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This week, the RSA throws open the doors of its refurbished House on John Adam Street for a packed week of events and workshops. From our President’s lecture tonight by Richard Florida to the chance to meet the illustrator behind RSA Animate, this is a public celebration of our work, and we’d love you to join in online (more on that later). It’s also a timely opportunity to talk about the practical ways that the RSA supports positive social change, and I’ll be exploring this in a series of blog posts this week.

Throughout its long history, the RSA has been animated by the thought that society can change for the better through the efforts of those who belong to it. Our programme of work is a practical expression of that belief: it combines the strength of our 27,000-strong Fellowship, the depth of our research and project expertise, and our strong reputation as a platform for informed public debate.

We’re lucky to have a diverse team of dedicated staff who spend every day testing new ways of tackling our most pressing policy challenges – from how education can realise leaners’ potential to how communities can diagnose and solve their problems. We’re acknowledging the growing influence and impact of this work by bringing these efforts under the umbrella of the RSA Action and Research Centre, launching this week.

Increasingly, though, our Fellows are shaping their own response to these challenges, working through the RSA in their communities and professions. This week I want to draw your attention to some of the areas where our practical policy research is being supported and enriched by help from our Fellowship.

We believe ideas are powerful, and that the RSA is the best place in the world to have them

Ultimately, our ambition is to be an organisation that generates and nurtures ideas, tests them in practice, and then ensures they can have the biggest possible impact. In short, we believe ideas are powerful, and that the RSA is the best place in the world to have them.

Realising an ambition this big will never be an easy task. RSA Fellows and staff are still discovering how they can work best together, and exploring how the Fellowship can grow as a community based not on mutual self-interest, but on reciprocity and a shared commitment to social progress.

Tomorrow I’ll be taking a look at our work on enterprise, as we launch a new report on the subject and host a day of workshops looking at the issues it raises. In the meantime, read on for details of all the fantastic events that are coming up this week, and how you can get involved.

Sam Thomas is the RSA's project engagement manager. Follow @iamsamthomas on Twitter.

This week at the RSA: how to get involved

Here's an overview of the key events taking place this week, the RSA staff who are reporting from them (and can help convey any question you may have to the person chairing), and the relevant hashtag to see and contribute to the wider Twitter commentary:












  • Friday 14th: Join an online Q&A with Fellows and RSA researchers on Friday using the Twitter hashtag #RSAFriday


Fellows have organised a screening of Matthew Taylor's lecture at the British Council in Berlin. For more details email Ulf Brandes (RSA Connector for Germany) at If you'd like to organise a live-screening of your own in the future, see our step-by-step guide.


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