Brent W. Thompson Named 2016 Winner of Islands Society’s “Lowcountry in the Asian Century Essay Contest”

Today, the Islands Society announced that an essay by Major Brent Thompson has been selected as the top submission to this year’s “Lowcountry in the Asian Century Essay Contest.”

Entitled “Leveraging the Lowcountry Veteran and Military Community in the Pivot to Asia,” the first prize essay is now featured on the Society’s official blog, The Islander, alongside commentary from senior thought leaders on foreign policy and insular affairs.

In his essay, Major Thompson notes, “South Carolina is home to eight major military installations with over 74,000 personnel and nearly 58,000 military retirees, many of whom reside in the Lowcountry.” He then argues, “By establishing relationships with its military personnel and veterans, the Lowcountry can leverage a powerful diaspora of service members with Lowcountry ties as they live and work across Asia and the Pacific Islands. These future leaders can enable the Lowcountry to maximize its influence in the Asian shift.”

Earlier this year, the Islands Society issued an open call to young professionals to respond to the following question: “How can we position the Lowcountry to take advantage of the U.S. pivot toward Asia?” Through this essay competition, the Islands Society challenged young professionals to consider the issues and come to their own determinations about what the future holds for our region. They were then asked to draft an essay that provides practical recommendations of how we can best position the region to take advantage of the Asian century.

With America’s future directed toward the Asia-Pacific, the competition forced young professionals to consider the potential impact of the U.S. pivot to Asia on the Lowcountry. On one hand, the region is at a clear geographic disadvantage when it comes to participating in the Asian Century. On the other hand, the pivot might provide new opportunities to transform the local economy and bring about greater prosperity for the region.

“We are excited to be able to provide a platform for the next generation of military leaders to share their perspectives on how local communities across the United States can leverage their military personnel and veterans to actively participate in the global shift toward the Asia-Pacific,” said Michael Edward Walsh, President of the Islands Society.

A military attorney stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, Major Thompson wrote this essay in his personal capacity. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Defense or the United States Government.

About the Islands Society

The Islands Society is a “Top-Rated” American 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to inspire and empower islanders to participate in foreign affairs and overseas engagements in order to affect positive change in their local communities. The nonprofit therefore develops and implements projects that are designed to help islanders realize their full potential on the world stage. These projects are currently organized around two main themes: community projects and next generation leaders. The community projects center on ten issue areas, including charity, conservation, democracy, disaster relief, education, equality, health, innovation, security, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the next generation leader projects support artists, athletes, chefs, incubators, musicians, policymakers, storytellers, and technologists. To implement these programs, the nonprofit has launched local constituent societies around the world. These include the Baltic Islands Society, Caribbean Islands Society, Inland Islands Society, Pacific Islands Society, Ritō Society, and Sea Islands Society.

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Islands Society Soliciting Lesson Plans from K-5 Teachers in Kauai County – 5/18/16

The Islands Society is now soliciting lesson plans from K-5 teachers in Kauai County, Hawaii for its Pacific Islands in the Classroom program.

Pacific Islands in the Classroom aims to provide K-5 teachers in island communities around the world with a digital compendium of high-quality lesson plans and resources created by K-5 teachers on the neighbor islands.

The primary objective of the program is to pool together the different resources and ideas of these educators in order to fill the gap in island educational resources. A secondary objective is to showcase the talents of teachers from the neighbor islands on the world stage.

“Pacific Islands in the Classroom is designed to inspire and empower K-5 students on the neighbor islands to become ambassadors, advocates and change-agents by providing their teachers with the knowledge, networks, and exposure necessary to realize their full potential,” explains Keiko Ono, Managing Director of the Pacific Islands Society.

Teachers interested in participating in the program should submit a lesson plan to pr@islandssociety.org.

