What’s the opposite of blogger's block? It’s called “Where do I start?” and it’s a great problem to have, when there is simply so much happening that you want to tell the world about. The word cloud here, generated by Tom Neumark during interviews with US Fellows, is a pretty accurate representation of my daily inbox!
Before I get into the details – did you know that you can sign up to receive the fortnightly US newsletter? Whether you live in the US, visit for work or pleasure, or want to maintain a global perspective, our newsletter will link you to US Fellows’ profiles, calls for action, and project progress. Email Barb Ballard to join our distribution list.
A recent newsletter headline tells the whole story: Milestones at Midyear. In the first half of this year the US Board of Trustees, made up of six committed Fellows turned a number of ambitious ideas into reality, introducing innovations with global implications for the RSA Fellowship and society.
- The US Challenge Fund was created to support Fellows’ project and network development, responding to the strong American entrepreneurial spirit. Did you know that per capita the US Fellowship has received one of the highest amounts of Catalyst funding across the global Fellowship, with six successful Catalyst projects so far?
- The Diebold Scholarships for Young Fellows, named for Founding Trustee David Diebold, are made available to qualified young people who might not otherwise be able to join. Diebold Scholars will also receive mentoring from one or more of the US Trustees. No question - this program will open doors to the genius of young people.
- The Call for Nominations for the 2013 Benjamin Franklin Medal was issued by Henry Timms in the August 13 newsletter. The recipient will be an individual or group who has made profound differences in areas closely linked to the RSA’s agenda, whether through transatlantic co-operation and collaboration or through significant contributions to global affairs and social progress. Nominations close September 15, 2012 – so if you have a candidate in mind don’t delay!
- The US Student Design Awards (SDA-US) began as a Fellow-led initiative steered by Seren Page Bailey, a former SDA winner herself who knows firsthand the life-changing differences SDA awards have made over the last 87 years. After receiving a Catalyst grant and a US Challenge grant, SDA-US has become the first RSA-US national project. Some of the top US design schools are participating and will benefit from the expertise and support of our world class sponsors and advisers.
Nominations for the Benjamin Franklin Medal close September 15, 2012 – so if you have a candidate in mind don’t delay.
None of these amazing things would have happened without the unstinting support of the RSA staff team in London. We depend heavily on each other for advice, reality checks, brainstorming and cheer leading. They are all stars but I do want to thank a few in particular – Alex Watson who runs RSA Catalyst; Sevra Davis who runs RSA Student Design Awards; Michael Ambjorn – nomad, oracle and master joiner up of dots.
Finally, while we are on the subject of staff and especially since I’m bragging about the outstanding communications and web presence enjoyed by US Fellows, I should mention my friend and colleague Barb Ballard. Despite being in the hospital with her son on and off since June, she somehow managed to keep those emails going out and our website content fresh. Check out her work – and all the details of all of the programs mentioned above at the American Coffee House.
Lynn Broadbent is Fellowship Director for US networks – follow her @LynnUSA