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Leading for Positive Change

  • Center for Architecture 828 Fort Street Mall, Suite 100 Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 United States (map)


Refining our ability to lead effectively is an important aspect of our professional development and important at any time in our career! But it is especially important at this point in our history, when questions about what’s at issue and how best to address them distract us from the actual work.

Kathleen O’Brien, author of EMERGE: A Strategic Leadership Model for the Sustainable Building Community and founder and retired principal of O’Brien & Company, will lead a 1 hour Q & A conversation about an approach to leadership that works regardless of title and position and is specifically designed to bring about positive change in and through our built environment.

Following the conversation, we will launch Kathleen's book, EMERGE: A Strategic Leadership Model for the Sustainable Building Community, and continue the conversation over light refreshments. Individuals in the building industry and community are encouraged to attend and join us in the conversation! Pau Hana to follow.

Event qualifies for 1 self-reported GBCI CEU credit.

This is a zero waste event. Please consider bringing your own reusable water bottle and cup.

Mahalo to our partners and supports for making this possible! AIA Honolulu YAF, UH Office of Sustainability, and University of Hawaii School of Architecture.


5:00 - 5:20   Gather questions/mingle

5:20 - 5:30   Introduce Kathleen O'Brien

5:30 - 6:30   Q & A Conversation

6:30 - 7:30   Book launch, mingle and network


This event is open to individuals in the green building community and community members with interest to creating positive change in our built environment.

$5.00 for Studnets

$10.00 for USGBC Hawaii and AIA Honolulu Members

$15.00 for Non-members and Community


We have a few starter questions to begin the dialogue below, BUT we want and welcome questions YOUR prior to the event. Submit your thoughts and questions below.

  • How can I lead from the middle?

  • How can I continue this work when I feel burned out?

  • How do I work with clients that don’t seem to care?

  • How do I get the attention of my colleagues in a very busy environment?
Name *

About Kathleen O'Brien

Kathleen O’Brien, LEED AP, CSBA, MA E&C is a nationally recognized leader in the field of sustainability, having been in the field as an educator, strategic planner, writer, and project consultant for 30 plus years.  With her firm O'Brien & Company, Kathleen was instrumental in the development of green building certification and educational programs, policies, demonstration projects, and as such a key player in the market commercialization of green building and development.  Her work in Hawaii included bridge-building efforts with government agencies (DBEDT, DOH, DOE, DOT), industry groups (BIA, GCA), and the private sector.

Kathleen has won recognition for her work as an innovative educator, capacity to bring together divergent stakeholders to build collective solutions, and willingness to "go first."  In 2012 she founded the Emerge Leadership Project, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, providing training, mentoring, and related services to green building practitioners and advocates with the ultimate goal of “accelerating life-sustaining solutions in the built environment.” In 2016, she published EMERGE: A Strategic Leadership Model for the Sustainable Building Community.