//Empatico – Building Bridges Across Lines of Difference

Empatico – Building Bridges Across Lines of Difference

Meeting for the week of June 03 – June 09, 2019

This Meeting at a Glance:

Program: Empatico – Building Bridges Across Lines of Difference

Speaker: George Khalaf

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page.

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you. Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President-Elect Tzviatko:

Greetings Rotarians and Guests,

It has been such an exciting week for me — I got to meet 6 members of our club in person for the very first time over the past couple days, and as I write this the Rotary International Convention is about to officially kick off.

This week we have a program that I think many of our members will identify with. George Khalaf will tell us about his efforts to help children in today’s global society build empathy and appreciation for their differences.


President-Elect, Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

P.S. For those of you who didn’t know, our Past President Mitty Chang is a rockstar in the Rotaract and Rotary world. He literally knows everyone.

From left to right: Mitty, Tzviatko, Manuj, Ken, Maxi, Raquel


From left to right: Maxi, Mitty, Raquel, Alexandra, Ken. Below: Tzviatko


Guests, we are happy to have you join us this week!

As we see it, our flexibility as an online, asynchronous club allows a special type of service to Rotarians around the world: we make it easier for anyone to strive for and maintain 100% attendance. That keeps you engaged with Rotary’s events and ideas, and provides a moment of inspiration for devoting your creativity, talents, and resources to good causes.

You are certainly not required to pay anything in order to attend our meetings. However, if you would like to make a small contribution to our service efforts, you are welcome to do so in our secure Happy Dollars section down the page. This could be what you normally pay at your own club’s meetings for lunch, for example. Any amount is welcome, but first and foremost, we’re happy you’ve joined us, and hope you will share with others who we are and what we do to help inspire Service Above Self.

And don’t forget to fill out our attendance form so you get an email you can pass on to your club’s secretary!

Weekly Funny with the Lady of Laughter (LOL)

We believe laughter is an important part of life, and we should all make time to laugh a little. This segment of our meeting is meant to tickle you just enough. These funnies are curated by member Yvonne Kwan, our “Lady of Laughter!”

Happy June! Did you know that June is National Rose Month? I hope these jokes aren’t too thorny for you!

What did the big rose say to the little flower?
What’s up, bud?

How does a rose ride on a bike?
With its petals!

What do you get when you cross a sheepdog with a rose?
A collie-flower!

Weekly Inspiration

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change.

Without sketches or diagrams to guide them, the Tramontin family has built Venice’s iconic gondolas for five generations. Each flat-bottomed boat is bespoke to its gondolier and takes thousands of hours of labor to complete. Today, Renata Tramontin and her sister are carrying on their family’s centuries-long tradition. For them, Venice is defined by water, and there’s no more magical way of exploring the city than onboard a gondola.

The Last of the Gondola Makers

World of

Newest addition to the Brand Center

Rotary – Power In Our Connections

Learn more at https://blog.rotary.org/2019/05/01/newest-addition-to-the-brand-center/

Through a Rotarian’s Lens

Sometimes a photo can capture an amazing moment. In this section Member Keith Marsh shares his incredible photography!
If you’d like to submit a photo for this section please contact Keith.

Most of my Milky Way photos are complex images that required months of planning, travel to remote locations, precise multiple exposure settings, Photoshop editing expertise and a lot of luck. This is perhaps my easiest Milky Way photo taken in Boumalne du Dades, Morocco in 2017. After a torrential rainstorm at dinner time, the skies cleared at about 2 am the next morning. I only had to step about 30 feet outside my room to capture this image with some of the Moroccan buildings in the foreground. They were illuminated by faint lights from a small village nearby.

Coffee With a Rotarian

A natural part of Rotary is the networking and the fellowship you get out of meeting other Rotarians. Coffee With a Rotarian is a monthly program of our club where we match participating club members for one-on-one virtual (or in some cases in person) coffee meetings, so they can learn more about each other. This program is organized by member Tzviatko Chiderov.

This week we have Mahmood from San Jose, CA, USA reporting on a chat with Suzanne from Napa, CA, USA.

Suzanne is philanthropist and has helped young adults in need of a second chance to develop after a setback. She is very experience and has built a program based on her framework of values for young adults. Can’t want to see it soon – it is in Beta Trial. Suzanne also runs youth programs.
We had a very synergistic conversation and plan to continue our conversation and perhaps have some local programs.

We encourage all club members to participate in Coffee With a Rotarian. You can sign up here!

