by John Borst, PP Rotary Club of Dryden, ON

The 2018 RI Convention is just days away. Those of us who have registered have had a chance to read the program and review the menu of breakout sessions available to us.

The banquet has five main courses: Developing leaders;  Service and projects; Engaging young leaders; Promoting Rotary, and Strengthening membership.

Being the nerdy, academic type, I was delighted to discover under the Promoting Rotary and Strengthening membership courses the following session:

Insights and Results From Recent Rotary Research Wednesday, 27 June, 13:30‑15:00, 105 (English)

Do you ever wonder what happens to the information Rotary collects in the surveys you’ve taken? Every year, Rotary conducts over 40 research studies, gathering important information from its members. Hear highlights from some of Rotary’s most important and interesting studies, and learn about the impact this research is making on our organization.

Then again, also being a bit of a cynic I wondered if this was a dessert, especially as it was on the final afternoon of the conference, a time when delegates may be trying to squeeze in a souvenir shopping spree.

Regardless, I want to thank the Rotarian who suggested the topic because Rotary has not been very forthcoming at sharing this kind of information.

A search of My Rotary under the term Research brings forth no useful papers, but all kinds of places the word “research” appears in print. Google does a little better. It finds a page with the exciting URL  Alas it provides little information except how to gain access to Rotary’s historical archives in person. The “research” page did, however, have a menu item.: “Learning and Reference” which has a page called “Documents.” Although detailed there was nothing there I would label “research”.

The main reason, I am excited by the availability of the session is because I have been trying to find a research paper that the Board of Directors received at it’s January meeting evaluating the Rotary Peace Scholars Program. It is the first of a two-part report prepared by outside auditors. I learned of it at the Presidential Peace Conference at Vancouver in February, but to date, my inquiries to acquire a copy have not born fruit.

I can only hope the session bears more fruit than my other searches.