Nerds in Paradise
Let’s play “Guess Where:”
This destination is home to the world’s largest digital camera and solar telescope. Its observatory has made record-breaking strides in discovering supernova. One of its companies is involved in a virtual environment to test medical software and another in providing the public and world governments with disaster preparedness information. It is home to the first biodiesel plant in the U.S. still in existence.
Unsure? Let’s try this description:
This destination is home to the second-wettest spot on Earth, lush green rainforest groves, dormant volcanoes, piercingly blue ocean and some of the world’s finest luxury resorts (like—wow—this one). Its Aloha spirit is renowned. The whale watching is sublime. It’s a great place to try macadamia nut banana bread, fresh-squeezed guava juice and Mai Tais.
Yes, you got it: The destination in question is Maui. And surprisingly to many, it fits both descriptions aptly.
On a recent trip to the area, I discovered that this isle of paradise is also one where scientific, technology and green energy breakthroughs are occurring at a mind-bending pace. Its geeky inventory includes the Haleakala Observatory, home to 13 pioneering telescopes; the Pacific Disaster Center, leading the charge to curb global natural disaster damage; Pelatron, a native Hawaiian-owned company developing groundbreaking medical, technology and military systems; Pacific Biodiesel, a fast-growing advocate for community-based biodiesel; and the High Performance Computing Center, a supercomputer used for high-level Department of Defense research.
For groups, this dichotomy presents a unique win-win. Planners who book here have access to incredible speakers and facilities conducive to ROI-friendly, enlightening business. Yet they also have access to, well, Maui—that amazingly beautiful place that everyone wants to visit, where attendees are guaranteed to relax and rejuvenate.
Let’s play “Guess Where” again:
This is the destination your group needs to be. I think you know the answer.
Stay tuned for more on Maui, including information about its fabulous food and wine festival!
Image: 3.67 m Advanced Electro Optical System Telescope at Haleakala Observatory.