If your club or district is interested in projects that advance peace,
you’ll want to go to the Rotary Peace Symposium in Hamburg just
before the 2019 Rotary International Convention. Rotarians, Rotary
peace fellows, alumni, and experts in the field will gather to explore
how partnerships can advance peace in communities worldwide.
The two-day event, 31 May and 1 June, is themed Sustaining Peace
Through Partnerships and will take place at the Hamburg Messe.
Distinguished speakers, including Stephen Killelea, founder and
executive chair of the Institute for Economics and Peace, will offer
their insights. The IEP is one of Rotary’s partners in advancing peace.
Nearly 30 breakout sessions will cover topics from advancing
women’s rights and training young peacebuilders to working with
the United Nations to help refugees, using sports and art to promote
peace, and understanding infrastructure and peace.
Walter Gyger, a former Rotary representative to the United Nations
and the UN Economic Commission for Europe, is on this year’s
planning committee and says that maintaining peace and solving
conflicts are humanity’s biggest challenges.
“We need to make Rotarians more aware of what Rotary is doing
in this area,” says Gyger, a member of the Rotary Club of Genève
He adds that the symposium will give Rotary members ideas for
conducting peace activities with their clubs or districts, and the
breakout session topics came from peace center participants and
“Many [members] know about our peace centers and fellows. But
our breakout sessions will focus on how succeeding in projects in the
other Rotary areas of focus can help with peace,” Gyger says.
Former Rotary Peace Fellow Kristin Post is looking forward to
attending this year’s symposium and says that alumni and Rotarian
peace efforts are a “game changer.”
“As a peace fellow, it’s invaluable to reconnect with alumni and
meet new colleagues, because we can have serious discussion on
how to best use our skills to serve our communities, locally and
globally,” says Post, a member of the Rotary Club of Dupont Circle
Washington, D.C., USA. “The symposium and the convention show
how powerful Rotary’s reach is.”
Meeting with current and former peace fellows is a great way to
become inspired to get involved with peace projects. Attendees will
also have a chance to meet the directors of the Rotary Peace Centers.
“This is a tangible way to understand what our peace fellows are
doing and learning,” Gyger says. “Becoming engaged with our
peace fellows will help you understand what is being done on