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Creating Connections For Change

By Francis Choe, board of directors chairman, Envision Hawaii

Envision Hawaii was founded in the spring of 2003 when a group of young professionals from various fields of public service began meeting to share ideas and discuss common challenges. While they came from a variety of organizations, they shared a commitment to working for a public purpose. The group eventually formed Envision Hawaii to connect and support young professionals in public service.

We now have a new focus on social entrepreneurship and therefore a new mission: to leverage social entrepreneurship as the catalyst that drives high-impact social change for Hawaii’s common good. According to the Social Enterprise Alliance, social entrepreneurship is emerging as the “missing middle” sector among the traditional worlds of government, nonprofits and business. It addresses social concerns more efficiently than government, more sustainably and creatively than the nonprofit sector, and more generously than business. We believe social entrepreneurship is uniquely positioned to help Hawaii solve problems and build a better future for our state.

Envision Hawaii, under the direction of an all-volunteer board of directors, has sponsored events such as conferences and workshops with the purpose of fostering relationships and inspiring, encouraging and motivating positive action. Our signature event, First Tuesday, was launched two years ago. With our new mission, we relaunched First Tuesday this year as a free event for social entrepreneurs for all ages, broadening our original audience of public servants. This breakfast gathering features a guest speaker who discusses an aspect of social entrepreneurship, oftentimes providing stories and experiences of their own personal and organizational success and contributions to the community.

Past speakers include Kyle Datta of the Ulupono Initiative, Carri Morgan of the Luke Center for Public Service at Punahou School, and David Tumilowicz of Hawaii Business magazine. The goal is to have interactive conversations with attendees with the intention of inspiring, encouraging and motivating social change and positive action.

In the new year, we look forward to continuing our First Tuesday series each first Tuesday of the month at 8 a.m. at The Manifest in Chinatown, as well as expanding our programs. For more information and event details, visit envisionhawaii.org or email info@envisionhawaii.org.

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