Every Friday from midday The Steps, our mini amphitheatre, is filled with social change conversations.
These conversations provide a weekly opportunity to share inspiring ideas for change, to celebrate a social change project making an impact, or to share learning and expertise on how to make change.
You're welcome to drop in, order some lunch and #JoinTheConversation. Stay all afternoon or just drop in for a while as you enjoy your lunchbreak, it's up to you.
If you've got something to share - a challenge, an idea, some learnings - please get in touch with a short description, the date you'd like to speak and the format of your talk. Please note, the programme is fully booked until the start of November 2019. You've got up to 50 minutes to engage the audience, gain useful insights or gather collaborators around your project.
Please see below for information about upcoming conversations, who else is speaking and available dates, and find some useful speaker notes here.
Upcoming conversations this Autumn...
Friday 20th September, 2 - 4pm
Designing for a Circular Economy
- To mark London Design Week, this edition will be curated by Head of Design Rebecca Ford and Senior Researcher Josie Warden, who are leading RSA project 'Make Fashion Circular'.
We know the current fashion industry is damaging to people and the environment and urgently needs to change - but how will the transition to a more regenerative industry take place, and what role will design play?
We’ll be joined by leading design experts to explore three areas of change: materials, designers & citizens.
Speakers will include Robert Nicoll, Co-Founder of Chip[s]board; Elodie Russelot, Circular Design Project Manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
- Book your ticket here
Friday 27th September: leadership and business
- 12pm: Conversations for change in the 21st Century. How should we lead change in a new world of work with flatter hierarchies, less trust in leadership, less certainty and more concern with meaning and purpose? Stephen Welch FRSA and Mike Pounsford FRSA founded Bushcraft, conversations for change, because they think leaders today need to change how they navigate the new world of work. Bushcraft is a metaphor based on the Coureurs de Bois in Canada, in the 17thc. Adapting to the New World they travelled light, used local materials and resources, developed close relationships with the native population and flourished working in the joint interests of natives and traders. Stephen and Mike have developed a set of short conversations to challenge traditional ways of thinking and encourage innovation in leadership. Join the conversation to find out more about Stephen and Mike’s philosophy, share ideas about what needs to change and how, and to experiment with a new approach to making change happen.
- 1pm: What is the role of espionage in business? There is little doubt our perception of the secret world of spies is largely shaped by Hollywood movies. Indeed, upon hearing the word, stock images like James Bond or Jason Bourne instantly appear to mind. Yet, interestingly, espionage (or spying) is not just limited to top-secret organisations like MI6 and GCHQ in Britain or the CIA in America. In this highly revealing talk, intelligence expert, published writer, History teacher, Founder and Curator of TEDxLambeth, and a commissioning editor for E-International Relations, Daniele-Hadi Irandoost will uncover spying strategies applied to the world of business and industry, at the same time as addressing such questions as what is spying and why is it necessary, not to mention how is spying done and how can businesses protect themselves against it.
Friday 4th October: ethics and the internet
- 12pm: Parenting in the 21st century brings a new set of challenges, one of which is the use of electronic devices. We are the first generation of parents who have the important task of teaching our children how to live well in the digital age, to make sure they enjoy its opportunities in a way that does not threaten their wellbeing. Most of us grew up in an age of no mobile phones, consoles or computers and as adults, we have stumbled into this unregulated digital space blindly. Social media has become a key tool for work and life, and many of us necessarily spend a lot of time updating our feeds, so how then can we tell our children they should spend less or no time on social media? In this talk Sara Poss FRSA and Betsy Gibson, founders of Rooted Parenting, will explore what a healthy relationship with our electronic devices could look like, why the digital world has such a pull particularly on young people, and how to best reach our children in order to set clear boundaries effectively.
