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About OpenRSA

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The page below was written in May 2012, when there were plans relaunch OpenRSA. These were put on hold when it seemed that RSA staff would be developing a new online system as part of redesign of the RSA main site. This didn't happen, but there have been more recent developments. See:

David Wilcox

OpenRSA was started by a group of Fellows in 2007 to support the vision of the new chief executive Matthew Taylor, who saw the 27,000-strong RSA Fellowship as an outward-looking force for social innovation. A great deal has been achieved since then, through local and special interest networks, Catalyst grants for Fellow-led projects, a dedicated staff team, and a Fellowship Council.

The Fellowship Charter of 2010 (archive link) confirms the vision, saying: “We form a unique combination of committed people and diverse ways of working in our efforts to find innovative practical solutions to pressing social problems” and “We support each other by working collaboratively and creating an enlightened space in which to tackle the challenges of the 21st century”.

OpenRSA is planning a relaunch to help create that “enlightened space”, and stronger networks for Fellows, because:

  • The climate is right internally to do more. There is renewed encouragement for Fellow-led projects, and staff-Fellow collaborations
  • The need to support citizen-led action and social innovation is widely recognised. Fellows can help.
  • A new RSA technology strategy offer the potential for better online spaces, but these may not be available for a year or so.
  • Regional Fellowship networks are keen to explore new ways to develop.
  • A Fellowship survey showed better networking as a high priority, but staff resources are stretched and more be achieved with support from Fellows.
  • There is strong demand for physical spaces to meet, but limited access to RSA facilities in London. New informal spaces should soon be available, providing better networking opportunities.

Over the past three years the RSA digital engagement group (archive link) has acted as a focus for collaboration between Fellows and staff to explore and develop new ways forward. In May 2012 the group launched a network for Regional Digital Champions (archive link), and also supported an initial exploration into how Fellows could collaborate to create a more fully networked RSA (archive link)

This led to two initiatives:

  1. Relaunch of OpenRSA as a time-limited exploration to help improve networking and collaboration among Fellows through a mix of methods, and to help connect this with wider initiatives for social and community action. We will shortly have a blog at Meanwhile more here about this exploration.
  2. More detailed exploration through the RSA digital engagement group of how Fellows could collaborate to provide interim solutions, pending full implementation of the technology strategy,


This page written by David Wilcox as a draft for discussion with others in the group, so it is likely to change.

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about.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/30 09:39 by admin