Design and Enterprise

Design and Enterprise are two unique programmes that aim to support the development of a more resilient, resourceful and sustainable society.

Our main approaches:


The ARC Enterprise programme enhances people’s capability to do their best work, and to shape an economy that is fit for the needs of the 21st century.

Our work is driven by a belief that everybody has untapped potential to ‘work better’, in ways that create deeper value for themselves, their organisations, the economy and wider society.

Our projects fall broadly into four categories:

•   Work: cultivating the skills and practices needed to help people find and keep good work
•   Industry: encouraging the technologies and industries we need for a thriving C21st society
•   Ventures: fostering entrepreneurial and ‘venturesome’ cultures and practices
•   Premiums: sparking innovation through prize challenges, competitions and awards 

Read more about the ARC Enterprise programme.


For 250 years the RSA has vigorously supported good design, encouraging invention and enterprise for the common good. We encourage and support designers and design processes to play a central role in creating a more resilient, resourceful and sustainable society. Our longstanding work includes the Student Design Awards, a competition born in the 1920s which encourages young designers to apply their skills to contemporary social challenges, and the Royal Designers for Industry (RDI) award, established in the 1930s to recognise designers who have demonstrated sustained design excellence, work of aesthetic value and significant benefit to society. Building on these achievements we are developing a new programme called The Great Recovery that will investigate ways to design and manufacture through closed loop systems. Through demonstration workshops and events it will build new professional networks across all industries in which design innovation and co-creation will play a pivotal role.