Wednesday, January 31, 2024

🌊IMSPARK: A Pacific Future with Resilient and Equitable Communities: 🌊

🌊Imagine… A Pacific Future with Resilient and Equitable Communities: 🌊



💡 Imagined Endstate: 

The Pacific region has successfully participated in the Community Disaster Resilience Zones program, which provides priority access to federal funds for climate resilience and mitigation projects for the most at-risk and in-need communities. The region has fostered a culture of solidarity, cooperation, and partnership, where all stakeholders work together to ensure the resilience and equity of the communities.

🔗Link:

📚Source: 

Griswold, A. (2024). What could FEMA’s new disaster resilience zones mean for communities? Smart Cities Dive. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The article by Griswold (2024) reveals that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has designated 483 Community Disaster Resilience Zones across the nation, based on the National Risk Index and the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool. 
🌴
The zones will have priority access to federal funds for climate resilience and mitigation projects, as well as potential private and philanthropic investments. The article also discusses the challenges and opportunities of the program, such as the risk of green gentrification, the need for community engagement, and the potential for regional collaboration.

Resilience and equity are key challenges for the Pacific region, as it faces the impacts of climate change, natural hazards, and social disparities, especially among the low-income, unbanked, and underserved populations.  🤝By participating in the Community Disaster Resilience Zones program, the Pacific region can enhance its resilience and equity, and reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality.  🌟The program can also support the region’s solidarity, cooperation, and partnership, and enable more communities to access the resources and opportunities they need and deserve.



#Resilience, #Equity, #PacificFuture, #DisasterZones, #Partnership, #DRR,#RICEWEBB,,#IMSPARK 




Tuesday, January 30, 2024

🧩Imagine… Improving Diagnosis & Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder 🧩


 🧩Imagine… Improving Diagnosis & Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder 🧩



💡 Imagined Endstate: 

A Pacific region that implements the guidelines and recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children and adolescents. A Pacific future that fosters a culture of awareness, support, and inclusion, where those affected by ASD can access timely and appropriate care and services.

🔗Link:

📚Source: 

Hyman, S. L., Levy, S. E., & Myers, S. M. (2024). Identification, evaluation, and management of children with autism spectrum disorder. JAMA, 331 (3), 262-269. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The article by Hyman et al. (2024) provides an updated and comprehensive review of the current evidence and best practices for the identification, evaluation, and management of children with ASD. 🌈The article covers the epidemiology, etiology, clinical features, screening, diagnosis, assessment, intervention, and outcomes of ASD, as well as the challenges and opportunities for improving the care and services for this population. The article also provides practical guidance and recommendations for clinicians, families, and policymakers on how to optimize the health and well-being of children with ASD.🙌 ASD is a challenge for some in the Pacific region, as it affects the development and functioning of many children and their families, especially those who face barriers to accessing quality care and services. By implementing the new guidelines and recommendations for ASD, the Pacific region can enhance its early detection, accurate diagnosis, and effective treatment of ASD, and reduce the risk of adverse outcomes and disparities. 🌟The guidelines and recommendations can also support the region’s awareness, support, and inclusion, and enable more children and families affected by ASD to access the care and services they need and deserve.


#ASD, #Autism,#MentalHealth, #PacificHealth,#HealthEquity,#IMSPARK, 


Monday, January 29, 2024

🌞IMSPARK: A Pacific Future with Early and Accurate Detection of Skin Cancer🌞

🌞Imagine… A Pacific Future with Early and Accurate Detection of Skin Cancer🌞

💡 Imagined Endstate: 

The Pacific region has successfully adopted the FDA-cleared device that uses artificial intelligence to non-invasively detect skin cancer in the primary care setting. The region has fostered a culture of prevention, awareness, and collaboration, where patients and health care providers can easily and quickly diagnose skin cancer and initiate appropriate treatment.

🔗Link:

📚Source: 

Bassett, M. (2024). FDA clears AI-powered non-invasive skin cancer detector. MedPage Today. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The article by Bassett (2024) reveals that the FDA cleared an artificial-intelligence (AI)-powered device designed to non-invasively detect skin cancer in the primary care setting. 🌡️ Developer DermaSensor said the device uses AI-powered spectroscopy technology to non-invasively evaluate cellular and subcellular characteristics of a lesion for any of the three types of skin cancers – melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. 🙌 The wireless, handheld device then provides a result in real time using an FDA-cleared algorithm. Skin cancer is a challenge for the Pacific region, as it affects the health and well-being of its residents, especially those who are exposed to high levels of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. By adopting the FDA-cleared device, the Pacific region can enhance its early and accurate detection of skin cancer, and reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality. 🌅The device can also support the region’s prevention, awareness, and collaboration, and enable more patients and health care providers to access and use a simple and effective diagnostic tool.

