Rotary members fight human trafficking

By Megan Ferringer, Rotary staff

It is estimated that human trafficking generates $40 billion annually. That’s more than McDonald’s, Google’s, and Wal-mart’s profits combined.

Human trafficking, especially the commercial sexual exploitation of children, is a major problem. Continue reading

Kids can change the world too

Ten-year-old Lucía Gómez García speaks at the second plenary session at the Rotary Convention in São Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Alyce Henson.

Ten-year-old Lucía Gómez García speaks at the second plenary session at the Rotary Convention in São Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Alyce Henson.

Ryan Hyland, Rotary staff

Stagehands adjusted the microphones as low as they could go and slid a box into place. And then 10-year-old volunteer leader Lucía Gómez García of Argentina stepped up to the podium to tell Rotary members that kids her age can make positive change in the world.

“As kids we are relentless and happy,” said Lucía, addressing the Rotary Convention on 7 June. “We are always ready to explore and learn, but principally we’re spontaneous and clear. We don’t have problems to say if we don’t like anything. To tell the truth is natural and when we don’t do so, everyone knows, because we blush.” Continue reading

Rethinking the way we manage water

150606_wasragBy Megan Ferringer, Rotary staff

One of the world’s largest cities, São Paulo is located in a region that averages 145 centimeters (57.3 inches) of precipitation each year. That’s 64 more centimeters (25 more inches) than Seattle gets. The country is also home to roughly 12 percent of the world’s fresh water. But since 2014, the city has been gripped by its worst drought in 80 years, leaving millions of residents in the country’s most populated metropolis without reliable running water. Continue reading

Interactors aim to score a goal with soccer ball project

Interactors from California show off a  high-tech indestructible rubber soccer ball in the House of Friendship.

Interactors from California show off a high-tech indestructible rubber soccer ball in the House of Friendship.

By Ryan Hyland, Rotary staff

Soccer is not just a passion for Brazilians, it’s a way of life. It’s tradition. Entire industries are dedicated to the sport.

So it came as no surprise to me to walk by a booth in the House of Friendship and see people kicking a ball around. But these were no ordinary soccer balls. They’re made from high-tech indestructible rubber. You can puncture a hole in one of these balls or cut it down the middle, and it will still be playable. Continue reading

Enjoy Ivete Sangalo’s music at the Closing Plenary Session

Ivete Sangalo

Ivete Sangalo

Brazilian music superstar Ivete Sangalo, a Latin Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, will perform at the closing plenary session of the 2015 Rotary Convention in São Paulo, 9 June. Sangalo’s music is a high-energy fusion of Afro-Brazilian sounds called axé. She made her recording debut as lead singer of the group Banda Eva in 1993 on the album Banda Eva Ao Vivo, which included the 1994 carnival hit “Adeus Bye Bye.” After leaving Banda Eva, Sangalo made her solo album debut in 1999 and has since topped the charts with several albums and won numerous musical accolades.

Continue reading

Get the most out of the convention with our mobile app

150518_mobileapp2Plan your schedule, get the latest update on featured speakers and entertainment, download session handouts, and connect with friends using our convention mobile app. Whether you’re a first-time attendee or a seasoned convention goer, this app will help you get the most out of your convention experience. You’ll be able to:

  • Navigate the convention venue and House of Friendship with interactive maps
  • Create a schedule of events and sessions
  • Upload your photos to the convention photo album
  • Rate sessions and provide feedback to convention organizers

You don’t have to be connected to the Internet to use the app. Once you’ve downloaded it, the information remains available to you offline. Download it for free in iTunes, Google Play and Blackberry.

Learn how India became polio-free

Dr. Hamid Jafari

Dr. Hamid Jafari

You’ll have a chance to hear from one of the masterminds behind India’s successful drive to become polio-free during the Rotary convention in São Paulo, 6-9 June. Dr. Hamid Jafari will deliver the keynote speech of the Monday, 8 June, plenary session. As a medical officer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention working with the World Health Organization, Jafari led the polio eradication project in India from 2007 to 2012. India’s polio cases dropped from hundreds each year when he took the job to zero in 2011. India was officially declared polio-free in 2014 after a three-year certification period. Continue reading

An interview with philanthropist and entrepreneur Steve Killelea

Steve Killelea

Steve Killelea

By Convention Insider staff

After successfully building two international software companies, Australian Steve Killelea, an accomplished entrepreneur in high technology business development, decided to dedicate most of his time and fortune to sustainable development and peace. You can hear Killelea share his passion for sustainable development at the Rotary Peace Symposium on 5 June, and also during the 8 June plenary session of the Rotary Convention in São Paulo. Killelea is founder and executive chairman of Integrated Research Ltd., The Charitable Foundation, and Institute for Economics and Peace. Read an interview with Killelea in the May issue of The Rotarian and learn more about Killelea and other speakers at the convention. Register now.

Rotaractors enjoy special deals to Rotary’s Carnival

150424_carnivalRotaractors who register for the convention can attend Rotary’s Carnival for free! Don’t miss your chance to experience the energy and color of a typical Brazilian Carnival party. To receive your complimentary ticket, stop by the HOC ticket booth in the House of Friendship and present your convention badge.

If you register for the Rotaract Preconvention only, you can attend Rotary’s Carnival event for half price. Go online to purchase your ticket at the discounted rate of $15. You’ll receive an email confirmation to present at the HOC ticket booth.