Pacific Islands Society Celebrates Second Anniversary

Online User Base Continues to grow as Operations Expand - Today, the Pacific Islands Society (PacSoc) reached a major milestone – reaching over 2,000 followers on Facebook.
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Sept. 1, 2014 - PRLog -- The grassroots nonprofit achieved this goal on the very same day that it celebrated its second anniversary. In less than two years, the organization has grown into one of the largest nonprofit communities serving the Pacific Islands Region. In the year ahead, the organization plans to dramatically expand its operations, which requires strategic partnerships with trusts, foundations, corporations, and nonprofits committed to “a world that respects, inspires, and empowers Pacific Islanders.”

According to Michael Edward Walsh, the President of the Pacific Islands, the organization attributes its success to its decision to focus on the next generation of leaders on the Pacific Islands Region, “When we look at our online user engagement, it is clear that three things really motivate our community. The first are insights and analysis provided by leading experts on political, economic, environmental, strategic, social, and cultural issues. On this account, we are no different than a traditional think tank. It is our young leaders programs and social media outreach that really differentiate our organization from others. Thankfully, we continue to see a positive response to these initiatives. This is what is helping to establish PacSoc as one of the leading nonprofits dedicated to the Pacific Islands.”

Looking back on the last two years, three initiatives stand out as major success stories. The first is the launch of the organization’s annual ambassador speaking series. In 2013, the event was held at SOAS, University of London. Ambassadors and senior diplomatic representatives from the United States, China, New Zealand, Philippines, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, and Taiwan provided their insights and analysis on the theme of traditional and non-traditional issues in the Pacific Islands. The series attracted hundreds of students and faculty. And, experts from around the world continue to download and cite the diplomats’ remarks.

The second is the launch of the next generation leader programs. So far, the organization has developed three such programs. They include the Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament (PYL-D), NexGen Security Scholars, and NexGen Pacific Artists programs. To date, these programs have featured young leaders from American Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Micronesia, New Zealand, Japan, and France (New Caledonia). They have led topartnerships with other organizations, including the Federation of American Scientists, School of Foreign Service (Georgetown University), and Emerging Science and Technology Policy Centre. And, they have provided young leaders with the opportunity to be mentored by senior leaders, including diplomats from the Permanent Mission of Japan in Geneva, United States Mission Geneva, and United Kingdom Mission at the United Nations Geneva.

The third is the organization’s social media outreach. Earlier on, PacSoc decided to emphasize social media, specifically Facebook, in its communications strategy. Through regular updates about issues related to the Pacific Islands Region, PacSoc has subsequently nurtured one of the most active Facebook user communities on the Pacific Islands. This has helped the organization grow its user base in the Pacific Island Countries. Whereas most of its website users are from Australia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, or the United States, the vast majority of its Facebook users are from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and other Pacific Island Countries.

In the year ahead, the Pacific Islands Society plans to significantly expand its operations. Later this month, PacSoc will announce a fourth next generation leaders program to provide high school students with a platform to provide their perspectives on non-traditional security issues. PacSoc will also announce the 2014 ambassador speaking series scheduled for December in London. And, PacSoc will start providing regular policy briefs and commentary from its staff and guest experts on a select set of topics, including art and culture, climate change, disasters, education, food security, global powers, maritime security, natural resources, public health, social inequity, and trade and development.

To realize the goals outlined in its 5-Year Strategic Plan, PacSoc will need to development strategic partnerships with major donors, including trusts, foundations, corporations, nonprofits, and governments. To do so, PacSoc recently appointed Keiko Ono as its first Director of Development.

Pacific Islands Society
The Pacific Islands Society is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting stronger people-people relations between the Pacific Island Countries and beyond. Through its speaking series, cultural events, and annual campaigns, PacSoc brings together some of the region’s most influential minds to discuss major political, economic, environmental, and social issues facing the Pacific Islands– all while celebrating the vibrant cultures that make the region so unique and valuable to the global community. For additional information, visit our website.

Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament

The Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament Program provides the next generation of foreign policy experts in the Pacific Islands with an opportunity to make their voice heard on disarmament. Participants work with mentors to learn about how the Conference on Disarmament (CD). The participants then draft their own “Statement to the Conference on Disarmament.” These statements provide their personal views on how the CD could, in the words of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, better live up to expectations. For additional information, visit and

NexGen Security Scholars

The NexGen Security Scholars Program provides post-graduate and research degree students from the Pacific Islands Region with an opportunity to make their voice heard on the important issue of “International Security and the Pacific Islands.” Selected scholars contribute to the ongoing debate of international security by producing policy briefs on a range of traditional and non-traditional security topics. For additional information, visit

NexGen Pacific Artists

The NexGen Pacific Artists program provides young artists from the Pacific Islands Region with a global platform to generate interest in their work. From carving, painting, textile arts, body ornamentation, ceremonial dress, music, dance, to spoken word, the program aims to celebrate all of the aspects that make this region’s art and culture so unique and profoundly moving. For additional information, visit and

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