 

#SkinCancer #PacificFuture #AIDetector #Prevention #Collaboration

Sunday, January 28, 2024

🔑 IMSPARK: Disability-Inclusive Disaster Preparedness 🔑 (VIDEO)

Welcome to IMSPARK, Imagine Pacific Information Spark! In this episode, we delve into a crucial topic: 

🔑 Imagining Disabilities Empowered in Disaster Preparedness 🔑

Imagined Endstate

💡 Envision a world where individuals with disabilities aren't just included but actively participate in all disaster management phases. They have access to resources, information, and the support needed to navigate emergencies, contributing significantly to community resilience and safety.

📚 Source: 

Arena, K., & Abovyan, K. (2023, May 1), People with Disabilities Take Control in Disaster Preparedness. KBIA.

What’s the Big Deal:

💥 Disasters disproportionately impact individuals with disabilities. The World Health Organization highlights their increased vulnerability. Barriers to healthcare, shelter, and communication make inclusive and responsive disaster preparedness plans imperative.

🏠 By ensuring inclusivity, we not only protect their rights and dignity but also leverage their skills and knowledge to enhance disaster response and recovery efficiency and sustainability. Join the conversation using #IMSPARK #DisabilityInclusion #DisasterPreparedness #Resilience. Let's create a future where no one is left behind.

Conclusion:

Thank you for joining us on IMSPARK: Imagining Disabilities Empowered in Disaster Preparedness. Continue supporting our efforts for awareness, inclusivity, resilience, and responsiveness in the Pacific.



Saturday, January 27, 2024

🏊🏼‍♀️ IMSPARK: Women’s health valued and prioritized in the Pacific🏊🏼‍♀️

🏊🏼‍♀️ Imagine... women’s health valued & prioritized in the Pacific🏊🏼‍♀️


💡 Imagined Endstate

Women in the Pacific have access to quality, affordable, and culturally appropriate health care and services that address their specific needs and preferences. Women are empowered to make informed decisions about their health and well-being, and to participate fully in society and the economy.

🔗Link: 

📚Source: 

McKinsey & Company. (2024). Closing the women’s health gap: A $1 trillion opportunity to improve lives and economies.

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

Women in the Pacific face many challenges and barriers to achieving optimal health, 💪such as gender inequality, poverty, violence, stigma, and lack of data and resources. 🩺Closing the women’s health gap could improve the quality and length of life for millions of women, as well as generate significant economic💵 and social benefits for the region. Investing in women’s health is not only a moral imperative, but also a smart and strategic choice.



#womenshealth,#PacificIslanders,#Healthcare,#equity,#IMSPARK, 


Friday, January 26, 2024

📓IMATRIX: Veteran Career Master Classes📓

📓IMATRIX: Veteran Career Master Classes📓

📚 Source: 

Military.com. (n.d.). Master class videos. Retrieved January 15, 2024

🔗 Link: 

https://www.military.com/veteran-employment-project/master-class-videos

 










Thursday, January 25, 2024


💳 Imagine… A Pacific Future with Inclusive Financial Systems💳 


💡 Imagined Endstate: 

The Pacific region has successfully built an inclusive financial system that provides access and opportunity for all its residents, especially the low-income, unbanked, and underserved populations. The region has fostered a culture of innovation, trust, and leadership, where financial services and products are designed and delivered to meet the diverse and evolving needs of the people.

🔗Link: 

📚Source: 

Wallace, M., & Rademacher, I. (2023). Building an inclusive financial system: A global economic & social imperative for this decade. Aspen Institute. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The report by Wallace and Rademacher (2023) reveals that an inclusive financial system is essential for achieving global economic and social goals, such as reducing poverty, promoting equality, and enhancing resilience. 🌏The report also identifies the key elements and challenges of an inclusive financial system, such as access, affordability, quality, diversity, and regulation🙌 The report proposes a framework and a roadmap for action to advance inclusive financial systems at the global, regional, and national levels. ⚖️An inclusive financial system is a key opportunity for the Pacific region, as it can empower its residents to participate in and benefit from the digital economy, especially in the face of global challenges such as climate change, health crises, and digital divide. 💻 By building an inclusive financial system, the Pacific region can enhance its economic growth, social cohesion, and political stability. 💰 An inclusive financial system can also support the region’s innovation, trust, and leadership, and enable more people to access financial services and products that improve their well-being and prosperity.



