Innovation in Pacific development

On the opening evening of the Pacific Connect Dialogue in February 2020, 28 women from across the Pacific gathered to meet and greet in the heart of Brisbane, Australia.

Our purpose? To empower Pacific women in their personal and professional development.

The vision? To future-proof our Pasifika with innovative ideas around governance, health, education, and business.

Why? To live quality lives in equitable societies, drive out poverty and bridge the distribution gap between the Pacific and developed nations.

Pacific cultures are grounded in tradition and heartfelt values that enable us to be who we are.  It is our contribution to the world to promote our cultural ethics and utilise our values in a way that contributes to a progressive future for Oceania.

Fast forward a year, we did not anticipate the extent the Coronavirus pandemic would have on our world.  The repercussions of COVID-19 on international travel and trade, public and private sectors, and politics would change the way we interact.

Despite this, social determinants of health, poverty and limited qualifications through formal education in the Pacific have not ceased.  If anything, through this pandemic many health determinants were exacerbated or illuminated from plain sight.  Now more than ever, it is evident that we need to provide innovative solutions for Pacific development and sustainability.

In February 2021, ICDP supported an initiative driven by EI8HT SPORTS and EI8HT GOALS named, “BRAINWORX.”  Initially planned as an in-person event in Brisbane, several lockdowns shifted this workshop to an online webinar, thus expanding the opportunity to the Pacific and surrounding nations.  The ability to be agile in our current world is critical to ensure that Pacific development is not hindered by challenges in technology, trade, or geographical location but rather brought into these conversations to promote inclusivity and cultural competence.

BRAINWORX was a woman’s online dialogue to understand how our brain works.  Guest speakers in Ayurveda, mainstream medicine, Pacific research, oral health, and public health offered advice on ways to improve our quality of life.  The aim was to empower women to take an active role in their health by making conscious choices to change the way they think and interact with the world.  To do things differently, we need to first be aware of how and why.  BRAINWORX looked to understand our bodies on a cellular level.  Enabling people to then make their own informed decisions on how to actively change their thoughts, feelings and behaviours leading to how they experience health at an individual and community level.

Thank you ICDP for your continued support for EI8HT SPORTS and EI8HT GOALS.  Your dedication to advancing the Pacific through ample opportunities and your contribution to empowering women around the world.  Fa’afetai tele lava mo le avanoa taua

Esmeralda Lo Tam

Esmeralda Lo Tam


Esmeralda Lo Tam is the Founder of "EI8HT", supporting, uplifting, educating and celebrating women in their own unique journey through a holistically healthy lifestyle. From launching her business in Samoa in December 2018 to setting up in Australia in January 2019, the “EI8HT” brand has developed and expanded swiftly. She has represented the Pacific at the UNDP Youth Co:Lab and was awarded the 2018 Asia Pacific Youth SDG Innovative Award.