Bright Stars and Broad Stripes
Ari South at the Pacific Fusion Fashion Show

Ari South at the Pacific Fusion Fashion Show

October 7, 2019

The U.S. Consulate in Auckland sponsored two U.S.designers to attend the Pacific Fusion Fashion Show (PFFS) - Ari South from Hawaii, and Afa Ah Loo from Utah – you may have seen them on America’s reality show Bravo’s Project Runway.

While in New Zealand the Pacific Fusion Fashion U.S. designers took time to work with other local & international designers at a 2 day workshop supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Ari South and Afa Ah Loo spoke to the other 11 designers to share their expertise on the business side of the fashion industry!

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The 2019 Pacific Fusion Fashion Show was incredible!! We were treated to the VIP experience, including a backstage tour to meet all the models and designers. Check out these quick snaps from the night (and full album links below). A massive shout out to our good friend and Pacific Women Leader Nora Swann plus a special mention to our sponsored designers Afa Ah Loo and Ari South!!

While at PFFS, Jethro from the U.S. Embassy caught up with Ari South...

More photos on FlickR (Afa album) (Ari album) (PFFS album)

Afa Ah Loo, here for the Pacific Fusion Fashion Show

Afa Ah Loo, here for the Pacific Fusion Fashion Show

October 7, 2019

The U.S. Consulate in Auckland sponsored two U.S.designers to attend the Pacific Fusion Fashion Show (PFFS) - Ari South from Hawaii, and Afa Ah Loo from Utah – you may have seen them on America’s reality show Bravo’s Project Runway.

While in New Zealand the Pacific Fusion Fashion U.S. designers took time to work with other local & international designers at a 2 day workshop supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Ari South and Afa Ah Loo spoke to the other 11 designers to share their expertise on the business side of the fashion industry!

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The 2019 Pacific Fusion Fashion Show was incredible!! We were treated to the VIP experience, including a backstage tour to meet all the models and designers. Check out these quick snaps from the night (and full album links below). A massive shout out to our good friend and Pacific Women Leader Nora Swann plus a special mention to our sponsored designers Afa Ah Loo and Ari South!!

While at PFFS, Jethro from the U.S. Embassy caught up with Afa Ah Loo...

More photos on FlickR (Afa album) (Ari album) (PFFS album)

What is an edu-agitator? David is one, let’s find out….

What is an edu-agitator? David is one, let’s find out….

September 16, 2019

David Clifford is an American edu-agitator who founded Design School X (DSX) and co-created Liberatory Design. He builds irresistible learning environments of belonging and becoming. David has been an artist, designer, builder and equity/social justice-oriented educator for over 25 years. Much of this time has been spent designing curriculum and culture that utilise tensions (academia and the arts, power and oppression, white supremacy and multiculturalism) for creative opportunities to inspire humanity and creative agents of change. 

 David co-founded the East Bay School for Boys as a feminist act to empower middle school boys to be thoughtful, courageous and engaged men of tomorrow. Before that, during his 13 years at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco leading the Technical Arts department, David co-designed and built many programs: Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership, Philanthropy Initiative, Senegal Service Learning Project and Private Skills for Public Purpose. David incubated DSX and co-created Liberatory Design while a fellow and K12 Lab Senior Learning Experience Designer at Stanford’s d.school.

 As a heterosexual, upper-middle class, able-bodied white man, David is the beneficiary of the generations of oppression of people in U.S. He uses his legacy privilege to challenge the very systems and structures of oppression that placed him in his unearned place of power. This self-awareness, coupled with his design/builder mindset and skill-set give David a fortuitous opportunity to rattle status quo cages found within the white worlds of education and the design/design thinking/maker communities.

In 2019, the U.S. Embassy supported the 10th anniversary of TEDx Christchurch, where David spoke to a full Christchurch Town Hall audience.

While at TEDx Christchurch, David caught up with James Fleury from the U.S. Embassy Youth Council. Have a listen...

 

Dr Sarah Kessans - biochemist, rower, NASA astronaut applicant

Dr Sarah Kessans - biochemist, rower, NASA astronaut applicant

September 16, 2019

Dr Sarah Kessans is a US-born New Zealand scientist and biochemist, a multi-national champion in rowing and was in the top 50 applicants—out of over 18,000—in the NASA astronaut programme.

She’s earned degrees in plant and molecular biologies, worked on a plant-based HIV vaccine, and is now working at the cutting edge of synthetic biology solutions to combat climate change, facilitate space colonisation, and advance innovations in medicine and agriculture. In short, she’s figuring out what we’ll eat on Mars.

