Ground Zero Initiative

Regional Festival Grounds for Cultural Evolution

Venues for Change: Music festivals are a perfect testing ground for the cooling economy. Anyone who has ever attended a music festival will note that the environment created can be inspiring, a liminal space between the culture that is and the culture that could be. As such, these festivals tend to attract a demographic with a large percentage of people who want to be more in tune with nature’s patterns, are eco- friendly, aware of and concerned about climate change, seeking to strengthen community, and are drawn to new ways to engage with economics. However, the carbon footprint of such gatherings can be tremendous, especially when considering transportation to and from the festival.

Collaboration: Ground Zero Design Charrette- Charrette /SHəˈret/: a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions.

We hold an annual Ground Zero Design Charrette for our partner festivals at our campus on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Festival personnel gather to share best practices and collectively develop our Pathway to Zero protocol that can be adapted for partner festivals in their specific communities and contexts. 

First Annual Design Charrette February 2018 Carly Wyman

Partner Festivals and Sites

        • ‘Aina fest North Kohala, Hawai’i. About: Born out of husband and wife team Dash & Erika Kuhr’s desire to share the abundant food and vast potential for healthy living in Niuliʻi, ʻĀina Fest grows richer in offerings and attendance each year. This powerful & unique day-long event features a packed schedule of world renowned & local musicians, performing artists, hands-on land based education, Hawaiian cultural activities, keiki activities, yoga, arts & crafts vendors & an abundance of organically grown, farm fresh food.Together, we rise up to celebrate and empower local farmers & the vibrant movement for island-wide food sovereignty. 100% of proceeds from the event support the three core pillars of HIP Agriculture’s programming: Residential Farmer Trainings, Youth Education & Community Events.
        • MAnafest Puna, Hawai’i. About: We come together on this sacred ‘aina as one family at the feet of Mauna Kea and in the lap of the Goddess Pele. We offer workshops on health and well-being, dance, and creativity!
        • Flow fest Puna, Hawai’i. About: Flow Fest was originally founded by Chris Berry who was inspired in 2014 when the Big Island’s active lava flow changed directions and threatened to cut off lower Puna from the rest of the island. The intention of the festival remains to enhance the sustainability and unity of our community and warmly welcomes all ages, shapes, sizes, creeds, colors. We focus on conscious music, progressive thinking speakers, sustainable & holistic life practices and equality among the human race. We honor Hawaii for its richness in culture and geography. We dedicate the festival to the Hawaiian Lava Goddess, Pele. We are Puna’s premier festival and our intention is to bring together our community and create a life changing experience for all who attend.
        • Project Earth Clarks Grove, Minnesota. About: The intention of this festival is to co-create a community celebration with the event patrons (THAT’S YOU!). We invite YOU to take control of your concert experience and transform it into a profound renaissance of creative participation (rather than just observation). Project Earth is an experimental convergence between a music concert, rainbow gathering, eco-village and political and social justice alchemy. Primarily Project Earth is an opportunity to camp together and fundraise for charitable causes. That’s right…100% of the profits for this festival are going to help other communities around the globe.
        • Shangri- La Fest Clark’s Grove, Minnesota. About: Shangri-La– A mythical Utopia and Earthly Paradise known as a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world, the people who live at Shangri- La are almost immortal, living years beyond the normal lifespan and only very slowly aging in appearance. A place of great beauty and peace. The festival is an intentional celebration of Conscious Music and love. It’s always what this family has been about!
        •    Hawaiian Sanctuary Pahoa, Hawai’i.
        • About: Hawaiian Sanctuary is a 44-acre eco-rejuvenation center on The Big Island, Hawaii. We are dedicated to providing experiential education in the areas of health & wellness, social permaculture, leadership, sustainability and personal & collective growth. Nature is our biggest role model when it comes to co-creating a culture of wellness and ‘thrivability’.

Become a partner festival. Interested in learning more about becoming a partner festival? Get in contact today

Sustainability Coordination, Consultation and Education

Pathways to Zero: Join us in becoming co-navigators for the planet who are committed to zero-ing out their impact and helping to develop a culture of earth stewardship at their festivals and beyond. We offer sustainability coordination for festivals and events and consultation services for groups and organizations. In partnership with your team, we will collectively develop a Pathway to Zero protocol to suit your organization’s goals for not just sustainability, but thrive-ability. We help festivals to develop an individualized Pathway to Zero protocol to bring cooling economy practices to their specific context. This protocol may include zero- waste best practices, soil remediation strategies, modes to steward land and to regenerate the water cycle, and partnering with the transportation sector.

We then help to implement the protocol, building your capacity as an organization.

Education for Sustainability: We envision, design and develop quality pedagogy and curriculum using the Efs standards as the structural framework.

  1. Cultural preservation and transformation
  2. Responsible local and global citizenship
  3. The dynamics of systems and change
  4. Sustainable economics
  5. Healthy commons
  6. Natural laws and ecological principles
  7. Inventing and affecting the future
  8. Multiple perspectives
  9. Strong sense of place

Link to Koh Ming Wei’s dissertation, Discovering learning, discovering self: The effects of an interdisciplinary, standards-based school garden curriculum on elementary students in Hawai’i. 

Center for Getting Things Started Demonstration Sites – Systems Model for regional festival grounds

Systems Thinking: Our demonstration site on the Alenaio Stream in Hilo, Hawaii will be built utilizing the most sustainable methods available, including but not limited to:

Climate-smart architecture design and materials choice – shifting winds, deluges, topography, and more are considered and consulted;

Riparian restoration with invasive species removal, integrated erosion control designs, and hydro-energies;

Demonstration gardens modeling regenerative agriculture and agroforestry; and

Bio-fuel manufacture for cooling the economy. 

Our second headquarters and demonstration site on the Big Island of Hawai’i in Puna, is home to an appropriate technologies prototyping facility, food processing station, tiny house, solar water distiller prototype, art gallery, and native mamaki tree gardens.

Building the cooling economy

To learn more about our efforts to shape an emerging economy based on the principle of cooling the planet, rather than heating it, visit our partner site at: