Highlights from the 2017 Rotary International Convention – Atlanta

  1. “The $1.2 billion dollars we raised today is a pledge,” Cena says. “Let’s turn our promise into a reality, and protect the world’s most vulnerable children from a preventable disease. I’ve been so inspired being in this room today that I want to personally be involved in this campaign until we reach that milestone. That’s my pledge to you.”

John Cena devotes much of his time working on behalf of numerous charitable causes. He joined Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign in 2015 as a celebrity ambassador and is Make-A-Wish’s most requested wish granter of all time and the only celebrity to grant 500 wishes. Cena also committed to Susan G. Komen and has helped raise more than $1.6 million for breast cancer research and awareness. He is a longtime supporter of the U.S. military, recently recognized by USO Metro as the recipient of their 2016 Legacy of Achievement Award. He recently starred in Ad Council’s Love Has No Labels campaign, We Are America, to further the message of acceptance and love for all communities across the United States. In addition to his work in the community, Cena is a powerhouse on social media with 44 million Facebook fans, making him the most popular active U.S. athlete on Facebook. He is also one of the most followed athletes on Twitter and Instagram with 9.5 and 6.8 million followers respectively.

Cena’s well known acting credits include roles in The Wall, Trainwreck, Sisters, and Daddy’s Home. Cena is the host and executive producer of American Grit, the second season will premiere in June 2017.  Cena has hosted the ESPYS, the Teen Choice Awards, Saturday Night Live, and the Kids’ Choice Awards. He frequently co-hosts the 9 a.m. hour of TODAY. This Christmas, John will voice the title role of Ferdinand the bull in Ferdinand, the animated film based on the iconic children’s book.

As the face of the WWE and a 16-time world champion, John Cena combines his athleticism, charisma, strong work ethic, and genuine personality to make him one of today’s brightest stars.

About John Cena



Ashton Kutcher also joined the  Convention – advocating an end to human sex trafficking that is a terrible reality in today’s world.

Ashton Kutcher

Co-founder of Thorn, Ashton Kutcher is an actor, tech investor, and philanthropist focused on using technology to effect positive change in the world. In February, Kutcher testified before Congress at a Senate committee hearing on ending modern slavery and human sex trafficking.

Thorn drives technology innovation to fight child sexual exploitation. Thorn partners with nonprofits and academic institutions to gather new insights into the role technology plays in child sex trafficking, the creation and proliferation of child pornography, and the normalization of child sexual exploitation. Thorn then goes beyond insight to action to develop the tools, systems, and approaches to help address these issues. Currently, more than 1,100 law enforcement agencies use Thorn’s Spotlight tool, which leverages machine learning algorithms to allow officers in the field to connect disparate data to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of domestic sex trafficking investigations. This year alone, Spotlight is being used by more than 4,500 law enforcement officers in over 7,500 trafficking investigations. It has helped law enforcement identify more than 6,000 trafficking victims and 2,000 traffickers.

Time Magazine named Kutcher among their Top 100 Most Influential People. He was also honored by Vanity Fair on their New Establishment List, which identifies the top 50 of an innovative new breed of buccaneering visionaries, engineering prodigies, and entrepreneurs.



Bill Gates

Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with co-chair, Melinda Gates, he shapes and approves grant-making strategies, advocates for the foundation’s issues, and helps set the direction of the organization. Gates began his major philanthropic efforts in 1994, when he created the William H. Gates Foundation, focusing on global health. Three years later, he and Melinda created the Gates Library Foundation, which worked to bring public access computers with Internet connections to libraries in the United States. Its name changed to the Gates Learning Foundation in 1999 to reflect its focus on ensuring that low-income minority students are prepared for college and have the means to attend. In 2000, to increase efficiency and communication, the two groups merged into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About Bill Gates

Follow the Convention this week as leaders from all around the world collaborate to solve real problems. No fake news here.

From the breathtaking opening ceremony and world-renowned speakers to informative programs and spectacular entertainment, the Atlanta convention promises to be an unforgettable experience. Here are some highlights.

All convention activities will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center unless otherwise noted.

Program book

Thursday, 8 June

Friday, 9 June

Saturday, 10 June

Sunday, 11 June

  • Interfaith service | 08:30-09:15
  • House of Friendship | 09:00-18:00
  • Opening Ceremony – first seating | 10:00-12:30
  • Opening Ceremony – second seating | 15:30-18:00

Monday, 12 June

Tuesday, 13 June

Wednesday, 14 June

Author: Aaron Fritz

Joined Rotary in 1999. Past President of the Highlands Ranch Rotary Club, Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Castle Pines, Past President of the Rotary eClub of Arizona, Past Assistant Governor for District 5490 and Assistant Governor for District 5495. Multiple Paul Harris Fellow (3 currently). 2nd Generation Rotarian.