Jan 112012
 

“This first Community Vision Summit aimed to identify issues of shared concern for the future of Hawai‘i Island, along with ideas for ways the university can more effectively help us reach our common goals.” — from Summary Report of Chancellor’s Community Vision Summit, Dec. 2011.

In early December, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney invited 27 leaders from the local community– representatives of education, health, technology, business, local government, and community non-profits– to convene for a Community Vision Summit.

“The discussions were lively and fruitful, focusing on the strategic directions of UH Hilo in the coming years,” said Chancellor Straney. “The group talked about their shared vision of our island’s future, and how to build two-way relationships to reach our common goals.”

Working together, Chancellor Straney said, the participants provided helpful guidance about the university’s role in strengthening our community. The importance of UH Hilo’s role in the P-20 education system was emphasized. There was a great sense of people wanting to work together to provide education and life-long learning opportunities matched to workforce development needs.

In addition, said the chancellor, emphasis was placed on undertaking research and development relevant to the people, environment, and culture of our island and state.

From the summit’s Summary Report:

The UH Hilo 2011–15 Strategic Plan makes an explicit commitment to “strengthen UH Hilo’s impact on the community, Island and state of Hawai‘i through responsive higher education, community partnerships, and knowledge and technology transfer.” On December 9, 2011, UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney convened 27 local “thought leaders” from different sectors to engage in a conversation about strategic directions for the campus in the coming years.

This first Community Vision Summit aimed to identify issues of shared concern for the future of Hawai‘i Island, along with ideas for ways the university can more effectively help us reach our common goals.

Using the World Café meeting format, participants engaged in a series of interactive roundtables focused on three “harvest” topics informed by three pairs of questions:

1.  Community Worries and Inspirations

  • What do you see in our community that has you worried or concerned?
  • What do you see in our community that inspires, energizes or excites you?

2.  Realizing Bold Futures by Leveraging Opportunities

  • What are your hopes for our community’s future in 2020?
  • What opportunities can UH Hilo leverage to enable this future?

3.  Achieving 2020 Impacts through Substantial Actions

  • If UH Hilo is fully successful in leveraging these opportunities, what impact will we see in 2020?
  • What substantial actions can UH Hilo take now to realize these achievements?

Through four rounds and three table changes, participants were able to share and connect ideas from multiple conversations, volunteering key ideas in each “harvest.” Over the course of a half-day of discussion, three interlocking themes emerged as areas where UH Hilo could have the biggest impact on improving the quality of life on our island:

  • Driving Local Economic Development
  • Strengthening Community Relationships
  • Bridging Our Island’s Multiple Sectors

The full Summary Report (PDF) of the summit is now available online.

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