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.


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Shaka Summit will now be held via Zoom. Sessions feature 4-6 key thinkers in 60-minute brainstorms on a key issue. Sessions will be taped and posted online for future reference.

  • 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
  • September 28: 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.
  • October 5: 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.
  • October 19: 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 26: 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.
  • 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: Vicky Cayetano, Daniel Chun, Caroline Bond Davis, John De Fries, Glenn Furuya, Matthew Grauso, Bella Hughes, First Lady Dawn Ige, Lono Ikuwa, Meli James, Kimo & Leilani Kahoano, Henry Kapono, Nicole Lim, Kekela Miller, John Morgan, Lala Nuss, Josh Reppun, Pake Salmon, Holly & John Sereni, Georja Skinner, Bryan Spicer, Steve Sue, Lori Teranishi, Sen. Glenn Wakai, Dennis Hayashi Yamaguchi.

Typical Agenda

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

Location & Times

  • Via Zoom.
  • Tuesdays 4-5 pm.