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RSA Watch

Bring new ideas, critical thinking, and enlightened public debate to a local area, giving Fellows the opportunity to meet, watch and discuss RSA content. 

We gathered to watch Commerce with a Conscience then engaged in a lively discussion facilitated by a successful business woman and entrepreneur. It brought Fellows with diverse interests together and gave time for networking in a relaxed atmosphere.

Alicia Carey FRSA

How does it work?

RSA Watch champions social watching; combining the screening of RSA lectures, talks, or Animates with curated, topical discussions and networking. This format works well where there is specific interest in an RSA theme or research and in areas who want to replicate the RSA Public Events programme.

These events can take place over a lunch hour, in the evening, or included as a post-lecture discussion.

What's the format?

  • Greet people and encourage networking, outline the event format
  • Watch the chosen lecture, 40-50 minutes
  • Optional facilitated discussion about the lecture, 30 minutes
  • Close event with networking

The very best in new ideas, critical thinking, and enlightened public debate.

The RSA hosts one of the world’s leading public events programmes, delivering over 100 lectures, talks, screenings and debates a year. These provide a platform for our most exciting public thinkers, and encourage intelligent exploration of today’s most urgent social challenges. 

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Step 1: Decide a theme 

What would you like to watch? Consider ideas for discussion and what might be popular locally - audiences usually gather by interest in the topic.  

Discover upcoming RSA lectures or search the full catalogue of talks online.  

Step 2: Format

Livestream or past RSA lecture? Livestreams are advertised 3-4 weeks in advance which gives you less time to prepare, and are generally held at lunchtime, whereas past lectures and Animates are already uploaded onto the RSA’s YouTube channel. Will there be a discussion element to the event and if so, who will facilitate this? You'll also want a host to help welcome and encourage participation. 

Step 3: Location

Choose your location and venue. Watch events can be held in various venues, from a meeting room to a small lecture theatre. Having the correct technology at the venue is vital, both audio and a good internet connection are essential; we strongly advise testing the technology works prior to the event. Identify a space that will be relatively quiet, welcoming and in a central location.

Step 4: Planning the event

There is plenty of support available to help shape your ideas and your event. Talk to a member of the Local Area team; we have tools and resources available, including suggestions and advice. Make sure that your collaborators are fully briefed and understand their roles.

Step 5: Promotion

You have decided the topic and lecture to watch. When you have confirmed the date/time/venue, let us know and we can create a booking page and promote the event to other RSA Fellows. Invite your colleagues, friends, and neighbours to join in and use social media to raise awareness of your event. For social media, use #FRSA and note each RSA lecture will also have its own hashtag.

Step 6:  Prior to the event

Confirm details with all involved in the delivery of the event. 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: The event itself

Introduce the event and outline the format. Enjoy the lecture, meet new people, exchange ideas and share solutions to the issues raised. Keep to timings, make sure everyone has a voice and talk about the work of the RSA. You may also want to plan your next steps - perhaps a follow-up event on a separate issue.

Step 8: Feedback

Capture feedback from the participants, what did they think of the event and are there any next steps? Please provide details of who attended by returning a copy of the sign-in list. We can support you with sending a follow-up mailing after the event.

Thinking about organising local RSA activity?

Thinking about organising local RSA activity?

Whether you want to run an event or start a new network, there is support available to help shape your ideas and promote your activity.

To suggest an idea for activity in your Area to the team, please contact