RSA Networks bring Fellows together around an issue, a theme or location. Developing a network is a great way to meet Fellows near you or with a shared interest.
It has been a wonderful experience sharing what we are most passionate about, finding like-minded Fellows who are interested in similar themes and mindsets, and each meeting brings with it a great learning opportunity.
What's the format?
RSA Networks can operate in many different ways but should:
- Be open and collaborative
- Focus on a specific theme or location
- Include a regular schedule of activity
- Encourage conversation, connection and action.
How does it work?
The key to Networks is to encourage Fellows to get involved so that it is a collaborative effort. All network events are open to everyone but you have to be a Fellow to lead a network.
If you are thinking of starting a local network, we advise you run an event first to establish the level of interest.
CREATE AN RSA NETWORK:
Step 1: Initial plans
Have a chat with the Local Area Team. We can help you think about your plan for an initial event, which Fellows to involve (networks work best when a group of 3-4 lead activity), and who you are looking to engage in the network.
Step 2: Network events
Use the first network meeting to share the idea behind starting the network and provide some interesting content. For example, this could be a guest speaker or a range of Fellows pitching their ideas/projects. We advise that you include some form of interactive element where attendees can contribute their thoughts to the vision of the network.
Step 3: Locations
When choosing a venue for your network events, make sure you have explained the format and expected attendance along with any other requirements before booking. You should use a space that will be relatively quiet, accessible, welcoming and in a central location.
Step 4: Promotion
Outline a short vision statement (max 200 words) for the RSA website. When you have confirmed the date/time/venue for your meetings, let us know and we can create a booking page and promote the activity to other RSA Fellows. Invite your colleagues, friends, and neighbours to join in and use social media (#FRSA) to raise awareness of your events.
Step 5: Managing a network
Assign roles to the team leading the nework. The Local Area Team can help you build and manage a mailing list of people that are interested in your network and send mailings on your behalf. We advise that you set up an online space so you can contact members directly and also provide a space to continue discussions in-between events and include those who can’t make events.
Step 6: Prior to network meetings
Ensure that volunteers are fully briefed and understand their roles. Many venues also welcome an update on the expected number of attendees. The Local Area Team will collate an attendee list from the RSA booking page and if required, send materials (Journals, name badges) to you prior to the event - please request with at least one week's notice.
Step 7: Network meetings
Introduce the network and explain the format for the meeting. Make sure you have refreshments for guests when they arrive, someone signing people in and have name badges available. Keep to timings and ensure everyone has a voice. You may also want to plan next steps or events.
Step 8: Feedback
Capture feedback from the participants, what did they think of the meeting and are there any next steps? Please provide details of who attended by returning a copy of the sign-in list so we can update your mailing list. We can support you with sending a follow-up mailing following the event.
CONTACT THE LOCAL AREA TEAM: NETWORKS@RSA.ORG.UK
The Local Area team are on hand to help you develop your network. We encourage Fellows to use current RSA thinking to inspire debate and we will help you work in collaboration to achieve your aims.