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“Greater Creativity”, “Better Solutions, and Faster”, “Human Centered”. These are some of the words that describe Design Thinking, a five-step human-centered problem solving process made famous by David Kelley of IDEO (an award-winning global design firm) and Stanford University. It has been used by the world’s greatest innovators – Apple, Google, FedEx, GE, as well as Hawaii organizations such as Hawaiian Telcom, HECO, State Office of Information Management Technology, Department of Health, Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation, Department of Education, Oceanit, and many others.

Our luncheon program will feature Ian Kitajima, a senior executive at Oceanit and co-founder/co-convener of Design Thinking Hawaii, a community of volunteers who are introducing Design Thinking into Hawaii’s schools, government, and companies. Oceanit is one of Hawaii’s largest and most diversified privately‐held technology companies, with 150 scientists and engineers. Ian will share insights about Design Thinking and Oceanit’s experience. Why Oceanit adopted this new mindset? How do they do what they do? How can you apply Design Thinking to your business?

ianIan Kitajima is responsible for corporate development and venturing for Oceanit’s award winning innovations, products, and services. Since 2001, he continues to evolve and share Oceanit’s culture of innovation ‐ to create, fund, incubate, and transition new technologies to the marketplace, with a community mission to create a more prosperous Hawaii. He is an advisor or board member to several educational, government, and community organizations, such as PBS Hawaii, Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation, and UH Alumni Association. He is a product of Hawaii’s public school system, graduating from Castle High School, Windward Community College, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa (inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and Beta Gamma Sigma honor societies).

March Luncheon: Kaka’ako Makai

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Construction in the Kaka’ako area is booming with luxury condominiums, workforce housing, and commercial projects underway.

But what does the future hold for developable land in Kaka’ako Makai? The area (ocean side of Ala Moana Boulevard) is under significant focus as the State of Hawaii and Office of Hawaiian Affairs develop their vision for education, research and development (UH Medical School, Cancer Research Center, UH Pacific Biosciences Research Center, etc.), business and technology incubators, Obama Presidential Center and much more.

There are opportunities for more public areas such as parks, improvement to the Kewalo Basin, and commercial/retail development along the harbor, and the possibility that “development” in Kaka’ako Makai will complement the residential development in the mauka area, providing opportunities for “work and play” near where you live.

We will hear from representatives of key landowners about the strategic vision for Kaka’ako Makai:

Peter ApoPeter Apo is a sitting Trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the President of the Peter Apo Company, providing Hawaiian cultural consulting services to the developer community. He has a distinguished career in public service including 12 years as a Hawai’i State legislator, Director of Culture & Arts for the City & County of Honolulu, Special Assistant on Hawaiian Affairs to Governor Ben Cayetano, Director of Waikiki Development under Mayor Jeremy Harris, and a
special federal appointment as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Hawai’i.

Race RandleRace Randle is Senior Director of Development, Ward Village. He oversees development projects within The Howard Hughes Corporation’s 60-acre master planned community, Ward Village. Race is a representative of the state’s board of
directors of the Hawai‘i Technology Development Corporation and Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority (NELHA), as well as a member of the Urban Land Institute. He received an MBA in management and finance and a B.S. in civil engineering from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

Walter ThoemmesWalter Thoemmes is chief of staff at Kamehameha Schools. He works closely with the CEO, providing strategic and operational leadership and representing the CEO’s direction, project priorities and initiatives in various capacities across the organization and community. His work includes the commercial development of Kamehameha’s Kaka‘ako lands and the development of regional plans as part of KS’ Strategic Plan 2020. He also currently oversees Kamehameha’s West Hawaii Region Office and the Commercial Real Estate Division.

Tony ChingModerator: Anthony “Tony” J.H. Ching is the Executive Director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA). The HCDA is a State agency that was established to supplement traditional community renewal methods by promoting and coordinating public and private sector community development. The Kaka’ako area was designated as the first Community Development District under the HCDA’s oversight. Along with six and a half years of service as the Executive Officer of the State Land Use Commission and three and a half years of experience as a land use planner with the Office of State Planning, Mr. Ching brings to this position varied program and administrative experience gained while working at the Hawaii
Department of Health (DOH).