The power of story to build a better future

Kiran Singh Sirah (middle with sunglasses) and other Rotary Peace Fellows at the Rotary Peace Symposium in Hamburg, Germany. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International.

By Kiran Singh Sirah, Rotary Peace Fellow and president of the International Storytelling Center

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of visiting Hamburg, Germany, to present a series of talks at the Rotary International Convention and Peace Symposium. I always look forward to the symposiums and the chance to reconnect with other Rotary Peace Fellows. The event underscored for me how much better it is to hear people’s stories in real life, in person, as opposed to on the news. Continue reading

Speed dating for peace

Attendees discuss partnering for peace durign the World Café. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

Attendees discuss partnering for peace during the World Cafe. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

By Ryan Hyland, Rotary staff

Even before the World Cafe session started today, the room was filled with excitement, with people hugging and laughing. It took a few minutes for former Rotary Peace Fellow Cherine Badawi to quiet the 240 people in the room at the Rotary World Peace Symposium in São Paulo, Brazil.

World Cafe, a structured conversation style that aims to spark open and intimate discussion, is modeled to resemble the atmosphere of a cafe. Instead of having white tablecloths, the small round tables were covered with plain white paper and colored markers that attendees could use to express themselves. 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.

Will water shortages threaten peace?

Dr. Isis Mejias Carpio with children in Kenya during a global grant project.

Dr. Isis Mejias Carpio with children in Kenya during a global grant project.

By Isis Mejias Carpio, a former Rotary Global Grant scholar. Sponsored by Rotary clubs in Houston, Carpio earned a dual PhD in water engineering from the University of Houston and the University of São Paulo. She will be a panelist at the Rotary Peace Symposium 4-5 June during a session on “The Impending Water Wars.”

Water is a key element in all aspects of life, from health to food security, education, and energy. That is what makes water security so important, and so hard to safeguard. As water scarcity becomes more real, collaboration will become critical. Continue reading

Former Costa Rican president headlines Peace Symposium

Dr. Óscar Arias Sánchez

Dr. Óscar Arias

Register today to hear Dr. Óscar Arias, former president of Costa Rica (1986-90 and 2006-10) and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize during the Rotary Peace Symposium 4-5 June.

During his first term as president, Arias brokered a peace agreement that ended brutal civil wars in Central America. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of that work.

The symposium will also feature Steve Killelea, founder and executive chair of Integrated Research Ltd., The Charitable Foundation, and Institute for Economics and Peace. In 2007, Killelea founded the Institute for Economics and Peace, an international think tank dedicated to building a greater understanding of the interconnection between business, peace, and economics, with particular emphasis on the financial benefits of peace.

The symposium is your chance to join Peace Fellows, alumni, and Rotary members as they celebrate Rotary’s work in peace and conflict prevention and resolution. Attendees will have the chance to share information about their activities and hear about new tools and resources from representatives of leading organizations in the field of peace and conflict resolution. Learn more about the Peace Symposium and register today.