Twitter and its incessant tweets seem to have helped the world devolve into two opposing camps capable of little more than self-fueled indignation. No longer is rational discourse the norm. Now, if you disagree with someone, it is not a matter of philosophy. It must only be that they are evil.
However, this comment tweeted at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta that wrapped up on Wednesday should be something that resonates positively with most people.
Rotary International President-elect Ian H.S. Riseley, who will become RI president on July 1, presented his case that protecting the environment and curbing climate change are essential to Rotary’s goal of sustainable service. Riseley, a member of the Rotary Club of Sandringham, Victoria, Australia, will preside under the 2017-18 presidential theme “Rotary: Making a Difference.”
He also urged clubs to improve their gender balance and lower the average age of their members. Only 22% percent of Rotary’s members are women. Although that is well up from 13% a decade ago, Riseley said at that rate it will take another three decades for Rotary to achieve gender parity.
(Note: SRC membership is 26% female on the overall roster, although that percentage spikes much higher among our truly active, involved membership.)
Riseley also said he believes it is imperative that clubs find ways to attract and engage younger members. Today, only 5% percent of reported members are under 40, and a majority of members are over 60. “Consider what Rotary stands to look like 10 or 20 years from now if we don’t get very serious, very soon, about bringing in younger members.”