RSA Connectors is a new and growing network of RSA Fellows worldwide who act as a first port-of-call and a ‘friendly face’ for new Fellows who want to find out more and get involved, and who help local Fellows to organise events and collaborate on projects.
If you have any queries about the RSA Connector programme or if your country does not yet have its own RSA Connector and you would like apply to become one, e-mail Laura Southerland.
Latest RSA Connectors: Chris White (China, Hong Kong), Audrey Dralega (Uganda), James Thai (USA), Mark Johnson (Mauritius), Richard Kastelein (Netherlands), Paul Brown (Laos and Vietnam), Roger Thompson (South Korea).
Previous additions: Ali Serim (Turkey), Fernando del Río (Spain), Jonathan Robbins (Singapore) and Lin Grist (Canada), Fred Chak (Hong Kong, China), Irwin Cruz (Philippines), Isilda Almeida-Harvey (Portugal), David Burns (Paris/Strasbourg, France) and Geof Cox (Brittany, France), Michael Tyrimos (Cyprus), Katie Boswell (San Francisco, USA), Joao Fonseca da Silva (Uruguay), Gabriel Wer (Guatemala), Jose Berrocal (Costa Rica), Sidney Rose (Sweden) and Joseph O'Reilly (Thailand), Julian Williams (Dubai) and Paul Kawachi (North Korea).
Need support for your Fellows' meetings, network or projects? Go to the new Fellowship resources page for ideas, guidance, how-tos and other support.
RSA Connectors - by country
AustraliaVisit the RSA Australia website
About: Paul Vittles is the current chairman of RSA in Australia and New Zealand. Paul is a researcher, consultant, coach and mentor. His passion is helping people and organisations to set and achieve their goals. Paul has particular expertise in facilitating visioning workshops and vision-led change programmes. He also delivers keynote presentations and masterclasses on his specialist topic of 'Creating and Delivering An Inspired Shared Vision'. Also available from Paul: 4 pro bono visioning workshops per annum for social enterprises.
Email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: Interests - interacting with inspiring minds whose sky is not the limit. Inspirations - travelling the world; art, culture and creative industries. Challenges - understanding the purpose of life. Responsibilities: sharing knowledge, motivating the under-privileged.
Email Daniela at email@example.com.
M Niaz Asadullah
About: I work in the area of international development and have recently moved from Oxford to Kuala Lumpur. As an economist and an educator, my challenge is to help policymakers understand the causes of under-performance of education systems in low and middle income countries and suggest appropriate reform measures. I also work on social policies that deal with youth issues and female education. As an RSA connector I expect to promote debates on how to leverage the education sector to deliver economic growth and human development, particularly in Bangladesh. In this regard, I look forward to opportunities to build on the work of the other RSA fellows in South-East Asia region and the countries where I have lived (UK, India, Bangladesh and Malaysia). Visit M Niaz Asadullah's website at www.niazasadullah.com.
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: My key interest is to promote and contribute to community networks of practice for meaningful social change with a view to improving general wellbeing and awareness. My sources of inspiration are mutual understanding, empathy, experience, improvisation and silence. I believe in slow thinking.
Email Alain at email@example.com.
City: Guelph (Toronto)
I have been a Fellow since 2002 and have lived on both sides of the pond, currently in Canada. My key interests are civic engagement & 21st century democracy and social entrepreneurship.
Challenge is helping to build strong and vibrant communities.
Email Lin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
City: Hong Kong
About: Chris has worked in research and interpretation for museums, exhibitions, and public communication since 1992. As a graduate in Chinese from Edinburgh University, he also holds a Masters degree in Journalism and PG Dip in Commercial Law. He has run the Hong Kong office of one of the world’s best known museum design companies before setting up his own interpretive planning and corporate curatorship company in 2006.
Key interests: Social change through creativity and public communication, interactive, experiential and narrative design, Chinese and international art and culture, heritage conservation and tourism, archives and oral history.
