What was your favorite convention moment?

K.R. Raja Govindasamy

K.R. Raja Govindasamy, a former Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar, shares his favorite convention moment.

By Ryan Hyland, RI Editorial staff, reporting from Bangkok, Thailand

I caught up with a few Rotarians as they were getting ready to leave the 2012 RI Convention in Bangkok, Thailand, and asked what their favorite moments were.

Glen MacGillivray, a member of the Rotary Club of Petawawa, Ontario, Canada, said:

“The House of Friendship has been amazing. I’ve met an awful lot of people with shared interests and different interests. People who could help us with what we’re trying to do and us help them with what they want to do. We’re a small club. It was nice to be a part of something bigger. And hearing Muhammad Yunus was a great thrill. It’s a big reason why we came.” Continue reading

Go where people can hear you

Use social media

Participants in a workshop at the 2012 RI Convention. Social media is a valuable tool for sharing Rotary’s story.

By Antoinette Tuscano, RI Editorial staff, reporting from Bangkok, Thailand

As the staff person who does much of the social media for Rotary InternationaI, I listened with interest to Rotary leaders at the International Institute in Bangkok as they discussed the power of the Internet and social media in sharing Rotary’s story.

I understand why some people hesitate to use social media and why it can seem intimidating. Like many of you, I didn’t grow up with a smart phone in my hand twittering my every thought. I’m old enough to remember a time before cable TV and having to actually get up off the couch to change the channel. Continue reading

Rotaractors roll up their sleeves during convention


Rotaractors take part in a service project during the 2012 RI Convention in Bangkok, Thailand.

By Andrea Tirone, a member of the Rotaract Club of University of Toronto, reporting from Bangkok, Thailand

It’s official. I have attended five Rotaract Preconvention Meetings around the world, the most recent of which took place on 4-5 May, in Bangkok, Thailand.

This experience has been unlike any of the others because I also had the opportunity to attend the four-day Asia Pacific Regional Rotaract Conference immediately before.  Continue reading

Sights and sounds from the House of Friendship

Elvis impersonator

An Elvis impersonator performs center stage in the House of Friendship.

By Ryan Hyland, RI Editorial staff, reporting from Bangkok, Thailand

The House of Friendship is the heartbeat of the RI Convention. Having covered four conventions, I can safely say this is where you feel the pulse of the event.

Entertainment, food, arts and crafts, camaraderie, and service all combine in the House of Friendship, which each year is designed to capture the flavor of the host city while creating an environment that welcomes and embraces all cultures.

In Bangkok, the massive hall is lush with thousands of colorful flowers and ferns. Continue reading

Using alumni network to promote End Polio Now

Enda Young

Rotary Peace Fellow Enda Young in front of a live Twitter stream at the Rotary World Peace Symposium.

By Enda Young, a Rotary Peace Fellow to Thailand, attending the Rotary World Peace Symposium

On day two of the Rotary World Peace Symposium, we (class 12) ran a workshop session looking at how peace fellows (over 650 worldwide) can assist with the Rotary “End Polio Now” Campaign. 

Polio has not yet been eradicated from Nigeria, Afghanistan or Pakistan and one the reasons for this is the difficulties caused by conflicts in certain areas in these countries.  One of the aims of the session was to see if we could start to utilitize the alumni network in these regions and beyond. Continue reading

Service loves company

Marc LeBlanc and Eva Gorny

Rotaractors Marc LeBlanc and Eva Gorny take part in an icebreaker during the Rotaract Preconvention Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

By Ryan Hyland, RI Editorial staff, reporting from Bangkok, Thailand

Rotaract preconventions are a time to meet new friends, get reacquainted with old ones, share projects and experiences. Most of all have fun.

But a time to fall in love? That part didn’t quite make it in the Rotaract handbook. However, Rotaractors Marc LeBlanc and Eva Gorny did just that during the 2008 preconvention in Birmingham, England.

Both are members of the Rotaract Club of the University of Lethbridge, Canada. They went to Birmingham, as friends I might add, to represent their club as it was the recipient of the North American Rotaract Outstanding Project award for raising US$25,000 for a microcredit project in Costa Rica. Continue reading