Sample Lesson Plan

About the Islands Society

The Islands Society is a “Top-Rated” American 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to inspire and empower islanders to participate in foreign affairs and overseas engagements in order to affect positive change in their local communities. The nonprofit therefore develops and implements projects that are designed to help islanders realize their full potential on the world stage. These projects are currently organized around two main themes: community projects and next generation leaders. The community projects center on ten issue areas, including charity, conservation, democracy, disaster relief, education, equality, health, innovation, security, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the next generation leader projects support artists, athletes, chefs, incubators, musicians, policymakers, storytellers, and technologists. To implement these programs, the nonprofit has launched local constituent societies around the world. These include the Baltic Islands Society, Caribbean Islands Society, Inland Islands Society, Pacific Islands Society, Ritō Society, and Sea Islands Society.

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Islands Society Launches Future Hawaiian Diplomats Program – 5/16/16

The Islands Society is proud to announce that it will be providing high school students on the Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, and Molokai with the opportunity to interview senior diplomats from around the world.

Students selected for the Future Hawaiian Diplomats program will receive mentorship on how to conduct expert interviews from experienced journalists and policy analysts. Following publication of their interviews on Island Voices, they will also receive mentorship on how to promote their work from experienced marketing managers.

“The Islands Society is committed to inspiring and empowering high school students across Hawaii to improve the quality of life in their local communities by participating in international affairs,” says Eddie Walsh, President of the Islands Society. “We are therefore excited to be able to provide juniors and seniors from the neighbor islands with the opportunity to showcase their talents on the world stage.”

The Islands Society is now accepting nominations on a rolling basis. Applicants should submit their resumes Keiko Ono, Managing Director of the Pacific Islands Society, at pr@islandssociety.org. Preference will be given to students currently participating in Model United Nations. Final deadline is 5/27/16.

About Islands Voices

Island Voices is a blog published by the Islands Society. It features weekly interviews with thought leaders from around the world on insular affairs. The blog is intended to provide senior policymakers and community leaders with a platform to share their perspectives on the most important policy issues impacting island communities. It is also designed to provide a new mechanism through which women, minorities, veterans, and young leaders in island communities can showcase their talents as scholars and journalists.

Website

About the Islands Society

The Islands Society is a “Top-Rated” American 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to inspire and empower islanders to participate in foreign affairs and overseas engagements in order to affect positive change in their local communities. The nonprofit therefore develops and implements projects that are designed to help islanders realize their full potential on the world stage. These projects are currently organized around two main themes: community projects and next generation leaders. The community projects center on ten issue areas, including charity, conservation, democracy, disaster relief, education, equality, health, innovation, security, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the next generation leader projects support artists, athletes, chefs, incubators, musicians, policymakers, storytellers, and technologists. To implement these programs, the nonprofit has launched local constituent societies around the world. These include the Baltic Islands Society, Caribbean Islands Society, Inland Islands Society, Pacific Islands Society, Ritō Society, and Sea Islands Society.

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Congressional Record Publishes Mark Sanford Remarks on Sea Islands Society – 5/12/16

The Islands Society is proud to announce that “Congratulating the Sea Islands Society” has been officially published as part of the Congressional Record. The remarks by Congressman Mark Sanford (1st Congressional District, South Carolina) were originally delivered before the United States House of Representatives on April 12, 2016.

In his remarks, Congressman Sanford noted, “the [Islands] Society has been recognized as one of the up-and-coming organizations by the United Nations Foundation. They also named its president and founder, Michael Edward ‘Eddie’ Walsh, as a person to watch who wants to change the world.”

Congressman Sanford continued, “Our region’s group –The Sea Islands Society– is the only nonprofit on Hilton Head Island to be recognized as a top-rated nonprofit by GreatNonprofits. For this, I wanted to congratulate them on the achievement. I think it is encouraging to see an organization reaching out at a local level and actively encouraging them to become leaders in the field of foreign policy.”

This marks the first time that the Islands Society has been officially recognized as part of the Congressional Record.

About the Sea Islands Society

The Sea Islands Society is one of the regional societies under the Islands Society. Its primary mission is to develop and implement programs that enable individuals and sub-national organizations from barrier island communities along the coasts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina to more fully participate in international relations. Specifically, the society develops and implements programs that provide women, ethnic minorities, and the next generation of leaders from these island communities with the knowledge, networks, platforms, and exposure required to realize their full potential as artists, athletes, chefs, designers, educators, musicians, nurses, scholars, policymakers, scientists, and technologists on the world stage.