Email Chris at email@example.com.
About: Key interests: environment, sustainability, working with China, creativity, balance. Challenges - influencing without resources or power. Responsibilities - knowing what's possible and likely. Networks - trying to get something started in China! Cultural, creative, intellectual and actual. Inspirations - Beauty. A Peaceable Kingdom (Hicks).
Email Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carlos Largacha Martinez
About: Social change towards a more humane society through complex-quantum thinking, humanistic management, diversity/inclusion, with the challenge of changing mental models to achieve it. My networks include the Society for Organizational Learning, Management Innovation and Exchange MIX, and Humanistic Management Network/Center. And here is my hack on ‘Non-accumulative capitalism: social incentives as the ultimate end’.
Email Carlos at email@example.com.
Jose Miguel Aguilar Berrocal
City: San José
About: Jose studied Psychology, has a Master’s in Projects Management, and is currently enrolled in LSE’s Development Management Master Program as Chevening Scholar. Jose first started organizing Punk Rock Concerts as fundraisers for social causes. He worked as Social Development Advisor for local governments and as consultant for the EU in Central American Border Zones. He then founded the NGO Fundación Acción Joven (FAJ) using his own savings. FAJ uses participatory methodology to prevent school dropouts of at-risk students in public high schools. It has developed alliances with the Costa Rican Ministries of Education, Welfare, Culture, Security, and private firms. The Government recently declared it as “Organization of Public National Interest”. Jose achieved a reform of the University Volunteering Law, is an ASHOKA Fellow, was named “National Peace Builder” by the Ministry of Justice and elected by the local business newspaper as one of the 40 most successful young people in Costa Rica. He regularly works with Ministers of Education and Welfare designing social policies for at-risk youth.
Email Jose at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email Michael at email@example.com.
About: Passion for photography, especially documenting the social. Living interest in sustainable urban living and community development, active promoter of public space and goods. The biggest institutional inspiration I see is in the work of the RSA. The best insight on Czech society I acquire from the work of a Czech sociologist, Mr. Jan Keller. Chair of a civic association encouraging art and creative work of emerging photographers and artists. Current challenge is a university course on Creative Photography, starting this autumn 2012 at the University of Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Email Alexandra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: Vicki Therkildsen is an experienced journalist presently working in broadcast journalism with The Danish Broadcasting Corporation and has a book coming out in September 2012 - an investigative journalistic tale of a Danish murderer. She has great knowledge of the media and gender issues and is currentling looking into doing a documentary, starting a feminist network and almost certainly a number of other things. With almost 20 years of experience doing voluntary work on national, european and international level Vicki looks forward to helping RSA-fellows navigate in her home country, Denmark.
Email Vicki at email@example.com.
About: I think the Western materialist dream is fulfilled - and we are looking for the next one: a second renaissance driven by individualism and the 'flat society', that´s how I am driven too.
Email Mika at firstname.lastname@example.org.
City: Paris, Strasbourg
About: I’ve worked for most of my career in and around the headquarters of some of the biggest and oldest companies on the planet. Strategy, deal-making, governance. Lots of financial leverage.
In the last couple of years I have begun to get involved in smaller and/or newer outfits. Bringing them on, making them stronger, getting them to the point where they can create livelihoods for more people. Sometimes I just invest, sometimes I take on a part-time executive or non-exec role, and I also work as a trustee for various education-related charities.
Perhaps my favourite activity right now is a little engineering company which is developing new environmentally-sound packaging technology: I am a shareholder, and act as their Finance Director. Although they would never admit it, I think they like to have me around because I get things organised, and do what they see as the boring work. Not my view of course! I’m British and French and flit back and forth between the two countries, which is un-ecological; however in these times when the Continent is almost entirely cut off, it makes me feel I can play a useful role for the RSA as a “France Connector”. Or should it be “Britain Connector”? Tell me how you want to connect…
Email David at email@example.com.
