eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam today announced the formation of the Ulupono Initiative, a social investment firm dedicated to improving the quality of life for Hawaiâ€˜iâ€™s residents through sustainability. The organization will invest in local businesses and philanthropic organizations focused on renewable energy, local food production, and waste reduction.
The Ulupono Initiative seeks to energize the stateâ€™s economy and increase its self-reliance through these investments. Local business executives E. Kyle Datta and Robin Campaniano will co-lead the Ulupono Initiative as general partners.
â€œPam and I are inspired by the ideas and hard work of the many people leading sustainability efforts in Hawaiâ€˜i today,” said Pierre Omidyar, founder and sponsor of the Ulupono Initiative. “We look forward to working with the local community for many years as we discover new ways to improve the quality of life for everyone who calls Hawaiâ€˜i home.â€
Based in Honolulu, the Ulupono Initiative will make investments in organizations and companies with creative ideas and business models that provide pathways toward sustainability.
â€œI am honored to be part of this team and look forward to putting my business background to work in a way that will help strengthen Hawaiâ€˜iâ€™s economy,â€ said Campaniano, general partner, Ulupono Initiative. â€œOur investment strategy is dependent upon finding and supporting innovative sustainability ideas and business models that have the potential to make a significant difference for Hawaiâ€˜i.
“To achieve this, the Ulupono Initiative will provide capital and strategic assistance to a variety of organizations, including small and large businesses and philanthropies, on Oâ€˜ahu and neighbor islands,â€ Campaniano said.
Ulupono â€“ meaning to prosper through the right, or pono, path â€“ is a concept already familiar to Hawaiâ€˜iâ€™s residents. Across the islands, people are already pioneering ways to change how they power their homes, feed their families, and how much they throw away.
â€œA truly sustainable island society must be able to consistently and affordably provide its residents with basic necessities like food and energy while also finding ways to effectively manage waste,â€ said Datta, general partner, Ulupono Initiative. â€œThe Ulupono Initiative will support and help scale local ideas that can help bring about Hawaiâ€˜iâ€™s transformation to sustainability and that might also provide a demonstration effect for others.â€