The IAFOR International Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment – Hawaii 2019

Photographs of The IAFOR International Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment – Hawaii 2018 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Photographs of The IAFOR International Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment – Hawaii 2018 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

"Independence & Interdependence"

The technological and logistical advances of globalisation have enabled us to become independent and empowered as never before, but also at the same time made us more dependent on the very things allowing autonomy. While technologies allow us to communicate with those on the other side of the world, they can also make us detached from those immediately around us, and in some cases alienated, or lonely. And yet this increased interconnectedness offers great opportunities to work together to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues, and reminds us of our responsibilities towards each other. Our independence is contextualised in the relations we enjoy with others; in our families and communities, shared institutions, in our wider societies, geographical and political entities, and finally as a part of the one world we all share.

The 2019 conference theme for the IAFOR conference series in Hawaii is Independence & Interdependence, and we hope and expect this important thematic lens to encourage wide reflections on the importance and interrelation of such concepts as autonomy and identity, rights and responsibilities, and power and control; and within a variety of contexts from politics and geopolitics to energy, sustainability and the environment; and from education, technology and logistics, to culture and language; from psychology and security, to considerations of equity and justice.

In conjunction with our Global Partners, including the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and Virginia Tech, we look forward to exchanging ideas and exploring new research paths together in Honolulu in 2019!

The IAFOR International Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment – Hawaii 2019 (IICSEEHawaii2019) will be held alongside The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2019 (IICEHawaii2019), and many of the sessions will concentrate on areas at the intersection of education and sustainability. In keeping with IAFOR’s commitment to interdisciplinary study, delegates at either conference are encouraged to attend sessions in other disciplines. Registration for either conference will allow delegates to attend sessions in the other.

The IICSEEHawaii2019 Organising Committee

Dr Failautusi ‘Tusi’ Avegalio, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA
Professor David P. Ericson, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA
Dr Joseph Haldane, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
Professor Curtis Ho, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA
Professor Barbara Lockee, Virginia Tech, USA
Dr James W. McNally, University of Michigan, USA & NACDA Program on Aging
Professor Michael Menchaca, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA
Professor Ted O’Neill, Gakushuin University, Japan
Dr Sela V. Panapasa, University of Michigan, USA
Dr Hiagi M. Wesley, Brigham Young University – Hawaii, USA
Dr Xu Di, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA

Key Information
  • Location & Venue: The Hawai'i Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
  • Dates: Thursday, January 03, 2019 ​to Saturday, January 05, 2019
  • Conference Theme: "Independence & Interdependence"
  • Early Bird Abstract Submission Deadline: August 21, 2018*
  • Final Abstract Submission Deadline: October 19, 2018
  • Registration Deadline for Presenters: November 21, 2018

*Submit early to take advantage of the discounted registration rates. Learn more about our registration options.


  • Dr Christina M. Kishimoto
    Dr Christina M. Kishimoto
    Hawaii State Department of Education, USA
  • Dr David Lassner
    Dr David Lassner
    University of Hawai‘i, USA
  • Dr Richard R. Vuylsteke
    Dr Richard R. Vuylsteke
    East-West Center, USA

Why Join an IAFOR Conference?

The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) welcomes academics from all over the world to our interdisciplinary conferences held in Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East. Our events provide a unique international, intercultural and interdisciplinary environment in which to hear the latest world-class research and network with leading academics, professionals and practitioners.

Our conferences are meticulously planned under the direction of prominent academics to ensure that they offer programmes of the highest level, and are supported by some of the world’s leading academic institutions, including the University of London (UK), Virginia Tech (USA), Barcelona University (Spain), Waseda University (Japan), University of Sussex (UK), Medill School of Journalism (USA), Moscow State University (Russia) and The University of Tokyo, (Japan).

By facilitating dialogue between the world’s academics and thought leaders, IAFOR has become a pioneer in providing the research avenues and visionary development solutions that are necessary in our rapidly emerging globalised world. We welcome you to engage in this expanding global academic community of individuals and network of institutions, and look forward to seeing you at one of our future events.

Dr Christina M. Kishimoto
Hawaii State Department of Education, USA

Dr Christina M. Kishimoto began a three-year contract as superintendent on August 1, 2017. She is responsible for efficiently and effectively administering the Hawaii public school system in accordance with law and educational policies adopted by the Board of Education. On October 3, 2017, Dr Kishimoto presented an Implementation Plan to advance the goals of the DOE/BOE Strategic Plan. Her plan is targeted around three high impact strategies: School Design, Student Voice, and Teacher Collaboration.

