Kauaian Institute

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The Kauaian Institute is a think-and-do tank which advises corporations and community groups on sustainability in Hawaii. The advisory service incorporates producing custom research and maps for island markets and ecosystems, and presenting focused strategic assessments for leadership and stakeholder groups.

The Kauaian Institute was established[1] in Kapa`a in 2003 by green economist Ken Stokes,[2] who was formally director of Ho`okipa Network and producer of the Virtual Taro Patch[3], and is an outgrowth of research that led to the publication of Tending the Garden Island,[4] which the Futures Bulletin[5] called "state-of-the-art thinking on 'globalization from below'.” This modern economic history of Kaua`i was based on the first time-series databank[6] of island economic indicators.

Beginning with pace-setting research on the transient vacation rental market on Kaua`i,[7] The Kauaian Institute produced a statewide assessment of this troubled "grey market", based on extended research that included Maui and O`ahu, and presented these findings in a major policy address to the Hawai`i Economics Association[8] in 2005 that appeared as a Honolulu Advertiser Op-Ed[9] and highlighted the implications for community-based development in the tourism industry.

Working with "Mr. Sustainability",[10] ML&P's David Cole, The Kauaian Institute helped guide this corporation's executive-level learning process that led to the design of a triple-bottom-line performance information system. As part of the team advising Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate on ecotourism strategies for Hawai`i, The Kauaian Institute produced the first assessment of the islands' "green travel" market.

In 2006, The Kauaian Institute was retained by the Kaua`i Planning & Action Alliance to produce the island's first Community Indicators[11]] report, which has spawned the first comprehensive assessment of island sustainability.

In September 2006, following a two-day Kaua`i leadership gathering on sustainability, The Kauaian Institute launched[12] the SusHI blog on sustainability in Hawai`i, which has become the most widely-read "green" blog in the islands.

In 2007, The Kauaian Institute launched a series of sustainability seminars for Kauaian leaders to accelerate the learning process and strategic visioning for the island's adaptation to climate change, energy disruption, and social unrest, based on the keynote address at Kauai's first sustainability conference[13] and a presentation to the Kaua`i County Council.


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