The Hawaiian ethos endures still in our land. And it is deeply ingrained in the way we Hawaiians approach the many problems with which we have to cope today. Yes, the primal Hawaiians, their ethos and their values, are integral parts of our society …we may live richer, more satisfying lives, by drawing upon the deep and abiding strengths in the ways of our ancestors.”
— Kenneth F. Brown, for the forward for Ku kanaka, stand tall: a search for Hawaiian values
Having observed that the western models of medicine and economics weren’t staunching the tide of loss for native Hawaiians, Friends of the Future founder Kenneth F. Brown tirelessly advocated a return to the priorities of “Hawaiian society, with its conservation imperative,” as he put it more than 45 years ago in a widely quoted speech that presents the importance of a malama ethic. (Read more of his speech here.)
A descendant of noted Hawaiian leaders, Brown felt called to serve his ancestors and the ‘aina of Hawaiʻi. As a result, in the late 1980’s, he found himself in pivotal roles as Chairman of Mauna Lani Resort, EastWest Center, Queen Emma Foundation, Bishop Museum, Queens Medical Center, and Waiaha Foundation.
At the same time, there was a sense that worldwide economic, cultural, and social forces were converging on Hawaiʻi.
Brown recognized an unprecedented opportunity to share resources, improve the quality of life, and influence the future. In a gathering that led to the founding of Friends of the Future, Brown said,
We shouldn’t fear the future. We should make the future our friend.”
Friends of the Future began informally in 1988 as a conversation celebrating pluralism, duality, and cultural diversity. Over the next two years, the continuing discussions revealed common ground for collaborative efforts to restore Hawaiʻi as a true example of thinking globally and acting locally.
Since 1991, Friends of the Future has engaged and empowered people to malama Hawai‘i ~ build a healthier community ~ physically, materially, and spiritually ~ for the best of Hawai‘i.
The need to malama Hawaiʻi will continue.