New RI Theme Announced: ROTARY SERVING HUMANITY (38 Years of Rotary International Themes)

Each January, as Rotary District governors-elect from all over the world gather at the International Assembly for training and fellowship, the then Rotary International President-elect announces his (hopefully soon to be her) RI Theme.

The RI Theme sets the tone for what Rotary Clubs around the world will work towards once the Rotary International President-elect (RIPE), the 534 District governors-elect (DGEs) and the 35,000 Rotary Club Presidents-elect begin their new year on July 1st.

The excitement, anticipation and fanfare around RI Theme announcements have been a Rotary staple for the since 1955  and this year was no exception as RI President-elect John F. Germ said, and that being a part of Rotary is a “great opportunity” to make that happen.

Germ unveiled the 2016-17 presidential theme, Rotary Serving Humanity, to incoming district governors on 18 January at the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA.

“I believe everyone recognizes the opportunity to serve Rotary for what it truly is: not a small opportunity, but a great one; an opportunity of a lifetime to change the world for the better, forever through Rotary’s service to humanity,” said Germ.

Rotary members around the globe are serving humanity by providing clean water to underdeveloped communities, promoting peace in conflict areas, and strengthening communities through basic education and literacy. But none more important than our work to eradicate polio worldwide, he said.

The timing of releasing RI Themes is carefully choreographed to the training which incoming District Governors (known as District Governors-elect) and Club Presidents (known as Presidents-elect) receive as the added significance of the RI Theme is to keep Rotary fresh each year while provide unique inspiration to the incoming world-wide leadership.

Below are the RI Theme Pins for the past 37 years. Merchandising the RI Theme on pins, ties, scarfs, clothing, banners and other giftware has evolved steadily since 1979-80. Prior to that the RI Theme was communicated in booklet form.


DGE Mukund Nori heads to the International Assembly

DGE Mukund Nori

DGE Mukund Nori – preparing for July 1st

Did you know that the International Assembly is the one premier Rotary training event where all of the 534 District Governors-elect (those who will be District Governor on July 1st)  from all over the world come together to be trained by some of the best resources that Rotary International has to offer? Did you also know that this is the event where the Rotary International President Elect (RIPE), interesting acronym, will release the new RI theme for 2014-15?

Of course you knew that, it was part of my talk during the Official Governor Visits.

The International Assembly is the last stop on the multi-year training journey that incoming District Governors (DGE’s) make. They have spent the past several years attending dozens of PETS planning meetings, countless district meetings and zone meetings all in preparation for their year as District Governor.

It’s a full out sprint to July 1st for DGE Mukund after he returns from the International Assembly as from there he is responsible for running a District Leadership meeting, conducting (2) Pre-PETS meetings, having an integral leadership role in running NE PETS, running the District Assembly and then running his Installation event in late June. Sprinkled in between all of this are about 2-3 dozen somewhat related planning meetings that Mukund needs to be part of.

Mukund and Laima Nori

Mukund and Laima Nori

Rotary also recognizes that involving Spouses and Partners is critical to the success of a District Governor and as such they are also invited to Zone and International Assembly. So Mukund and Laima Nori, one of our favorite couples from the North Branford Rotary Club, are proudly representing D7980 in grand style this week in San Diego. Laima will attend training designed specifically for the DGE spouses.

Still with all of this preparation and work the job of District Governor is personally rewarding and I encourage others to walk down this path as well. Remember we are still accepting nominations for the 2016-17 District Governor position. <click here for more info>

More to come from the International Assembly: We will put up a blog post in a few days after the RIPE releases the new 2014-15 theme.

Below is a video of what typically happens at the International Assembly: