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The first RSA meeting took place in Covent Garden in 1754 and today Fellowship Councillor Neil McLennan reflects on Shetland Fellows meeting in 2018.

The RSA was founded in 1754 during the Enlightenment by William Shipley. The first meeting was held at Rawthmell's Coffee House in Covent Garden. Simply by bringing innovative, interesting and impactful people together creative ideas collectively have enriched society ever since. Agriculture, manufacture, chemistry, mechanics, polite art, colonies and trade were key focus areas for discussion in the first 100 years.

Some 264 years after the formation of the RSA, perhaps the RSA's most northerly meeting took place on 17 February 2018. Fellowship Councillor for Scotland, Neil McLennan reached out to Shetland based fellows and convened a meeting of them over coffee, catching up with another fellow later that day. Discussions with Shetland Fellows ranged from circular economy, sustainability, mental health, arts and culture.

 Two of the four fellows already knew each other and the others had not met before. Already the connections gave an some tangible collaborative links and together the group wish to continue to turn joint ideas and aspirations into reality. A Shetland Network is now starting to form for Fellows based there and indeed fellows visiting the island. More news on this soon. For now the message is clear:- The power to create can happen quite easily. Sometimes it just needs a meeting over a cup of coffee.

Shetland Fellows: L-R Mat Roberts, Neil McLennan (RSA Fellowship Councillor), Ingrid Webb, Graeme Howell, Lewis Shand Smith

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