Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA, set out his vision in an email to Fellows on September 6 2007.
I hope many of you will have heard my thoughts on the core purpose ofthe RSA and its Fellowship from the Journal, my blog, various speechesand through other channels. However, I felt it was important to writenow to all RSA Fellows to outline the significance of the changes we areembarking upon, and to provide you with a little more background.
In essence, our aim is that the RSA becomes a network for civicinnovation, empowering both Fellows and staff to develop new initiativesthat promote and deliver progress in society. We want to make it easierfor any Fellow who wants to get involved to connect with otherlike-minded Fellows and to develop initiatives that seek to removebarriers to progress, working locally, in professional groups or simplyamong people who share interests and enthusiasms.
This is a huge step, arguably one of the biggest in our illustrioushistory. Whilst individual Fellows have actively engaged with the workof the RSA, the experience of most Fellows has tended to be morepassive. You’ve told us you want that to change, so the plan is to bringthe Fellows from the periphery to the heart of the RSA’s activities. Therole of the team at John Adam Street will be to enable and empowerFellows to be a force for progress. If we get this right, we will bebreaking new ground and hope to draw invaluable lessons about howvoluntary networks can best deliver positive interventions in society.
Throughout this process so far, we have had invaluable advice andsupport from Fellows, and we are confident that we can establish theright mix of tools and support to enable Fellows’ networks to developand flourish. If we are to succeed it means having new ideas, testingthose ideas out, turning them into plans for action and then makingchange real. It is this combination of hard edged critical thinking andinnovation with commitment and perseverance that will be the hardestchallenge.
Towards the end of November, we plan to fill the RSA House in London fora day with a cross-section of Fellows – about 1% of the total – to beginworking through the implications and applications of this idea.
Not all Fellows can fit into the House on the one day, but I want asmany Fellows as possible to be part of this change. If you have commentsor ideas, simply reply to this e-mail. There will be many opportunitiesto get involved over the coming months and we will keep you all updatedon our progress through the Fellowship section of the website and the Journal.
Matthew Taylor Chief Executive RSA, 8 John Adam Street London WC2N 6EZ www.theRSA.org