Sustainable Hawaii Youth Leadership Initiative
Highlights 2010-2016

The Sustainable Hawaii Youth Leadership Initiative’s mission is to train young people to become leaders of a more sustainable world. SHYLI is a project of the Stone Soup Leadership Institute, a 501c3 non-profit organization founded on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in 1997. Hawaii aspires to be a national-global leader in sustainable development – and at the forefront of renewable energy. It will take a concerted effort to realize the goal of a diversified, sustainable economy to support Hawaii’s goal of 100% Renewable Energy by 2045.

Hōkūleʻa Worldwide Voyage: 2016: For six years The Institute has been collaborating with the Polynesian Voyaging Society to support the Hōkūleʻa Worldwide Voyage. From Nainoa Thompson’s speech at APEC 2011 to presenting Sam Low with the Institute’s 2014 Walter Cronkite Award. The Hōkūleʻa landed on Martha’s Vineyard for the 12th Annual Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development. SHYLI youth leaders led the officially welcoming with local Wampanoag youth leader. They taught other delegates to make leis with ti leaves brought from Hawaii Island. Hōkūleʻa crew shared best practices from indigenous peoples around the Worldwide Voyage. SHYLI is dedicated to continuing our collaboration to develop the next generation of leaders in ocean and environmental sustainability.

SHYLI’s Fellows Program is building a new generation of leaders, innovative thinkers, and action-oriented young/emerging leaders. The SHYLI model integrates the best of the Institute’s work of 18 years with 8 different island communities. The Institute’s innovative programs use Design Thinking, Life Planning, Entrepreneurship, and Project Management to envision Sustainability Projects. Through the integration of technology, fieldwork, mentorship and reflection this personalized educational experience trains people in real-world situations.

SHYLI’s Career Mentoring & Job Shadow Day helps translate youth passion with practical experience in the job market and the world of work. SHYLI’s goal is to give young people an opportunity to learn about career pathways to 21st century and STEM sustainability jobs. From engineers and marine biologists to tech/computer science coders, writers and lawyers –sustainability takes a whole village of people with a wide variety of jobs and careers!

At the weeklong Youth Leadership Summit, Hawaii’s youth delegates work alongside seasoned emerging leaders who’ve transformed their lives. They learn critical thinking and decision-making skills and work in teams to develop 5-year action plans. SHYLI provides innovative training, proven educational curriculum and strategic support that results in an inspiring vision for our collective future. Youth learn how to put their dreams into action: troubleshoot challenges, make presentations and develop strategies to engage youth and local decision-makers. They are empowered to become representatives of their islands and lightening rods for positive change, creating a multiplier effect to build a new generation of leaders.

SHYLI works in partnership with business and organizations to prepare young people to envision and take initiative in their lives, their island and their world. We invite people to join with us in investing in these young people to become leaders of a sustainable world. The program encourages the development of long-term relationships between leaders young and old, united in their commitment to find creative solutions to the challenges facing the state. We connect youth with strategic opportunities that contribute to Hawaii’s culture, economy, and environment.

Benefits to the Hawaii Community

  • Exposes young minds to inspiring leaders, opens doors and expands their horizons.
  • Helps translate youth passion with practical experience in the job market and the world of work.
  • Connects young people with strategic opportunities and develop long lasting relationships that contribute to Hawaii’s culture, economy and environment.
  • Better trained workforce: Training that prepares young people to contribute to the Hawaii’s workforce.
  • SHYLI youth learn best practices of sustainable initiatives; envision and create action plans for Sustainability-In-Action Projects.
  • Develop New Leadership: Hawaii is in urgent need of new leadership, innovative thinking, and action-oriented people who can work together to effectively realize its potential. Too little emphasis is on developing its greatest asset – young people who are their best hope for a better future. Hawaii’s education system is woefully lacking — ranking 50th out of 50 states. There has been precious little investment in Hawaii’s youth to offset this grave situation. SHYLI is committed to working with others to change this into a win-win-win train youth, increase opportunities and enhance workforce development.

The Institute’s History with Workforce Development

SHYLI Highlights VIDEO


Youth Get Glimpse of Future on Job Shadowing Day, Honolulu Civil Beat, March 2015

Big Island Leaders Host Youth on Job Shadow Day, Hawaii 24/7, February 2014

Unique Opportunity for Collaboration: 2016-2017

The Institute’s Global Leaders Platform propels a community of young/emerging leaders into the green economy. Through this dynamic Platform we are maximizing the Institute’s 20-year investment with training 21st Century Skills for Tomorrow’s Leaders. The Institute has worked with 7 islands of Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard, Vieques, Puerto Rico, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Gorda and the Philippines. We’ve convened eight Youth Leadership Summits on three islands and developed public-private partnerships to build sustainable island communities.

The Institute is now developing strategic partnerships to custom design the Platform with four BETA sites who are prototyping courses and virtual sustainability projects with real life, hands-on applications on career pathways to 21st century STEM sustainability jobs. By using this technology infrastructure, the Institute is well positioned to take SHYLI statewide reaching neighbor island youth with potential. It could have far-reaching implications for Hawaii’s future. It could become a global model so millions will have access to its transformative programs.

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