Deep-dive conversations on 21st century challenges: think, connect, explore

Fellowship Event

 -  | BST British Summer Time


  • Skills
  • Behaviour change
  • Fellowship
  • Fellowship in Action

Welcome to our 2022 unique series of events hosted by the RSA Fellow-led Coaching Network.

This is for RSA Fellows and non-Fellows working towards positive societal transformation. You’ll feel at home if you are grappling with sustainability, reinvention of work, power, diversity and inclusion, compassionate leadership and other related themes.

The conversations are at the intersection of RSA strategic themes, emerging current events, and the practical action you are taking in the world.

The themes will remain responsive to current events, and each event in the series will be held on the first Tuesday of each month, from 6-7.30pm. See upcoming episodes below:

5 April: Artificial Intelligence is here and changing our lives: How ready are we?

AI technology is already here, has infiltrated our lives and social discourse and is already determining how we individually behave, are influenced and make decisions. Psychological and therapeutic disciplines such as counselling, psychotherapy and coaching are all now asking the question: can AI help us help people better? Will AI be better than a human at talking to a human sometime in the near future? Would you want to be coached by an AI or an AI augmented human coach? Important ethical and personal considerations that will affect how we live and work.

There are three useful questions in respect to AI that we can ask of ourselves and of our relationship to communities we interact with such as in our work spaces and our families.

We will explore:

  • How far do you believe you are personally ‘managed’ or influenced by AI? And what impact is it having, for good or not, on your life?
  • How prepared are you for what is coming over the next 5 to 10 years and what might be useful for us all to agree and change about AI? Ought we to be much more political about it? How much do you think we are being told about how AI is infiltrating our lives and is it enough?
  • Do you see AI in various forms as ‘liberators’ of human potential or is it a contest for control that we are likely to lose?

3 May: Integrity: easy to say but is it always easy to do?

Life is a series of choices and actions and, for many of us, ‘integrity’ acts as a compass, directing us to do purposeful work or live a good life. It’s an easy word to use, to attach to a corporate mission statement, and to believe about ourselves and the values we uphold. In the nuance of real life, however, as we interact with people and circumstances, ‘integrity’ can be an oversimplification, lacking the practical application we sometimes need. How then do we navigate when there isn’t an obvious ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, and what’s required of us feels cloudy, or complex? Is ‘striving to do the right thing’ enough, or are there hard lines we need to draw? How do we put detail on the scaffolding of that good intention in a way that energises and inspires us? 

If these questions excite and interest you, if you want to deepen your own sense of being in integrity or to explore how to move it from being an idealised concept to something concrete to guide us as we move through our daily lives and work, then please join us. As with all our “coaching conversations”, we design this to facilitate exploration, in small groups, so that we can collectively and individually dig a bit more deeply into what we mean by integrity, how to discern it, and how to live it.

7 June: Power, politics and coaching: can we talk about it?

Coaching (whether as a leader, manager, mentor or professional coach) can often be seen as an individual sport where the client (whether it’s one of your team members, a peer or a private client) is supported by you to achieve their personal goals. However, effective coaching will always work with the wider context of the client which inevitably leads to implicit or explicit conversations on power dynamics and political context (sometimes sanitised by the more neutral labels of “communication”, “influence” or “team dynamics”). This can put the person in the coaching role in a dilemma: how do you support a client in a toxic environment? If a clear injustice is taking place, what is your role as a dispassionate observer? What can you do if your client makes a decision that you consider unethical or harmful to themselves or others? In this session, you’re invited to share your experience, explore and gain new perspectives on your role in shifting (or not) the powerful dynamics that govern human behaviour through your everyday conversations.
More dates to be added soon.

Our approach and what makes these events different:

We use a coaching approach which means that we explore how we relate to the themes and topics above, rather than staying with the ideas and concepts we hold about them.

By exploring your lived experience you will gain new insights and perspectives on these topics and a greater awareness of how you yourself relate to them. This will assist you in developing your unique approach to leadership, and increase the positive impact of what you are doing in the world.

These events are about a deeply experiential, individual exploration that generates fresh thinking for ourselves as well as the collective. The experiential element, especially in very small groups, can feel unfamiliar at first, but the feedback we get is outstanding.

Connecting with others is also an important part of our event design, supporting your exploration of the theme, and also creating an opportunity to make or deepen connections.

We welcome a diversity of perspectives on the event themes as well as the exploratory approach itself, and, during the discussion, we encourage you to contribute your own experience, expertise and presence.

If this resonates with you, join us to co-create this safe and stimulating space to explore the multiple facets of highly relevant themes.

How it works:

The sessions are participatory - in large and small groups. They embrace the intellectual, the felt and the intuitive, focussing on present moment insight and integration.

After a brief context-setting introduction, you will be invited to break into pairs or small groups to facilitate deeper exploration and reflection. This also gives you an opportunity to meet, get to know, and connect with other Fellows and like-minded individuals.

You will be challenged, through a series of structured questions to explore, reflect, and consider something new about a topic. You are invited to consider novel perspectives and different points of view that may challenge your own and discover what emerges (or not).

Taking part in Online Events 

For our interactive online events, the RSA uses the platform Zoom. It may be necessary to follow a short set-up process. To understand how Zoom uses your data, please read their Privacy Policy in advance. 

Zoom call joining details will be sent out via email in advance of the event. 

If you have any access requirements or require any reasonable adjustments to support your participation, please let the team know by emailing: [email protected]. 

We sometimes record our online RSA Fellowship events for learning purposes, publicity and/or public viewing. By attending this event, you accept that you may appear in RSA videos or images as an attendee of this event.