By Paolo Pasini, Member of the Rotary Club of Rimini, Italy and Past District Governor of District 2072
Throughout my many years as a Rotarian, I have had the opportunity to serve in various leadership positions. Currently I am the District International Service Chair (DISC) for District 2072 and the End Polio Now Zone Coordinator for Zones 12 and 13B. Through these opportunities, I have learned so much about Rotary, and have been able to pass along my knowledge to fellow Rotarians. Professionally, I am a psychologist, and work on innovative ways of recruiting talent for a company producing machinery for sorting fruits and vegetables.
Last July, 15 other Rotarians from six continents and I were selected to attend a workshop to learn about the responsibilities of District International Service Chairs at the RI World Headquarters in Evanston, USA. Through this three-day workshop, we learned about the various tools and resources Rotary has to offer to help guide us in inspiring clubs within our districts to implement impactful and sustainable projects.
We also brainstormed strategies for building networks of experts within our respective districts – an essential responsibility asked of DISCs. The district network consists of local individuals with expertise in Rotary’s six areas of focus and experience designing and implementing projects and global grants. These experts then serve as a resource for members looking to enhance their club and district projects.
After the exciting workshop concluded, the participants became District International Service Champions. Each us not only supports the clubs in our own districts but also serves as a resource for other DISCs. Over the past few months, I have presented at various meetings and events throughout central and south Europe to empower other DISCs and district leaders with the information I learned during the workshop.
I have also been working with my fellow district and club leaders to bring the concept of the District Resources Network (DRN) to life. To do this, I coordinated with my district governor and the District Rotary Foundation Chair to contact all of our 52 clubs encouraging them to enroll in the network and share their expertise with fellow Rotary members.
Our Network now has 29 experts with 115 skills including grant writing, community assessments, audit management, and experience in Rotary’s six areas of focus. These individuals will use their skills to mentor fellow clubs within their area of expertise to help develop sound, measurable, and impactful projects.
Finding mentors for projects and grants is becoming an integral part of our district’s project planning process. Clubs can easily find mentors on District’s 2072’s website by searching for experts in project management, Rotary Grants, and Rotary’s Areas of Focus. Our goal is to grow our Network by recruiting even more experts from our 52 clubs.
One of the first people to respond to me was Gian Luigi Trevisani, a member of the Rotary Club of Cesena in Italy and Executive Vice President of Trevi Group, a company that work with dams, does research and management of water, roads, subways, and the environment all over the world. He wrote to me, “It is a great idea to build a DRN, I am excited to share my expertise with Rotarians who want to implement sustainable and impactful projects.”
This feeling is common among all the experts in our DRN. I am looking forward to growing the network and enhancing the impact we can make together. I encourage you to reach out and ask me questions through the District International Service Chairs Discussion Group.