//Leveraging Design to Solve Big Problems in Education and Beyond

Leveraging Design to Solve Big Problems in Education and Beyond

Meeting for the week of April 27 – May 03, 2020

This Meeting at a Glance:

Program: Leveraging Design to Solve Big Problems in Education and Beyond

Speaker: Leslie McBeth & Rachel Franks

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!

To properly attend this meeting, please:

  1. Read and watch the content below in its entirety.
  2. Complete the attendance survey.

Everyone is also encouraged to leave a comment in the Disqus section at the bottom of the page.

Table of Contents

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President Tzviatko:

ReCSV President's Message for the week of Apr 27, 2020

President 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!

The Four Way Test

The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships.

Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Rotary's Four-Way Test

Members of the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley from around the world

🎂 🎈 🎉 🎁 🍾
Happy Birthday!!

Mark Busani (May 3)
May Yam (May 1)
Vandana Agrawal (May 2)

From around the world,
Wishing you all the best, on your birthday and always!

🎂 🎈 🎉 🎁 🍾

Members and guests, consider donating in their honor in our Happy Dollars section below.

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!”

April 28 is National Superhero Day! We are all superheroes in our own way, so here are some jokes to celebrate the super job you’re all doing!

What do you get when you cross a superhero with a potato?

What happened when Iron Man teamed up with Silver Surfer?
They became alloys!

Which superhero hits the most home runs?

Weekly Inspiration

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

Born in Tokyo to parents who were monks, Kodo Nishimura wasn’t interested in Buddhism when he was younger. But his thinking changed. Today, this out and proud gay man is both a monk and a professional makeup artist who has worked with the likes of singer Christina Milian and model Halima Aden.

Nishimura uses his religion and his makeup skills to encourage LGBTQ people to feel good about themselves. “I want people to feel that they are equal, they are powerful, they can be who they are and be proud,” he says.

This Buddhist Monk Is a Celebrity Makeup Artist

Member  Spotlight

This week’s Member Spotlight is Cecelia Babkirk! Here is what they have been up to lately:

No, I haven’t gone native, nor have I joined a religious order!

For nine months, between June 15, 2019, when I retired from the mortgage business and March 21, 2020, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia.  I taught English to 11th graders in the rural town of Soda, Ethiopia.  Soda is located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR).  Along with all Peace Corps Volunteers worldwide (7,300+), I was evacuated and returned to California on March 22nd and I miss Soda, my school, teacher colleagues and especially, my students!

I plan to return, with or without the Peace Corps, when it is safe to do so.  In the meantime, despite the very limited connectivity there, I have instituted a “Distance Learning by Mobile Phone” effort, where I text (using WhatsApp or IMO) assignments to them and they complete them and text the answers back to me.  Like the US and many other parts of the world, the schools are closed, the economy is virtually shut down and everyone is sheltering and social distancing.

This has been one of the richest experiences of my life and I can hardly wait to go back!

World of

Please welcome Rotarian Richard Clarke from the Strathcona Sunrise Rotary Club who stopped by during a previous meeting!

The Strathcona Sunrise Rotary Club was charted in Feburary of 1987. We were the third club in the Comox Valley – today we have five clubs. The Comox Valley is home to several communities mid-island on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island in D 5020.

Our membership hovers around the low 60’s. When the club was formed – there were two rules that we have followed to this day. As we are breakfast club – members were encouraged to come to the meeting in their work clothes be it business dress or overalls. The second was that we would not have fundraiser which required members to sell tickets.
Our current fundraisers are – Have a Heart musical show – we market the show but sell the tickets through a couple of ticket vendors. The second is an annual Ribfest – which we ask for a donation at the gate.

We do a mix of community and international projects. Our most recent projects was to ship $500,000 worth of medical equipment and supplies from our old decommissioned hospital to Branda Medical Clinic in Sierra Leone with the help of the Freetown Rotary Club, Vision Volunteers Canada and the The Rotary World Help Center in the Vancouver BC area.

A couple of photos of our Rotary team loading the container is attached.

Here is a short video clip of an ad for our Ribfest:


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.

Here is another photo from Ferheen: For my birthday in 2016, my father bought me a simple DSLR camera (Canon Rebel T5) and I was itching to try it out. After returning back to Japan, I decided to take a trip to Kyoto very early in the morning to avoid all the tourist traffic to shoot the gorgeous Fushimi Inari shrine.

