By Rebecca Fry, Co-Founder of Rotary Fellowship of LEAD, Past President of the Social Impact Network Rotary Club
“Perhaps dreaming is not so bad if one dreams good dreams and makes them come true.”– Paul Harris
All projects and initiatives in Rotary start with someone’s dream for a better world. Our dream for the Rotary Fellowship of Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) started with a simple dialogue between Rotary friends realizing we, too, had a shared dream – We believe in a world where Rotary members and participants have the leadership skills and knowledge to create positive change in their local and global communities.
Our organization is home to many incredible leaders. The Rotary Fellowship of LEAD serves as an opportunity to bring together Rotarians, Rotaractors, alumni, and friends of Rotary who have an interest in leadership and personal and professional development through events where we can connect and learn from each other.
LEAD has six core objectives:
- Connect individuals passionate about leadership development.
- Facilitate conversations about leadership development.
- Provide leadership development resources.
- Educate individuals how to ideate, problem-solve, and lead.
- Host at least one leadership event around the Rotary International Convention.
- Host at least one annual retreat focused on leadership development and inspiration.
Our team was overwhelmed by the response we received when we launched the idea in mid-2021, with over 500 people expressing interest in joining the fellowship and over 50 people joining our breakout session during the 2021 Virtual Convention. We are pleased to have a number of projects in the works for the 2022-23 Rotary Year.
With the first in-person Rotary Convention in three years coming up in Houston, we’ll be hosting a series of coffee catch ups. This will create opportunities for interested members to enjoy face-to-face fellowship with members of our team.
We’ll shortly be launching a leadership-focused blog on our website. Our fellowship includes so many inspiring and diverse leaders, and this will provide a means for us to share the breadth and depth of their experiences. We’ll be providing the opportunity for all members to submit thought leadership posts for the blog.
We have also started planning for two exciting in person events in the 2022-23 Rotary year: a TEDx speaker style event for the convention in Melbourne, Australia and a Global Leadership Retreat.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Rotary Fellowship of LEAD, we would love to connect with you! Visit our website at rflead.org. Be sure to sign up on our expression of interest form so you can stay informed about upcoming opportunities. For those who have already signed up, look out for a more specific update landing in your email inbox soon!
As we serve to change lives and imagine a better future, we need people who roll up their sleeves and make it happen. Those are the people we find in the family of Rotary. Those are the people who truly lead. Those are the ones we’re trying to connect through the Rotary Fellowship of LEAD.