#InclusiveFinancialSystem, #PacificFuture, #Access, #Opportunity, #Innovation, #Apsen,#WealthEquity,#IMSPARK,#RICEWEBB,


Wednesday, January 24, 2024


🐟 Imagine… A Pacific Future with Sustainable and Profitable Fish Farming🐟


💡 Imagined Endstate: 

The Pacific region has successfully developed and expanded its aquaculture industry, which produces high-quality and environmentally friendly fish and seafood for local and global markets. The region has fostered a culture of innovation, collaboration, and stewardship, where fish farmers, researchers, regulators, and consumers work together to ensure the sustainability and profitability of fish farming.

🔗Link:

📚Source: 

Griswold, A. (2024). Hawaii lawmakers want to make fish farming a bigger industry, but how? Honolulu Civil Beat. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The article by Griswold (2024) reveals that Hawaii lawmakers are considering several bills to promote and regulate the aquaculture industry in the state, which has the potential to create jobs, boost the economy, and enhance food security. 🌊The article also highlights the challenges and controversies that surround fish farming, such as environmental impacts, animal welfare, consumer preferences, and competition with wild fisheries.

Fish farming is a key opportunity for the Pacific region, as it can provide a reliable and nutritious source of protein for its growing population, especially in the face of climate change, overfishing, and marine pollution. ⛴️By adopting best practices and technologies, the Pacific region can produce sustainable and profitable fish and seafood that meet the standards and demands of local and global markets.  💰Fish farming can also support the region’s conservation, resilience, and well-being, and contribute to its blue economy.


#FishFarming, #PacificFuture, #Aquaculture, #Sustainability, #Profitability,#IMSPARK, 



Tuesday, January 23, 2024

🙌IMSPARK: Wage Equity for All in the Pacific 🙌

 🙌Imagine… Wage Equity for All in the Pacific 🙌

💡 Imagined Endstate: 

The Pacific region has successfully achieved wage equity for all workers, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, or other characteristics. The region has fostered a culture of fairness, opportunity, and inclusion, where everyone is paid fairly and equitably for their work.

🔗Link:

📚Source: 

Wage and Hour Division, DOL. (2021). Independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Federal Register, 86 (4), 1168-1248. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The rule by the Wage and Hour Division (2021) revises the interpretation of independent contractor status under the FLSA, which requires covered employers to pay their nonexempt employees at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay, and to keep certain records regarding their employees. 🌟 The rule adopts an “economic reality” test that focuses on two core factors: the nature and degree of the worker’s control over the work, and the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss based on initiative and/or investment.💸 The rule also identifies three other factors that may serve as additional guideposts: the amount of skill required for the work, the degree of permanence of the working relationship, and whether the work is part of an integrated unit of production. Wage equity is a key aspect of income inequality, as it affects the economic and social well-being of workers and their families, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized groups.🌈 By achieving wage equity, the Pacific region can enhance its economic growth, social cohesion, and political stability. Achieving wage equity can also support the region’s resilience to global challenges such as climate change, health crises, and digital divide.


#WageEquity, #PacificFuture, #Fairness, #Opportunity,#Inclusion,#IMSPARK,


Monday, January 22, 2024

💸 IMSPARK: A Pacific Future with Reduced Income Inequality💸

💸 Imagine… A Pacific Future with Reduced Income Inequality💸 


💡 Imagined Endstate: 

The Pacific region has successfully narrowed the income gap between the rich and the poor, as well as between different racial and gender groups. The region has fostered a culture of fairness, opportunity, and inclusion, where everyone has a decent standard of living and a chance to thrive.

🔗Link:

📚Source: 

McKay, L. C. (2023). The state of income inequality. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The article by McKay (2023) reveals that income inequality in the U.S. has been rising over the past 50 years, especially among the highest earners. 📈 The article also shows that income inequality varies across states, by gender, and by race, with Black incomes lagging behind White incomes in every state🌈 The article suggests that government redistribution has helped to mitigate, but not eliminate, the income disparities.💰Income inequality is a key challenge for the Pacific region, as it affects the economic and social well-being of its residents, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized groups. ⚖️By reducing income inequality, the Pacific region can enhance its economic growth, social cohesion, and political stability. Reducing income inequality can also support the region’s resilience to global challenges such as climate change, health crises, and digital divide.


