Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies | Department of Political ScienceCollege of Social Sciences | University of Hawaii Manoa

People: Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies

John A. Sweeney

John A. Sweeney is Deputy Director of the Center for Postnormal Policy and Futures Studies at East-West University in Chicago, IL  and a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa (UHM) where he has instructed undergraduate courses in Futures Studies, Political Science, and World Religions. John is also a Researcher at the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies under the direction of Jim Dator. He has also co-taught graduate seminars in Global Politics, Governance Design, and Futures Studies. John received his Master’s Degree in Religion from UHM in 2007 and a Bachelor’s Degree in History of Ideas (magna cum laude) from Kennesaw State University in 2005.

John’s dissertation research examines the ethical and political implications of global weirding, particularly postnormal policy “solutions” to climate change, including geoengineering, bioengineering, and terraforming other worlds, which seem like science fiction but are quickly becoming science-figuring-it-out. In support of his doctoral studies, John is also an Affiliate Researcher at the Centre for Studies on Urban Creativity at Sapienza – Università di Roma in Italy and a member of the Nonkilling Futures Studies Research Committee with the Center for Global Nonkilling. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Kanu Hawai`i and the Advisory Board for Itineration: Cross-Disciplinary Studies in Rhetoric, Media, and Culture.

In support of his research, John has facilitated and designed strategic foresight workshops in conjunction with the East-West Center in Myanmar, Kanu Hawai`i, the Hawai`i State Office of Planning, the Hawai`i Food Policy Council, UNESCO, and other local and international organizations. John is a member of the World Futures Studies Federation, the World Future Society, and the Association of Professional Futurists. He has given talks and presentations at Harvard, Columbia University, and other national and international colleges and universities. John’s work has been published in The Journal of Futures Studies, Ctheory, Futures, East-West Affairs, and other academic outlets. John is a Deputy Editor for East-West Affairs: A Quarterly Journal of North-South Relations in Postnormal Times. He tweets on trends, emerging issues, and all things postnormal at @aloha_futures.


Aubrey Yee

Born and raised on Oahu, Aubrey Yee is a futurist, business strategist and freelance writer. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Futures Studies at the Political Science Department, UH Manoa under the guidance of Professor Jim Dator. Aubrey received her undergraduate degree from UCLA in Los Angeles. She founded her own business in 2004, a successful 10,000 sq. ft. interior design showroom in Honolulu, Pacific Home, which she sold in 2011. Her futures consulting work spans foresight training, preferred futures strategic planning and curriculum development. She has co-facilitated foresight workshops for the State Office of Planning on Oahu, West Maui Neighborhood Board, the Hawaii Futures Summit, Samsung Corporation, Kamehameha Schools, Oxfam’s Asian Development Dialogue Series, the first annual Myanmar Futures Exchange and a variety of private businesses and non-profits. Aubrey currently serves on the board of KANU Hawaii, a grassroots social change non-profit dedicated to increasing the quality of life in our islands through promoting island values. She also consults as a strategist and writer for the foundation Sustainable America, which seeks to create food and energy security in America. Aubrey and her husband Brady helped to found the Hawaii chapter of After School All Stars, a non-profit serving Hawaii’s at-risk middle school youth by providing free after school enrichment programs. In her scant free time, she enjoys writing, working on her fine art photography and relaxing with her family in Kaneohe on the island of Oahu.


Aaron Ros

Aaron Rosa is a PhD candidate in the Alternative Futures program within the Political Science department at the University of Hawaii – Manoa, one of the only programs offering advanced graduate degrees in Futures Studies in the world. He is also a Fellow with the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies (HRCFS) and has worked on a number of projects in conjunction with local, state, and international futures research initiatives. Projects include the Hawaii 2050 initiative, Food Futures (with Hawaii Food Policy Council), Futures of the Family in South Korea, The Myanmar Futures Exchange, and workshops with many groups.

