Rowan Conway is the Director of Development at the RSA. She ensures that the RSA is undertaking rigorous, profile raising and influential research and innovation projects.
With the intention of focusing the RSA’s research on real world impact, Rowan is driving the focus of ARC’s work on the RSA’s emerging world view of the “Power to Create”. This explores how the creative life, too often confined to an elite or a sector, could be fostered throughout the economy and society. The rationale behind this world view is that the 21st century is presenting us with challenges of increasing scale and complexity yet, just as creativity is in ever greater demand, a vast resource of creative potential is going untapped.
Rowan has over 15 years’ experience in research and engagement with communities, businesses and government bodies. She has led a wide range of research and engagement programmes that include: enquiry by design processes for urban place-making, asset based community development, social enterprise development and impact planning, cross sector partnership working, mental health service design, and environmental sustainability research. Collaborative and cross-disciplinary by nature, she specialises in participatory action research and has worked with local authorities, NGOs, academic partners, NHS Trusts, corporate businesses and social enterprises, as well as a wide range of central government departments.
Originally a business journalist and editor, Rowan became a facilitator and engagement specialist in 2005, with a specific focus on community involvement and participation. Between 2006 and 2011, Rowan designed and oversaw community engagement for London 2012, working with the host boroughs and the Mayor of London in the planning process for the Olympic Park in London. She holds an MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice from the University of Bath.