2021 Rotary International Convention

The Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG)

is at RICON, the 2021 Rotary International Convention


ESRAG Events at the 2021 Rotary International Convention

Here’s your quick guide to ESRAG’s World Environment Symposium June 11, and other environmental talks during the Rotary International 2021 Virtual Convention.  We’ve provided links for each event that requires registration.

June 10-16: House of Friendship Exhibits, 8 am – 6 pm, CDT (UTC-5)

Several ESRAG task forces, regional chapters, and project teams are exhibiting at the Rotary International Convention House of Friendship with chat available. We also have a complete ESRAG Exhibit Hall in 3-D Virtual Reality, where you can tour multimedia exhibits showcasing environmental solutions that Rotarians are implementing around the world. Here’s a link on how to use the Frame Virtual Reality platform.

Once you learn how to move in virtual reality, we hope you will enjoy this almost as much as strolling around in a live House of Friendship! Heartfelt thanks to Swedish Rotarians Klas Holmlund and Gunilla Östberg for guiding ESRAG volunteers into the virtual world!

June 11: The World Environment, ESRAG Annual Symposium, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, Taipei, repeated 8:30 am – 3:30 pm New York

Ten 30-minute talks by leading global experts on the major environmental challenges and solutions. Register here for this Zoom webinar. Your $20 ticket lets you watch any talk that interests you in either broadcast time. Read about the topics and speakers here. Each hour includes two talks on a major theme. Topics include microplastics, fire socio-ecology, edible plants, smart infrastructure, and improving the environmental impact of textiles. Enjoy ESRAG’s online festival of short environmental films between the two broadcasts.

June 13: Binish Desai, Plenary Talk, Rotary International Convention, 8 am CDT (UTC-5)

Register here for the Convention.

Binish Desai is one of South Asia’s leading innovators in creating products from materials like multilayer plastics and discarded face masks. He designs effective systems – including roles and branding opportunities for Rotary Clubs – to collect these wastes and hire previously impoverished women to manufacture beautiful, affordable building materials and consumer goods. Read about India’s Recycle Man here.

June 14, 9 – 10:30 am CDT (UTC – 5) Refrigerant Solutions Panel

Experts on the economics and technology of managing refrigerants will explain the dangers of these incredibly potent greenhouse gases and how Rotarians can help destroy and permanently prevent their release by leveraging carbon offset credits. Register here.

June 15, 8 am CDT (UTC-5) Protecting the Environment Through Global Grants, RICON Breakout Session

Register here for the Convention.

Panelists: PDG Joe Otin (Kenya), ESRAG Director Pat Armstrong (Australia) and Rotary Foundation Grants Manager Lauren Marquez-Viso

PDG Joe Otin is Rotary International’s Representative to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Co-Chair of the Rotary/UNEP Partnership on the Adopt-a-River Initiative for Sustainable Development. He chairs the Resource Mobilisation Committee for the World Wildlife Fund in Kenya. Joe’s multiple roles in Rotary include serving as a District Governor for D9212 (2019-20), Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Africa, and Co-Chair of the Rotary UN Day in Nairobi. A digital advertising specialist and media research analyst, Joe is CEO of The Collective, a digital ad agency.

Dr. Pat Armstrong, an expert in project planning and evaluation, is an ESRAG Director and Chair of the Communications team. She also chairs ESRAG’s dynamic regional chapter for for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands (ESRAG-ANZPI). A Rotarian since 2002, Pat is a Past President of both the Rotary Club of Doncaster Sunrise and the Rotary Club of Doncaster, where she is currently the team leader of the Sustainability Committee. Pat also serves as the Chair of the District 9810 Sustainable Communities Committee. In her professional life, Pat is an educator for sustainability and earned her Ph.D. on adolescent leadership for sustainability at RMIT University. Together with Clare Caulfield, she co-developed the Planning for Success suite of planning resources.

Lauren Marquez-Viso leads the Rotary Staff Green Committee and provided essential expertise to the trustees of Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation in the development of Rotary’s new Environment policy, which spells out what kinds of projects are eligible for global grants under the new Area of Focus. Joining the Rotary Foundation staff in 2008, she has guided grant applicants through every stage of Rotary’s grants process and managed millions of dollars of grants. Lauren was named a Regional Grants Manager in 2013. In this role she trains, mentors, and coaches Regional Grant Officers working in several nations in Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Caribbean. Lauren is a leader of the nonprofit Citizens’ Greener Evanston and led the team that developed the 2019 Climate Action and Resiliency Plan for the City of Evanston.

Our Focus

The six key focus areas for ESRAG to make a difference.




Sustainable Living






Food Security


Circular Economy