Our Beatups seem to be growing and growing. Could it be the food? Possibly – we did have chocolate chip cookies this time. Could it have been the gift certificate from Play Hawaii that we raffled off? Maybe – and congrats to Allison Takeshita from Grumpy Girl for winning a $50 credit from them! Or, I suppose it could have been that our member community was interested in hearing about the future sustainability of our islands. I bet the cookies played a big part.

In any case, after the exciting launch of “The Value of Hawaii,” we followed it up with a second Beatup hosting the authors who wrote about agriculture (Charles Reppun), tourism (Ramsay Remigius Mahealani Taum) and the economy (Sumner La Croix). As usual, we were streaming live on the web both on our site and this time on Kanu Hawaii’s homepage. They partnered with us to help launch their Eat Local Challenge.

Eating local was one of the many topics we covered as the night progressed, along with the importance of keeping our students in Hawaii, expanding our education resources and changing the way tourism in Hawaii is perceived. To start things off, Sumner La Croix shared his thoughts on the Future of Hawaii’s economy:

Opening Statements

Sumner La Croix – Economy (Part 1)

Sumner La Croix – Economy (Part 2)

Next, Ramsay Remigius Mahealani Taum spoke passionately about tourism in Hawaii.

Ramsay Taum – Tourism

Charles Reppun wrapped up the opening statements with his thoughts on the future of Hawaii agriculture.

Charles Reppun – Agriculture

Questions and Answers

Once our speakers had a chance to share their feelings about their essays, we turned to the audience to hear their questions on the issues. The diversity of the audience surfaced in the questions that were asked.

Ramsay, what is your vision for a ‘good’ cultural experience for a visitor of Hawaii?

How can Hawaii be better about “home-grown food” consumption?

How can we keep Hawaii’s recent graduates working on the islands?

Looking Forward

Personally, I really enjoyed being a part of this discussion. I’m not a farmer, but it was fascinating to hear some of the stats that Charles shared about agriculture in Hawaii. Eating healthier food that was grown locally didn’t seem like a bad idea either. Economics in general isn’t my thing, but I’d happily take part in any actions that would help keep Hawaii’s youth on the islands. It seems terrible to let a pool of talent just slip away. As for tourism, I’ve marketed Hawaii to the rest of the world for the past three years. Now I only wish I heard Ramsay speak earlier so that I could have helped implement some of his ideals. Perhaps through Civil Beat I still can.

Our next Value of Hawaii Beatup will be Thursday, September 23, 5:30-7:00 p.m. We’ll be talking with the authors of the chapters on Reinventing Hawaii and Law and the Courts — Tom Coffman and Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie. 
It’ll be at the Civil Beat offices — 3465 Waialae Ave., Suite 200 (the Central Pacific Bank Building). 
Free and open to the public, but please RSVP to reserve your spot. Please send an email to beatup@civilbeat.com.