Welcome and Missions

Thank you for joining us for this preview of our Global Positioning Studies for the Asia Pacific Century.

Our featured engaged learning programs are the China Global Positioning Studies (China GPS), APEC Voices of the Future, and the Iowa Asia Pacific Global Classrooms.

You can click on the posters of the China GPS and APEC Voices programs for details and pictorial reviews.

Our History section describes how, after the end of the Cold War, we were commissioned by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and the U.S. President's Export Council -- the premier federal advisory group on international trade and investment -- to develop prototype engaged learning programs featuring the "New Global Economy" and the "Big Emerging Markets." We launched the Virtual Trade Mission (VTM) Foundation in 1996 and soon had pilot programs in 25 states, all supported by the private sector leadership of the PEC and the Green Family Foundation.

Inspired by APEC

Seeing the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation -- APEC -- process as both a prescient and practical model for multilateral and multicultural learning in global commerce and civics, we launched the APEC Voices of the Future program at the 1998 APEC Leaders Week in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia’s APEC Host Committee and ABAC Members were key allies.  Since then, thousands of Pacific Rim students and educators, and hundreds of APEC Economic Leaders, Senior Officials, ABAC Members and CEOs, have participated in this annual program. Our Mission Statement for APEC Voices is still as compelling and forward looking today as at our launch.

In 2010, the Voices Leadership Council, representing our first movers China, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and the VTM Foundation, established the APEC Voices Secretariat in Singapore under the leadership of CEO Mr. James Soh, PMB MBE. Mr. Soh is also the Executive Director of the National Youth Achievement Award Council of Singapore.

Honoring and Renewing the Blue Green Wisdoms of the Epic Asia Oceania Voyages

The epic Asia Pacific voyagers in their great double hulled canoes navigated from China to New Zealand and Chile thousands of years before the start of Atlantic era -- thereby presaging APEC. In their honor, we take special note of the collaborative learning and leadership systems of the Master Navigators who steered those voyages. Their Blue Green Wisdoms of "Wayfinding" inform all our programs. They reckoned by sacred sea, sky and land compasses that were passed down from generation-to-generation. These compasses combined the knowledge and skills of fishers and farmers and elders, and were continually reviewed with their crews. These systematic “Wayfinding” processes provide us with a classic model of mentored, multi-sector, collaborative learning that we find particularly helpful in the multilateral and multicultural context of the Asia Pacific Century. By connecting the wisdom and knowledge resources of a wide array of Asia Pacific cultures, businesses, governments, NGOs, and strategic thinkers with our working teams of APEC students and educators, we seek to provide a Pacific Rim-sized compass for their engaged learning and later professional careers. We thank the Polynesian Voyaging Society of Hawai`i and its Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson for mentoring us in the larger wisdoms informing our programs. Please also see Auckland Museum's Vaka Moana, the Voyage of the Ancestors, and Hawai`i's Kamehameha Schools, for more on these important values and Blue Green Wisdoms of Wayfinding.

Learning with China's Beijing Olympics Generation

We launched our China GPS programs in 2009, in partnership with the International Division of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, China's ABAC Members, and the School of Foreign Studies at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing.  Our mission is to connect students from around the Pacific Rim and the rest of the BRICS with the Beijing Olympics Generation.

The pictorial reviews of these programs are more informative and wonderful than words, so we ask you to click on the China GPS posters and plan to join us in one of these programs soon!

The Iowa Asia Pacific Global Classrooms

Our first official state education partner was the Iowa State Education Association -- ISEA -- and their educators and students took the lead in each of the programs you see in this preview. Our signature partnership program, the Iowa Asia Pacific Global Classrooms, continues to build Iowa's opportunities in the world, BRICS by BRICS. Take a look at how this program responded to the Global Financial Crisis.

We continually give thanks for our many blessings. I honor here my Aussie Mom, June Mayne Gould, for her generosity as our sustaining patron, and all the members of our Leadership Team, past and present, for mentoring me and steering these programs into the Asia Pacific Century.

Noel Gould, JD MPA