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About the Islands Society

The Islands Society is a “Top-Rated” American 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to inspire and empower islanders to participate in foreign affairs and overseas engagements in order to affect positive change in their local communities. The nonprofit therefore develops and implements projects that are designed to help islanders realize their full potential on the world stage. These projects are currently organized around two main themes: community projects and next generation leaders. The community projects center on ten issue areas, including charity, conservation, democracy, disaster relief, education, equality, health, innovation, security, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the next generation leader projects support artists, athletes, chefs, incubators, musicians, policymakers, storytellers, and technologists. To implement these programs, the nonprofit has launched local constituent societies around the world. These include the Baltic Islands Society, Caribbean Islands Society, Inland Islands Society, Pacific Islands Society, Ritō Society, and Sea Islands Society.

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Islands Society Seeks Big Island Students to Interview Senior Policymakers on Insular Affairs – 5/10/16

The Islands Society is proud to announce that it will be providing high school and college students in Hawaii County, Hawaii with the opportunity to interview senior policymakers and subject matter experts on insular affairs.

Students selected for the program will receive mentorship on how to conduct expert interviews from experienced journalists and policy analysts. Following publication of their interviews on Island Voices, they will also receive mentorship on how to promote their work from experienced marketing managers.

“The Islands Society is committed to inspiring and empowering high school and college students in Hawaii County, Hawaii to improve the quality of life in their local communities by participating in international affairs,” says Cheryl Walsh, Managing Director of Public Relations at the Islands Society. “This program is designed to provide students in East Hawaii, North Hawaii, and West Hawaii with the opportunity to showcase their talents as scholars and journalists on the world stage.”

The Islands Society is now soliciting nominations. Those interested in nominating a high school student or college student on the Big Island should contact Keiko Ono, Managing Director of the Pacific Islands Society, at pr@islandssociety.org.

About Islands Voices

Island Voices is a blog published by the Islands Society. It features weekly interviews with thought leaders from around the world on insular affairs. The blog is intended to provide senior policymakers and community leaders with a platform to share their perspectives on the most important policy issues impacting island communities. It is also designed to provide a new mechanism through which women, minorities, veterans, and young leaders in island communities can showcase their talents as scholars and journalists.

Website

About the Islands Society

The Islands Society is a “Top-Rated” American 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to inspire and empower islanders to participate in foreign affairs and overseas engagements in order to affect positive change in their local communities. The nonprofit therefore develops and implements projects that are designed to help islanders realize their full potential on the world stage. These projects are currently organized around two main themes: community projects and next generation leaders. The community projects center on ten issue areas, including charity, conservation, democracy, disaster relief, education, equality, health, innovation, security, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the next generation leader projects support artists, athletes, chefs, incubators, musicians, policymakers, storytellers, and technologists. To implement these programs, the nonprofit has launched local constituent societies around the world. These include the Baltic Islands Society, Caribbean Islands Society, Inland Islands Society, Pacific Islands Society, Ritō Society, and Sea Islands Society.

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Hawaii Preparatory Academy Student Named Local Emerging Leader – 5/10/16

Today, the Islands Society is proud to recognize Viet Tung Dao as a Local Emerging Leader for excellence in science and technology.

Dao is currently in his junior year at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. He received the Special Innovation Prize in the Junior/Senior High School Science Idea Competition at the Tsukuba Science Edge 2016 held March 25-26 in Japan for his project, “Brainwave Technology for Real-Time Driver Drowsiness Detection.” A total of 60 students from schools throughout Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States competed through presentations showcasing original research and technology ideas.

Discussing his project, Dao says, “Drowsiness is one of the major causes of traffic accidents. I wanted to do this project to save the lives of many people in the U.S. and other countries as well. My project is to develop a system that connects an Electroencephalogram (EEG) headset to a smartphone through Bluetooth. This EEG headset will record a driver’s brain signals, and when the driver starts feeling drowsy his phone will ring and keep them awake.”

