RSA Comment offers a unique platform for Fellows to share arguments for change. New editor John Rennie explains what the platform is for, what it’s not, and why we want more of you to join the conversation
RSA Comment was born as a response to Fellows’ demands for a space where they and others could share their arguments and ideas about the RSA’s core work. We already have the Journal of course, with updates on Fellows’ and project activity, and features by a diversity of thinkers and writers, all relevant to the RSA’s mission.
But Comment is different. Its aim is to give Fellows (some of us might not be active bloggers or writers) a space to write one-off pieces where we can pick up on the work of the RSA, bring in our own ideas and arguments for change. It aims to reflect and draw on the diversity of expertise, experience and professional knowledge in the Fellowship. To take just a few successful examples, in recent months, we’ve had pieces on the need for new business models in a fast-changing world, how the organisations of the future can relearn lessons from the generations who’ve gone before, and an argument for rethinking the whole way we do economics, to build a ‘societal economy’.
Or you might use a Comment piece to expand on the ideas shared at a Fellows event, such as this piece on creating an inclusive employment future for disabled people, or from this interactive online event, Inclusive work: what are we learning? But Comment would not be the best place for an event recap. Just a handful of examples, and there are many more, as Fellows write about their own work in furthering the vision and mission of the RSA, heading to ‘a future that works for everyone. A future where we can all participate in its creation’.
While content is intentionally broad, all pieces have to add something to the RSA’s themes: lifelong learning health and social care, sustainability, place based innovation, future of work, social innovation and enterprise, and understanding and building human capacity.
There are a few simple rules about what Comment is, and what it isn’t. You’ll find detailed submission guidelines here. You should avoid promoting a particular organisation or product, but we encourage you to include links. The most successful Comments tend to have a clear, strong, central argument. To send in an article, you simply go to RSA Comment, click on submit article, and it will drop into my inbox. Or just send ideas direct to me.
A couple of things may be holding you back. You’re probably busy, you’re maybe not a regular writer, you may lack confidence in getting your ideas across in a few hundred words. I’ll help with that, and I’ll work with you to get your articles into shape. And if your piece doesn’t fit with Comment, I’ll connect you with your Area Manager to explore other ways to engage with the RSA.
This year, we’d really like to see the number of articles published rise and we want to increase interaction, with more people commenting on the pieces once they’re published. Authors have a big part to play here, sharing the links on your social media, and encouraging your communities to do the same. The aim isn’t quantity for quantity’s sake of course; it’s all about getting more people engaging with the arguments, talking, and taking them on.
Ultimately, Comment should be feeding back into the RSA’s core projects: coming up with new ideas, and with all of us participating in the creation of the future we want to see. I look forward to hearing from you… and I look forward to receiving your Comments.
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