In years gone by, the Zone Institute was attended by past district governors exclusively. The Institute offered both an opportunity to re-connect with governor classmates and be update on what had occurred across the zones and at Rotary International. It was also a time for the director to inform the governors what to expect over the next year of the director’s tenure. And, of course, lots of time for socialization and fun.
With the advent of the internet, and greatly sped up communication cycles, the past district governors began receiving rotary news via email and other online sources. The need to attend an Institute to gain Rotary news and updates gradually diminished. As we moved into the 21st century Special Invited Guests (SIGs) were invited to geta glimpse at the wider world of Rotary at an institute. SIGs were potential district leaders that had not yet served as district governors. The SIG program gradually expanded into the DRL/ERL Program (District Resource Leaders and Emerging Rotary Leaders) allowing even more non-PDG types to attend Institute.
Then in 2019 it was announced that any Rotarian or Rotaractor was eligible to attend Institute. This opened the door for a wide range of training opportunities, as well as exposing even more potential leaders to the wider world of Rotary at Institute.
As the Institute continues to evolve, more and more Rotarians and Rotaractors are being exposed to the wider world or Rotary. They are also gaining valuable training and meeting inspiring leaders due to Institute attendance being expanded to include all Rotarians and Rotaractors that desire to attend.