This Spring sees the launch of Change Stories, a series of very short stories that showcase the many ways Fellows are making change happen.
You’ll see them appear in the RSA Journal, on the website and in Rawthmells. They’ll take various forms – from postcards to animation, to film and audio. The collection will grow over time and we hope it will become a valuable resource to Fellows and to anyone interested in Fellowship.
In our first release you’ll find stories that begin with a conversation at an RSA network, with chance encounters between Fellows, stories which connect with an RSA research project and others that are propelled by a Catalyst grant. Together they demonstrate the breadth and depth of the RSA Fellowship, the power of collaboration and the possibility of change.
Stories bring ideas to life and create connections that can power networks and social movements. Fellows in Norwich have used story to strengthen their network and galvanise local activity. We shared ‘stories of extraordinary lives’ to explore the new giant social ills facing 21st century Britain and launch our new programme of work. In the run-up to the launch of Change Stories, and as part of National Storytelling Week, Rawthmells is hosting a series of events to explore how storytelling is used for social change. For three weeks our Friday Conversations series will feature Fellows who are enabling other people to tell their stories, and in doing so creating and sustaining movements for change. These include stories that cultivate compassion in healthcare, stories that foster connection across languages and between cultures, and stories to persuade politicians to take action.
On Wednesday 6th February, there’s a chance to have breakfast with RSA Historian, Anton Howes, to hear more about his work to tell the story of the RSA itself. His book Arts and Minds: How the Royal Society of Arts Changed a Nation is published later this year.
And on Thursday 14th February, we’ve a special Supper Club hosted by Doctor of Nearlyology, Chris Ifso FRSA. Chris collects ‘nearlies’, short accounts of things we’ve nearly done in our lives. The exact opposite of tall stories, Chris will dine on your tales of what didn’t quite happen. Don’t make this one of them: find out more and book your place now.
Look out for all things story over the coming weeks and months and do get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to share your own ideas and experiences about using story for social change.
Sally Bonnie FRSA
Sally Bonnie FRSA, Founder of Inspire Women Oldham and Young Women Changemakers, reflects on the recent 'Visibility Journey' of the women she champions and the importance of a new power approach in tackling some of societies biggest problems. Following the International Elimination of Violence against Women day this week, join Sally and Young Women Changemakers for an interactive event at The Steps on 2nd December.
Mediation techniques can bring consensus in disputes and even deliver social change but most people are not aware that Mediators operate at the widest range of levels from neighbourhood squabbles to international policy–shaping.