This picture is one of the most famous shots of this shrine. There are about a thousand “torii” gates that line the mountain path. They are bright orange in color but I decided to turn this picture black and white to relay the sense of calmness I felt. If you ever go to Japan, I highly recommend going to the Fushimi Inari shrine, but only early in the morning when no one is there.

It is a 5 minute train ride away from Kyoto Station. (Editor notes: What I like about this composition are the leading lines that lead you down the tunnel and the lamps is in an ideal location based on the “Rule of Thirds”.

Learn Something New

This section is curated by members Shags Shagrin and Rushton Hurley and aims to teach our members and guests something new, fun and useful! If you have any ideas on a fun trick or skill you’d like to share please contact Rushton or Shags.

Al Jolson & Cab Calloway

Shags here! I grew up at my grandfather’s movie theater watching Warner Bros. cartoons: Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes on Saturdays and Sundays. One of my favorites was the parody of the life story of Al Jolson, who was a good friend of my grandfather in the days of traveling Broadway shows through the countryside by train. In it, “Owl” Jolson sang the title song, “I Love to Singa”.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hRSfvpOz4A) Little did I know as a child that it was based on the real song of the same name from the movie The Singing Kid (1936) featuring Al and Cab Calloway. Enjoy!

Al Jolson and Cab Calloway: "I Love to Sing-a" (1936)

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 Sandy from Fremont, CA, USA reporting on a chat with Rory from Houston, TX, USA

This month I had CWR with Rory and his beautiful cat Jasmine. Rory is a retired Judge but still sits for a few arbitration cases.
We chatted about so many different topics from Rotary to Hurricane Katrina. We both agreed that CWR is a great program.

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

Relay for Life

Hello, eclub!

So many of you have shared moving stories of those you remember and those you honor as they struggle against cancer. We’ll share those over the coming weeks, and today, we’ll highlight a story from Brett and Angela:

Here’s a photo taken when Angela and I went to visit my grandmother in Singapore and spent some time with her in January this year. She beat breast cancer 20 years ago and has been fit and healthy ever since, so when we called her on Christmas Day we were startled to find out she had been hospitalised.

In early January, test results came back showing she had late stage lung cancer which was a big shock to everyone. She started a new treatment whilst we were there and the good news is that she seems to be responding well and when we spoke with her on the phone recently she sounded much stronger. We hope that this treatment continues to work and that she will be able to defeat the cancer once again.

Honoring others and raising money for research, education, and programs for patients and caregivers is something we want every member of the club to be part of.

If you have yet to join in, it’s not too late! You can send a message (to rushton@gmail.com) or donate (http://main.acsevents.org/goto/rushton), and when the in-person event rolls around in October (exact date to be determined), you can join in for the Relay for Life!



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!

Help the vulnerable in your community during COVID-19

Helping Hands Community | Grassroots COVID-19 Response

Helping Hands is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the most at-risk people in our community stay safe at home, while getting the supplies they need. It works by connecting local volunteers who can run critical errands, such as grocery shopping, with the most vulnerable members of our community.  If you or someone you know needs help, fill out a request. If you are healthy and able to volunteer, please sign up to help. Together, we can help flatten the curve of COVID-19 by protecting our community’s most vulnerable.

Additional resources:

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.

Past Events:

April 25th  Online Social

During the April 25th Online Social, we played 2 Truths and a Lie. In Disqus below, select which of the following stories you think is a lie and we will reveal the truth in next week’s meeting!

Was on Japanese TV
Was on the local radio
One of her Facebook posts went viral

Loves to wash dishes
Ate 30 hard boiled eggs after watching Cool Hand Luke
Installed a car A/C without a motor lift.

Killed a 350 lb black bear with his jackknife
Was struck by lightening twice in the same day
In his youth, transported stolen goods for the Mafia

Went to military school and graduated from it
Received a one-mile-swimming award from the Boy Scouts
Grew up in a house full of cats

Once climbed Mt Whitney in 1 day, then hit a golf ball from the top
Met Ansel Adams and shared photographs with him
Had an instrumental part in the winner of a US Open Golf Tournament in SF

Carlos (2 lies, and 1 truth)
As a child, family took plane trip sharing the cargo of chickens and pigs
Climbed a volcano in Guatemala and it started to tremble with eruption
Made walking trip from Monterrey to Texas, 200 KM

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

District 5170 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 inquiries@siliconvalleyrotary.com

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.
It rained most of the weekend. The weather is finally clearing.Poor Jazzmine does not like rain. She won’t leave her bedroom until she is sure that the sun will be shining.Please apply my gift to Polio Plus.

