How do you celebrate 100 years of Fellowship? How about finding 100 younger people to join the RSA as Fellows?
On 24 September the RSA’s new Centenary Young Fellowship scheme was launched to celebrate the centenary year of Fellowship. 100 budding young changemakers joined the Fellowship to support the RSA’s ethos of ‘Enriching society through ideas and action’. To help turn ideas into action we often need a great deal of support, so we’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who contributed to this scheme. Our new Centenary Young Fellows (CYFs) are spread across the country with a range of skills and experiences and I have no doubt we will be seeing the emergence of numerous exciting projects from them CYFs over the coming years. Read about some of this cohorts’ current work and offer your support on our website.
During our launch event in the Great Room, we heard enthusiastic ideas and pitches, and made new connections. It was a great opportunity to join existing Fellows with the new. Opened by Matthew Taylor with our new RSA Short The Power to Create, our new Fellows went on to explore with RSA Staff how to get the most out of their experience with the RSA and were treated to speakers throughout the evening. Current Fellows Mark Ashmore of Honest Coffee; Ben Byford of Eulergy and Juan Guerra, whose project Student Funder was awarded the Catalyst grant at the Centenary event earlier in the summer gave us their perspectives on the RSA. We also heard from some of our new CYFs, each of whose project was at a different stage. These speakers were Jack Reynolds, Football Beyond Borders; Yalda Thomlinson & Robyn Muir, University of Nottingham Students’ Annual Conference on Social Innovation; and Josh Williams, European Champions of Origin.
The 107 new young Fellows (18 - 35) are eager to support the mission of the RSA: they have a wealth of skills and project ideas to contribute and are living examples of our worldview as they unleash their creativity to solve challenges and issues around them. Over the next three years there will be several opportunities for Fellows to connect and collaborate with this new cohort.
We have already seen new activity within Fellowship, with a number of our young Fellows applying to Catalyst, working with the regional teams and successfully standing for Fellowship Council where they will work to ensure Fellows’ views and ideas are brought to the attention of the Trustee Board and RSA staff. Our hope is that our new young Fellows will work across all levels of the RSA supporting the new change aims and helping to develop regional Fellow and non-Fellowship activity in their area. I hope you’ll welcome them as they make their initial steps into Fellowship, supporting their questions, ideas and offers of help.
Already, this scheme has shown us the depth of interest in the RSA and how invested the younger generation is in making an impact on the world around them. Whilst the scheme has now ceased to accept applications it is important to remember that Fellowship is a network of people from a wide range of backgrounds, united by a desire to build a better society and we are always looking to develop the network. Join us or nominate somebody you know as we take the first steps into the next hundred years of the RSA and nominate other brilliant potential Fellows working to make a difference.
Rich Pickford & Rachel Elston
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Email us to find out more about how you can nominate someone for Fellowship