Bridges to the Future: Fellowship Stories

During the disruption caused by Covid-19, RSA Fellows around the world are forging new opportunities to create positive change in society.

From the provision of education to investing in local services and communities, RSA Fellows have been developing projects that respond to the immediate effects of the pandemic and lay the groundwork for a better, more resilient future.

Listen to just a few examples of how Fellows - in their own words - are building bridges to the future:

Supporting black community groups

Dr Marilyn Comrie OBE FRSA - Greater Manchester, UK

Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities have been hardest hit by Covid-19. But at a time when vulnerable sections of the community need more support, many BAME-led community organisations and charities are struggling with limited access to funding.

Hear how Marilyn’s project is tackling the structural barriers preventing BAME community groups from accessing funding in Greater Manchester, England.

MyRSA profile | Twitter

A pop-up festival to support coastal towns hit by drop in tourism

Kate Kneale FRSA - Margate, UK

The independent shops, small businesses and creative industries of the UK’s seaside towns are suffering as a result of the pandemic.

In response, RSA Fellows have started a network of festivals across 9 coastal communities to support a creative sector-led regeneration of these local economies.

Listen to Kate tell the story of how the 'Back and Fill' project grew. 

Visit the Back and Fill website | Twitter

using creativity and arts to help debate our future

Clare Gage FRSA - Chesterfield, UK

How do we create our vision of a ‘new normal’? How can we become more active citizens in our communities?

Clare’s project puts creativity and crafts at the heart of deliberative democracy and open debate to engage more people as active citizens. 

Listen to Clare discussing the potential for Create Our Future to build a new bridge to the future.

Visit the Create Change Chesterfield website | MyRSA profile | Twitter

Covid-19 fact checking for African smartphone users

Tarik Fathallah FRSA - New York City, USA

At a time when fake news is crowding out newsfeeds, Tarik noticed misinformation on Covid-19 spreading among vulnerable communities in Africa.

Working with colleagues, Tarik developed a free, mobile-based service allowing people to fact-check and verify Covid-19 related information.

Listen to Tarik describe the project’s progress and his aspirations for its future impact.

Find out more about AccuroLab | Read AccuroLab's MIT Solve Challenge pitch 


The pandemic has led us to pause and reflect on our responses to the crisis. What have we learned during this time? How can we create a ‘new normal’ for the future?

Read some of the reflections of RSA Fellows: