In this episode of Transform Hawaii Government's (THG) Digital Talk Story series, Executive Director Christine Sakuda speaks with Mike McCartney, Director of the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT). The two discuss the importance of sustaining Hawaii’s economy for the long term, the success of the Entrepreneurs‘ Sandbox facility in spurring collaboration and innovation, and examples of the public and private sector coming together to create solutions for Hawaii’s future.
As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, Transform Hawaii Government is keeping up with our state’s leaders to learn how they have adapted and persevered through these turbulent times to address the needs of the community. During this Digital Talk Story, Mike McCartney shared projects his department is proud of accomplishing, how they made an impact, and what is important for DBEDT to achieve going forward.
Mike discussed large initiatives DBEDT has rolled out such as the Hawaii Restaurant Card program that was created to support our local eateries, the Federal CARES Act to assist renters and homeowners, and the Hawaii Business Pivot Grant program which provided support for businesses to adapt to new technology. He also shared that these activities, as well as others across the state, are a result of the pandemic being an accelerator for our state government and businesses to adapt to the rapidly evolving digital landscape.
Throughout the talk story, Mike touched upon his strong belief in the power of collaboration as our state continues to work towards solutions to Hawaii’s toughest challenges. One of the bright spots helping push forward transformative change is the TRUE Initiative, a collaborative public-private partnership that frequently utilizes the Entrepreneurs' Sandbox facility, an innovation center for the public. The facility was developed by the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), a state agency attached to DBEDT. THG’s own Christine Sakuda is an executive committee member for TRUE Initiative, supporting the development of digital transformation solutions.
As we look ahead, Mike shared that DBEDT will continue seeking ways to facilitate and support collaborative efforts that help grow the sustainability and resiliency of Hawaii's economy for the long term.
THG extends its appreciation to Mike for taking the time to join us for our Digital Talk Story series.
Watch Episode 11 of the Digital Talk Story series here.