After spending his early career in the fields of education and web development, he has used this background to shape his current research agenda. His dissertation focuses on the ability for mobile communications to serve as tools for educating people about futures studies, and helping organizations deploy these technologies for sharing and building alternative futures. Focusing primarily on Mobile Augmented Reality platforms, and Immersive Virtual Environments, Aaron is particularly interested with the concept of interactive and immersive images of the future that can be distributed in the geo-spatial environment.


Mark B. Alexander Jr.

Mark B. Alexander Jr. is currently pursuing a MA in Political Science, with an emphasis on Alternative Futures. He is also a graduate assistant to the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies (HRCFS), and has been engaged in online course design, as well as general upkeep of the center, its archives, and website. Mark completed his Bachelors in Political Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2012, earning the honors of graduating magna cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. His current areas of interest include theories of social change, the impact of energy and technology in enabling actors, and social movements. He has co-facilitated futures workshops for the Rikkyo University Bilingual Business Leaders English for Academic Purposes program and the Samsung Corporation.


Associates, Research Assistants, and Interns in HRCFS (1971-2014)

Mark Alexander, Tuti Baker, Dick Barber, Bindi Borg, Mathew Bradford, Stuart Candy, Joe Dolan, Jake Dunagan, Heather Frey, Maria Guido, David Hagino, Debora Halbert, Jan Huston, Chris Jones, Jill Keesbury, William Kramer, Dede Letts, Ward Mardfin, Barbara Moir, Mark Nickum, George Omen, Vincent Pollard, Charles Portwood, Sharon Rodgers, Aaron Rosa, Seongwon Park, Wendy Schultz, Yongseok Seo, Bumchul Shin, Takahiro Suzuki, John Sweeney, Michael Sysiuk, Shunichi Takekawa, Sally Taylor, Salvador Valadez, Beth Walters, Anne Witebsky, Scott Yim

Graduate Students of the Alternative Futures MA/PHD Program (1971-2014)

Greg Aanestad, Marcelino Actouka, Rajani Adhikary, Mark Alexander, Chris Alper, Yoshihisa Amae, Cheryl Anderson, Lloyd Asato, Henry T. K. Au , Ann Auman, Michael Babich, Ilhan Bae, Tuti Baker, Toby Bailin, Dick Barber, Christopher Baruffi, Frecia Basilio, Kirk Bergstrom, Boonrak Boonyaketmala, Bindi Borg, Bill Buevens, Francine Blume, Michelle Bowman, Mark Bradley, Robin Brandt, Tom Brandt, David Brier, Jim Brock, Michael Buckley, Mitchell Cabral, Grace Caligtan, Cyrus Camp, Stuart Candy, Rosie Chang, Tutii Chilton, Carolyn Ciccarelli, Chris Clemmens, Joshua Cooper, Bill Danks, Malia Kupahu Davidson, Timothy Desmond, Kim De Vidts, Phil Dewan, Yury Di Pasquale, Tim Dolan, Kip Dooley, Shannon Dorsey, Jake Dunagan, Robert Dziublowski, Bruce Etherington, Gary Forth, Heather Frey, Jenny Miller Garmendia, Fredrick Galtung, Barry Gills, Adrianne Greenlees, Robert Grossman, Maria Guido, Deborah Halbert, Keith Hamada, Charles Heaukulani, Dean Higuchi, Jan Huston, Sohail Inayatullah, Fred James, Maorong Jiang, Jon Jonassen, Chris Jones, Mark Justman, Darien Kadens, Ross Kamakahi, Kenn Kassman, Shawn Kelley, Darrell Kicker, Stephen Kiser, Chris Klutz, Kelly Kraemer, William Kramer, Scott Kroeker, Akiyo Kuramochi, Trudi Lang, Gary Lawler, Avigal Lemberger, Liza Lockard, Stephen Lohse, Kaipo Lum, Sohail Mahmood, David Mason, Phil McNally, Michael Miller, Peter Miller, Takashi Mita, James Monma, Takuya Murata, Saimoni Naivalu, Devin Nordberg, Michael Ogden, Rollie Ortiz, Jonathan Peck, Ramsey Pedersen, Anthony Pennings, Liana Petranek, Anna Powell, Joshua Pryor, James Rae, Bob Reeves, Sue Reid, Deacon Ritterbush, Sharon Rodgers, Aaron Rosa, Richard Rose, Miriam Rosenthal, Wylma Samaranayake-Robinson, Samporn Sangchai, Richard Scarce, Michael Scheiern, Wendy Schultz, Yongseok Seo, Jordi Serra, Susan Shawhan, Bumchul Shin, Kazuomi Shiozawa, Christa Slaton, David Smith, Siula Solomona, Stacey Solomone, Rich Somerville, Hyeonju Son, Jesse Souki, Shanah Trevenna, Tony Stevenson, Betty Strom, Takahiro Suzuki, John Sweeney, Chandra Tamarisa, Sally Taylor, Pam Tevebaugh, Donald Toews, David Thorp, Morgan Torris-Hedlund, Rex Troumbley, Francis Tuifao, S. P. Udayakumar, Susan Umetsu, Salvador Valadez, Beth Walters, Don Weller, Ronald Williams, Alita Wall, James White, Darlene Williams, Charles Willson, Anne Witebsky, Tom Worth, Wayne Yasutomi, Aubrey Yee, Scott Yim, Anna Yue, Jan Zastrow, Chris Zivalich.

