February marks an extraordinary time for Rotary as we focus on Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention. This is an excellent time to visit RI President Gordon McInally's focus on Positive Peace. In my club visits, I shared that found myself initially perplexed by the term "Positive Peace," rooted in the belief that peace merely equated to the absence of violence or the fear thereof. I did not know that Positive Peace transcends this simplistic notion, encompassing attitudes, institutions, and structures that foster and sustain peaceful societies.

Positive Peace, as defined, provides us with a comprehensive framework to comprehend and tackle the myriad and intricate challenges facing our world today. It emerges as a transformative force, cutting across various sectors, facilitating progress, and making it easier for businesses to thrive, entrepreneurs and scientists to innovate, individuals to flourish, and governments to regulate effectively.

Rotary Peace Fellow Patricia Shafer, during her compelling presentation at the District 6270 Rotary Foundation Dinner, shared the rich history of Rotary's century-long commitment to peace through service. She emphasized the need for every Rotary member to embark on a journey of becoming a Peacebuilder, a rite of passage that can shape our collective legacy.

To aid in this journey, Rotary has joined forces with the Institute for Economics & Peace to create the Rotary Positive Peace Academy. This online learning opportunity, accessible at https://www.positivepeace.academy/rotary, is designed to deepen your understanding and identify concrete ways to engage in Rotary’s work in peace and conflict resolution, all through the lens of Positive Peace.

Over a self-paced two-hour session, you will:

  1. Learn the definition of peace and how it is measured.
  2. Understand the 8 Pillars of Positive Peace.
  3. Discover how Positive Peace contributes to building long-term societal resilience.
  4. Gain insights from Positive Peace projects worldwide.

The key advantage of investing your time in this academy is the enhanced preparation it offers for increasing the impact of your service projects. It transcends mere observation and listening, empowering you to acknowledge gaps in the human condition and collaboratively work towards repairing those gaps.

I encourage each Rotary member to seize this learning opportunity. Better yet, share it with your service partners, enabling them to witness the incredible potential that a network of 1.4 million Rotary members worldwide holds. Together, let us embody the Rotary spirit and strive to Create Hope in the World.