Last year I wrote a blog for the RSA called A Chance to be Heard. This was a step in a year-long journey that has led me to organising an RSA Fellowship event in my hometown of Chesterfield next month. I’d like to give you an update to explain my journey from observer to action-taker.
In my first blog I explained how an invitation to attend an event with Jeremy Corbyn gave me a chance to speak up and be heard by someone in a position of power. At this point, I was a passive Fellow of the RSA. I was distracted and busy with my life. With two small children I found that family and work commitments took precedent over most things but with the chance to speak up and be heard I became informed and engaged.
The Create Change Chesterfield event came out of this experience. Here are a few things that I’ve learnt along the way:
- It makes a difference to see people like you. I attended an RSA Fellows meet-up and found it to be group of fascinating people - but I was younger and felt inexperienced. It felt fantastic to be encouraged by the group but it made me think about the age difference. Are there reasons why people in the late 20’s-40’s age group aren’t as present at these gatherings?
- Convenience is key. Of course one of the main reasons this age group aren’t present is because they are busy elsewhere. I’d usually be chasing two small children up the stars to bed at that time! Choosing times and locations to suit different life patterns opens up possibilities to who can come along.
- How do you get started creating change in our world? I’ve thought long and hard about entry level activity. What are the best ways to move from ‘things aren’t right’ to ‘and I’ll make them better’? Reflecting on my own experience I think this comes from small steps where you feel gradual success.
- Get informed. I have had an inspiring year of learning about creative ideas, listening to experts and finding out about proactive people who are already making a difference. This information has fuelled me to continue in my journey- there’s has always more to learn.
The culmination of the experience is an event which welcomes all and celebrates taking the first steps into changing the world. I have pulled together a day that echoes my experience of taking action and making things happen.
GET INFORMED: We’ll be hearing from Anthony Painter head of the RSA Action and Research Centre. He’ll tell us more about the RSA’s future plans and introduce some of their key ideas for creating change.
THINK OF A SOLUTION: The second part of our day explores my offering for a solution to a problem. We’ll explore deliberative democracy with Talkshop as a solution to the need for people to feel more capable of creating change - is it a meaningful way for people to participate in decision making?
MAKE IT ACHIEVABLE: and enjoyable! This day is a relaxed, welcoming event where we will meet people at difference stages in their journey to make change. There’s no pressure to find a responsibility or sign a commitment. We’re finding the path forward together.
HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD: This is of course where it all started for me, and I hope this event is the start for the people who attend. Once we find a place where people listen to our ideas we have the chance to take steps towards making them happen.
I’d like to spread this feeling that we all have the potential to create change. So join us at Create Change Chesterfield, whether you’re ready to lead into action, or if you’re in a slower lane ready to surround yourself with great ideas. Shall we get started?
The Create Change Chesterfield event will take place on Sunday 10th March 11am-3pm at the Assembly Rooms, Market Hall, Chesterfield. It’s a family-friendly event with childcare on the day and open to Fellows and non-Fellows. Book your place here.
We have launched our 2020-21 design briefs! Eight real-world challenges rooted in big societal problems, open to higher education students and recent graduates around the world.
Ian Burbidge Claire Doran Riley Thorold
Local conversations could help communities make sense of the impact of covid-19 as it continues to unfold.