#Income, #FRB, #WealthEquity#PacificFuture, #Fairness, #Opportunity, #Inclusion,#IMSPARK, 




Sunday, January 21, 2024

🌠 Imagine… A Pacific Future with Faster and More Reliable Internet Connectivity🌠

🌠 Imagine… A Pacific Future with Faster and More Reliable Internet Connectivity🌠


💡 Imagined Endstate: 

The Pacific region has successfully benefited from the Central Pacific Connect initiative, which consists of two new subsea cables that link the US, Guam, Palau, and Indonesia. The region has fostered a culture of digital transformation, innovation, and inclusion, where everyone has access to faster and more reliable internet connectivity.

🔗Link:

📚Source: 

Bannerman, N. (2024). Google launches Central Pacific Connect initiative with two new subsea cables. Capacity Media. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal:

The article by Bannerman (2024) reveals that Google has announced the Central Pacific Connect initiative, which aims to improve the internet connectivity and resilience of the Pacific region.🌐The initiative involves the construction of two new subsea cables: the Echo cable, which will connect the US, Guam, and Indonesia; and the Bifrost cable, which will connect the US, Guam, and Palau.🚀 The cables will use the latest optical fiber technology and have a combined capacity of over 100 terabits per second.

Internet connectivity is a key enabler of economic and social development for the Pacific region, especially in the face of global challenges such as climate change, health crises, and digital divide.🌟By participating in the Central Pacific Connect initiative, the Pacific region can enhance its internet speed, reliability, and diversity, and reduce its dependence on satellite and existing subsea cables.🙌The initiative can also support the region’s digital transformation, innovation, and inclusion, and enable more people to access online services, opportunities, and information.

#InternetConnectivity, #DigitalAcces, #PacificFuture, #PacificTransformation,#DisasterPreparedness,#DisasterResponse,#IMSPARK

Saturday, January 20, 2024

🌊IMSPARK: A Pacific Future with a Shared Vision🌊


🌊Imagine… A Pacific Future with a Shared Vision🌊




💡 Imagined Endstate: 

The Pacific region has successfully implemented the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, which articulates the region’s long-term vision, values, and key thematic areas for advancing the Pacific.

🔗Link:

📚Source: 

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. (2023). 2050 Strategy Implementation Plan 2023-2030. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The document by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (2023) outlines the implementation plan for the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, which was endorsed by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in 2022.  🌴The implementation plan provides a roadmap for the region to operationalize the 2050 Strategy, through collective actions, delivery timeframes, implementation arrangements, and resourcing requirements. 📈The implementation plan also identifies the roles and responsibilities of various actors, such as the Forum Secretariat, the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific, the Member States, the Associate Members, the Dialogue Partners, and the Non-State Actors.🤝The implementation of the 2050 Strategy is crucial for the Pacific region, as it represents the region’s shared vision and collective action to address the enduring and emerging challenges and opportunities that affect the region’s future1. The 2050 Strategy covers seven key thematic areas: environmental integrity, climate change and disaster resilience, ocean health and marine resources, regional security, economic prosperity, social equity and inclusion, and effective governance.🏝️ By implementing the 2050 Strategy, the Pacific region can enhance its resilience, sustainability, and well-being, and secure its peaceful, secure, and prosperous future.


#2050Strategy, #BluePacific, #Vision,#Resilience,#StrategicThinking,#IMSPARK,#RICEWEBB,

Friday, January 19, 2024

🎓IMSPARK: Higher Education for All in the Pacific🎓


🎓Imagine... Higher Education for All in the Pacific🎓



💡 Imagined Endstate: 

The Pacific region has successfully increased the access and affordability of higher education for its residents, especially for underrepresented and disadvantaged groups. The region has fostered a culture of lifelong learning, innovation, and excellence, where everyone has the opportunity to pursue their academic and career goals.

🔗Link:

📚Source: 

Halliday, T., & Inafuku, R. (2024). Estimating the returns to higher education using administrative data: A case study of the University of Hawai‘i System. University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The report by Halliday and Inafuku (2024) reveals that a college education from the University of Hawai‘i (UH) offers a significant investment return for its graduates🌏The authors find that lifetime earnings for bachelor’s degree holders are 27% higher than for those who exited the program without a degree. 💼 The report also shows that community college degrees and certificates can boost earnings and serve as stepping stones to four-year degrees.

Higher education is a key driver of economic and social development for the Pacific region, especially in the face of global challenges such as climate change, health crises, and technological disruption. 🏫By expanding the access and affordability of higher education, the Pacific region can empower its residents to acquire the skills, knowledge, and credentials they need to succeed in the 21st century. 🚀Higher education can also enhance the region’s competitiveness, diversity, and resilience, and contribute to its well-being and prosperity.









