Editor’s Note: Living Aloha

May, 2008

In March 2007, Hawaii Business tagged James Koshiba and Olin Lagon among our “25 people who will shape the next 25 years,” which featured young leaders to keep an eye on. At the time, Koshiba, then 33, was a principal in 3 Point Consulting. Along with his partner, Andrew Aoki, 3 Point aimed to help businesses, nonprofits and government agencies create “public value.” Predicted Hawaii Business: “As more businesses hop on the social-good bandwagon, James’ expertise in public-value work will be in even higher demand.”

Back then, Lagon, 35, was a COO of high-tech startup ChipIn. Hawaii Business said: “Olin’s contributions to Hawaii can already be found throughout the Island chain — and he’s only exhausted about 20 percent of his ‘great idea’ supply.”

Well today, Koshiba, Lagon and Aoki are executing on a terrific “great idea” that could create immense “public value.” Partially powered by a grant from eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar’s foundation, their nonprofit Kanu Hawaii describes itself this way: “Kanu Hawaii is a group of people working to protect what we love about Hawaii by promoting island living here and elsewhere.”

As Features Editor David K. Choo shows in “Growth Potential,” Kanu is already making a big impact through its online strategy of aggregating individual commitments to protect what each individual loves about Hawaii. It may not be your daddy’s way of giving and showing Aloha to move the community forward, but Kanu’s way may prove to be the best, most effective way to live Aloha today.

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Kelli Abe Trifonovitch