“A collective strength matters. It takes everybody to go around the world.”
HONOLULU – Native Hawaiian Navigator Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), shared his views with 230 business leaders at today’s Game Changers luncheon event held at Prince Waikiki and sponsored by The Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJCC).
Inspiring the audience with his views on navigating change in today’s dynamic environment, he compared organizational challenges to stories of voyage and exploration—from Hōkūleʻa’s journey around the world to Mālama Honua (care for the planet). Thompson, who led the revival of traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian voyaging arts, also talked about the importance of environmental stewardship, community building, and legacy.
He said the founding of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce both grew out of crisis—loss of culture and a fire that burned down Chinatown in the early 1900s. In both cases, leadership stood up and took a position. The PVS helped perpetuate Hawaiian and Polynesian culture, while the HJCC helped businesses and families who couldn’t help themselves.
Thompson, familiar with tough situations said, “In crisis, what are you going to do, what is your first decision? Staying tied to the dock is to do nothing. A collective strength matters. It takes everybody to go around the world.”
Thompson emphasized values, succession, and teaching our youth environmental justice. Succession-begin with power of idea, vision. “We have to Voyage with purpose, meaning, and value.”
Thompson compared the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce’s commitment to diversification of genders, ethnicities, and generations to Mālama Honua, which is a pathway for everyone.
The Game Changers event is held annually as part of HJCC’s business and professional development programs. Coordinated by the Small Business Advocacy Committee, members and guests come to learn how businesses have changed their game plans in today’s challenging marketplace.
Established in 1900, the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce is one of Honolulu’s major business organizations, representing a cross-section of the city’s businesses, industries and professions. With a Pacific-wide view of business and economic development, the Chamber is committed to connecting businesses, fostering friendships and promoting mālama ka ‘āina—efforts and contributions that value our island home.