True Roots provides expert advice on international development issues as invited panelists and presenters at global events. As such, True Roots consultant Summer Lewis, alumna of the Rotary International Peace Fellowship program, presented at the Rotary Peace Symposium, “Partnering for Peace: Today’s Challenges—Tomorrow’s Successes”, in São Paulo, Brazil. The event featured keynote speeches by Nobel Laureate and former President of Costa Rica, Dr. Oscar Arias, and Steve Killelea, founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace.
Based on her work as an international development consultant, Summer was invited to present on two Symposium panels: “Can Economic Development Bring Peace? Perspectives, Challenges, and Possibilities” and “Rotary, Peace Fellowships, and the Future”. In both presentations, Summer emphasized the key role small-scale development projects play in addressing structural violence and meeting people’s basic needs, citing examples from her work with True Roots, a consulting firm specializing in the planning, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of social responsibility initiatives. Summer challenged the notion that small-scale endeavors lack the impact of large, multinational NGO projects, focusing on the collective efforts of Peace Fellows and Rotarians worldwide, stating:
“People may ask how one little project in one community makes a difference. But consider that there are thousands if not millions of these projects worldwide. Then consider all the Rotary Peace Fellows working on such projects. And then think about all the individual Rotary clubs carrying out projects in communities. When we consider these collective efforts, then its clear to see Rotary’s amazing impact.”
The event brought together more than 200 Peace Fellows, Rotarians, and professionals from around the world, providing Summer the opportunity to explore collaboration possibilities between True Roots and Rotary clubs carrying out social responsibility projects in their community.