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In March 2021, the RSA held the Cities of Learning Summit, an online event which celebrated the work of this flagship learning and skills programme. 


You can find all of the materials from the event here 




Cities of Learning (COL) is a movement to badge, map and connect all non-formal and non-accredited learning in places across the UK. Our aim is to help learners in a place to:  


  • Find opportunities on their doorstep  

  • Be recognised for all of learning and competencies they develop in life 

  • Self-direct their learning journey and connect with quality employment or education opportunities 


Over the last two years the RSA, supported by UFI and City and Guilds Foundation, has worked with local teams in Plymouth and Brighton to pilot the programme.  


As of 10th February this year, Cities of Learning had issued badges to 1,734 young people for activities ranging from audio production to Covid-19 response campaigns and construction-sector readiness programmes. The teams in Plymouth and Brighton worked with 53 different organisations to create badges. 


At this event, we shared our learnings from the pilots and the highlights of the independent evaluation from Learning and Work Institute. Tom Kenyon Cities of Learning Project Lead captures these in his blog, from pilot to impact. 


We also shared the innovations that we developed to scale the programme across the UK, which you can get involved in right now.



With over 80 individuals from digital, education, cultural and a range of other sectors joining to hear about this ambition and innovative programme, we are keen to expand our network, and partner with new places eager to explore Cities of Learning. 



How can you get involved?

  • Olivia Finn

    Project Manager, Cities of Learning

  • 1. Join the movement – start a Cities of Learning programme in your place  

    Following the learning from the pilots, the RSA has developed a flexible new service offering  working closely with places to design a connected learning ecosystem that addresses local challenges.  


    Our Cites of Learning place-based leadership offer will support anyone who wants to take a systemic and strategic approach to learning in their town, city or region. We have developed a structured programme of support that can assist with diagnosing skills needs, determining and delivering on strategic priorities or convening employers and stakeholders.


    Our ambition is to bring two places per quarter into the Cities of Learning programme and by sharing knowledge, insights and experience, to develop a community of practice in place-based learning design and execution. 


    If you are interested finding out more about how the join the programme, timings and costs to take part please email

    2. Amplify and recognise your learning provision with Badge Nation 

    Work with our spin-off badging community Badge Nation to recognise the skills developed through your learning provision – suitable for all learning providers, schools, colleges, employers and leaders looking to amplify learning in their place.

    Find out more on the Badge Nation website.  


    12-month membership costs £200 +VAT (£240 inc.) per organisation. 

    Quality assurance can be purchased for additional badge templates £25 +VAT (£30 inc.) per template.  


    Attend a workshop and learn all you need to know for writing your first badge! 

    Enquire with our team at



    3. Help us scale 

    Are you a national / regional body who can help us to scale?


    We’re looking for partners who can support the network growth of Cities of Learning. If you work for an organisation with a national or regional reach, we’d love to hear from you. Please email




    4. Help us build a community of practice around place-based learning systems 

    Express an interest in our Cities of Learning community of practice by joining our mailing list to be informed when we launch our events.