Keiko Ono, managing director of the Pacific Islands Society says, “Being chosen by a panel of judges including Dr. Reona Leo Ezaki, a former winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, is a testament to Dao’s talent. His project advisor, Dr. Bill Wecking said that ‘this is the sort of work from students that makes me optimistic about the future.’ We agree. That is why we are recognizing Dao as a Local Emerging Leader.”

Asked about future innovative ideas, Dao says he will focus on this project for now and may have some ideas about improving it’s performance in the future. He adds that other students need to realize, “Doing a science project costs much time, so it would be better for you to be ready if you really want to do it. Sometimes, you may feel bored, but when you turn your project into your passion, into your goal, you will love the way you do experiments.”

About the Emerging Leaders Program

The Islands Society believes that emerging leaders should be given a global platform to share their insights on how we can improve the health and well-being of island communities around the world. Through the Emerging Leaders Program, the Islands Society recognizes young professionals and students from different island communities. The Society then provides those individuals with an opportunity to share their insights on how the health and well-being of other island communities can be improved based on their own life experiences.

Website

About the Islands Society

The Islands Society is a “Top-Rated” American 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to inspire and empower islanders to participate in foreign affairs and overseas engagements in order to affect positive change in their local communities. The nonprofit therefore develops and implements projects that are designed to help islanders realize their full potential on the world stage. These projects are currently organized around two main themes: community projects and next generation leaders. The community projects center on ten issue areas, including charity, conservation, democracy, disaster relief, education, equality, health, innovation, security, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the next generation leader projects support artists, athletes, chefs, incubators, musicians, policymakers, storytellers, and technologists. To implement these programs, the nonprofit has launched local constituent societies around the world. These include Baltic Islands Society, Caribbean Islands Society, Inland Islands Society, Pacific Islands Society, Ritō Society, Sea Islands Society, and SE Asian Islands Society.

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Image Credit: Hawaii Preparatory Academy

Islands Society Launches Big Island Voices – 5/9/16

The Islands Society is pleased to announce the launch of a new interview series that will feature community leaders from Hawaii County, Hawaii.

Big Island Voices will provide community leaders from across the Big Island with an opportunity to share their insights and analyses on insular affairs with the world.

Starting this month, Islands Voices will feature these interviews alongside its regular interviews with senior policymakers on insular affairs.

Big Island Voices is designed to inspire and empower community leaders from East Hawaii, North Hawaii, and West Hawaii to more fully participate in insular affairs,” says Eddie Walsh, President of the Islands Society. “Our hope is that this will provide a new mechanism for our local leaders to be able to shape the global discourses that affect Hawaii County the most.”

The Islands Society is now soliciting nominations for Big Island Voices. Those interested in nominating a local leader on the Big Island should contact Keiko Ono, Managing Director of the Pacific Islands Society, at pr@islandssociety.org.

About Islands Voices

Island Voices is a blog published by the Islands Society. It features weekly interviews with thought leaders from around the world on insular affairs. The blog is intended to provide senior policymakers and community leaders with a platform to share their perspectives on the most important policy issues impacting island communities. It is also designed to provide a new mechanism through which women, minorities, veterans, and young leaders in island communities can showcase their talents as scholars and journalists.

Website

About the Islands Society

The Islands Society is a “Top-Rated” American 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to inspire and empower islanders to participate in foreign affairs and overseas engagements in order to affect positive change in their local communities. The nonprofit therefore develops and implements projects that are designed to help islanders realize their full potential on the world stage. These projects are currently organized around two main themes: community projects and next generation leaders. The community projects center on ten issue areas, including charity, conservation, democracy, disaster relief, education, equality, health, innovation, security, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the next generation leader projects support artists, athletes, chefs, incubators, musicians, policymakers, storytellers, and technologists. To implement these programs, the nonprofit has launched local constituent societies around the world. These include Baltic Islands Society, Caribbean Islands Society, Inland Islands Society, Pacific Islands Society, Ritō Society, Sea Islands Society, and SE Asian Islands Society.

Website
Facebook
Twitter

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Islands Society Soliciting Lesson Plans from K-5 Teachers in Hawaii County – 5/8/16

The Islands Society is now soliciting lesson plans from K-5 teachers in Hawaii County, Hawaii for its Pacific Islands in the Classroom program.

