The world is changing rapidly and to continue thriving in the years ahead, Rotary must keep evolving. The new Action Plan has been designed to take the organisation over to the next 20–30 years,” said RI general secretary John Hewko, addressing the Rotary virtual convention. “This plan is intended to help us honour our past and embrace our future by guiding our organisation, members and supporters towards projects, opportunities and activities that support our vision,” he added.
The plan has four priorities — increasing Rotary’s impact, expanding its reach, enhancing participant engagement and increasing the ability to adapt. It is a step-by-step guide for Rotary clubs and districts to follow the path of growth.
“Often, organisations reach saturation at some point. This made us think what can we do differently, how can we engage members and take the organisation farther. This Covid pandemic has shown us that it is possible to change,” said Hewko, highlighting how Rotarians world over have learnt to adapt to virtual platforms. “We have learnt to embrace technology. We have expanded our reach through partnerships in various areas of focus. We have added a new area of focus — environment — and programmes of scale to fund large, significant projects to make a difference in communities. We have moved on to engage Rotaractors significantly, into the Rotary family. We can do a lot more on this.”
Clubs and districts are the core of Rotary. “One of the most important things clubs can do to support the Action Plan is to develop their own strategic plan that aligns to and reflects the priorities and objectives of the new strategy,” he said. Every club president, president-elect and nominee must work in tandem to ensure continuity over the years “so that we can all work together towards the same goals. We can evolve and keep Rotary not only relevant but thriving. We need to explore and adopt new, effective models and ways for people to engage with Rotary.”
Earlier Hewko took the convention attendees on a virtual tour of the One Rotary Centre — the RI headquarters in Evanston, Chicago, including the RI president’s office and the AKS Gallery.
Convention committee chair and past RI vice president Kenneth M Schuppert welcomed the delegates and invited them to “have fun” and participate in a walking challenge, cooking classes, yoga and meditation sessions, and even attend a dance party.