April 6: The Work of Politics in the Age of Digital Amplification

–submitted by Rich Leffler

Maier-Bascom Professor Dhavan Shah, Director of the Mass Communication Research Center at the UW-Madison proposed that modern digital and social media make it harder to compromise in politics. Our politics were developed in a different time, and modern technology actually degrades political debate. It is harming the ability to engage in reasoned deliberation. For instance, his research indicates that audiences react to dynamic style rather than substance. We live in “an attention economy.” Negativity gets the attention on social media. The angry and the bombastic get the online attention and this, in turn, is picked up by the larger media, amplifying it.

If you missed our meeting last week, you can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvUPsGT-Guw

March 30: All Things Rotary – Local Rotary Clubs’ International Projects

This week’s program featured 3 international projects.  Our club’s International Committee Chair Gary Tree started the program by providing background information on the committee.  Next up, Tammy Thayer, a member of our International Committee, described plans for our International Committee’s new signature project which is a prevention program to help tackle child trafficking in Uganda. The project partners include our club, Rotary Action Group Against Slavery (RAGAS), other international Rotary Clubs, and Hope for Justice (HFJ).   Kathy Roberg from Madison West Towne-Middleton Rotary Club shared information about their club’s project in Haiti and several others that their club supports.  Kevin Frost from Madison Breakfast Rotary shared details about their club sponsored project in Guatemala.

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nku1lR3p5rE&t=1205s.

What’s Going On Post COVID?

submitted by Larry Larrabee

From left: Jess Cavazos, Jason Ilstrup, Peggy Gunderson and Matt Gerding

The March 23rd program was a panel discussion of “The Post Covid World” that consisted of Rotarian Jess Cavazos from Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce, Matt Gerding from FPC Live (Frank Productions) and Peggy Gunderson of Strategic Brand Marketing with Jason Ilstrup serving as emcee.  After providing their organizations’ experience with the pandemic, there followed a discussion of how they were moving forward.  Space does not allow a just description but in essence, they described changes reflecting heightened importance of relationships, changes in the use of various technologies, and increased optimism for the future.

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvTL3567Mhk&t=1219s

March 16: MGE Works with Customers for a More Sustainable Future

–submitted by Larry Larrabee

At our March 16th meeting, Scott Smith, Vice President of Business and Regulatory Strategy for Madison Gas and Electric, informed us of MGE’s performance and commitment to reliability, changes in productivity to accomplish Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 and how the company assists home owners, landlords and corporations in using power more efficiently.

Among items mentioned was that in 2020 MGE was ranked number one among all  American power companies both in fewest and shortest outages; achieving first or second in both categories since 2015.  The company also provides E-vehicle owners with off peak charging facilities in their homes.

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/znZrEBqXI5g

March 9: Posters in the Rotunda – A Celebration of Undergraduate Research

–submitted by Larry Larrabee

The program on March 9, 2022, was provided by Arjun Sanga, President of WiSys, a not-for-profit organization that supports undergraduate research at Wisconsin’s 12 regional universities.  Mr. Sanga explained his organization’s four areas of concentration; to connect student researchers to grants, help market their research ideas, inspire students to achieve and to foster a culture of innovation.

He provided examples of recent student research projects such as one that worked to develop sensors for early warning of landslides.  Students also compete with others at their schools and between schools in the system with regard to the quality and importance of their specific projects.

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlUEq4X6_r4

March 2: Importance of Dental Health

submitted by Larry Larrabee

Areli Estrada, executive director of Affordable Dental Care (ADC) and fellow Rotarian, spoke to the club on March 2nd regarding the complete dental services provided by ADC, Inc. in Madison and the surrounding area.  She detailed the profound effects that poor dental health can have on our physical and psychological well-being.  ADC provides free dental care for those unable to pay for dental procedures or have other issues such as transportation.  Their office on Fordem Avenue saw 2,700 patients in 2021.  They are funded by individual contributions and their annual Smile-a-Thon.

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqhKClOGGGY&t=1127s