34 min

Keolu Fox on the revolutionary power of Indigenous tech Technically Optimistic

    • Technology

In August of 2023, wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui ripped through the historic town of Lahaina. Hundreds lost their lives, and thousands of structures were destroyed. The devastation is still unfolding. But this event was a tragic reminder that, for native Hawaiians, destruction of this magnitude did not just arrive out of the blue. These fires had a confluence of causes — like climate change, overtourism, and colonial mismanagement — and there have been many warnings.


Dr. Keolu Fox is a native Hawaiian geneticist, assistant professor of anthropology at UC San Diego, and co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Futures Institute. He spoke to us in episode five about the important work he’s doing to restore ownership of medical and genetic data back to Indigenous people.


In light of the destruction of Lahaina, he sat down for a second conversation with host Raffi Krikorian. In this bonus episode, they discuss Keolu’s ideas for Indigenous-centered renewal — such as planet-friendly computing, an alternative to the resource-intensive data centers that power most AI. By joining local wisdom and new technology, Keolu can see a more sustainable future for Maui, Hawaii, and the world.


Read Keolu’s editorial in Science: “Hawai’i, from ashes to sustainability” (Aug. 24)


If you’d like to support the communities affected by the devastating Maui wildfires, you can make a donation to the Maui Strong Fund (hawaiicommunityfoundation.org), the Kāko’o Maui Fund (hawaiiancouncil.org), or the Maui Food Bank (mauifoodbank.org).


To learn more about Technically Optimistic and to read the transcript for this episode: emersoncollective.com/technically-optimistic-podcast


For more on Emerson Collective: emersoncollective.com


Learn more about our host, Raffi Krikorian: emersoncollective.com/persons/raffi-krikorian


Technically Optimistic is produced by Emerson Collective with music by Mattie Safer.


Email us with questions and feedback at technicallyoptimistic@emersoncollective.com.


Subscribe to Emerson Collective’s newsletter: emersoncollective.com



To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

In August of 2023, wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui ripped through the historic town of Lahaina. Hundreds lost their lives, and thousands of structures were destroyed. The devastation is still unfolding. But this event was a tragic reminder that, for native Hawaiians, destruction of this magnitude did not just arrive out of the blue. These fires had a confluence of causes — like climate change, overtourism, and colonial mismanagement — and there have been many warnings.


Dr. Keolu Fox is a native Hawaiian geneticist, assistant professor of anthropology at UC San Diego, and co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Futures Institute. He spoke to us in episode five about the important work he’s doing to restore ownership of medical and genetic data back to Indigenous people.


In light of the destruction of Lahaina, he sat down for a second conversation with host Raffi Krikorian. In this bonus episode, they discuss Keolu’s ideas for Indigenous-centered renewal — such as planet-friendly computing, an alternative to the resource-intensive data centers that power most AI. By joining local wisdom and new technology, Keolu can see a more sustainable future for Maui, Hawaii, and the world.


Read Keolu’s editorial in Science: “Hawai’i, from ashes to sustainability” (Aug. 24)


If you’d like to support the communities affected by the devastating Maui wildfires, you can make a donation to the Maui Strong Fund (hawaiicommunityfoundation.org), the Kāko’o Maui Fund (hawaiiancouncil.org), or the Maui Food Bank (mauifoodbank.org).


To learn more about Technically Optimistic and to read the transcript for this episode: emersoncollective.com/technically-optimistic-podcast


For more on Emerson Collective: emersoncollective.com


Learn more about our host, Raffi Krikorian: emersoncollective.com/persons/raffi-krikorian


Technically Optimistic is produced by Emerson Collective with music by Mattie Safer.


Email us with questions and feedback at technicallyoptimistic@emersoncollective.com.


Subscribe to Emerson Collective’s newsletter: emersoncollective.com



To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

34 min

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