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At convention, inspiration around every corner

It’s a tale as old as the Rotary International Convention: Two members from different clubs bump into each other, start chatting, and get the spark of an idea for a project.

So don’t be shy about starting a conversation with the stranger standing next to you or someone you meet over a meal at the convention 25-29 May in Singapore. After all, two people who talked at a bus stop at the 2016 convention in Seoul went on to plan a project fair in Africa.

Image credit: Brittany Anne Scott

Members regularly share stories about chance convention encounters that lead to meaningful projects — the kind that fulfill this year’s convention theme: Sharing Hope With the World.

They have met while painting a playground during the 2012 convention in Bangkok, lingering after breakout sessions, and, of course, visiting House of Friendship booths. Members relish the chance to meet new friends from other countries to find global grant project ideas, but they also run into potential project partners from their own state, province, or district.

After making a convention connection, Rotary members from countries across the world have worked with new partners on countless initiatives, including providing ShelterBoxes to refugees, launching a Rotaract multidistrict information organization, and recycling millions of plastic bottle caps to raise money to end polio.

A Georgia club’s article about a global grant with a club in India to build toilet facilities captures the convention’s influence: “This all began at the Atlanta RI Convention in 2017.” What seed of an idea will you find in Singapore this spring?

This story originally appeared in the February 2024 issue of Rotary magazine.

Join us for the Rotary International Convention in Singapore, 25-29 May.