Dr Kishimoto is a former Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer for Gilbert Public Schools in Gilbert, Arizona, a district with an enrollment of 36,500 students and an annual budget of $305 million. She also served as Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent of School Design at Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut, was the Founder and Director of The Center for School Improvement & Leadership Development at Area Cooperative Education Services, and Assistant Dean of Student Services for Wesleyan University. She earned a Doctorate in Education Administration from Columbia University Teachers College, a Master of Public Administration in Public Affairs and Policy from the University of Connecticut, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Barnard College.

Keynote Presentation (2019) | Presentation information will be added here shortly
Dr David Lassner
University of Hawai‘i, USA


David Lassner is the 15th president of the University of Hawai‘i and concurrently serves as the Chancellor of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He has worked at the university since 1977, and was most recently its vice president for information technology and chief information officer. Lassner is also a member of the university’s cooperating graduate faculty and has taught both online and in-person in computer science, communications, business and education.

In his prior positions Lassner played an active leadership role in a variety of local, national and international information and communications technology organizations. He served on the boards of Hawai‘i’s High Technology Development Corporation and Public Broadcasting Service affiliate and he chaired the state’s Broadband Task Force. Lassner also served on the board of Internet2 and was a co-founder and board member of the Kuali Foundation, a founding steering committee member and past-chair of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) cooperative and past chair of the boards of the Pacific Telecommunications Council and of EDUCAUSE, the major professional association for information technology in higher education.

He is currently a WICHE commissioner, a board member for the National Association of System Heads (NASH), and on Board of Governors of the East-West Center. He also serves on the boards of the Aloha United Way and the Blood Bank of Hawai‘i.

Lassner led Hawai‘i’s major statewide federally funded project that interconnected all public schools, libraries and campuses on six islands with fiber optics and is an active principal investigator with the National Science Foundation, from which he has received multiple grants over the past 20 years focused on research and education networking and cyberinfrastructure. He is principal investigator for the Maui High Performance Computing Center and for the Pacific Disaster Center, major Department of Defense programs on Maui.

Lassner earned an AB in economics summa cum laude and MS in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a PhD in communication and information sciences from the University of Hawai‘i. He has been recognized with Internet2’s Richard Rose Award, WCET’s Richard Jonsen Award and as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Hawai‘i.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Presentation information will be added shortly
Dr Richard R. Vuylsteke
East-West Center, USA


Dr Richard R. Vuylsteke (pronounced VUL-stek) took office as the East-West Center’s 11th Chief Executive on January 1, 2017. A former EWC grantee and staff member, he rejoined the Center after several decades living in Asia and serving most recently as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

Previously he served as President of the American Chamber in Taipei, Editor-in-Chief of the Taiwan Review, and Area Studies Coordinator for the US Department of State Foreign Service Institute in Taipei. Earlier in his career, he was a research fellow in East Asian Legal Studies at Harvard Law School as well as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Rajasthan, India.

Originally from Illinois, and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Illinois College, Dr Vuylsteke was an East-West Center grantee in the 1970s while he earned MA and PhD degrees from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, specializing in Western and Chinese political philosophy. While still a graduate student he joined the Center’s staff as a research assistant to the Director of the Culture Learning Institute, and later worked as a special assistant to the EWC president with focus on Pacific Community topics. In addition, he taught courses at the University of Hawai'i and Chaminade University in Asian history and social, political and legal philosophy. He also worked at the Pacific Forum (now Pacific Forum/CSIS).

Prior to graduate school, he served three years in the US Army, leaving active duty as a 1st Lieutenant. While in the service, he was stationed in Hawai’i at the US Army Pacific Command (USARPAC) as Chief of the China Desk and later seconded to CINCPAC (now PACOM) as Chief of the Soviet Far East Desk.

His areas of expertise include strategic and operational leadership of multicultural organisations; Asia Pacific business and trade, and Asian and Western history and philosophy.

Dr Vuylsteke is married to Josephine Wu Vuylsteke, a former broadcast journalist; they have three sons.

Keynote Presentation (2019) | Presentation information will be added here shortly

Previous IICSEEHawaii Presentations

Keynote Presentation (2018) | The East-West Center “Spin” on Education