||Just a few years into the 21st century, Hawaii began to examine itself in the context
of a changing world. Some of the challenges that this isolated chain of islands in
the middle of the Pacific Ocean faced were a growing population, deteriorating public
infrastructure, climate change impacts, dependency on imported fossil fuel and food,
and decreasing biodiversity. After a two year effort involving over 10,000 island
residents, the Sustainability Task Force released Hawaii 2050 (State of Hawaii, 2008)
which was the most comprehensive planning effort in the state in over thirty years.
In addition, the Governor’s office launched the 2008 Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative
(HCEI) in partnership with the US Department of Energy to transform Hawaii’s fossil
fuel energy backbone to 70% from clean indigenous sources by 2030 (DBEDT, 2008). This
energy transformation will spawn an economic shift away from tourism towards the high
tech demanding a more skilled and technical work force. Currently, the K through
12 curricula are not structured to develop leaders and entrepreneurs who will successfully
guide Hawaii’s efforts towards a more sustainable way of life.
Planet Pioneers is an organization designed to fill this gap. Their main goal is to
make a unique contribution to Hawaii’s security, stability, and economic growth by
expanding the capacity of local communities and K-12 students to innovate and lead
towards a sustainable future. This study is undertaken to:
1. Identify stakeholder knowledge, skills and motivations for supporting PP mission
that will inform PP partnership and program designs.
2. Document and analyze the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of local community
residents and other stakeholders as they pertain to the vision of a sustainable Hawaii.
Data analysis consisted of a stakeholder and partner analysis using a survey tool
and key informant interviews as the primary research tools. Results indicated that
Planet Pioneers will be supported by partners and local community members. Where the
results can best inform the Planet Pioneer partnership and program model is to raise
the community’s general awareness and knowledge of sustainability and how to scale
the Planet Pioneer model after the pilot so it expands to a full K12 program with
the addition of internships.