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At Large Candidates for Fellowship Council

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These are the At Large candidates for the RSA Fellowship Council elections,
with their official candidate statements and such other info I can find about their main online presence.
I’ll check with them for more. Here’s information about RSA Fellowship

I have also added statements from the election group where those have been provided by candidates. RSA links are now broken because sites ahaev gone - October 2016 David Wilcox

Jenny Bland

I am standing for election to Fellowship Council as an ‘At Large’ member of the team. What will I bring to the Council?
I work in audience development, identifying the barriers that prevent people from becoming involved in organisations and then creating ways to break down those barriers. I spend time clearly demonstrating what an organisation has to offer, in ways that enthuse and motivate people. So, on a daily basis I deal with the sort of challenges that face the RSA and its Fellows at present.
A Londoner born and bred, I have lived and worked around the country for the CBI, Bath and Southampton Universities and various heritage organisations and museums. I currently work in Sheffield and live in the Peak District, crossing over the RSA Regional boundaries! I am Regional Secretary for RSA Yorkshire. I am also co-founder and organiser of the successful and productive Sheffield RSA Network, which we set up when a number of Fellows became frustrated with the lack of local RSA activity and the subsequent waste of the ability, creativity, expertise and insight of the local Fellows.
Our greatest strength is our Fellows, but there are barriers to these Fellows being fully involved in the potential work of the RSA – poor internal communication channels; lack of a clear public image; regional isolation. These are issues that Fellowship Council needs to focus on and which, given the opportunity, I will address. election group
Hello All, It’s interesting seeing the discussion(s) develop, tho’ as an averagely-digitally aware person I’m already getting to the stage wher I’m not sure which discussion I’m on! So, I’ll go back to what I said to David when he first contacted me about expanding Fellowship Council Hustings to online - I have reservations about the online approach to the Hustings because although we can put huge amounts of energy into setting up the online groups and entering discussions, the vast majority of Fellows will never know about it.
There is still nothing on the RSA website Home page about the elections - that is the first point of call for most people who have a fairly basic digital awareness - which is probably the level that the majority of our Fellows have (any research been done by JAS on this - how our Fellows relate to the centre?). So, I want to work on the central end of the election information. I will be in contact with Michael Ambjorn again early next week to look at getting Election info on the Home page of the RSA website and links to the Fellowship discussion sites - if no-one knows, no-one will discuss! So, that’s where I’ll currently put my time.
My contribution to the list of what the candidates agree on is a question - do we agree that central RSA has too great an emphasis on the all important task of bringing in new Fellows to the detriment of retention and ‘servicing’ of current Fellows. I believe their balance is wrong and in fact is causing Fellows to leave the RSA when renewal time comes around.
In answer to Andy’s question about RSA supporting individual Fellow’s projects: currently, the RSA scene is one of exciting innovation - but the RSA needs to clarify what its aims are, so that what and who is supported and encouraged and taken ‘national’ etc is measured against agreed RSA criteria for broad social development. It all goes back to effective committee organisation and discussion. Let’s get some good structural organisers on Fellowship Council which will enable all the IT and communication ideas to flow. Cheers, Jenny

Charlotte Britton

The power of the internet has been a key aspect in growing my business. Everything from online communities, LinkedIn, blogging, Skype (and others) have always played an important part in the way my team works and we always look out for innovative uses of the next technology. I’d like to play a more active role in the RSA and the Fellowship Council feels like a natural step forward. My goal is to use the skills I have developed in growing my companies to drive online collaboration, communication and resources within Yorkshire.
If we want a more joined-up RSA it has to be led by the Fellows and using online tools and new technologies is a crucial aspect in accelerating that process. I have been an active member of the Digital Engagement Group for the past 2 years and am the Yorkshire Digital Champion as well as a Yorkshire Committee member. I am the former West Yorkshire Chair of the Institute of Directors and a board member at Yorkshire Dance. If you’d like a more engaged, better connected RSA Fellowship, please vote for me. election group
As Andy said I won’t go on about my candidacy too much. I’ve done an extended blog post you can read.
I agree with Andy that taking the council to the next phase should be all of our focus. We need to get more engaged with our fellows and get them collaborating and connecting. Using the online platforms like this is essential for that.
The wealth of knowledge, experience and ideas within the fellowship is astounding, and working with the team at John Adam Street we need to tap into that to make a social impact in the areas where fellows live. We need to create more of a community and network out in the regions.

