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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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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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.

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Facebook
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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.

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Islands Society Announces 2015-2016 Pacific NexGen Artists – 11/16/2015

The Islands Society names new group of artists for its annual Pacific NexGen Artists Program

Honolulu, Hawaii — The Islands Society is pleased to announce the final selection of participants for the 2015/16 Pacific NexGen Artists Program. The group will be composed of Melissa Prokop (Tahiti), Lesley Wengembo (Papua New Guinea), Simix Simeon (Vanuatu), and Albert Joseph (Papua New Guinea).

The incredible diversity that exists in the Pacific region is rich with artistic talent which the Islands Society endeavours to support. Each year, emerging artists are provided a global platform to promote their work to audiences around the world through the NexGen Artists Program in order to foster greater international appreciation for artists as well as to provide artists the necessary support to succeed.

During the program, each artist will have a personal online gallery to showcase their work on the Islands Society’s website. The participants will also be provided the opportunity to share their insights on contemporary art from their respective countries through a series of articles and interviews. With visitors from over 90 countries in the past quarter, the Islands Society’s website provides a unique platform to promote emerging artists from the region.

More on each of the four artists can be found below:

Melissa Prokop (Tahiti) grew a passion for art while living in between France and Germany. Since her arrival in Tahiti, French Polynesia in 2003 however, Prokop has developed a talent for painting. As a profound admirer of the ancestral Polynesian culture which has spread all over the Pacific Ocean and survived in several forms, in spite of the ravages of colonisation. Her works pay tribute to the rich history of the native peoples of the Polynesian Triangle particularly Tahiti, Rapa Nui, New Zealand and Hawaii.

Lesley Wengembo (Papua New Guinea) is the youngest participant ever to join the NexGen Artists Program. At only 17yrs of age, Wengembo won second place in the Port Moresby Arts Exhibition in 2014 and was recognised with a merit award for the exhibition’s theme Meri (Woman) as PNG’s Youngest Artist. With coverage including the country’s biggest broadcaster EMTVOnline, Wengembo has attracted interest and cultivated exchanges through art as far as Germany through the Deutsche 1914 project. As a young leader in his community, Wengembo is a role model for other young artists in PNG who want to become ambassadors of their communities through art.

Simix Simeon (Vanuatu), born on the island of Matoso in Vanuatu is a chief of the Ohlen/Matas Village of Port Villa where he lives with his wife and two children. As an avid advocate of indigenous arts in his community, Simeon has led the creation of a successful art collective called ‘Awis Artis Blong Vanuatu’ which now has over ten artists. His artwork has been exhibited at several galleries in Australia including GOMA/Queensland Art Gallery, University of the Sunshine Coast Art Gallery and Andrew Baker Art Dealer, Brisbane who represents him. With a desire to find connections between traditional and contemporary art, Simeon works towards developing his own skills but is also known as a local leader promoting the international exposure of artists in Vanuatu.

Albert Joseph (Papua New Guinea) is a self taught artist from Mt. Hagen in the Western Highland Province of Papua New Guinea. As a self taught artist for over ten years, Joseph pursued a Diploma in Creative industries from University of Goroka and a BA in Art and Design at the University of Papua New Guinea to further develop his skills and passion for art. Having participated in various local and international exhibitions Joseph is an advocate for art as a critical means for preserving and promoting local cultures and customs in the face of globalisation.

For any enquiries and further information please contact pr@islandssociety.org

About the 2015-2016 Next Generation Artists Program

Through the Pacific Next Generation (NexGen) Artists Program, the Pacific Islands Society (PacSoc) provides talented young artists from regional island communities who are online members of the Pacific Islands Society with a global stage to showcase their talents. Pacific NexGen Artists will be given their own virtual gallery on the PacSoc website as well as marketing and communications support to create global awareness for their art works. They will also be provided the opportunity to publish articles and blog posts to build their brand.

Website

About Islands Society

The Islands Society is an international 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 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, policy makers, storytellers, and technologists. To implement these programs, the nonprofit has launched local constituent societies around the world. These include the Pacific Islands Society, Baltic Islands Society, Sea Islands Society, Arctic Islands Society, Caribbean Islands Society, and Remote Islands Society (Japan).

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  • Islands Society Announces 2016 Pacific Security Scholar – 11/16/2015

    The Islands Society names a new young professional for its annual Pacific Security Scholars Program

    Honolulu, Hawaii — The Islands Society is pleased to announce that Genevieve Neilson will be the 2016 Pacific Security Scholar.

    Over the next nine months, Ms. Neilson will explore the policy implications of international security threats across the Pacific Islands region. She will do so under the guidance of senior mentors from relevant industries and the diplomatic community who are experts on traditional and nontraditional security issues. Her insights and analysis will then be published in leading foreign policy media outlets around the world.

    More on our 2015/16 Pacific Security Scholar:

    Genevieve Neilson is an international trade specialist currently serving as a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Her research interests include climate change adaptation, renewable energy and international political economy. Having graduated with first class honors in International Relations and Political Science from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Neilson went on to receive a Graduate Certificate from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and an M.A. in international affairs from The George Washington University.

    About the Pacific Security Scholars Program

    The Pacific Security Scholars Program is one of the five Next Generation Leaders Programs at the Pacific Islands Society. It is focused on promoting young leadership across the Pacific Islands. The PSS Program is aimed specifically at strengthening the engagement and capacity of the policy makers of tomorrow to engage in the global decisions that they will ultimately inherit. Participants receive exclusive insight from mentors who provided one-to-one support in the professional development of our young leaders. Participants are in turn provided the opportunity to share these insights.

    Website

    About Islands Society

    The Islands Society is an international 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 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, policy makers, storytellers, and technologists. To implement these programs, the nonprofit has launched local constituent societies around the world. These include the Pacific Islands Society, Baltic Islands Society, Sea Islands Society, Arctic Islands Society, Caribbean Islands Society, and Remote Islands Society (Japan).

    More Information:

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