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This is a guest blog post by RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor.

Happy New Year to all readers.

The year got off to a great start when I opened the newspaper to see several RSA Fellows receiving awards in the New Years’ Honours List.

I was personally delighted (as were all the staff) to see that our former Chair, Gerry Acher, has been given a much deserved knighthood for charitable services. And it was great to see the leader of Apple’s design team, Jonathan Ive, a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI), twice a Student Design Award winner and Benjamin Franklin Medallist, similarly rewarded. Whilst the RSA cannot claim credit for such iconic designs as the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad, we like to think that we may have helped a little bit along the way!

The year got off to a great start when I opened the newspaper to see several RSA Fellows receiving awards in the New Years’ Honours List.

Other RSA Fellows who received Knighthoods included Rodney Aldridge OBE, Chair of The Aldridge Foundation, for services to Young People and the engineer John Armitt, Chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Two Royal Designers were also recognised: industrial designer Marc Newson, awarded a CBE and fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki, founder of Biba, awarded an OBE.

Other awards include OBEs for social entrepreneur Melanie Bryan, founder of WhyNotChange, for ‘services to Social Enterprise and Women's Enterprise in North West England’; Marcus Davey, Chief Executive and Artistic director of The Roundhouse; and Professor Sarah Springman, for services to Triathlon.

CBE recipients include Fiona Dawe, formerly CEO of YouthNet, for services to volunteering; John McAslan, the architect of the RSA Academy in Tipton; and James Wates, for services to construction and the charitable sector.

It is no secret that RSA Fellows are a very talented group, and the names above are just a few, but by no means all, examples of their success. Congratulations to all RSA Fellows who were recognised.

But to finish on a sad note – we were all very sorry to hear of the death of Ronald Searle, who had been an RDI since 1988, and was very warmly remembered by colleagues who had the pleasure of working with him over the years.

Matthew Taylor is the Chief Executive of the RSA and blogs here. Twitter: @RSAMatthew

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