Hawai’i can lead the way to an innovation economy

Posted on Jan 31, 2018 in Featured, Main

We have laid important groundwork for an exciting future.

The Entrepreneur’s Sandbox in Kaka’ako is a public innovation space set to break ground in 2018.

Imagine a future economy for Hawai‘i that isn’t reliant solely on tourism and the military. Imagine a future where local entrepreneurs are inventing useful products and services that are sold across the globe.

Gov. Ige has set a goal of doubling local food production with the help of high-tech agriculture tools.

Imagine that we use our temperate weather and four growing seasons to develop new high-tech agricultural tools that increase yields for farmers from Hawai‘i to India.

Imagine that we farm our nearshore ocean waters, too, feeding our own communities and the growing global demand for seafood. And with these new businesses, there’s new demand for scientists, technicians and marketing professionals.

And what does this mean for the people of Hawai‘i? It means a healthier economy with quality jobs that enable us to improve our schools, take care of our kūpuna and provide more affordable housing.

Students at Waimea Middle School on Hawai’i Island named their new STEAM learning center Keaoakea (“expansive learning”). The center incorporates science, technology, engineering, ‘aina, arts and math.

This future Hawai‘i isn’t as far off as it seems. We’ve already set things in motion. We’ve put stakes in the ground and we’re making progress. To face the challenges of the future, Hawai‘i must seize opportunities, embrace change and identify the game-changing steps we need to take. Together, the possibilities are limitless. I believe the qualities we treasure most about Hawai‘i are what will draw our children back to us.

When I ran for governor four years ago, I wanted to take my lifetime of public service and fundamentally change the path we were taking. I have committed my life to the people of the State of Hawai‘i. No matter what challenges we face, no matter what frustrations or issues we have with one another, I find my strength and courage in our shared sense of unity. We must work together. Mahalo and aloha!