As we continue to envision and work to build a tech ʻauwai, we have to think about the state of things along the whole length of the stream. We are preparing middle school students to possibly go on to pursue higher education and tech careers eventually, but when they’re at the point of entering the local tech industry–what will they find?
Will they find an industry that responsibly serves local communities? Will they find an industry where their Hawaiian and Pacific Islander values and knowledges are respected and lived out daily? Will they find an industry where they feel like they can do empowering and necessary work?
As we work with kids near the top of the stream, we are also working with the adults that are further along. The PURPLE PRIZE, Aloha ʻĀina Challenge is one of our first major efforts in this area. It’s a competition that aims to bring together tech industry folks with cultural practitioners and community leaders, so that by talking with each other and learning from each other, we can come up with innovative ideas that truly serve our communities.
Not only does this competition generate ideas, it asks that folks form teams and work over the summer to actually take their concept, prototype it, and then build out their project before Demo Day in the fall.
We have yet to announce it, but there is a prize waiting at the end.
If this concept interests you at all, you can come to Launch Day this Saturday May 28 to check us out and learn more. You don’t have to have a team, an amazing idea, or mad skills to attend (but if you have those, great!). Just come check out a day of loʻi time, compelling panelists, and breakout conversations, and add your perspectives to the mix! Hope to see you there 🙂