Maui Arts & Entertainment

“Think Tank With Heart” Convenes at MACC

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By Maui Now Staff

Filmmaker Linda. Courtesy image.

Filmmaker Linda. Courtesy image.

Tomorrow – Sunday, Jan 5 –  Maui’s FirstLight Film Festival and the MACC invite you take part in “2hours. 2create. 2tomorrow,” billed as a “think tank with heart.”

The event is free to the public and was organized to “welcome in the new year, give rise to new ideas and explore leading edge already available solutions to many of the challenges here and now and for the foreseeable future that are facing Maui and beyond.”

Split into two, one-hour events, the first is from 1 to 2 p.m. in the MACC’s Castle Theater.

That first hour will introduce nine social, cultural and environmental activists who are following Mahatma Gandhi’s insightful advice that for peace and justice and love to prevail “you must be the change you want to see in the world.”


The speakers – in alphabetical order – are:

  • Brad Albert – founder of Rising Sun Solar and “100% on top of the ever-changing, and now very good news, about both the technology itself and the recent changes that have again open up solar to play a part in your family’s energy future.”
  • Jay April – television producer, director and video journalist whose work has been featured on many national networks and in film festivals worldwide. In recent years, April has specialized in documentaries about Hawaiian culture and, as CEO of Akaku, has been exploring the parameters of emerging digital video tools to make groundbreaking new media.
  • Drew Astolfi – state director of the Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE) in Hawaii. FACE is a faith-based grassroots organization committed to ‘living aloha’ in its efforts to democratize state policies for those left out of state-wide decision making
  • Irene Bowie – the executive director of Maui Tomorrow Foundation, Maui’s watchdog organization for Hawaii’s environmental and land use laws.
  • Linda Booker – producer and director of the documentary “Bringing it Home” and an industrial hemp guru. Currently illegal to farm in the US – but grown in 31 other countries – industrial hemp is a non-psychoactive plant that can be used to make sustainable products and offers solutions for climate change, nutrition, poverty and deforestation.
  • Azeem Butt – a serial entrepreneur from Silicon Valley, is the founder and CEO of Maui-based Life Foods. He’ll discuss how enlightened companies can create huge change in the health and sustainability of Hawaii and bet the nation’s overall health while supporting local farmers sustainability.
  • Joe Marshalla – a spokesperson for the SHAKA Movement, a grass roots educational outreach program working to establish a complete moratorium on the cultivation, growing and testing of all GMO crops, seed crops and test crops in the County of Maui until such practices are proven safe through an initiative process focused on 2014.
  • Vince Mina – an organic farmer, president of the Maui Farmers Union, highly regarded agricultural expert and “leader of the effort to make hemp a mainstay crop grown for Maui, Hawaii and beyond.”
  • Char O’Brien – CEO of Carbon Draw Down Solutions, a company working to reverse climate change by reducing carbon in the atmosphere by using bamboo.

Each of speakers will present for six minutes each.

GMO_OMG_350Immediately after, resuming the Film Festival, three films will be screened beginning with “Inequality for All” at 2 p.m.

Former US labor secretary and economics professor at UC Berkeley Robert Reich takes it to the street, Wall Street, in his compelling documentary on the 1%, 99% and everything in-between.


At 4 and 5 p.m. enjoy a two-for-one (ticket) double feature beginning with speaker Linda Booker’s pro-hemp flick “Bringing it Home” which aims to show how non-psychoactive industrial hemp is a brilliant, viable, sustainable game-changing alternative.

At 5 p.m. is a “guaranteed eye-opener for Maui and beyond.”

“GMO OMG” invites you to journey to Haiti, Paris, and Norway, get ejected from the lobby of agra-giant Monsanto and explore the answer to the ultimate question: “Is it even possible to reject the food system currently in place, or have we lost something we can’t ever get back?”

Please note, although the speaker sessions are free and open to the public, the films require admission.

Tickets are $15 for single screenings while $48 VIP Fast Pass tickets grant priority admission to four films and can be shared among family and friends.

After the films, the speakers will reconvene and the second hour of 2hours. 2create. 2tomorrow will commence.

Taking place from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the CandleLight Cafe under the Yokouchi Family Pavillion, the same speakers will conduct a Q&A and organizers also promise an opportunity to network.

Life Foods will offer food for purchase and the MACC will have organic wine, cocktails, craft beers and dessert, coffee and tea also available for purchase.

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