Steve Coles

As an ‘At Large’ Councillor I will contribute both a range of experiences and specific expertise in social enterprise and impact measurement. I also offer a deep passion, evidenced in practice, for creating positive social value for individuals, communities and the environment. I currently work across three main roles: as founder and director of Intentionality CIC, as SocialEnterprise Development Manager for The Salvation Army (UK) and as Director of Development for the Social Business Partnership. I have worked for organisations in the private and voluntary sectors, in the UK and overseas. These varied roles mean I offer a perspective encompassing big, small, new, old, social and corporate, and yet all with the themes of enterprise and impact at their heart.
In balancing multiple roles, I can think on my feet and as a Councillor I will ask challenging questions and can be relied upon to implement actions. I like to apply research to practical, complex, impactful situations and would add to debate in the Council and its working groups. My experience in impact measurement means that I will put into practice the maxim ‘you measure what is important’ and use the findings to drive improvements and enthusiastic involvement in the RSA.
I actively participate in the RSA social entrepreneurs’ network and am an ardent supporter of the Spotlight and Catalyst programmes. I have already given time to training and advising various Catalyst winners and am keen to get more involved. As a Councillor, I will ensure that the projects have ‘a tangible and positive social impact’ and contribute to getting the ‘biggest bang for the buck’ of the Catalyst fund. Above all, I look forward to being part of a more enlightened, more sustainable, more impactful organisation that is working to create a better world. election group
Like the others who have already commented below, I’m an ‘At Large’ candidate and won’t repeat my candidate statement here. There are certainly some common themes among the candidates - taking the Council forward, developing new ideas, encouraging engagement of and collaboration between Fellows - that I wholeheartedly support. More specifically to my nomination, I’m particularly interested in social enterprise, social impact and the Catalyst Programme.
In looking through the findings of the recent Fellowship Survey, there were three recommendations that particularly caught my eye and which resonate strongly with what I’d like to be involved in, support and encourage as part of the Fellowship Council:
17) Increase visibility of realisation of the RSA’s mission and continuously demonstrate how the RSA is delivering value to Society as a whole
18) Define structure of key metrics for future performance monitoring and benchmarking
19) Further analysis of the qualitative data collected as part of this survey is likely to provide additional insights into the expectations of fellows in the under-40’s group and those employed in the Third Sector
Above all (and perhaps most appropriately for this stage of the election process given that many will have already voted and/or not all candidates will want to or be able to engage with this online discussion) I’m keen that I, and hopefully my fellow candidates, listen and learn as much as possible to the Fellowship. I’m hoping that this forum and others will provide a space not only for us to tell you about ourselves, but for you to tell us about what you want from and hope for the RSA in the 21st century.

Anthony P Colton

Having served on the Fellowship Council this year (2011-12), and previously as the Chair of the East Midlands, I have been involved in a wide variety of local, regional and national activities. I seek your support in wishing to continue my contribution to the RSA.
Previously: - Principal and Chief Executive, College of Further and Higher Education, England
- President of the Association of Principals of Colleges
- Involved in Education Delegations to USA, China, and many European countries.
- Currently: (i) closely linked to education developments serving as:
- Trust Director – Primary School Academy
- Governor, and Chair of Strategic and Academic Development Committee – Comprehensive School
- Independent Member of the Appeals Panel for AQA dealing with GCSE, AS and GCE ‘A’ level examinations appeals
- Founder Member of the City & Guilds Association supporting vocational qualifications
- (ii) working with the world of business through involvement as:
- Chair of the Nottinghamshire branch of the Chartered Management Institute
- Member of the East Midlands Forum of the Chartered Management Institute
- Member of my Local Town Partnership aimed at enterprise/social development
- (iii) steering Community and Voluntary developments as:
- Chair of the local area Community and Voluntary Services Management Committee
- Member of a Group developing a ‘Civil War Learning Centre and Museum
- Member of a county-wide partnership to improve Community Services
Through all the above activities there are common threads – notably ‘good governance’ and ‘making things happen’ - which underpin the RSA and its Fellowship development. Of course we have far to go, but with our refurbished House, an energetic staff, and an inspirational agenda, the Fellowship needs to grow and expand its influence locally, regionally, nationally, and globally – which is why I wish to remain involved and seek your vote to support me.

