CONGRESSWOMAN COLLEEN HANABUSA
Congresswoman Hanabusa said she appreciated the wonderful opportunity “to actually see something start.” She was referring to President Greenwood’s first State of the University speech in February 2010, from which she cited three main points. One was the need for money for infrastructure, “and the university did receive funding for that.” A second point was that Hawaii has to invest in the workforce that the state will need to develop areas of particular strength, including cancer research, alternative sources of energy, vulcanology, astronomy, and information technology. A third point is the need to look toward the future in a focused way. “We all have to leave here feeling that we have defined where we want to be and how we can get there. We’re not going to be the best in everything. Let’s decide what we can realistically be the best in, and let’s funnel our resources to achieve that.”
Mr. Ho, who said he would speak in his capacity as president of APEC, cited the management professor Peter Drucker in observing that “in business, there’s innovation and there’s marketing, and everything else is just a detail.” “As a finance person myself,” he said, “I take a little offense to that, but I think there’s a lot of sense to it as well.” Mr. Ho said that APEC could potentially mean a great deal for Hawaii’s business community, supported in powerful ways by innovation and marketing. With the APEC meeting in November 2011 in Honolulu, “really what we’re talking about is a world-class exposure opportunity for our community.” Honolulu would host President Obama and other leaders from the 20 largest Asia-Pacific economies, who will be accompanied by their ministers. They would be joined by upwards of 1,000 CEOs and senior executives and some 2,000 members of the global media, along with “general members of the global community,” the representatives of think tanks, and other organizations that follow global trends.
Joining the Wider Asian-Pacific Community
“With that opportunity for us to host people who don’t often head into our neck of the woods,” he said, “come broader opportunities for innovation as well as for marketing.” In terms of innovation, Mr. Ho said, an obvious one is the opportunity to “put a stake in the heart” of the problem of how to evolve from just a “sun, sand, and surf marketplace in the visitor industry” to a place for serious meetings, conventions, and other business settings for the visitor industry. Another opportunity, he said, is to use the event to “help drive our own community in its thinking from primarily domestic” to more actively international, as part of the wider Asia-Pacific community. Finally, he said, the state can make good use