Food wasn’t on the main menu during lunch at the World Water Summit on Friday, but rather, collaboration and fellowship.
Rotary members and expert speakers from the summit hunched over their plates exchanging ideas, swapping stories, and sharing projects about how they’re helping bring clean water and sanitation to the world.
“For a lot of people including myself, these types of informal, casual conversations are truly beneficial and speak to what Rotary is all about. There are things that come out of left field; things that you don’t expect,” says Tony Hollinsworth, a summit participant and member of the Rotary Club of Subiaco, Australia. “They can be a wonderful accident.”
Hollinsworth was one of 200 attendees at the water summit, learning about the importance of collaborating with private sector companies, NGOs, and government agencies on water and sanitation projects. During lunch he discovered that he shared a similar project in Lebanon as a district governor-elect who was also at the table. They exchanged business cards and promised to work together on future projects in the country.
So when you’re out to lunch this week, don’t think of it as a break, but rather an extension of the convention. Strike up a conversation while waiting in line at the cafeteria, browsing the House of Friendship, or waiting for the train to Sydney Olympic Park. You may be surprised how much you have in common.