She uses her work whilst educating and inspiring future leaders to courageously tackle scientific and societal challenges with purpose, integrity, and empathy.

In 2006, Sarah spent 16 hours clinging to a capsised rowboat during her first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Two years later she returned with a crew to complete her mission, setting a world record in the process.

In 2019, the U.S. Embassy supported the 10th anniversary of TEDx Christchurch, where Sarah spoke to a full Christchurch Town Hall audience.

While at TEDx Christchurch, Sarah caught up with James Fleury from the U.S. Embassy Youth Council. Have a listen...

Disney Imagineering with Mk

Disney Imagineering with Mk

May 14, 2019

Mk Haley has been with The Walt Disney Company since 1994 serving primarily with Walt Disney Imagineering in both technical and creative roles with the Virtual Reality teams, R&D, Special FX, Show Quality Services and now the Disney Research. These teams allowed support of projects with a 10 year lead time, to critical in-park issues that needed immediate solutions. Mk has also served Disney Corporate initiatives related to New Technology programs and collaboration tools, as well as Disney Digital Media initiatives with our Television Groups. She has been an educator for 20 years teaching at both the high school and University level, including the Imagineering – UCLA partnership in Themed Entertainment Design, and recently served as both the Associate Executive Producer and Faculty at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. With more than 25 years of service to ACM SIGGRAPH, Mk more recently served as the SIGGRAPH 2013 Conference Chair.

MK at Mahuki, Wellington. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.

Mk was in New Zealand for a nationwide series of talks with support from the U.S. Embassy and Te Papa’s innovation hub Mahuki. The series was called  “The Innovation of the Experience Economy” - a series of four talks and workshops exploring the future of “the experience” within the culture and heritage sector and beyond.

Mike from the U.S. Embassy had a few minutes to chat with Mk Haley while in a cab in New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington...

Butterscotch, the vocal percussionist virtuosa, speaks (and beatboxes) with Dolores

Butterscotch, the vocal percussionist virtuosa, speaks (and beatboxes) with Dolores

May 3, 2019

Butterscotch, the vocal percussionist virtuosa, uses her powerful voice to defy gender and music social constructs. She began her career in the underground male-dominated beatbox battle scene, where she was crowned the world's first female beatbox champion. Butterscotch blends Hip-Hop, Jazz, Soul and Reggae and her shows are emotionally and physically invigorating with her trifecta fusion of singing, beatboxing, and playing either piano or guitar simultaneously, or creating endless layers on her loop station. With a voice reminiscent of Billie Holiday and rap verses comparable to Lauryn Hill, Butterscotch courageously sings about her love life, depression, and daily struggles of being a biracial queer woman of color. Her philanthropic mission is to empower and elevate people through music and compassion. Butterscotch has opened up for Erykah Badu, Earth, Wind & Fire, Thievery Corporation, Sergio Mendes, Wyclef Jean and other musical legends.

Butterscotch Clinton performance at Raroa Intermediate School, 5 December 2018. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.

Butterscotch was in New Zealand for the Creative Leadership conference (CLNZ) that the U.S. Embassy supported.  CLNZ was a two-day conference connecting visionary humans into a creative community to solve contemporary challenges. Butterscotch also had an opportunity to meet with the wider community while in Wellington, including giving this performance (video) to other 600 enthusiastic children at a local school. Public Affairs Officer, Dolores Prin, had a chance to sit down with Butterscotch Clinton in a state-of-the-art CoCa Massey University studio to find out what makes her tick…or beatbox…

Co-Founder of Masterclass Aaron, speaks with Mike about MasterClass, interviewing techniques, and…pies!

Co-Founder of Masterclass Aaron, speaks with Mike about MasterClass, interviewing techniques, and…pies!

May 3, 2019

Aaron Rasmussen is an American entrepreneur, inventor, and game designer. He is a co-founder of MasterClass - an American online education platform where students can access tutorials and lectures pre-recorded by experts in various fields. Masterclass.com has interviews from stars such as Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Stephen Curry, Gordan Ramsey,  Natalie Portland, and Malcolm Gladwell.

Aaron was in New Zealand for the Creative Leadership conference (CLNZ) that the U.S. Embassy supported.  CLNZ was a two-day conference connecting visionary humans into a creative community to solve contemporary challenges.

Aaron recently co-founded - https://outlier.org - an online education course company

Aaron during his time in Wellington. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.

Mike from the US Embassy had a chance to sit down with Aaron while down at a startup co-working space in Wellington (BizDojo) to talk about MasterClass, interviewing techniques and...pies!