kawai, Ka Hana No’eau, and to Sustainable Hawai’i Youth Leadership Initiative for all of their hard work, they are truly making a difference towards realizing the goal of a sustainable Hawai’i.

“I send a special Mahalo to the Sustainable Hawai’i Youth Leadership Initiative and the Stone Soup Leadership Institute for their support of the Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development. These contributions of support and time provide the foundations for our future’s leadership and an environment that allows young individuals to become actively engaged in making our world a better place.”

-Governor Neil Abercrombie