Rotary Theme 2020-2021
RI President-elect Holger Knaack’s theme for 2020-21, Rotary Opens Opportunities,
asks Rotarians to create opportunities that strengthen their leadership, help put service
ideas into action, and improve the lives of those in need.
Every new member changes us a little bit. That person brings a new perspective, new
experiences. We need to embrace this constant renewal. We will grow stronger as we
learn from new members and take their experience and knowledge. That’s why we need
more women in our clubs and more women in leadership positions.
We also need to remember that meeting new people and making sure they enjoy their
membership is fun. We enjoy each other’s company and have a great time doing
whatever we do. We need to embrace these joyous experiences.
The best way for us to have fun is to be together — whether it is at a large gathering like
this assembly or the Rotary International Convention, at a service project, or in our
regular meetings. And being together makes us more effective.
And it should be no surprise that our vision statement begins with that word. “Together,
we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the
globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”
The vision statement forms the basis for Rotary’s new Action Plan, which you will have
a critical role in implementing. This new Action Plan is all about growing Rotary and
helping us adapt to the digital age. The time is now to take this Action Plan and run
with it. Over the next five years, this plan will increase our impact, expand our reach,
enhance participant engagement, and increase our ability to adapt.
I would like every Rotary club to have a strategic meeting at least once a year. Each club
should be asking where it wants to be in five years and know what value it brings to
What makes Rotary so unique and worth sharing with the world? What unique
opportunities do we open for you and for the people we serve?
We love people and, wherever we go in the world, Rotarians become our best friends
and you wish you had more time with them. We are people from different backgrounds,
different generations, languages, and cultures. Even the way that we live Rotary is
different country to country and club to club. And that diversity makes us great.
We are held together by the values we share. We are all bound in friendship and we all
believe in The Four-Way Test. Rotary is experienced a different way everywhere. But
The Four-Way Test remains the same for everyone.
Rotary provides opportunities for service projects that can be performed and completed
by us. These projects are meaningful and sustainable. In Rotary, we don’t just donate
the money, we also perform the service and see the lasting impact of that service
firsthand. This is unique.
Rotary has given many of us the opportunity to travel the world to help put our service
ideas into action.
Rotary also provides opportunities for leadership. All of us have taken on great new
responsibilities. This is our opportunity to strengthen our network, not for our personal
glory, but for the good of Rotary. Creating pathways to leadership for others is a true
Rotary ideal — and it will make you a more effective leader.
We are here because we believe in Rotary opportunities, in opportunities for others and
for ourselves. We believe that our acts of service, big and small, create opportunities
for people who need our help. We also know that every act of service will inspire and