Professor John Elliott

  • RSA Social Network page
    I am Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of East Anglia. Following experience as a teacher I developed an academic career as an applied educational and social researcher, specialising in the evaluation of educational innovations and the collaborative construction of actionable knowledge with educational practitioners. In both respects I attracted national and international recognition.
    In 2009 I was elected by RSA Fellows in the Eastern Region to the new Fellowship Council. As such I participated in restructuring the governance of the Society to give Fellows greater influence in its affairs. The positive impact of this democratic restructuring is clearly evident.
    On the Fellowship Council I held the brief for education and embarked on convening a problem- focussed multi-disciplinary Fellows Education Forum as a pilot in the Norwich area. This Forum now consists of a stable self-sustaining network of Fellows engaged in an action research process, aimed at giving parents and young people in educationally and socially disadvantaged communities a voice in articulating and sharing their educational stories and experiences to each other, ultimately empowering them to develop community based action strategies to effect change in the life chances of young people. This is being done in partnership with a community radio station. The aim has always been to roll out such problem-focussed and Fellows-led Forums across the regions.
    There remains much to be done in finding ways to roll out Fellow-led local projects nationally and internationally to establish them as a basis for information exchange and thematic networking; also, in establishing stronger linkages between the RSA’s funded projects and Fellow-led initiatives and thematic networks. My experience and skills as an applied social researcher and member of the Fellowship Council to date has equipped me to play a leading role in these major areas of development. election group
I am in agreement with Andy Gibson as my candidate statement will show. There is an urgent need to create strong links between RSA projects and Fellows with relevant expertise. There is also an urgent need to stimulate the formation of Fellow initiated action research projects aimed at understanding and finding innovatory solutions to what Andy refers to as ‘entrenched social problems’.
In Norwich we have established an interdisciplinary RSA Fellows Forum, which has focussed on the complex relationship between community factors and educational outcomes in schools. The forum has been sustained. For two years, and I am anxious to explore how we can roll out similar local forums nationally and link central RSA projects with them to mutual benefit.

Andy Gibson

  • Web site Mindapples
    I believe I can bring to the RSA a deep practical understanding of the power of digital technologies, genuine passion for the ideas and creativity of the Fellowship, and a commitment to the vision of the Society to use arts, manufacturing and commerce to improve our society.
    My involvement with the RSA began in 2007 and in the five years since then, I have become increasingly involved in the work of the Society. I have served on the Fellowship Council since its inception in 2009, helping to give shape and identity to this important body in its early years. I have continued to champion a strong focus on Fellowship activity in the Council, and to connect the work of the Society to the broader interests of the Fellowship that sustains it.
    I continue to be involved in a number of other initiatives alongside my work on the Council. As a judge for the Royal Designers for Industry I have helped align the criteria for the award to the social objectives of the RSA, and on the House Development Committee I have contributed my knowledge of digital and participatory technologies to help make John Adam Street a world-class centre for events and innovation.
    In my professional career I have focussed on social enterprise and impact. I co-founded the social education start-up School of Everything ( in 2006, and co-wrote Social by Social ( in 2009, one of the first practical guides to using social media tools for social impact. My main focus now is Mindapples (, a non-profit organisation which asks “What’s the 5-a-day for your mind?”. I have also written for the RSA Journal, and am a recipient of a Catalyst Award for my new project to build digital tools to organise and manage volunteering, Do a Bit. election group
I won’t restate too much of my candidate statement here (plus I really can’t bear too much shameless electioneering!) so the main thing I thought I’d say to kick things off is that my focus has previously been around promoting opportunities for Fellows to connect with each other, which I still believe in strongly.
Where I intend to focus in this next phase of our growth as a Council is in creating opportunities for Fellows to contribute to the work of the Society, and supporting Fellows voices in the wider debate about what the UK and our global society needs to thrive and survive.
I see the RSA as a community of people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, coming together to research and pilot innovative new solutions to entrenched social issues. The work of the staff and Projects Team is pioneering in this field, and many Fellows are also leading the way in these activities. Excellent projects like RSA Catalyst are already starting to support Fellows to turn their ideas into action, and I want to help create even more paths for Fellows’ ideas to be showcased and supported by the RSA, for mutual benefit.
I think the RSA is on its way to being the best institution in the UK for supporting people with ambitious ideas for social impact, and I hope to help it get there. Hopefully many Fellows will agree!

