With a full RSA Scotland team in place we have been looking at how best to engage and mobilise the Fellowship. There is a lot of good activity going on across the country which we are keen to support and build on; but there is always space to improve and increase this.
In looking at next steps for Fellowship activity in Scotland, we have been discussing ideas with Fellows, including those already delivering activity, and looking at how to build that into the overall work of the RSA in Scotland and beyond. It is clear that there is an appetite for localised activity as a way to bring Fellows together; for thematic activity which allows us to shape and drive policy and projects; and online connections for those Fellows who are unable, or prefer not, to attend events in person. The strength of RSA Scotland is rooted in the contributions our Fellows make, and so we are asking the Fellowship in Scotland to help take this work forward by submitting offers of support and interest in these different strands of activity.
There are some groups already meeting in local areas and, as noted above, two new networks have formed allowing fellowship engagement. Local activity is a good way to connect local networks of Fellows, and to create and support local events and projects. We are therefore asking for Fellows to indicate their interest in being part of a small group to facilitate activity in a specific geographic area. The role will be a light touch one and should not require huge commitment of time – if each group could help deliver at least two events in their area, either as their own creation or building on existing activity of Fellows and/or partner organisations, then we would see a fantastic expansion of our already busy events programme (30 in 2017, 15 already booked for 2018).
Using the information on the Fellows’ questionnaire we are seeking notes of interest for the following areas:-
- St Andrews/Perth/Dundee
- Dumfries and Galloway
If you live in an area other than these and would like to explore activity, we are still keen to gauge interest, so please do get in touch.
There are some thematic groups in existence with an appetite for more to form. To that end, we are again opening an inclusive call for anyone who is keen to support leading thematic areas. The core to the thematic work is to tie in with the RSA’s work and the work underway in Scotland. The RSA’s central Change Aims are: Public Services and Communities (PSC); Creative Learning and Development (CLD); and Economy, Enterprise and Manufacturing (EEM). To root these in a Scottish context, we have aligned them with the core priorities of the Scottish Government – as a politically neutral organisation these are not alignment with any political party, but rather a space to ensure our work can have maximum impact. There are:
- Wealthier and Fairer (PSC,EEM)
- Smarter (CLD)
- Healthier (PSC, CLD)
- Safer and Stronger (PSC)
- Greener (PSC, CLD, EEM)
We are looking for Fellows with interests in particular areas to get in touch so we can ascertain where there is space for building activity. This could be on key pieces of current RSA work (basic income, resilience, design, community banking etc.); on work being explored by current Fellow-led thematic networks (Wellbeing; Inclusive Growth; Media, Creative Industries, Culture and Heritage); or areas that you are involved in or have ideas for.
Mic Starbuck has been the Fellow leading on the development of online activity in Scotland, connected into the work being undertaken by Fellows in other parts of the RSA, and host regular online events. If you would like to know more, or would like to discuss how to become involved or organise your own online events, please contact Mic email@example.com.
One question some might ask is around commitment. With thematic and regional groups in place this gives a good sounding board for the direction of RSA Scotland as a whole. As such we would ask that volunteers try to make two meetings of the wider group a year (we will meet physically and via zoom) and also that they try to arrange at least two engagements annually for Fellows in their regional/thematic area. The RSA Scotland team will provide support in terms of resources, finance and promotion as appropriate.
We trust that between clarity on regional and thematic activity, events on offer and work ongoing there will be more opportunity for engagement and also more impact from the diverse expertise and experiences of our Scottish Fellowship. Together we can have an impact on raising awareness of pertinent issues; advocating and driving change.
We look forward to hearing from Fellows who are keen to contribute in these areas. Please contact Jamie Cooke to discuss any questions you have or to indicate your interest in contributing.
Please keep an eye on the RSA Scotland webpage to get details of upcoming events – there are several open for booking and more to be confirmed in due course, including our series of Engage events and an Annual Conference in the summer. You can also find information on the RSA Scotland Twitter account @theRSAScotland.