Hawai’i 2.0: Economic Diversification by Defeating Geography – Dr. Patrick Sullivan Delivers Keynote Address

Events, In the News, Intellectual Anarchy

Honolulu, HI. 23 September 2021 | Oceanit Founder & CEO, Dr. Patrick Sullivan delivered the keynote address at the 2021 Hawai’i Insurer’s Council Annual Meeting, presenting a path forward to diversifying Hawaii’s economy — away from tourism — by ‘Defeating Geography.’ also articulated in Sullivan’s recent book “Intellectual Anarchy – The Art of Disruptive Innovation.”

‘Defeating Geography’ examines how key infrastructure makes the geographic limitations to business and economic growth– particularly in the innovation industry — much, much less important. Look no further than life during the COVID-19 Pandemic to appreciate how the world and working conditions have changed.  A variation of remote or hybrid work is the new normal for many knowledge workers.   Connectivity enables work from almost anywhere in the world.

Additionally, since manufacturing and delivery are all about managing partners and supply chains, economic growth is more limited by education and imagination than by geography.  Sullivan argued that businesses and policy makers should insist that key infrastructure like (1) affordable energy, (2) high speed broadband and (3) affordable transportation are priorities for governments.  Paul Romer’s 2018 Nobel Prize-winning work in economics economic growth examines the role of innovation in economic growth — endogenous growth, based on home growth innovation, far outruns neoclassical growth (Hawaii’s current economy).

Sullivan further argues that Hawaii’s isolation today, considering all the changes in technology that we already enjoy, is more of a self-adopted limitation than a real limitation. Sure, there was a time when geography was everything, but as technology progressed, geography is less important, and instead innovation rests on people, education and imagination. . Hawai’i is a metaphor for other parts of the US that similarly feel isolated, despite being in the Continental US.  Technology has truly rendered actual isolation, and consequences thereof, more of a frame of mind than an actual constraint.

With the pandemic accelerating the reality of work-from-anywhere normality — and ubiquitous email, video conferencing, and live streaming – Dr. Sullivan argues “(innovation partners, customers, etc.) could be on the moon at this point and it wouldn’t really make a difference.”

The Hawaii Insurers Council (HIC) is statewide non-profit trade association with members from property & casualty insurance companies, along with other business advocates and community leaders that do business in Hawai’i.

A video of Dr. Sullivan’s presentation can be found below. Learn more about Intellectual Anarchy at https://intellectualanarchy.com/