About Hawaii Quality of Life

The Hawaii Quality of Life Initiative aims to make data and systems thinking widely available to those who want to understand and improve quality of life in the islands. Here you will find statistics on issues ranging from health to jobs and the environment, along with systems maps that attempt to capture complex causal relationships behind the numbers. The Initiative is part of a larger effort to make systems mapping resources available to local decision-makers, and to build local capacity for systems thinking in Hawaii.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Systems Mapping?

Systems mapping is a well-developed method for depicting complexity in a manner that supports analysis and action. A systems map is a picture of how a group thinks about an issue, challenge, problem or situation. It includes factors (causes or contributing forces) often depicted in text boxes and lines or arrows that illustrate the relationship between factors. The process of developing systems maps creates a way for groups of people with diverse views to develop a shared understanding of the complex forces behind the problems they are trying to tackle.

Why Systems Mapping?

Hawaii is a special place because of a unique mix of factors – stunning natural beauty, an economy that produces jobs and opportunity, diverse cultures, and more. Therefore, when we think of ways to improve our quality of life, we must pay careful attention to interconnections and unintended consequences. By examining systems – the series of inter-related causes, effects, and “feedback loops” (effects unintentionally turned causes) – system mapping can help us see old problems in ways, and help us grasp complex relationship between issues that we often view in isolation.

Who is participating in this effort?

The project is supported by Hawaii Business magazine, the Omidyar Group, Hawaii Leadership Forum, and other corporate and charitable contributions. Systems mapping of Quality of Life factors was led by Rob Ricigliano, who has applied systems mapping to problems of global conflict resolution around the world for more than a decade.