Dr Kathy Seddon

  • Twitter
    My career has been in education, in schools and colleges across the UK. A Churchill Fellowship (1997) allowed me to set up an online schools’ network across Europe. For six years we monitored butterflies, as indicators of climate change. Survey data was posted on our award winning, EU funded, website “The Butterfly Sight”. This partnership led to my PhD research (Exeter) on “Motivation and collaborative learning online”. A series of peer-reviewed papers on eLearning followed and I presented at a number of international conferences. I was elected to Fellowship of the Linnean Society.
    I joined the eLearning team at the National College for School Leadership, (2003) using my expertise to create web-based mentor and facilitator courses. I also facilitated online consultations between school leaders, departmental policy teams and education ministers. My experience would be useful to the RSA Digital Engagement Group and to the council’s work in enabling Fellows to collaborate online.
    Currently I am evaluating ‘web seminar’ use in International Baccalaureate courses. Baccalaureate curricula resonate with those of the RSA ‘opening minds’ project - I hope to contribute to this. As chair of the Welsh Association of Churchill Fellows I was asked by the RSA and the Churchill Trust to set up a joint ‘advising’ project. New Churchill Fellows are offered the chance to link with a FRSA who is willing to act as an advisor. Fellows who took part in this year’s pilot will present their outcomes at the RSA autumn conference in Wales. I am delighted to be a member of the new RSA Wales Cymru team organising this event.
    Help from the RSA Skills Bank group has been essential for the success of this pilot. Together we are drawing together ‘lessons learned’ for an expansion of the advising project across the UK. election group
    Hello everyone and thanks to Jemima for creating this space for discussion - and to David for the excellent Wiki where everything is gathered. Just returned from some work based travelling - so hope it’s not too late to join in as an ‘at large candidate’.
    I have posted previously in LinkedIn and an earlier ‘at large’ discussion so will not repeat that information - It’s all in my statement in David’s wiki.
    One of the many things I value about the RSA is that it provides fantastic opportunities for learning. Reading these contributions I have learned a lot! Firstly from Steve’s information on the Fellowship survey to Ed’s comments about reasons for Fellows ‘dropping out’ (I have heard similar comments) Charlotte and Andy both emphasise community and this also resonates with me as I work with communities of practice.
    It is really good to see how many of us have placed an emphasis on five key actions if elected namely:
  • Connecting Fellows
    - Enabling Fellows to contribute
    - Utilising fellows expertise
    - Making the RSA offer to Fellows clear
    - Extending Catalyst possibilities.
    These are all very important aims and I totally agree with them. I have been thinking about what could be put in place in order to achieve them. I have some ideas that I would like to discuss. I would really welcome the chance to develop them with you, as I believe passionately in collaborative learning.

Richard Tyrie

  • Web site Jobs Go Public
    I began my professional life working for James Caan in the early 90s, headhunting Intellectual Property Lawyers into city law firms. Following an ‘epiphany’ – having logged onto the internet for the first time in 1995 – I joined one of the UK’s first ‘dot com’ enterprises ‘’ – the UK’s first employment website. Within 3 years became one of the UK’s fastest growing, profitable ‘’ enterprises at the time of my exit in 1998.
    Upon exiting, I set up, the first online employment network to focus on the Public and Third Sector, which still retains its position as a market leader, with over 1.4 million visitors each month.
    In 2008, I was invited to become a Trustee of – The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs. Together with colleagues at Unltd, we now manage a £100+ million endowment, which has funded over ten thousand social enterprises since inception. I also mentor various social entrepreneurs and am on the advisory panel of the Emerge Venture Lab (
    I am now working on my latest venture ‘GoodPeople’: a technology platform and services business that aims to tackle the social challenges we face by connecting the supply and demand for talent, arguably our most valuable natural resource. By assisting ‘information flows’ between the private sector employees and their counterparts in socially-focussed organisations, we believe profound change can happen. Quickly.
    I am passionate about harnessing the latent skills that exist within our society, and feel that the RSA should be doing more to harness the latent potential of the fellowship, in order to scale social innovation and build capacity into Civil Society organisations. To assist this journey, I will bring 17 years worth of expertise, strategy, communications, talent management and technology.

