Two-weeks ago we hosted our first Show & Ask. 55 Fellows attended across two sessions from Finland, Japan, Scotland, Australia, Hong Kong, US, Poland, England and Colombia.
These monthly sessions are an informal opportunity for the project team to share our progress and learning with Fellows, and ask for feedback. We are committed to working in the open and taking an iterative experimentation approach to learn what works and what doesn't.
A reminder of the project’s focus:
What does the digital ecosystem look like that improves the ease and frequency of opportunity for Fellows to engage with the RSA and with other Fellows, and meets the diverse needs of the Fellowship?
Working in the open
We had some great challenge, feedback and some pointers about things to think about, which was exactly what we wanted from the sessions.
The project team also asked for feedback after the session and we heard:
What worked well:
- the space to ask questions and interact, transparency of plans, the agile mechanisms being used
- the focus on better understanding the needs of Fellows
What could be improved:
- more time for comments from Fellows to share experiences of what has/hasn’t worked
- maintaining a positive space for sharing and keeping feedback on topic
Responding to feedback
In response to the feedback we received, we will experiment with two things in the next session:
This is a new way of working for the RSA and there is more we need to do to ensure that these sessions feel positive and inclusive – the success of the work relies on hearing diverse voices from across the Fellowship.
In the next Show & Ask we will experiment with the discussion principles:
- bring care to listening to each other
- honour differences and speak from your experience
- and to take space and make space
Sharing success stories
Although we know there are key problems to solve with the current digital experience, we also want to focus on success stories and building on what we know works already and the strengths of the RSA.
We have been collating examples of brilliant Fellowship engagement and stories of change from Fellows - and will share a few of these at the beginning of each upcoming Show & Ask.
Areas of focus
During the Show & Ask we invited attendees to rate which problem areas resonated most in their experience. These areas had been directly translated from learning from last year’s Fellowship engagement research and Digital Summit.
Both morning and afternoon session rated the same top three: Sense of community, Discoverability and Communication.
If all of these things are done, ‘Sense of Community’ is a by-product of success in the other areas
Focus for this sprint
Over the last 2 weeks the project team has been busy exploring lessons learned, and collating success stories and strengths of the RSA. We want to ensure we build on the successes of existing and past Fellowship engagement. Please share any examples of inclusive engagement activity that worked well for you and/or other Fellows (on or off-line) in the comments. And what outcomes it led to.
We have also started to map out the target experience for Fellowship online engagement, that we want to test with Fellows. We will be testing this initially with a small group of Fellows in our first co-design workshop, and play back learning at our next Show & Ask on the 26th August.
We look forward to continuing to share our progress. We recognise that some aspects of this way of working will work, and some things won’t, but we are excited to try something different and hope you are too.