IICSEEHawaii2018


“Surviving and Thriving in Times of Change”

January 4–6, 2018 | The Hawai'i Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Religious, cultural and societal fractures have seen rises in authoritarianism and nationalism across the world, and threats and perceived threats have been used to justify the stifling and marginalisation of voices of opposition and dissent. Hard-won progress and freedoms are being questioned and undermined, and questions of peace, security and human security abound. In this period of great global social, economic, political and environmental instability, the future is for many a place of great uncertainty and fear.

However, in any period of great change, and undoubted challenge, there is also a great opportunity to harness and nurture these forces. The future is not yet written, and the powerful heuristic of sustainability has become a reality in many areas, where human creativity, imagination and technological advances have helped to make the world a better place. From small individual initiatives within families, communities and places of work, to the larger and more long-term development initiatives of governments and supranational institutions, exemplified by the UN’s 2030 goals, human resourcefulness is being used in pursuit of the common goal of a sustainable world.

The Local Context: Hawaii and the Pacific

Hawaii sits in the middle of the Asia Pacific region, between Asia and North America. Its strategic significance was apparent to the indigenous peoples of the Pacific islands before it attracted the attention of Pacific and Asian traders, the European colonial powers, and then the United States, whose Pacific fleet is based at Pearl Harbor, a location famously attacked by Japanese imperial forces in 1941. Hawaii has experienced much upheaval and change throughout its history, and offers an interesting context to studies at the intersection of security and sustainability, as well as of the continued legacy of colonisation, foreign and distant rule, and questions of ethnicity and belonging, to include issues relating to challenging and preserving indigenous knowledge, cultures and languages. The tropical climate and great natural beauty of the Hawaiian islands and the surrounding seas, with their rich flora and fauna, have helped create a huge tourist industry that is very important to the economy, but also threatens the environment, while the distance of the islands from the United States and Asia raise questions of economic and environmental sustainability.

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IICSEEHawaii2018 Conference Photographs

Human interaction is at the root of all knowledge creation, and hence the great importance of the conference in introducing, testing and spreading ideas through challenging, rigorous and thought provoking discussion and debate. But beyond that, a conference is also a great chance to meet people from around the world, and to extend and grow ones’s professional network, and above all, to make friends.

It may be impossible to tell the story of the conference, or rather the many hundreds of interlocking stories that go to make up the conference, but the documentary photography in this slideshow aims to give a taster of the more serious academic side of the event, as well as the lighter side…