“As the world prepares to mark the UN World Environment Day on 5 June, I would like to remind Soroptimists that the 21st SIE Congress from 14-16 July 2017 in Florence will be celebrating the work of my predecessor as SIE President, Ulla Madsen, in addition to the education theme of the current biennium. Let’s Go Green was the theme for 2013-2015 and many Unions and Clubs were inspired to initiate projects for the benefit of the environment and to ease climate change.


I am pleased to report that the organisers of the Congress have prepared an interesting and informative programme focused on the motto ‘Women in Green: renewable energy, clean technologies and best practices’. A common thread of Saturday’s theme session will be innovation, which is also in line with the focal point of the 2015-2017 biennium: to foster and promote studies and careers for women in STEM fields.


There will also be presentations of successful SIE pilot projects on the subject of sustainability. They range from a biogas station in Madagascar, Sweden’s water purifiers and rubbish bins in Kenya to cisterns for Ruy Barbosa and agricultural ventures in Italy that secure business opportunities, protect the environment and produce good food!


We can be incredibly proud of our Soroptimists’ varied and creative efforts to protect the environment and that is why I am so happy that the SIE Congress will do justice to all their work. I urge you to join us to share experiences and exchange ideas. After all, activities to prevent climate change and protect our living spaces do not begin and end in a single biennium, but must be on-going to be effective in the long term!”


Elisabetta signtature

Maria Elisabetta de Franciscis

SIE President 2015-2017