About the Project

The Shaka Summit

The Shaka Summit is a thought leader visioning series on how to leverage the Shaka gesture to make Hawaiʻi and the world beyond a better place. The storyline and it’s essential learnings have spurned many to action, thus this series seeks to coordinate and synergize interested parties to work together for the good of all.


Sessions feature 15-20 key thinkers in 90-minute brainstorms on a key issue. Sessions will be taped and posted online for reference by others.

  • July 27: Protecting Hawaiʻi Stories – The Shaka is arguably Hawaiʻi’s most iconic story. Session topics include pono use of the Shaka and fostering “moʻolelo” to preserve Hawaiian history, legends, genealogy and traditions of the Hawaiian people
  • August 17: Fostering “Malama” Tourism – The Shaka is an ideal way to bring to life the virtues and values of the aloha spirit for both visitors and locals alike. Session topics include educating visitors on responsible and respectful travel, managing down trending visitor satisfaction in a post-COVID market and building local resident acceptance and support for the tourism industry.
  • September 7: Building Hawaiʻi Businesses & Brands – The Shaka is not only Hawaiʻi’s most recognizable icon and thus a key brand element but also an ideal way to bring to life the virtues and values of the aloha spirit. Session topics include growing Hawaiʻi’s brand and economy in authentic and responsible ways, and teaching the aloha spirit through leadership, DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion training), CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and other training.
  • September 28: Educating Keiki with Shaka Virtues & Values – The Shaka is an ideal way to bring to life the virtues and values of the aloha spirit thus is ideal for educational use. Session topics include creating project-based, cultural, social-emotional and empowerment curriculum through the Shaka.
  • October 19: Connecting Japan & Hawai‘i Cultures – The word “Shaka” is a Japanese word meaning “Fear not, go for it” that derives from Japan’s Shakyamuni Buddha (aka “Shaka-sama”) and brought to Hawaiʻi by Japanese and Okinawan plantation workers. Session topics include connecting cultures and cultural exchanges to build a strong bridge between Japan, Okinawa and Hawai‘i.
  • November 9: Preserving Hawaiʻi’s Surfing Identity – The Shaka went global through the surfing community and other extreme sports. Session topics include maintaining Shaka and surfing origins as part of Hawaii’s brand.
  • November 16: Aloha ‘Aina Ecology – Hamana Kalili, the original Shaka man, went on to become the master fisherman of La‘ie, with a responsibility to both feed the people and maintain the viability of the reef.  This session focuses on leveraging the Shaka to foster sustainability strategies.

Confirmed panelists include: Sen. Glenn Wakai, Meli James, Bella Hughes, Matthew Grauso, Nicole Lim, Caroline Bond Davis, Dennis Hayashi Yamaguchi, Bryan Spicer, Henry Kapono, Elena Farden, Nate Gyotoku, Lono Ikuwa, Kekela Miller, Glenn Furuya, Lori Teranishi, Steve Sue.

By Invitation Only. For Information on how to attend as a guest, contact us.

Typical Agenda

  • Shaka Primer
  • Thought-Leader Panel
  • Q&A

Food & Beverage

  • Food by Haili’s Hawaiian Foods & Uli Cutter.
  • Cocktails by Shaka Tea & Kō Hana Rum.

Location & Times

  • ID8 Studios, Entrepreneurs Sandbox
    643 Ilalo St., Kakaʻako.
  • Tuesdays 5:30-7:00pm.
  • Free Parking.
Shaka Summit plot