Many Minds, One University 2016-17


What could we accomplish if we were to focus our collective effort and resources to answering ONE essential question of Sustainability:  How can we accomplish our state’s goal of increasing local food production 20% by 2020?

The UH Office of Sustainability invites you to participate in “Many Minds, One University” (MM1U).

Inspired by the “One Campus, One Theme” project of Hawaii Community College, this focused inquiry project for Academic Year 2016-2017 encompasses:

Each campus is invited to participate however they choose. Sessions at the 2017 Sustainability in Hawaii Higher Education Summit will focus on sharing results of MM1U.

Faculty can join the Laulima site “SYS MM1U” or request to be added to this collaboration server. Visit the site to sharing resources, ideas, assignments, and reflections.

Suggested paths of inquiry:

1) How does our food supply impact ocean health?

2) What percentage of university lands are currently used for:

  • ornamental
  • hardscape
  • parking
  • research
  • food production
  • functional landscaping
  • ornamental landscaping

3) How prepared are our communities to feed themselves for two weeks in the event of a natural disaster?

4) How do we address issues of food security and food waste in our campuses and communities?

Download MM1U poster here:

Hawaiiʻs Food System At-A-Glance, by Dr Albie Miles

The food system of Hawaii is at a cross roads. With a population of over 1.4 million people, the U.S. state of Hawaii is the most geographically isolated landmass in the world.

Importing an estimated 90 percent of its food, fertilizer, energy and seed, the Hawaiian Islands are uniquely vulnerable to state wide food insecurity in the face of global climate change, fuel price fluctuations and other economic disturbances. The post-plantation agricultural economy remains largely oriented toward external markets, with the diversified agriculture sector limited by a range of social, economic and political obstacles.

High rates of food insecurity and diet-related health disparities have long impacted the native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, while much prime agricultural land lays idle or slatted for development. Legal cases over access to water and land remain unresolved for many communities, while concerns over the environmental quality, human health and economic and cultural self-determination feature prominently in conversations about the future of food and agriculture in Hawaii.

Presentation by Dr Albie Miles (2016) on the global impacts of agriculture to climate change, and the potential for agroecology to mitigate these impacts.

ʻState of the Planetʻ presentation by Dr Chip Fletcher (2016).

Contact Krista Hiser, Interim System Sustainability Curriculum Coordinator ( to become a participant, or for more information, ideas, and project feedback. Faculty can join the Laulima site “SYS MM1U” or request to be added to this collaboration server.