RSA Virtual Coffeehouse Conversation: The Way We View the World Changes The World

Fellowship Event


Online via Zoom

  • Public Services & Communities
  • Rawthmells
  • Fellowship
  • Fellowship in Action
  • Global

The underlying assumption is that normally people don’t “pull together” until a crisis forces us. Is this true?

The RSA Coffeehouse is opening its virtual doors to our global community of Fellows, friends, family and colleagues. Inspired by the origin of the RSA as an enlightenment coffeehouse 300 years ago, our Virtual Coffeehouse Conversations event series offers an interactive space for Fellows to share and discuss ideas for social change. This is an opportunity to find support and feedback from the Fellowship community, with conversation and connection at its heart.

We are told that it is in a crisis we all pull together. The underlying assumption here is that normally people don’t “pull together” but lead selfish lives in a dangerous and corrupt society. But is this true? It’s true that most people believe the worst of others and of society. Research shows that clearly. But perhaps this belief is wrong. Our view of other people and the world is grossly biased towards negativity, a bias is constantly reinforced by the 24/7 diet of dismal news and views that we gorge on. The truth is, we have a distorted view of others, and that effects the way we behave.

On the other hand, we take stock of the increased focus on solidarity that the virus has brought. Showing solidarity has been a popular response to social challenges from Covid-19 through to racial inequality. Examples include the rise of mutual aid groups, the impact of listening work with young people evidenced in new research from the Listening Fund, and the efforts of funders to flexibly support the survival of frontline charities. Is there more to learn from solidarity than just how humans face a crisis? Can a focus on solidarity help us shape more impactful relationships to create good in the post pandemic world?  


 About the Speakers

Colin Falconer FRSA is Director of Inspirechilli, a training and development consultancy that brings asset-based approaches to life for organisations in the UK and overseas. Colin has worked in various education and quality assurance initiatives, including 14 years as Director of Innovation at youth charity the Foyer Federation, during which time he delivered a TEDx speech on opening talent in young people in Thessaloniki, 2011.

Charles Fowler FRSA is part of the Steering Group of the UK Values Alliance, Chairs an educational charity called the Human Values Foundation, and helps co-ordinate World Values Day.


The event will take place via the online conferencing platform, Zoom. You will receive the link to this meeting upon registering for the event, and again as a reminder 30 minutes before.

If you have questions about this event, please email Rachel Godin (Interim RSA Coffeehouse and London Events Manager) at [email protected] 


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