Yet another highlight of what is proving to be our best ever season of lectures. Last night we awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal to Sir Ken Robinson, who then gave a scintillating talk which managed to be most profound and at the same time very engaging. He is a long time friend and ally of the RSA, and has said many kind things about our work, from Opening Minds to our planned Progressive Education Charter.
Ken's lecture will soon be available on our website and we would be doing very well if we could get half as much traffic as his famous TED speech, which has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
In relation to RSA Vision, the first stats are encouraging with 5,000 people watching a full lecture, and 1,500 viewing the short introductory video. More and more content on the web is being delivered through video and I am glad the RSA is in the vanguard. We all know we have got further to go in improving, for example, the staging but, having made a strong start, we can now aim for excellence.
Also yesterday we had a great all-staff meeting where we discussed the Trustees' draft values and strategy statement. This will now go back to the Trustees before being more widely disseminated across the Society.
As well as this discussion, to which all staff contributed, we were given an exciting presentation on our new intranet by the wonderful Miko Coffey. If you don't work here, you might wonder what benefit you might gain from an internal tool, but I am certain that by joining up people even better across their various functions, it will enhance the service we can provide to Fellows.
Finally, I am really looking forward to chairing the Julian Baggini talk on Thursday lunchtime this week. He will be talking about his book Complaint: From minor moan to principled protest which is a great read and makes a powerful distinction between authentic complaint: an important way of expressing our opinions and providing momentum for change and other forms: contradictory, self-serving and pointless. The book made me think once again about the problems of modern political discourse. Whilst many of the complaints thrown at government (not this just one, but any) are legitimate, a great deal of them would fail Baggini's test. If you are around this Thursday at 1.00 pm, do join us - I think it will be a lively session.
Despite the pandemic, school pupils are demonstrating creative confidence and a commitment to making their communities a better place.
Anyone in education knows we so often have to make the case for the value of arts and creative activities. The lockdown gives us a chance to recognise their value – now and moving forward.