Pacific Islands in the Classroom aims to provide K-5 teachers in island communities around the world with a digital compendium of high-quality lesson plans and resources created by K-5 teachers on the neighbor islands.

The primary objective of the program is to pool together the different resources and ideas of these educators in order to fill the gap in island educational resources. A secondary objective is to showcase the talents of teachers from the neighbor islands on the world stage.

“Pacific Islands in the Classroom is designed to inspire and empower K-5 students on the neighbor islands to become ambassadors, advocates and change-agents by providing their teachers with the knowledge, networks, and exposure necessary to realize their full potential,” explains Keiko Ono, Managing Director of the Pacific Islands Society.

Teachers interested in participating in the program should submit a lesson plan to pr@islandssociety.org.

Sample Lesson Plan

About the Islands Society

The Islands Society is a “Top-Rated” American 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to respect, inspire, and empower islanders around the world. These projects are currently organized around two main themes: community projects and next generation leaders. The community projects center on ten issue areas, including charity, conservation, democracy, disaster relief, education, equality, health, innovation, security, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the next generation leader projects support artists, athletes, chefs, incubators, musicians, policymakers, storytellers, and technologists. The Islands Society is based on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
 
Website: www.islandssociety.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/The-Islands-Society/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/islandssociety
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Pacific Islands in the Classroom: http://islandssociety.org/projects/people-served/educators/islands-in-the-classroom/programs/pacific/
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Islands Society Announces Neighbor Islands Emerging Leaders Program – 5/6/16

The Islands Society is pleased to announce the launch of a new program for emerging leaders across the Neighbor Islands of Hawaii.

The Neighbor Islands Emerging Leaders Program is designed to provide emerging leaders with a platform to share their insights on how we can improve the health and well-being of island communities around the world.

Through the Neighbor Islands Emerging Leaders Program, the Islands Society will recognize high school students and college students from the Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, and Molokai. The Society will then provide those individuals with an opportunity to share their insights on how the health and well-being of other island communities can be improved based on their own life experiences.

Anyone interested in nominating a young leader should contact Keiko Ono, Managing Director of the Pacific Islands Society, at pr@islandssociety.org. Nominations are now being accepted on a rolling basis.

About the Islands Society

The Islands Society is a “Top-Rated” American 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to inspire and empower islanders to participate in foreign affairs and overseas engagements in order to affect positive change in their local communities. The nonprofit therefore develops and implements projects that are designed to help islanders realize their full potential on the world stage. These projects are currently organized around two main themes: community projects and next generation leaders. The community projects center on ten issue areas, including charity, conservation, democracy, disaster relief, education, equality, health, innovation, security, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the next generation leader projects support artists, athletes, chefs, incubators, musicians, policymakers, storytellers, and technologists. To implement these programs, the nonprofit has launched local constituent societies around the world. These include Baltic Islands Society, Caribbean Islands Society, Inland Islands Society, Pacific Islands Society, Ritō Society, Sea Islands Society, and SE Asian Islands Society.

Website
Facebook
Twitter

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Islands Society Relocating Global Headquarters to Hawaii County and Regional Society to City of Charleston – 4/27/16

The Islands Society officially announced that it is relocating its global headquarters to the County of Hawaii in the State of Hawaii and its regional society for Georgia and South Carolina to the City of Charleston in the State of South Carolina.

The “Top-Rated” nonprofit and its regional societies are currently headquartered on Hilton Head Island in the State of South Carolina.

“Our leadership team expects to complete these relocations by the end of the second quarter,” explains Eddie Walsh, President of the Islands Society. “We then intend to open physical offices in Charleston and on the Big Island by the end of the year.”

About the Islands Society

The Islands Society is a “Top-Rated” American 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to respect, inspire, and empower islanders around the world. These projects are currently organized around two main themes: community projects and next generation leaders. The community projects center on ten issue areas, including charity, conservation, democracy, disaster relief, education, equality, health, innovation, security, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the next generation leader projects support artists, athletes, chefs, incubators, musicians, policymakers, storytellers, and technologists.

Website: www.islandssociety.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/The-Islands-Society/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/islandssociety

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