Our goal is to create a welcoming environment for people to connect and learn from each other, explore the world around them, and share ideas for improving our common experience.
Each week we would like to introduce you to members of our community of change makers and engaged, energized, curious people.
Jason Orbe Smith
Jason Orbe-Smith is the founder of Orbe Architecture, a growing creative design practice and global architecture studio based in Kauai, where Jason was born and raised.
Orbe Architecture works in collaboration with homeowners, communities, universities, nonproﬁts, and NGO’s, notably completing design projects in Ghana, Tanzania, Thailand, and Hawaii. Jason creates beautiful spaces and inspiring buildings for people and communities. Outside of the design studio, he and his wife explore the world with their one year old son.
Karolyn started her organization Nourish Kauai in 2020, at the start of the pandemic, as a way to deliver food to Kauai's high risk populations. Initially funded through private donations and CARES Act funds Nourish Kauai now provides more than 700 meals per week to kupuna and the homeless. The meals are sourced locally from farms and value-add producers and provide an essential service to those most impacted by the pandemic. Learn more about her work they do please visit, https://www.nourishkauai.org/.
Uncle Jack Gushiken
Uncle Jack Gushiken has been managing the water resources and irrigation systems for the area where Common Ground is located for more than 60 years. He previously managed the irrigation systems for Kilauea Sugar Plantation and Guava Kai Plantation. When Kilauea Sugar closed in 1971 C. Brewer & Co sent Jack to Iraq to install and oversee irrigation systems there. He eventually returned to Kauai where he ran irrigation for the Guava Kai Plantation. In addition to his work managing irrigation systems around the world Uncle Jack is a Kilauea historian and record holding fisherman.
John has practiced organic, ecological agriculture on Kauai for 23 years. He founded Kauai Authentic Farms in 2001, home to the Center for Regenerative Agriculture. He has taught permaculture and sustainable agriculture in Hawaii, the US mainland and in Europe. He is now Common Ground's farm manager and an started to plant an innovative agroforest on the campus.