Rotary's roots are in the search of human security, cooperation and internationality, being ready to help the mankind and surrounding society. The years after Rotary's birth were revolutionary and full of great uprisings. Rotary grew slowly until the end of the Second World War, grew rapidly until 1995 and stabilized then to present 1.2 million levels.

Connections to the west were opened and the US controlled standard of living, in so called free-world, became a common goal. Rotary’s status was high and membership ensured social rise, success, and emerging education. More or less aristocratic club profiles varied in many respects, service having the highest priority.

The increase in knowledge, the new worldview, and need for global help concentrated Rotary’s service activities to many areas of health care, social services, and education round the world. The status and relevance of Rotary was stable until the turn of the millennium when the priorities, personal values and use of time changed dramatically.

New ingredients are essential to creating an environment where people are willing to invest their time.  Intellectual stimulation is defined as encouraging innovation and creativity, as well as critical thinking and problem-solving. Young people don’t want to stay as passive members when the surrounding environment needs a new approach and ability to identify and solve problems creatively.

The difference in membership profile is clearly visible in the statistics of the old industrial countries, emerging economies and hierarchical societies. Well alive in the old world are the clubs which have been able to regain and maintain their strong traditions but are open to new procedures. Those clubs also have got new members with more dynamic program ideas.

Nowadays the influence of Rotary has emerged also in the world politics. Highly trained and motivated members round the world can do much, in their communities, for world understanding and peace.

Lars-Olof Fredriksson, Rotary International Director 2008-10

Our mission

We provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

Our core values

Our values are an increasingly important component in strategic planning because they drive the intent and direction of the organization’s leadership.

These core values are:

  • Fellowship and global understanding

  • We build lifelong relationships.
  • Ethics and integrity

  • We honor our commitments.
  • Diversity

  • We connect diverse perspectives.
  • Vocational expertise, service, and leadership

  • We apply our leadership and expertise to solve social issues.


Rotary’s strategic plan identifies three strategic priorities supported by 16 goals. They represent what Rotarians have asked to be done to ensure a strong and vibrant Rotary going into the future.

Support and strengthen clubs

  • Foster club innovation and flexibility
  • Encourage clubs to participate in all service
  • Promote membership diversity
  • Improve recruitment and retention
  • Develop leaders
  • Start new, dynamic clubs
  • Encourage strategic planning

Focus and increase all service

  • Eradicate polio
  • Increase sustainable service
  • Increase collaboration with other partners
  • Create significant projects

Enhance RI image and awareness

  • Unify image and brand awareness (look to the right)
  • Publicize action-oriented service
  • Promote core values
  • Emphasize vocational service
  • Encourage clubs to promote networking

Disaster recovery

R otarians can identify disaster preparedness and recovery projects to support through ProjectLINK . Contributions to projects listed on ProjecLINK can be sent through Rotary International Headquarters or the International Service Offices.

To provide the most effective, efficient, and immediate relief to disaster victims, Rotarians are encouraged to work with well-established international relief agencies, such as UNICEF , the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies , and Doctors Without Borders . Or Rotarians can work with Rotary club or district relief initiatives, such as ShelterBox , World Water Works and Aquabox.

Number of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people count now the most since World War II. Afgahans, Syrians and Somalis made up more than half of the global refugee population. 50% of them children, Syrians alone 11 milion!  Globally, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum.


Lars has been a Rotarian since 1985 serving D1390, Finland, as governor 1999 and several years as District Trainer.- Rotary International Lars served as RI Director (2008-10), PR task force member, zone coordinator and several other task forces. He has also been COL representative 2007 and NMRCP country representative. Lars has visited, with his wife Nina, 12 District Conferences as President’s Rep. and 12 RI Conventions, latest in Seoul. As RI Director he managed two RI Institutes (Tampere 2008 and Warsaw 2009).

  • Friendship
  • Tolerance and integrity
  • Development of professionalism
  • Development as a human being
  • Development as a leader
  • Development as a citizen and as a citizen of the world
  • Spiritual growth and learning
  • Social satisfaction
  • Public appearance
  • Travel-related contacts
  • Many forums for events
  • Multiple networking
  • Connections to other actors
  • Occupations becoming familiar
  • Development of cultural awareness
  • Rotary's appreciation
  • Encounter new people
  • Religiously unbound
  • The value of the service is emphasized
PDF-tiedostoRI AT A GLANCE LOF 2017.pdf (2.8 MB)
PDF-tiedostoRI DECISION MAKING 2016.pdf (773 kB)
PDF-tiedostoRI STRATEGIC PLAN HISTORY 2006-13.pdf (577 kB)