Flying the flag for Animate

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The new RSA Animate is up. It is Iain McGilchrist talking about the divided brain, the subject of his masterwork ‘The Master and his Emissary’. My bet is that it will have had a million views in just a few weeks so you can be real trend setter and be among the first 10,000. You will immediately want your friends to watch it too so you can discuss it with them.

The new RSA Animate is up. It is Iain McGilchrist talking about the divided brain, the subject of his masterwork ‘The Master and his Emissary’. My bet is that it will have had a million views in just a few weeks so you can be real trend setter and be among the first 10,000. You will immediately want your friends to watch it too so you can discuss it with them.

The other good news is the very welcome signs that Animate is going to get some of the mainstream media attention it deserves. I don’t want to annoy either of the very nice journalists I have spoken to by pre-empting their pieces so of all the things I said to them I want to pick on just one.  

The number changes so fast it is hard to keep up, but the latest estimate of the number of RSA lectures that have been viewed on line is fifty million worldwide. The number covers all our on-line lectures but Animate provides the lion’s share. 

The RSA as a British based platform for ideas is becoming a global brand. But to my mind the Britishness extends beyond the Great Room in London and Folkestone, the studio location of  Cognitive Media's Andrew Park, the genius behind the animations (and an RSA Fellow). One of the special qualities of Animate is the combination of big ideas and great visual concepts with demotic humour; partly satirical but also sometimes as quirky and irreverent as a saucy seaside postcard. 

For example, watch the McGilchrist and in the midst of profound concepts about the brain and culture there is visual reference to Eric Morcombe and Ernie Wise. Or try the visual joke involving a dog at 5.15 minutes into the David Harvey Animate, or how about the subversion of the elephant rider as cognition metaphor 3.24 into the 21st Century Enlightenment Animate. On the last of these you have be quite observant to read the elephant’s speech bubble; a reminder that Animates are worth watching several times to grab all the content.

So Animate is a great innovation success story, a great RSA success story and, at the risk of sounding jingoistic, a great British success story.

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