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Here at the RSA and across the 101 countries where we have Fellows there is always something interesting going on…

We’re in the quiet period between the Olympics and the Paralympics but the Fellowship is keeping the pace nevertheless. The last two weeks have seen a number of interesting events which you’ll learn more about here, and we’re ramping up for a really exciting September when the RSA Event team kicks off the autumn season with a panoply of interesting speakers – live-streamed to a device in your hand if you’ve got the kit for it. Also, we’re readying a week-long extravaganza celebrating all that is RSA action and research (more about this in the next issue).

If you can’t wait for the Paralympics for your next medal-fix, then here’s an opportunity… head over to the RSA’s American Coffeehouse and learn about how the US-based Fellows are taking charge of the Benjamin Franklin medal, past winners, who’s on the nominating committee for this year’s … and how you can put a name forward for consideration.

The seed-bed: a selection of lectures, events and networks leading to new connections and collaborations

The picture in the lead-in to this round-up is a piece from the Fellow-led Bishopsland - a post-graduate training workshop for silversmiths and jewellers.

Pre-debate view of the work at the #FRSA led Bishopsland #MCICH

The RSA Fellows’ Media, Creative Industries, Culture and Heritage Network (MCICH for short) recently visited Bishopsland for a debate on training & furthering skilled creative industries graduates’ ambitions. The Bishopsland Contemporary Apprenticeship acts as a bridge between college and the realities of the commercial world. Arts, manufacture, commerce…  an RSA triple-play. Hear from the designer-makers themselves (I tagged along to ask them a few questions), see pictures from the debate and find links to relevant RSA Journal articles in this Storify.

Talking of the Journal, here are my five favourite articles from the latest issue:

  1. Humble leaders: Collaboration, communication and co-creation: Nicholas Ind introduces the new rules of leadership.
  2. The Great Recovery: Designers and businesses should work together to lengthen products' lifecycles.
  3. The Millennials: With their flexibility and commitment to diversity, young people are rethinking the nature of business.
  4. The new artisan: We need a more inspiring language to describe the future of the crafts.
  5. Tactics for success: Emergence of new technology and rise of globalisation are changing the way we work.
  6. >What were yours? Share them below or let me know via Twitter @michaelambjorn.

    Coming up!

    The following are just a few of the events coming up in the next couple of weeks – to see the full list check out the Google Calendar on the where you are pages on our website (where you can also find more details + add the events to your own calendar).

    • Nottingham: What do we want from our Region and Networks? - led by incoming RSA East Midlands Chair Peter Robinson
    • Social Entrepreneurs' breakfast @ the RSA House - this is always popular, so pitch early to get a spot!
    • The RSA Regions & Nations governance season will also reach its peak - that's the time of year when Fellowship Council Chair Bob Porrer, @jamieacooke and @vivslf and I hit the road to check in with the Fellows holding their annual meetings in Wales Cymru, Scotland, Ireland, North East, Yorkshire and so on. The reason for mentioning Jamie and Vivs by their twitter handle is so that you can easily follow them in case you want live reporting from these events...

      Talking of Scotland - the Fellow-led Ragged University has just announced their next round of events in Edinburgh, ranging from philosophy to psychology through to debates on the financial crisis - so if you're in town, be sure to look them up.

      Last but not least in this section - a different kind of coming up - in this case people. Our partner Ashoka is looking for talent so if you know somebody suitable, please help spread the word. If you are not familiar with this organisation let me mention Karen Mattison FRSA who is also an Ashoka Fellow and exemplifies the type of change Ashoka supports through their structured support programme for social entrepreneurs: Karen is working to change the UK employment market to create high-quality, part-time employment opportunities for women who need a flexible schedule to accommodate family and other personal needs.

      Fellows in action

      RSA Connectors in Copenhagen

      Earlier this week I got to see the RSA Connector programme that my colleagues Jamie Cooke and Matthew Mezey (with help from the Fellowship Council International Working Group) have been building by hand, country by country, deliver on its promise.

      Here's how: Chair of RSA North West, Lilian Barton, was heading to Copenhagen on a fact-finding mission in preparation for this year's North West conference titled Keep Calm Prepare for Change. It is focused on sustainability and how it impacts enterprise - and she was also looking to do early-stage work on the 2013 North West conference themed on transport and wellbeing. These are topics continually progressed in Copenhagen and duly RSA Connector for Denmark, Vicki Therkildsen stepped up. Lilian and Vicki met to discuss food, cycling and sustainability and Lilian got both insights and connections for follow-up.

      It is Vicki on the left and Lilian to the right with a small sea of bicycles, a stage and the RIBA award-winning Royal Danish Playhouse.

      Learn more about the RSA's Connectors around the world - and specifically how they help leading Fellows like Lilian get things done in the North West of England, and further afield. If you'd like to be considered for Connector status in a country not already covered, please reach out to Matthew Mezey.

      Appetite for more content? Got some to share?

      RSA Staff Civic Day 2012I asked Gurmeet from our partnership team to help pick a picture from our Flickr group that might brighten up today's blog and here it is: a nice energetic hello from staffers who spent a day earlier in the year at the Lilian Bayliss Old School in Lambeth, helping to garden, make artworks and do a bit of DIY. Thanks to Alice for capturing and sharing.

      If you'd like your RSA-related picture featured here, be sure to add it to the RSA Flickr group (here's a how-to).

      Michael Ambjorn is Head of Fellowship – Follow @michaelambjorn


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