About: I live in rural central Brittany and work internationally on social enterprise development, focusing especially on creating sustainable livelihoods in poor or otherwise disadvantaged communities.
My interests also include environmentalism and sustainability; culture, heritage and conservation; music, literature, arts and crafts; education; open source and online communities; current affairs - especially these days grassroots alternative economics like the 'Occupy' and 'Indignados' movements - and international partnerships. Contact my website or my RSAFellowship.com profile.
Email Geof at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: Key interests - organisational approaches to sustainability. Challenges - our "homo oeconomicus" conditioning. Responsibilities - balance consulting, research and family. Networks - like-minded people in Berlin. Inspirations - progress is possible everywhere.
After many years in international technology and business management I started working with like-minded people in Berlin to help organisations transform for innovation, sustainability, and human values.
Email Ulf at email@example.com.
Sujit S. Nair
About: Sujit is the co-founder and vice chair of British South India Chamber of Commerce. He is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about education and enterprise promotion in India. His passion for enterprise promotion in India has seen him working through a number of organisations to help to foster better conditions for ambitious Indian entrepreneurs who want to take their company to the next level. He is in the process of working with the RSA to engage other influential and highly networked RSA Fellows who are interested in working in India and contributing their knowledge and expertise to bring about a change in a developing country. Key interest – Education, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Indian Politics.
Email Sujit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: Kimy is a graduate of Waseda University in Japan and is an expert in branding and thought leadership. His cross-cultural experience spans different continents and he has extensive knowledge and experience in communications and marketing. His key strengths are in leadership and business motivation skills, focusing on generating the best, most creative, innovative solutions and ideas.
Email Kimihito at email@example.com.
Laos and VietnamPaul Brown
City: Vientiane, Laos
About: Being an RSA Fellow means for me taking the great historical contribution that the RSA
has made and applying its relevance in developing countries. The mix of shared knowledge (against the modern trend of intellectual property ownership) and entrepreneurial endeavour that is evidenced in the RSA has an immense place to play in countries that might envy what the West has done but have little understanding of how such development was powered by social process. I see the role of Connector as not only being responsive to other Fellows within SE Asia but also looking out for opportunities to actively connect the work of the RSA to the countries in which I live and work (Vietnam, Ireland and England): and to engage with not only the expatriate communities but actively promote the developed understandings of the RSA within civil society. In countries where the idea of people associating freely together for common purposes is viewed suspiciously, but where the force of them doing so is guardedly recognised as being a power for the country’s development, the RSA values have a great deal to offer. As Connector it is my intention to demonstrate that in whatever imaginatively productive ways might be possible.
Email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
City: Kuala Lumpur
About: My key interests are in education, the environment , the performing arts and, having spent most of my life in either the UK or Malaysia, I am interested in the links between the two countries and what each can learn from the other. My current responsibilities include the development of international education. I am concerned by the challenges posed in achieving international mindedness amongst young people, intercultural understanding, human rights and environmentally sustainable development.
Email Robert at email@example.com.
About: I am artistically focused. Motivated by social development. Responsible by example. Interactive professionally. Inspired by original and innovative ideas.
Email at Graham firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: I have recently moved from London to Mauritius where for an undefined time I have decided to follow some of my ideas and dreams away from the corporate world, and to become a Geography teacher and direct my skills in a more contributing way for a few years. I am under no illusions that it will be easy and am prepared to fail, but sometimes we perhaps need to look at our own sustainability as well as that of the world around us. I believe that good education at the start has at least the potential to undo many of the trenchant and increasing problems we see across the world, that are being driven by both ignorance and greed. I don’t however, just mean the push for English and Maths to ensure people can get reasonable jobs, but a broader education, where people can start to understand the nature of our environment, how our planet works, and how we have all evolved together to co- exist within it, leading to our rich cultures and arts.
I see my role as Connector as an opportunity to be part of the core RSA’s Global network, promoting its philosophy, knowledge and programmes. I also want to use my knowledge and skills within the framework of the RSA to support local projects, ideas and individuals in Mauritius to engage with a wider community and a worldwide Fellowship.
Email Mark at email@example.com.
About: I have worked for many years amongst some of the poorest communities in Mexico, mainly in the areas of community involvement, co-creativity, mentorship and communications. I studied Psychology in Mexico, and later at the London School of Economics, where I continued learning about organisational psychology, intellectual capital, co-creation and social entrepreneurship. During the years I lived in London I also studied acting. My passion is for social transformation, art and creativity to find a common platform, which can encourage others to create new possibilities, expressed in tangible actions. Currently I’m leading a programme that promotes creativity and innovation by incentivizing some of the best social entrepreneurs around the world. I’m also building a platform that allows these social entrepreneurs to meet and find synergies which together can have even greater social impact.
Email Eidi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: To me, being an RSA Fellow means being part of a global network of change agents for good. Social Entrepreneurship is my passion and I firmly believe we can change the world for the better, but only by changing the way we tackle current and future problems; through outsourcing and crowdsourcing innovation itself. The power of many minds is much more powerful than the power of one. As a publisher, editor and writer I have been in communications most of my life, but I also have built some of the world's largest hackathons in San Francisco and London as well as started up half a dozen companies in the TV and Internet sectors. With a global network of innovators - in both the technology and creative sectors, it's my goal to pull together those resources for social projects in the future.
Email Richard at email@example.com.
About: My interests are in developing sustainable low-cost open learning solutions for rural development, using open educational resources and cloud technologies linked to open universities and individualised resource designers. I am a Professor of Instructional Design and Editor of Asian Journal of Distance Education.
Email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: Tom lives in the heart of beautiful Bergen, Norway. A scholar-practitioner background in design, working across disciplines with an ethos of collaboration and creativity. Previously leading the design of a transdisciplinary Masters programme in Creative Leadership and is a Founder of The Curiosity Bureau; a UK/Nordic partnership of FRSA scholar-practitioners, immersed in forward-thinking research, which informs and enriches open events and work commissioned by others. Key interests are wide spread from establishing cultural connections, locally focused programmes for healthy futures, to building creative enterprise. Tom is particularly curious about how groups of people, with different specialties, work together to design the previously unknown and how our curiosity can lead us to enlightened spaces. Connect with Tom via Linkedin or follow him on twitter @curiositybureau.
Email Tom at email@example.com.
Muhammad Asif Qureshi
About: Linking science with the Arts has always been fascinating and yet challenging for me. However, the RSA platform helps to bridge the two effectively. Networking with "the men in power" in an attempt to achieve an enlightened 'Global Society' is my ultimate aim.
Email Muhammad at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: I am currently an arts journalist based in Manila and a teacher at a local university. I have lived in Guatemala, Germany, Italy, Thailand, and Spain and have worked for various local and international publications. My interests are in new and social media, the visual arts, cultural policies, and regional integration, while networks include the media, the arts and the academe.
Email Irwin at email@example.com.
About: Alexandra Krawiec has worked as a University Lecturer, Strategic Business Adviser and a PR specialist. She was a Managing Director of MF Philharmonic Hall and a President of the Living Art foundation. She is the founder of PrimeSolutions, a company bringing together science and industry. Within PrimeSolutions she initiated PrimeIdea, a media project specialising in documentaries. She is an author of Passion for Life, a documentary featuring David Attenborough. Alexandra is convinced that everybody can make a difference, and that working together for a good cause makes us all happier.
Email Alexandra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: I work in the Culture and Heritage sector and throughout my career I have mainly worked on the development and creation of new learning and community engagement services in Museums and Archives. I chose to work in this sector because I wanted to make a difference to people's lives and ways of thinking. Being an RSA fellow is an opportunity to do that in a wider and even deeper scale.