Service Report

Tell us about service you’ve done recently in your community.
Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey


On the first meeting of every month, we feature service reports from club members for the previous month. Thanks for your service everyone!

  • leConge Ziesenhenne, Monique: worked as a volunteer at a Soroptimist event
  • Gildart, Nate: A music fundraiser for a mental health care NPO in Japan.
  • Shaw, Heather: Prepare team for relay for life Campbell. Participated in relay for life Santa Clara
  • Chiderov, Tzviatko: Helped The Friendship Bench, an organization engaging in mental health awareness and treatment in Zimbabwe, with conducting a training and implementing a pilot of a field data collection project.
    Stabile, Sandy: Served dinner at Centerville Free Dining with Niles Fremont Rotary

For Members Only

Club Announcements

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we do regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of the events and service projects listed here.

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!

Our members Ferheen, Raquel, and Cecelia at a get-together during Raquel’s recent visit to the Silicon Valley!

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email [email protected]

What would you like to do?

Hey Members! Let us know what you want to do by posting in our members-only Facebook Group (if you don’t have access, please request it with Webmaster Mitty). Remember, you’re only taking advantage of the full impact of Rotary when you’re stepping up to get involved.

Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.


Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Here are the happy dollars contributions from last week!
This section is usually updated on the early hours of Saturday, so contributions made over the weekend may not be listed here.

Rory Olsen made a $20 donation.
Great weather. All is well.

Brian Liddicoat made a $15 donation.
Congratulations to my son for finishing his first golf tournament. Great time had by all.

Share your happy dollars thoughts with us and help with doing good around the world.

Fill out my online form.

Selected Comments

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select a few comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.


Here are the comments selected from last week’s meeting.

May Yam said:
Cecilia, your trip sounds life changing! Thanks for your contribution! I’m a filmmaker and have covered medical missions in Namibia and will be traveling to Uganda soon, so I know how meaningful these missions are! Looking forward to your blog!

Rory Olsen said:

The piece about the birthday parties for the children in the homeless center was amazing. Cecilia’s piece about going to Ethiopia also caught my attention. Wow! Two great pieces.

Vandana Agrawal said:

Cecelia’s enthusiasm and positive attitude to life is magnetic. Her willingness to embrace ambiguity with open arms is inspirational for a business leader like me. After watching ‘Helping Homeless Kids’ birthday celebration video I was left wondering why there were only black kids and no white kids in the video. The root cause of poverty amongst the blacks may need to be addressed. Temporary band aids ( kids birthday celebration for a couple of hours) may not be enough for the uplift of these homeless children.


Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: Empatico – Building Bridges Across Lines of Difference

Speaker: George Khalaf

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, entrepreneurship, and education, and how those contribute to service to others. Special thanks to member Roger Plested for leading our club’s Programs Committee in finding us amazing speakers each week.

Millions of people around the world do not have the opportunity to see new places, meet different types of people, or learn about other cultures. While technology has come a long way in connecting us, it can also stifle meaningful conversations and social interaction. By creating opportunities for educators and students to travel the world without leaving their classroom, we believe we can spark a movement to spread kindness and empathy around the world. Empatico was founded with the core belief that fostering conversations across lines of difference will allow children to discover their shared humanity and develop more empathy for one another.

Our speaker, George Khalaf, is the Executive Director of Empatico. George has over 20 years of international development and private sector experience, and was responsible for launching regional social entrepreneurship programs in the Middle East and North Africa. As a consultant with Accenture and Dalberg, George advised Fortune 500 companies, foundations, donor agencies, governments, and NGOs. He is a BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Fellow and on the Advisory Committee of Talent Beyond Boundaries and Seeds of Peace. George holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and a BA in Political Science from Swarthmore College.

Members and guests, please welcome George Khalaf!

George Khalaf – Empatico

Share your thoughts or ask our speaker a question in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page!

Additional Resource

Empatico homepage – www.empatico.org
Empatico blogs – https://blog.empatico.org/
Fast Company World Changing Idea – https://goo.gl/qUGcnC

Upcoming Program Recording Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online over Zoom video conference. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always https://zoom.us/j/5104080000. You are welcome to join us! Please note the timezone listed for all recordings is US Pacific Time (San Francisco, California, USA).

If you can’t join the live recording, please send your questions for an upcoming speaker to [email protected]

You’re Almost Done! Please complete The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done.

We have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

For all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Fill out my online form.

2019-06-08T01:10:34+00:00June 3rd, 2019|0 Comments