The PURPLE PRIZE is a contest for all ages, designed to tap into Hawaiʻi’s creative resources to spur creativity and innovation and accelerate the rate of positive change.


Our goal is to encourage collaboration between our local technical community and a community of cultural practitioners. We asked, how can we make innovations that, ­­rather than encouraging lifestyles of streamlined consumerism, ­­rebuild, heal, or transform our relationships with the land and each other? How can technology aid in solving the hard societal problems that are our kuleana to tackle?


In 2016, the Purple Maiʻa Foundation launched the Purple Prize, a unique contest designed to push the limits in the way technology facilitates and amplifies the values of Aloha ʻĀina. Meaning “love of the land,” Aloha ʻĀina is a central idea of Hawaiian thought and culture emphasizing connections to land, people, and communities.

The first Purple Prize competition provided the opportunity to socialize a different framework for thinking about technology and innovation development. The top three teams in the 2016 competition developed projects and prototypes that successfully employed modern technology, grounded in Hawaiian values and designed with Hawaiian sensibilities. Now is the time to be bold and promote indigeneity as a platform to foster technology innovation that is rooted in island and Hawaiian values that serve the land, people, and communities.

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Photo Courtesy: ʻŌiwi TV


The theme of this year’s challenge is “Waiwai” and challenges teams across Hawaiʻi to take up projects that make an impact on water resources, management, or conservation, among other possibilities in concert with a local non-profit educational organization or cultural practitioners that aligns with these values and goals. The Purple Prize 2017 Waiwai Challenge will serve as a platform to talk and encourage technology innovation that is rooted in island and Hawaiian values that serve the community.

In light of recent initiatives at the state and local level as well as indigenous movements around fresh water, we have selected “Waiwai” as the theme for the 2017 Purple Prize. Waiwai can mean “value, worth, wealth” among other definitions; it is a reduplication of “wai,” the word for fresh water. The word waiwai reflects the insight that freshwater is the basis of all life and any thriving society. Our stewardship of freshwater resources is a key priority for the future, and technology should play a role in it. Similar to the Aloha ʻĀina Challenge, the Waiwai Challenge asks diverse teams across Hawaiʻi to use technology to create value and thoughtful efficiencies in addressing freshwater conservation, protection, and management.

To learn more about the criteria for this year’s competition, click HERE.

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Photo courtesy: ʻOiwi TV