5 women who use the RSA Catalyst fund to push for change around the world - RSA

6 women who use the RSA Catalyst fund to push for change around the world


  • Catalyst
  • Gender
  • Fellowship
  • Fellowship in Action

Every year, £100,000 of Fellows’ contributions is put to work on the ground for Fellow-led projects, around the world. Here we put a spotlight on 2017 projects that were run by women, for women.

The Catalyst Grant gives the RSA the opportunity to fund up to 20 Fellow-led projects every year, social innovations that can make real change on the ground, with the potential to go global. There are 3 rounds a year, with two grants available: £2k Seed Grant, and £10k Scaling Grant.

The RSA Fellowship gender breakdown is roughly 70-30 men-to-women, and yet the Catalyst Grant boasts 52% women applicants, and 54% women successful grantees. This week, we celebrate 5 projects run by women Fellows, who have led innovative projects to creatively address gender and economic disparity around the world. Publishing one blog a day, we will hear from:

Eleanor Lisney – Sisters of Frida (2016):

raising awareness of the marginalisation of disabled women, their sexual identity and employment disparity. (You can attend Sisters of Frida’s panel at the South Bank WOW Festival: Power, Protest& Art, Sunday 11th March, 11:30am.)

Michelle Preston - Simply Women On Purpose (currently live):

helps women to improve their wellbeing and create a purpose-driven life through community-based events underpinned by positive psychology

Jos Boys – DisOrdinary Architecture (2017):

how bringing together disabled people and architectural practitioners can innovate accessibility in architectural urban design

Bonnie Chiu – Lensational (currently live):

how International Women’s Day 2013 inspired her to create her own movement, teaching girls in developing countries photography skills, and the potential for global scaling

Janet Boston – Liberty Kitchen (2017):

how working with male prisoners to create London-inspired street-foods, reveals their struggles as incarcerated fathers

Charly Young - The Girls' Network (currently live):

how do you mentor young women who live in rural areas, while maintaining the valuable in-person quality of your already successful mentoring programme?

Follow @theRSAorg on Twitter to discover tomorrow's blog.

You can read about past Catalyst projects, where our Fellows share their learning and how they used the funds.

If you are keen to learn more about the Catalyst Grant, please do not hesitate to get in contact with the Engagement Manager, Amy Butterworth, at [email protected].

You can also find the other ways the RSA supports Fellow-led projects on the Project Support page.

Which 21st century women will you nominate to become a Fellow? Get in touch with our Fellowship Development team to help us recruit more women.

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