My interests include Continuing Professional Development, partnerships, funding, audience development and engagement. My responsibilities are to be creative, empower and widen access. I am Portuguese, I am based in the UK and my professional and academic networks are cross sector and spread between the two countries. Inspirations: I draw inspiration from people, their memories, passions and experiences and from everything that symbolizes that. My challenge is that there isn´t enough time to do everything we dream of.
Email Isilda at Isilda.Almeida-Harvey@eastsussex.gov.uk. Follow Isilda on Twitter: @ESROlearning.
About: Communication professional, public affairs twitterer - @JaninaRadulescu, fellow member of the RSA & the Transatlantic Network 2020, CIPR graduate, enthusiast of innovation & creativity-boosting practices.
Email Janina at email@example.com.
About: Mamoon has 40 years of experience in multinational community development worldwide - in locations from Bangladesh to Hackney and Manchester. He has delivered courses/lectures for NGOs from 50 countries and was President of the Islamic Community Centre in north London. He is also a keen footballer and cricketer.
Email Mamoon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan H Robbins
About: My key interests are releasing the talents and capacities of people to succeed. Challenges include creating a twenty-first century assessment paradigm and moving from competencies to the Capacity for personal mastery.
My networks are BERA, IAEA, Linked-In and RSA Networks. Inspirations include people, poetry, photographs and prayer.
Email Jonathan at email@example.com.
City: Cape Town
About: Barbara lives in Cape Town and has worked in the field of strategic communications for more than 20 years in South Africa and internationally. Key interest in bringing together Fellows for collaborative working relationships, within South Africa, to become involved with community and urban projects important to the ongoing, transformational growth of the country.
Email Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fernando del Río
About: I am an economist who has lived in Madrid and Istanbul. I co-founded Hervideas, a not- for-profit consultancy which promotes a more emphatic, intelligent, and inclusive economy through guidance to companies and social innovation studies. I trust in technological and social innovation to guide the evolution towards a happier society where people are able to undertake work they really enjoy in order to develop their true potential and contribute to a better society. My interests include development economics, cultural dialogue, happiness economics, science, technology, history, philosophy, photography, and cooking.
Email Fernando at email@example.com.
About: I have been an international educator and consultant since 1980; and have worked in many countries and cultures. I embrace and celebrate the differences in culture and tradition. I am interested in the delivery of the highest possible standards of education to students in the 21st century, particularly in developing countries. I have a huge network of educators globally and aspire to the sharing of skills and resources to improve world standards of education.
Email Sidney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: Originally from Australia I’ve been living in London, working for a number of global public interest organisations and causes for the last thirteen years. I’ve spent the last few years leading Save the Children UK’s work on education around the world and recently moved to Bangkok to help grow Save the Children’s efforts and influence on education across Asia.
Needless to say I’m passionate about expanding learning and educational opportunities. I have specialist interests in literacy and reading and in increasing children in the developing world’s access to and use of better quality books. I’m the founder of First Read, which aims to provide parents of very young children in developing countries with material and skills to develop emergent literacy. I’m also interested in design and especially in how it can be used to improve public spaces and buildings and am keen to find a way to work with others to improve the public realm of my new home town of Bangkok. I’m a keen cyclist too and would love to help Bangkok become a cycling city – I like a challenge – and find out from fellows where cycling is already established or emerging in other parts of Asia. You can find out more about what I’m up to on my blog or connect via Linkedin.
Email Joseph at email@example.com.
About: Ali Serim is a distinguished and nationally recognised development professional with a proven record of both private sector engagement and advocacy in new market entry, development goals, business intelligence, constituency building, strategic growth, private sector engagement, capacity building, financial management, public relations and overall stimulation of economic growth in the Turkish market. Published and respected throughout the Istanbul community, a diligent leader with a reputation for successfully contributing to the growth of Turkey’s expanding private sector and providing substantive and intellectual leadership. As a heritage activist Ali Serim is promoting activities and discussions for the formation of a new strategic plan which will shape the future of the museums of Turkey over the next decade as well as working for the expansion of the private sector involvement and donor base with a special effort directed at identifying the next generation of leaders. He campaigns to underline the importance of museums to make education more interesting as they bring students into contact with the abstract form of what they learn in school and underlining museums as a major tourism attraction hence they help in boosting a country's economy.
Email Ali at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: To me, being an RSA Fellow means being a force for change and the advancement of mankind. Originally from Canada I am a Fellow of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, an assistant professor at Kyung Hee University, a military reformer and the author of two books on corruption in the U.S. Navy. If I could change something about society it would be to help people realize that it is OK to challenge the propaganda and programming that they are exposed to in their early years. Far too many people, even in democracies, simply believe everything they were taught in school, and never question the status quo. Our civilization will never make true progress if most of our people don't question what their history teachers told them in high school.
Email Roger at email@example.com.
United Arab Emirates
About: Julian Williams is Group Quality Assurance Director for a group of international schools in Dubai. He has been an international teacher, school leader and consultant for over 30 years in the UK, Malawi, Colombia, China and the UAE. He is also a doctoral student with a keen interest in school leadership and improvement and education for social responsibility. He has a wide portfolio of other interests in education and training including: meeting special educational needs and EAL in the mainstream classroom; teacher CPD and ownership of appraisal; stakeholder partnerships as a vehicle for sustainable change; bridging academic/vocational divisions and entrepreneurship and ‘Can Do’ thinking in education. Networks include the IB, CIE, Cambridge ESOL and Linked-In. Challenges include clearing my in-tray and maintaining a healthy family life/work balance. He has not yet succeeded.
Email Julian at Julianrw@innoventureseducation.com.
United StatesKatie Boswell
City: San Francisco
About: Katie has worked in public policy and international development in the UK, India and US. She is currently International Program Manager for One World Children's Fund in San Francisco, an organization which believes that local communities are best suited to solve problems affecting children in their communities. She is interested in the interaction of the local and the global, as new technologies reshape our lives but vast power imbalances remain. Katie holds an MA in History from the University of Cambridge and is currently studying for an MSc in Development Management from the Open University. In her spare time, she enjoys learning Hindi, reading and travelling.
Email Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
City: Washington state; Oakham (Rutland, UK)
About: To leverage my international and enterprise experience to introduce the use of appropriate technologies that enable communities to communicate and collaborate on projects that support the growth of local employment and wealth creation.
Email John at email@example.com.
United StatesJames Thai
City: New York
About: James Thai is a Bay Area native who grew up in Danville, California. He won the Sam Ramon Valley Unified School District Art Competition before enrolling in the University’s undergraduate Textile Design program. A detailed textile designer, who works within all areas of surface design; he was selected to debut his leather burnt textile work in the Academy of Art Fall 2013 Show during New York fashion week and was then a finalist in the first RSA-US SDA Awards. He is an RSA-US Diebold Fellow and is currently interning with an international New York design firm.
Email James at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: I volunteered to be a connector for the RSA because I enjoy the exploration of new ideas and discussion that comes from networking with a wide variety of people. I enjoy the cut and thrust of debate, I am good at linking people with similar ideas and goals. The RSA is a great sounding board for those at the very start of an idea or process, a support network for those incubating and needing to refine ideas through discussion and a great platform for spreading information on initiatives that will impact society positively. I can't think of anything better! I see being a Connector as being the link between fellows overseas, and an advocate for the wider reach of RSA initiatives in an increasingly inter-linked world. Fellows can connect with me on any issue at all as I see the role of the connector as being just that.
Email Audrey at email@example.com.
Joao Fonseca da Silva
About: Joao Fonseca da Silva, born in Portugal but currently residing in Uruguay, is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge. Joao has a wide range of interests from creativity and serendipity to more fundamental issues such as social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Do get in touch with him if you are planning to move to Uruguay or just visiting.
Email Joao at firstname.lastname@example.org.