Undergraduate Students Involved in Future-oriented Projects (1970-2014)

Robert Alm, James Anthony, David Arakawa, Dennis Arakaki, Lloyd Asato, Summer Banner, Lynda Belcher, Aeza Bolo, Bruce Bikle, Diane Borchart, Sarah Bott, Akili Calhoun, Fred Chaves, Wayson Chow, Betsy Christian, Celia Chu, Deborah Coombs, Carlice Cornett, Marie Couch, Bessie Cousar, Robert Crawley, Karen Curtis, Mike Dahilig, William Dang, Dede Letts, Adam Dykes, Linda Ekroth, Libby Ellet, Bonnie Fackre, Reece Farinas, Kale Feldman, Connie Fisher, Theresa Flood, Susan Foster, Cauleen Glass, Louann Guanson, David Hagino, Susan Harding, Ed Henry, Ted Hong, Richard Hopper, Glenn Horio, Frank Hutchinson, Charles Impastato, Diane Kahanu, Dexter Kaiama, Alvin Kaohu, Kris Kaupalolo, Sandra Kim, Bryan Klum, Ken Kobayashi, Roland Kotani, Dennis Kull, Sanji Kumar, Bruce Lagareta, Greg Laliberte, John Leifhelm, Dede Letts, Kaipo Lum, Linda Luke, Richard Ma, Sarita MacLeod, Rodney Maile, Tom Mandel, Jim Mansfield, David Mason, Bill McMahon, Robert McNamara, Doyle Moeller, Glenda Naito, Paul Nakamura, Lloyd Nakata, Karen Olovsson, Gail Paik, Glen Pascual, Mae Pattison, Dana Peterson, Matt Rohrer, Barbara Ryan, Virginia Ann Sablan, Nelson Santiago, Barry Sato, Malia Scanlan, Suzanne Schapiro, Doug Seelig, Elizabeth Shupe, Douglas A Stepina, Alvin Takahashi, Mark Takai, Chris Uebelein, Lorene Walker, Dawn Wasson, Kore Waymack, Tina Weatherby, Malcomb Webb, Dan Wedemeyer, Andrea Wells, George Wilkins

Visiting Korean Scholars

The Center has hosted each of the following journalists and scholars for one year each:

Byung Ho SON, Journalist, Kukmin Daily, 2010-11
Joonho CHOI, Jounalist, Joong Ang Ilbo, 2009-10
Jae-Cheol KIM, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 2004-06