The results are in for the first ever direct election to the new RSA Fellowship Council. We are delighted at the process (there were some glitches but this is to be expected and have learnt some useful lessons). The elections have provided the basis for positive and lively debates in many areas about the future of the RSA and its Fellowship. Some of the winning candidates are know to us from previous engagement, but others are completely new names bringing fresh insight and enthusiasm to the Council.
The best news is the turnout. 2,821 Fellows voted which represents over 14.5% of those entitled to vote (the election was uncontested in 4 regions). This may not sound high but compare it, first, with the last Fellow elections of Trustees, where the turnout was less than 4%. Also, it is significantly higher than the average turnout for this kind of membership election in voluntary sector organisations. Not that we will rest on our laurels. For the next elections, in two years’ time, we will want contests in every region and aim for a turnout closer to 20%.
The first meeting of the new Council will be on 7 October where the elected fellows will be joined by an equal number of Fellows nominated directly by the Trustee Board. One of the first matters they will consider will be a draft Fellowship Charter setting out the core values, ethos and responsibilities of the RSA Fellowship.
Thanks to everyone who took part as candidates and voters, and, of course, to our first rate Fellowship team here at the RSA and out in the country.
PS I may post again later as there are lots of things in my head but for those who are interested there a couple of fascinating threads running on the comments pages; one on schools and one on attitudes to climate change.
Ian Burbidge on the importance of learning from previous area-based funding initiatives to address inequality across the UK.
A recent workshop with RSA Fellows provided invaluable insight into the key concerns and opportunities facing cultural education workers and employers.