Edward Whiting

  • Blog
    I joined the RSA 5 years ago (at the age of 25), since when I have enjoyed the rich variety of networks, activities, and talks on offer. I’m a Civil Servant and social entrepreneur, with a career spanning a number of Government Departments, most recently the Treasury. Outside my ‘day job’, my belief in the power of individuals pulling together for social good led me to set up uk, a ‘crowdfunding’ website pulling lots of small donations together to support the UK arts sector. Prior to merging with PeopleFund.It in March, we funded nearly 50 arts projects through thousands donations, supporting projects across artforms and regions, from local arts festivals to saving two community galleries threatened with closure.
    My vision is of a more engaged Fellowship base, better placed to collectively make sense of and influence our rapidly changing world. I have experience of making big organisations work – as well as hands-on experience of tackling some of the biggest public policy challenges facing the UK – combined with a self-starting drive to get things done. As I described in my recent RSA Comment blog, I would particularly like to bring together the digital engagement and Catalyst strands to even better unlock the talents and capacity of our Fellowship base. I am passionate about broadening the RSA’s Fellowship base and improving our offer to new Fellows, while also recognising the depth of wisdom, energy and enthusiasm that is already well evidenced across the Fellowship. I believe that the RSA can be a great example of what a group of switched-on individuals can do to build a better society – and I want to help make this happen.
    I’ll be starting a conversation shortly about the RSA and social change on my blog – do join me at election group
Hi all- firstly, thanks David and Jemima, and hello Charlotte (both of whom are brilliant and have my votes). I’m an at large candidate and also have added a bit to my statement in a blog here</span>. Do have a look- comments v welcome indeed.
I love the RSA, and have hugely enjoyed being involved with it. It feels like we’ve now taken the first steps to making the Fellowship really fuel new ideas and thinking (at a time when we desperately need both), and I’m v keen to help step this up a notch. I’ve set out some ideas in my blog- in short, I think we could go even further to clarify the Fellowship offer, segment the Fellowship base a bit more and then help Fellows to discover projects and discussions that make things happen. All the pieces are there, and are gradually (and courageously) being brought together- I want to be part of making this happen even faster.
I’ll stop now, but let’s get talking some more.

Professor Pooran Wynarczyk

  • Linkedin profile
    I am the Founder and Director of the Small Enterprise Research Unit (SERU) at Newcastle University Business School. Since joining Newcastle University in 1983, I have been principal investigator of numerous Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and European funded action and policy oriented research projects.
    My internationally recognised research and publications revolve around key themes, including, entrepreneurship, public policy, and science, innovation and technology. I established the ESRC funded ‘Role Model Platform for Innovative Women’ in the North East in 2007. I was an elected Board Director and Trustee of the ‘Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’ (2005-2011, maximum length).
    I held the elected Chair of the Diversity Consultative Group, Newcastle University (2009-2012) and, as such, have significant knowledge of equal opportunities policies. I am a member of the ‘Judging Panel’, of Formula One (F1) in Schools Technology Challenge. To this end, I run annual events, ‘Role Model Platform for Young Scientists’, in collaboration with key employers, F1 and STEM outreach representatives, sponsored by the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science, aimed at sparking greater interests in science, technology, design, engineering and entrepreneurship amongst young people.
    I firmly believe my international/national/local networks and collaboration together with my expertise and skills provide me with a unique opportunity to promote greater participation of Fellows in RSA’s local/national projects and networks, in the areas of enterprise, manufacturing and education in particular and the RSA’s wider remits as a whole.
    If elected to Fellowship Council, I will strive to make positive contributions to the Council’s overall aim of ensuring an effective and sustainable working relationship between the RSA, its Fellows and wider communities and to assist RSA to identify innovative ways to promote greater diversity and inclusion through the removal of stereotype that exists in our society.

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