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What an amazing event we had here on 22 November.

Over two hundred Fellows and staff working together all day exploring how the Fellowship, together with the team at John Adam Street, could become a network for civic innovation.

The day exceeded our most optimistic expectations in terms of the energy, ideas and goodwill of those attending. The conversations started that day are now being actively followed up by the team here and continued online.

The challenge now - and the hurdle at which other membership/Fellowship initiatives in other organisations have fallen - is to follow through.

It will take several years, a great deal of commitment and investment (from Fellows and JAS) to achieve but the 22nd gave us a glimpse of the kind of innovative, collaborative, high-impact Fellowship we can become.

The last few weeks I have continued to tour around with versions of my speech about the social aspiration gap (the gap between the people we are and the people we need to be to create the future we want).

The biggest speech was to an audience of over seven hundred at the annual Cornwall lecture.

The positive reaction to the speech and the interest in the RSA underlined to me again that we need to strengthen our Fellowship operation outside London.

Our regions do good work, and many are themselves trying to devolve, but it is at the level of counties, cities and towns that I think we will be most able to articulate the RSA's potential.

How we build this kind of more local presence is a big issue for the next stage of the RSA's development.

Given the turmoil over 'Donorgate' I have being doing yet more punditry lately.

If anyone is interested in my overall perspective there is a piece on the Guardian's Comment is Free website.

That article was written before Gordon Brown's comments at the weekend which seem to suggest that he too is now convinced of the case for more profound reform of party funding.

Given the damage these 'scandals' do to the already low opinion of politics among the public let's hope we can at last drive big money donations out of party politics.


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