In Gear | Rotary in Southern New Zealand In Gear - Issue 3 - Page 26

Were there particular opportunities for Rotary highlighted during the assembly? Mitty Chang talked about change management and the challenges we face to attract the next generation. We still have a big job ahead of us to finish off polio. This project has shown us the power of working with strong, and like-minded, partners. We also raised $US100,000 through a “Polos for Peace” sales campaign and a silent auction of some sports gear. This will fund a peace scholar and two certificate scholars. We can expect to see a real emphasis on peace during Ian’s term. Were there common challenges referenced? Membership is an issue in the western world. New Zealand, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom are all in decline, which is offset by growth in India, Taiwan, Korea, Philippines and Indonesia. In all, what did you take away from the conference? Peace scholar Anne Reichert’s presentation was amazing. It is always amazing to see the internationality represented. The literacy project was special, and to learn so many children in the San Diego area did not have access to books was a real eye-opener for us. What were the highlights? Working with the Rotary International staff. They are so professional and effective, particularly those in the learning and development area. The opening night Olympic-style march past was pretty cool as well – probably because it announced we were underway after so many months of planning! And, finally, the current strategic plan was discussed, and the governors’ group was asked then to look at Rotary eight-to-10 years ahead and give feedback, which Ian Riseley presented on the last day. All Rotarians need to hear that speech. As one of the architects of the global strategy during your time as Rotary International director between 2010 and 2012, Stuart, how do you think the organisation is tracking, locally and internationally, in line with that vision? Progress is slow, but it is progress. Often, the legislation follows reality. There are new clubs emerging and new ways of doing things starting to gain traction. The weekly meeting format will not survive universally ... for some clubs it will, but, more and more, we are seeing project- based groups emerge. The need for our work remains in our communities and around the world. How we deliver assistance will change. It is clear the incoming president, Ian Riseley, will encourage this flexibility during his term. Page 26 | In Gear - Rotary in southern New Zealand - District 9980 | www.rotarydistrict9980.org