Hawai’i’s Shared Futures By Vision Foresight Strategy

Debunking Bailout Myths and Assessing Our Economic Futures

‘Ano’ai all. We’ve got a fairly full Friday, working with a number of different clients and colleagues on active projects.  This morning we’ll be working with a financial expert colleague of ours on ‘bailout myths,’ drafting a short informative piece on what really has occurred and what is going on with different firms right now.  In that piece we’ll also be taking a look at Hawai’i’s financial futures, at least in a framework-sort of way.  Look for this piece soon.

We’ll also be working today on some client strategy, conducting another short session with them to draft their core organizational strategy and hopefully start talking about metrics and even tactics.  You never know with clients: when you expect something to go quickly, it takes a while, and when you expect some real challenges, things sail on through.  Always dynamic and different!

And we’re very pleased to announced that Jeff Piontek, head of the Hawai’i Technology Academy charter school here on O’ahu will be one of our featured presenters at “Hawai’i: the Reboot,” our 2009 Summit this fall (October 16 and 17).

Think about tomorrow.


Filed under: Summit,

Admin day

‘Ano’ai everyone.  Today is the first day back to work after a long weekend and it looks like it’s going to be a very full day cranking out admin tasks and catching up on those small ‘wrap-up’ things that always hound you!  The task list is long, but the spirit is roaring today!

One thought though, before I get back to our work.  Over the weekend we were having conversations about the economic stimulus coming down from the feds.  Recent articles and blog posts have of course questioned the efficacy of this package, and of the strategies in general.  It got us to thinking, if you took the viewpoint of the average person or a small business owner, what is the single most important thing that could help in the next 6 – 12 months?  Interest rate reductions, tax breaks, cash payment… what?  The question is essentially: what strategies would do the most direct good to the greatest number of Americans?  Amid all the press coverage of homelessness and job loss, we cannot help but wonder if there shouldn’t be an entirely different approach to mapping out strategies for 2009.

We’re going to keep talking about this.

Think about tomorrow.

Filed under: Economics,

Another talk with Nassim Taleb on Risk and the Crisis

Morning everyone.  Yesterday we had a wonderful working session in the morning on the nonprofit future; I daresay we may have genuinely innovated for nonprofits in Hawai’i.  The project is moving along as it should and we expect it to be ready on time at the end of the month.  It’s challenging scenario we’re creating for nonprofits, but if they get the message, it should be a very useful wake-up call for them to innovate and begin to think strategically rather than just operationally.

Below is another video including Nassim Taleb of the The Black Swan, this time with Daniel Kahneman.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Think about tomorrow.

Filed under: Economics, Human Nature, scenarios, ,

Economic justice?

Morning, everyone!  I didn’t get around to posting yesterday due to being a little overwhelmed managing an information deluge (that’s going better today) and being immersed in my paper.  But along these lines, if you enjoy looking at lots of information and what a new way to organize and centralize your feeds, check out Netvibes.

Back in November Thomas Friedman, the well-known author of The World is Flat, wrote in his New York Times column about the (then) proposed auto bailout.  He quoted another writer who suggested that if the government (read: society) bailed out the auto companies, then the leadership should go and investors should lose their equity.

Recently in Davos, Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan and writer about risk and uncertainty (particularly in finance), summed up the financial bailout in wonderfully simple (and politico-economic) terms: in bailing out the banks, we kept profit privatized while socializing loss.  It was, he said, the worst of both capitalism and socialism, and one for which taxpayers bear the worst burden.

I think both of these are examples of an often much-needed step back from issues to see them in their larger (and unfortunately to the hyper-pragmatists in life) and often philosophical contexts and consequences.  We talk about these economic recovery plans as acts of government, but forget that government is in fact a creation of society and an agent for society’s benefit.  Many of these very large, complex issues need to be reframed in terms that illuminate larger issues of societal fairness and responsibility, referring to both private businesses and government.

Think about tomorrow.

Filed under: Business,

Looking for survival, and ultimately, growth

Morgen, folks.  A tad slower on the boot-up this morning, but the caffeine is beginning to kick in!

One of the things that we’ve been noticing in working on several different projects with a variety of different decision makers and thought leaders locally is an interesting confluence: on the one hand many people, decision makers included, are concluding that we (Hawai’i, the US, the world) need some transformative change and now actually have a small window of opportunity.  They are looking for it, but like many of us, the breadth and scale of the issues interacting to create our current immediate crises and longer-term vulnerabilities is overwhelming from an analytic standpoint.  It’s just hard to make sense of things and figure out what actions might really lead to successful systemic change.

At the same time, first- and second-hand feedback seems to show that people all over the place are hungering for, dare I say it, vision.  And not the airy-fairy vision statements most organizations and communities make, and not vague statements of purpose or topic, but a truly compelling vision of clarity and breakthrough thinking.  People do want hope and they do want (need) something to believe in, especially in these times.  But as has been shown the last several years, particulary in Hawai’i, such clear and compelling vision has been absent, from the government, from business, and from community.  We’ve gotten good at our ‘politics of protest’ and striking out after what we in narrowly defined groups want to protect, but we’ve either lost or abandoned our capacity for creating and articulating a collective vision.

And right now, from the vaunted World Economic Forum in Davos, to the communities and meeting rooms here in Hawai’i, people sense there is a short window of opportunity for meaningful change and they are looking for the clarity and foresight that might lead them through it.

Along these lines you might check out a number of recent articles and postings all relating to this, but this morning a couple in particular would be good:

  • Robert Scoble writes about the lack of focus on supporting small business through our various economic recovery plans
  • and Scoble notes small business owner Andrew Field who offered a new plan for bringing the economic stimulus straight to small businesses in a form they need
  • and the NYT Magazine has an interesting article on the economy and economic recovery
  • and an interesting visualization of the economic stimulus plan

Think about tomorrow.

Filed under: Business, Change, Economics, Vision, ,

The week starts in education and economic stimulus

Aloha kakahiaka, folks.  Last night I had a surprisingly good time at a special awards event, where I got to meet President Obama’s sister.  Like just about any event, what really made it good was the people you got to connect with, and last night was wonderful in that respect.  But I can tell you that, based on conversations list night, the future will bring some interesting and provocative events.  Cool.

The week looks like it will kick off with a special session we’re involved in looking at the future of education.  We’re prepping for this today, and we expect another very interesting discussion drawing in several views about what the priorities are and how we can address change.  Much of the rest of the week will be devoted to getting the website project rolling at full speed.  This is cool little project, and as soon as the beta is ready, we’ll be blasting it out to everyone.  I think you’ll be interested in the possibilities.  We’ve appreciated all of the suggestions for web developers and connections to people interested in larger civic engagement.  Mahalo.

And we came across this post this morning and thought people would be interested in another look at how economic stimulus money will be allocated across the states in the union.  It looks like we’ll be receivng the lowest category (no surprise), less than $5 billion.  According to the map, we look to get $2.33 B, with 10.58% going to balancing the state budget.

Filed under: Economics, Education, ,

Hawai’i: the Reboot

2 days. 200 innovators. A new future for Hawai'i.

The Hawai'i Futures Summit 2009 October 16 and 17, 2009


Vision Foresight Strategy

We work with organizations to anticipate strategic change and to craft the strategies that will shape their desired futures.

To learn more about how we can help you, visit www.kikilo.biz


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