Rotary has been around for a long time:  112 years.  In some ways, we've changed tremendously, as we've grown, matured, and adapted to the changing needs of our members and communities.  In our fundamentals, however, we remain the same:  an organization of people with the desire -- and through Rotary, the ability -- to make a difference in our communities and our world.  
We answer the question "What is Rotary?" with our actions, by making a difference through our service.  
As an organization, we recognize how important it is that the world understand what Rotary is, and what we do.  At the same time, we know that it is more important than ever to allow our clubs to define Rotary service for themselves.  As Rotarians, we have more flexibility than ever to decide how we want our clubs to meet, work, and grow.  We're focused more than ever on making sure that Rotary reflects the people it serves, with more women and a diverse membership.  And, we're working hard to ensure Rotary remains the world's pre-eminent volunteer service organization, by emphasizing long-term planning, sustainable service and continuity in leadership at every level. 
In 2017-18, we will answer the question "What is Rotary?" with the theme Rotary:  Making a Difference.  However, each of us chooses to serve, we do it because we know our service makes a difference in the lives of others.  We know that the work we do will change people's lives -- in ways large and small -- for the better.  Whatever motivation each of us had for joining Rotary, it is the satisfaction we find in Rotary that causes us to remain, the satisfaction of knowing that week by week, year by year, we are part of Rotary:  Making a Difference.  
Ian H.S. Riseley
President Rotary International