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Hawai’i’s Shared Futures By Vision Foresight Strategy

New Answers for Hawai’i

Do you want to know what the Summit this week is really about?  The Summit is for participants to learn about new ideas but also, and more importantly, for them to generate new ideas.  Why is this important, and why is the Summit the best place for this?  Because Hawai‘i is in need of a host of new answers to the large, interrelated issues that define our shared futures.  We need change, and ideas of what to change into, in terms of our collective culture and identity, our technological systems that make modern life possible, and our economy.

These issues, and the many more we could lay on the table, are all related.  You cannot think to address one without having unknown effects on the others, or without having to also consider those others.  Dealing with this requires an occasional broad view, to occasionally rise up and consider the entire forest rather than the single tree.  The leaders at the Summit this week are, thanks to the tools and processes of professional futurists, going to get to deal with this big picture in a meaningful way.  Frankly, the Summit is the only event in Hawai‘i (designed and facilitated by trained professional futurists) that provides leaders in Hawaii with a structured method for addressing the big picture of our futures.

Engaging in this larger context not only helps us generate ideas for all of Hawai‘i, it manifestly helps decision-makers and organizational leaders understand the broader and longer-range context for the challenges and the potential opportunities that they are endeavoring to address within their own organizations.  If we only ever focus on our immediate surroundings, then we miss the larger patterns of change that are making our work more or less valuable.

What’s very important for Hawai‘i is the opportunity for our people to have the tools and the space they need to create new ideas, to literally map out specific new ideas and examine the changes that are needed, and the specific strategies that can influence that change.  Hawai‘i needs to get better at its own intellectual innovation, its ability to synthesize new ideas and approaches that are inspired by developments elsewhere but are uniquely tailored to move us from Today to the Future That We Want.  And we’re not talking simply about ‘policy options,’ the kinds of things typically debated in the newspaper or down at the leg.  We’re talking about seeing entirely new possibilities of what Hawai‘i could become, culturally, technologically, and economically.  Hawai‘i has always lacked for the kind of structured experience leaders need in order to actually work together on generating these new ideas, and the Summit is designed for that.

Hawai‘i needs new answers for the host of issues shaping its futures.  In order to generate these truly innovative answers, Hawai‘i needs a better understanding of the full range of possibilities that are emerging around the world, and it needs the tools and the space to take those possibilities and turn them into real opportunities to shape a better future for us all.

Hawai’i Futures Summit 2008

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Filed under: Change, Hawai'i, Summit

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