- 1pm: Is crowd funding working, or does the Notre Dame fundraiser raise ethical questions about the power of big money? This conversation, started by William Makower FRSA, has as its grounding the noble origins of crowdfunding from the 1700s and will consider how digital platforms have further democratised giving to a wide and varied online audience. Has crowdfunding reached its highwater mark? Does the contribution of nearly half a billion euros from three wealthy families tilt the scales? What are the ethical questions raised by these huge donations and has crowdfunding lost its value when large and widely-publicised donations affect the influence of smaller gifts? William has spent the last seven years helping small and medium sized charities fundraise through the charity National Funding Scheme and its DONATE platform, for which he was awarded a Catalyst grant.
Friday 11th October: Mediation Awareness Week
- 12pm: Can the ‘magic’ of mediation enhance democracy and human rights? Whether it is Brexit impasse, strains on the UK constitution, or strife over tariffs on global trade, we are living in times of major turbulence for democracy and for the negotiation and decision-making challenges within our traditional economic and political systems. Insofar as consensus and negotiated outcomes are important to effective democracies, can we learn any lessons from the world of practising commercial mediators? Dr Karl Mackie CBE FRSA is Founder President of CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution), a barrister and psychologist, and has been a pioneer in promoting and practising mediation in commercial and legal disputes internationally for nearly 30 years. He will outline some of the key elements of commercial mediation practice and why it generates dramatic results in nearly 80% of cases where even sophisticated negotiators have previously failed to agree. In this session, join Karl in conversation on whether and how the lessons from successful mediation practice can be adapted to our political systems, to enable us to have better political conversations and better outcomes from political discourse and decision-making.
- 1pm: Mediation as a skill for the future. The waves of change are swelling and growing faster. If we are to work together to face the challenges of the 21st century we must transform how we view relationships and conflict – but how? What are the skills and tools we need to facilitate necessary conversations? Mediation expert Jane Gunn FRSA will discuss how mediation skills of listening, facilitation and dialogue in transforming our traditional approaches to relationships and problem-solving. What role might mediation skills offer to organisations around leadership in times of change, challenge and crisis, as well as globally around climate change, environmental disaster and political upheaval? Jane is a former corporate lawyer who specialises in transforming business relationships and was a member of RSA Tomorrow’s Company Inquiry, a major review of the way in which British businesses operate and behave.
Friday 18th October: social inclusion
- 1pm: John Wardle FRSA (recording artist Jah Wobble) will be talking about Tuned In, an initiative that tackles loneliness through weekly music and health sessions. Tuned in uses the existing Merton Libraries infrastructure and its new cultural offer through the Merton Arts Space at Wimbledon Library to address loneliness in a borough that has higher suicide rates than found in London and nationally. The project is aimed at men over 50 but is open to all and has attracted men and women of all ages, who find it a valuable and safe space to come together, play music and develop connections in their community. The project forms part of Merton's Suicide Prevention and Loneliness Strategy and works closely with local support services to ensure there is a fast track referral system in place for any participants who require additional support. Join this conversation to hear how John is planning to develop Tuned In and to share feedback and ideas for its continued success tackling social isolation.
Friday 27th October: artificial intelligence
MozFest is returning this week to RSA House to explore ‘More Responsible Artificial Intelligence’. We are looking for Friday Conversations speakers who would like to speak to this theme.
Artificial intelligence might bring to mind futuristic tech, like superhuman robots or devious computer systems. But algorithms that make decisions for us are embedded in emerging and familiar technologies today, from search engines and social networks to facial recognition and self-driving cars. MozFest 2019, will explore how machines are making decisions for us now, and what AI advances are on the horizon. Festival attendees will brainstorm ways to bring more social responsibility, ethics, and user agency to AI... today, and in the future.
To apply to speak on 'More Responsible Artificial Intelligence' please get in touch.
There are no remaining dates available to speak in September and October. However, if you are interested in hosting a Friday Conversation please get in touch in October via firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration in the Winter programme.
To find out about other Fellowship events coming up in London, please click here.
Please click here for Rawthmells accessibility statement. Please note that wheelchair access to The Steps is currently restricted whilst we await the delivery of a custom-made platform. Please get in touch to discuss access via email@example.com or call Rawthmells Events and Programme manager on +44 (0)20 7451 6937 for more information.