Never let a good crisis go to waste. Winston Churchill famously spoke these words as he worked towards forming the United Nations after the Second World War – and for which Rotary was one of the founding fathers. Our third togetherTalks’ guest, Michael McQueen, reminded us of this quote.
Michael, the Sydney-based social researcher, professional speaker and best-selling author, speaks globally to organisations about how to stay relevant, and this is something which we all want for Rotary too.
He sees the togetherTalks platform as a great example of action being taken quickly towards this end goal. An opportunity born out of us all moving towards virtual platforms to connect.
There was nothing to say that we could not have done this sooner, but it took COVID-19 to see how we could be communicating differently – not only with Rotarians, but also with non-Rotarians too.
We know of at least 750,000 self-identified new volunteers emerging in support of the NHS and those who are in need in our communities. These are potential Rotarians – they just don’t know it yet! And this was the genesis of the togetherTalks.
Something new, something innovative, live-streamed each week, featuring a variety of speakers from across the globe, both inside and outside of Rotary.
We didn’t want it to be just another Zoom session. We wanted togetherTalks to be sharp, fast-paced with a professional edge, and driven by audience questions. We wanted quality speakers too, drawn from a variety of quarters.
We know of at least 750,000 self-identified new volunteers emerging in support of the NHS and those who are in need in our communities. These are potential Rotarians-they just don’t know it yet.”
So, very quickly, I pulled together a team including Dave King, editor of Rotary magazine from Elthorne-Hillingdon Rotary in Middlesex, Phil Dyer from Prescot Rotary on Merseyside, Vicky O’Farrell from Haywards Heath Rotary in West Sussex, James Anderton from Macclesfield Castle Rotary, and Jennifer Allen, publisher of Rotary magazine.
Former Rotary International Vice President, Jennifer Jones, kicked off the first togetherTalks on May 5th, with a live interview from Ontario, Canada. We’ve had some great speakers already including Holger Knaack, the incoming Rotary President.
Visitors’ sign up to each Tuesday evening talk via Eventbrite where they can post questions, and watch the 40-minute show live, from either a front seat in the Zoom room, or via YouTube.
Former Rotary International Vice President, Jennifer Jones, kicked off the first togetherTalks on May 5th, with a live interview from Ontario, Canada.”
All of the shows are uploaded straight away onto the Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland YouTube channel.
This is all about promoting Rotary, but in a subliminal way. togetherTalks seeks to enhance Rotary’s relevance, raise awareness of key contemporary issues, and reach a wider audience, beyond Rotary, with the goal of driving membership.
Now is the time for accelerated change which will define Rotary and enhance its relevance for a new generation. We need to be riding that wave of momentum now.
The togetherTalks provides a platform for Rotary to return to the essence of its roots – as the ethical, original social network.