Ka Maka ʻĪnana

Where the community comes together to design maoli-inspired solutions for our island's greatest challenges.
Applications Closed

What is Ka Maka ʻĪnana?

Maka: eye, sight, view

ʻĪnana: animation and activity, the spark of creation

Ka Maka ʻĪnana is a 16-week design and venture ideation program for students and adults interested in creating solutions that positively impact the pae ʻāina. We start by looking to cultural practice for inspiration and end with innovative projects addressing the most pressing local issues. 

Program Length

16 Weeks

December 1, 2019 – March 28, 2020


Hālau ʻĪnana

2438 S Beretania St.

Honolulu, HI 96826

A Process Inspired by Native Hawaiian Frameworks

Step 1

At Ka Maka ʻĪnana, we start with the question: “What are principles of Hawaiian design thinking?” The program begins with the cohort observing four Hawaiian practitioners and innovators designing ancestral technologies and indigenous innovations. Then we collaborate to create a “Design Field-Guide” like this one.

Step 2

Then we break out into teams and apply the cohort-created design field guide to ideating innovative social enterprises, technologies, or sustainable consumer products that address local problems relating to land, culture, and the economy.

Step 3

We build prototypes and get feedback from the community, demonstrating our prototypes at a Community Prototype Showcase.

Last year, we had over 100 attendees test and provide feedback on 10 projects. Connections were made and insights were gained, leading to improvements to product and story.

Step 4

Finally, we reiterate the product design and prepare for the opportunity to pitch for a chance to win funding and participate in the Purple Prize, our indigenous innovation incubator.

See how it ended this year in this Hawaiʻi Business Magazine article


Meet the KMI Team

Daniel Kinzer

Daniel Kinzer


Founder, Pacific Blue Studios

National Geographic Teacher Fellow

Purple Prize co 2019

Ruby Menon

Ruby Menon


Founder, BrainSmart Behavior Design

Tiny Habits Certified Coach

Purple Prize co 2019

Alec Wagner

Alec Wagner


Director of the Purple Prize, Purple Maiʻa Foundation

Obama Foundation Fellow

Ready to learn, ideate, and impact?

Applications Closed

Reshape the way Hawaiʻi Designs for the Future!

Everyone should be a part of the design process

Building solutions may not be your thing, but we still want your perspective in the design process. There is a 6-Week Design-Only option available. Click on the application above and just select the 6-week design-only option. 



December 1, 2019 – March 28, 2020

Wednesday and/or Thursday nights from 6:30-8pm


Saturdays at varying times for 4 hours/day

Weeks off: 12/9-14, 12/23-28, 12/30-1/4

Help us spread the word!





2438 S Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96826