Accessibility links

“I have a good idea every two years. Give me a topic, I will give you the idea!”  Fritz Zwicky

Across the globe, Fellow-led activity is growing exponentially.  Supported by the Catalyst fund, there are a range of exciting projects and events taking place, improving society and contributing to the growth of 21st Century Enlightenment.

One of the key ways in which this work is developing is through an increase in the number of Fellow-led thematic networks.  Last week I attended the launch of the RSA Fellows’ Public Service Reform (Scotland) Network in Edinburgh, which is going to be exploring the broad and timely topic of how public services are delivered north of the border.  It joins existing networks such as Profit with Purpose, MCICH (Media, Creative Industries, Culture & Heritage) and the Social Entrepreneurs’ Network in the firmament of existing Fellow-led networks.

“I have a good idea every two years. Give me a topic, I will give you the idea!”  Fritz Zwicky

The advantage that thematic networks offer is that they bring together Fellow-led projects which might otherwise occur in isolation, uniting them in a network where findings and best practice can be shared across the world.  In contrast to geographic networks they are not bound to one location, but rather can explore priorities as they arise within their particular area of interest.

With the number of thematic networks growing, it can be helpful to know where to start.  Firstly, it is helpful to explore whether there is an existing group of Fellows looking at the particular area which interests you.  The best place to check is this list; on the RSA Fellowship ning, the central social media community for Fellows; or by getting in touch with your local Networks Manager.

If there isn’t an existing network for your area of interest, then starting a new one can be a great stimulus for activity.  New guidelines for networks are to be issued later this year, however it is important to remember that Fellow-led networks should be financially self-sufficient; in line with RSA objectives; open to all interested Fellows and clearly distinguished from the RSA.  Again your Networks Manager will be happy to work with you to ensure that the network is taking shape in the best way.

So grab some fellow Fellows, contact your Networks Manager and go ahead and change the world!

Whilst it can seem daunting to create a network from scratch, you should have built up a team of interested Fellows who want to work with you.  Many costs for events or communications can be avoided through using connections, social media sites or partners, and spin off projects can be considered for bids to the RSA Catalyst Fund.  The Fellowship ning is a great place to promote your activities, with an open group providing an opportunity for Fellows to contribute to discussions and developments regardless of their location.  And the Fellowship blog is an invaluable resource in finding out ways of becoming involved and stories of what has worked elsewhere.

The opportunity to create exciting new areas of work is one that Fellows can grasp with both hands, really allowing the dream of a dynamic, world leading Fellowship to flourish.  So grab some fellow Fellows, contact your Networks Manager and go ahead and change the world!

 

Jamie Cooke is Senior Networks Manager for Scotland, Ireland and NE England – follow him @JamieACooke

1 Comments

Join the discussion

Please login to post a comment or reply.

Don't have an account? Click here to register.