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Openrsa - RAC of civic activism

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The following was originally published February 17, 2009 at Part of the evaluation by NESTA - who funded development of RSA networks - involved video interviews and clips from events, and they’ve been promising for a while that these would go up online. Their site gives an interview with chief executive Matthew Taylor as a taster.
RSA - A new vision for the RSA from NESTA Connect on Vimeo.
Towards the end of the interview Matthew likens the RSA to a kind if civic RAC, where you might find some experts prepared to help you out with a problem.

  • One of the ways in which I characterised the RSA … the model I had at the very beginning … was I wanted us to be the RAC of civic activism.
  • When you needed a group of people, people like us, reasonably high powered people from different kind of of backgrounds, quite self confident people, with a set of skills, - and you needed a group of people to come together to solve a problem - ring the RSA.
  • Wherever they are, they are that kind of people and they have got that kind of network. That is ultimately my aspiration.

You can also hear what Matthew said at an OpenRSA event in October 2007 over here.

RSA - Setting the conditions
from NESTA Connect on Vimeo.

On the NESTA vimeo account you can now find more videos, including this interesting explanation from Laura Bunt - who leads on RSA networks development - about how things were planned internally among department. Laura and Laura Billings from the Fellowship department will be giving us an update at the workshop on Thursday.

I’ll be taking a camera, and hoping we can get a progress update on video. Written reports are fine, but I think that the videos by Eleanor Ford and Simone Jaeger give a far better idea of the vision and challenges of the past eighteen months.

The following was originally published March 4, 2009 at As an experiment, I’ve set up a forum at to see if it can help us prioritise what we do next as the loose OpenRSA collective.

I’ve seeded it with some ideas taken from the reports of the 19th February session at and a couple of others have already chipped in too.

Please take a look, see if there are new ideas you’d like to add, and/or spread your 10 votes across those that have been posted.

Comments and/or criticism of this approach are welcome, as always.

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rac_of_civic_activism.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/26 15:49 (external edit)