Sarah Tuberty made a $10 donation.
This donation is in celebration of my 30th birthday this week!! See ya later 20’s and I am ready for this new decade!!

Mark Busani made a $Other Amount donation.
Happy to be healthy and safe.This is for Relay for Life.In memory of Lyn Dale who was my work mum and a great friend.

Catherine A made a $25 donation.
Happy to see Hung Wei, my neighbor, featured on this week’s Web site. She is an awesome lady who does an incredible amount of community service, particularly with Uplift Family Services: https://upliftfs.org/
Please make my donation to Polio Plus, in honor of Hung Wei.

Nate Gildart made a $25 donation.
I had trouble with the Relay for Life website over a couple of weeks, so I’ve asked that this go towards that, if possible. I lost a very dear friend and mentor last year to cancer. His name is Peter Riley. A thoughtful person who along with his spouse Yumiko brought people in tour little neighbourhood together for drinks and dinners. We get together every so often, but there’s a hole without Pete. He was a teacher, an environmentalist, and an advocate for social justice. A truly remarkable life he lived.

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.

Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne said:

Thanks for the mask-making video, Shags and Rushton! I have so many old bandanas that I’m going to try it out today. I have also always wanted to see the Maiden’s Castle in person, so the video was a welcome distraction. Thanks, Geoff, for the program. Very interesting and lively meeting this week.

Mark B said:

Happy birthday Sarah, hope you have a wonderful day.Thanks Shags and Rushton for the face mask video. Great photo Ferheen. As always thanks for the jokes Yvonne. Geoff thanks for the presentation and the great work being done. I love how it is helping people, starting with short term outcomes and building up to longer more sustainable outcomes. Great stuff.

Brett Sham said:

So good to hear from other Rotary clubs again! Ferheen, love your photo – it has a great sense of drama to it amd I was really drawn into it!

Great tip in the learn something new section – I saw a great video from the US Surgeon General showing how to make your own mask with a few simple folds (I think he used a t-shirt). Can you believe that here in Australia they are still against people wearing masks (unless you are sick, caring for someone that is, or work in the healthcare)! I would have thought that in such a serious crisis, where you are shutting down cities and causing the economy to collapse, you would take any and every precaution!

Geoff, thanks for your presentation. Sounds like a brilliant model, I really enjoyed the story about the guy who then came back to hire from you. Good luck with the rebranding!

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: Leveraging Design to Solve Big Problems in Education and Beyond

Speaker: Leslie McBeth & Rachel Franks

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.

The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley seeks to explore perspectives on service from across the world. The views of the speakers in our programs are their own, and unless stated otherwise, are not necessarily reflective of the views of our eClub nor Rotary International.

If you have an idea for a cool speaker, please feel free to reach out to them directly
or submit THIS FORM so our Program Committee can contact them!

Join our speakers this week as they share impact stories from Future Design School, from helping middle school students to develop and implement real world solutions to homelessness, to helping schools and organizations build strategy founded on empathy, to working with educators to create deep connections between classroom and community. They’ll also provide some tips for how you can leverage a design based approach to address challenges in your own communities and club.

Les McBeth is an educator on a mission to empower students to solve the world’s big problems. With 15 years of experience at the intersection of design and education, Les has worked in design and public policy in Switzerland and New York City and as a teacher in Toronto. As Director of Special Projects at Future Design School, Les designs programs that help teachers to break down classroom walls and develop future-ready skills in students.

Rachel Franks is a proud Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and dedicated educator. She has over a decade of experience teaching in classrooms both at home and abroad where she leveraged design thinking to engage students in developing empathy and creating solutions for real world problems. Rachel plays an integral role in student programs; including direct to student workshops, customized student retreats, Future Prize, micro credentialing and the global program Young Innovators.

Members and guests, please welcome Les and Rachel!

Les McBeth & Rachel Franks present to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley about Future Design School

Learn more about Future Design School at: www.futuredesignschool.com

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

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 http://zoom.siliconvalleyrotary.com/. 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 programs@siliconvalleyrotary.com.

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!

Important: Once you submit the Attendance Survey below, please make sure you see the confirmation message. If you get an error message instead, please try the ‘submit’ button again, and if that doesn’t work, please refresh the page and it should work fine. Thanks!

2020-04-27T15:21:06+00:00April 27th, 2020|0 Comments