Thursday, January 18, 2024

🏠 IMSPARK: A Pacific Future with Fair and Equitable Access to Homeownership 🏠

🏠 Imagine… A Pacific Future with Fair and Equitable Access to Homeownership 🏠




💡 Imagined Endstate: 

A region that has fostered a culture of inclusion and diversity, where everyone has equal opportunity to build wealth and stability through homeownership.

🔗Link:

📚Source: 

Brown, J. R., & Cookson, J. A. (2024). Lender-reported reasons for mortgage denials don’t explain racial disparities. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The article by Brown and Cookson (2024) reveals that Black and Hispanic applicants are more likely to be denied mortgages than White applicants, even after controlling for income, credit score, and other factors. 🏦  The authors find that the lender-reported reasons for denials, such as debt-to-income ratio, credit history, and collateral, do not fully account for the racial gap in mortgage outcomes. 🌈 This suggests that there may be other factors at play, such as discrimination, bias, or structural barriers, that prevent people of color from accessing homeownership.

Homeownership is a key source of wealth and economic security for many Americans, especially in the Pacific region, where housing prices are high and rising. 🏘️ However, the racial gap in homeownership has persisted for decades, contributing to the racial wealth gap and intergenerational inequality. 📈 By addressing the root causes of mortgage denials and ensuring fair and equitable access to homeownership, the Pacific region can empower more people of color to achieve their financial goals and improve their quality of life.


#homeownership,#racialequity, #Mortgage,#WealthGap,#Pacific,#Poverty, #Inequality, #Participatory,#RICEWEBB, #IMSPARK,

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

🌎 IMSPARK: A Pacific Future Powered by Clean Energy🌎

 

🌎 Imagine… A Pacific Future Powered by Clean Energy🌎

💡 Imagined Endstate: 

The Pacific region has successfully transitioned to a low-carbon economy, using renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal to meet its growing energy needs. 

🔗Link:

📚Source: 

U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. (2024). Further additional continuing appropriations act 2024 text.

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The Further Additional Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024, provides funding for various energy and water programs,  🌊 including $2.2 billion for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. 🌞This funding supports research, development, and deployment of clean energy technologies that can benefit the Pacific region, such as solar photovoltaics, wind turbines, 💨hydroelectric dams, and geothermal plants.🔥 These technologies can help the Pacific region reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, diversify its energy sources, lower its energy costs, and create new jobs and industries.


#CleanEnergy, #Pacific, #RenewableEnergy, #ClimateAction,#energytransition,#IMSPARK,

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

🌟 IMSPARK: Sustainable Future for the Pacific🌟

🌟 Imagine... Sustainable Future for the Pacific🌟

💡 Imagined Endstate: 

A future where the Pacific region is a global leader in sustainable development, with thriving economies, healthy ecosystems, and resilient communities.

📚Source: 

World Economic Forum. (2024). The Global Cooperation Barometer 2024. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The Pacific region is home to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities and ecosystems. 🌊Climate change, overfishing, and pollution are just a few of the challenges that threaten the region’s future. However, the Pacific also has enormous potential for sustainable development. 🌴By investing in renewable energy, 🌞sustainable tourism, and ecosystem restoration, the region can create new economic opportunities while preserving its natural heritage. 🐠This IMSPARK calls on Pacific leaders to work together to build a sustainable future for the region, one that benefits both people and the planet.


#GlobalLeadership,#Pacific, #WorldEconomicForum,#ClimateChange,#Sustainability,#IMSPARK, 

Monday, January 15, 2024

🌴IMSPARK: Communities Prepared for any Climate Disaster🌴


 🌴Imagine... communities prepared for any climate disaster🌴

💡 Imagined Endstate: 

Pacific Islanders have access to reliable early warning systems, resilient infrastructure, and adaptive livelihoods that enable them to cope with and recover from the impacts of climate change and disasters.

🔗Link: 

📚Source: 

Bucci, N. (2020, December 18). FEMA makes advancements for climate resiliency. Homeland Security Today. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

Climate change poses a serious threat to the Pacific Islands, where many people live in low-lying coastal areas that are vulnerable to sea level rise, storm surges, and flooding. 🌊 FEMA’s efforts to enhance climate resiliency can provide valuable lessons and best practices for the Pacific region, 🌏 such as integrating climate risk into disaster planning, investing in nature-based solutions, and engaging communities in resilience-building.🏠


#ClimateChange,#EarlyWarning Systems, #infrastructure,#adaptation,#DisasterResponse,#IMSPARK


🦤 IMSPARK: Healthy and Diverse Migratory Species in the Pacific🦤

 🦤 Imagine... Healthy and Diverse Migratory Species in the Pacific🦤  💡 Imagined Endstate:  In the next 3-5 years, the Pacific region will...