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Re-inventing membership

Re-inventing membership in a networked society

This a more detailed explanation of the project proposal posted to the RSA Networks site archive link

December 19 2007

Short version

Membership organisations and associations are fundamental to civic life - but may be bypassed as online social networking grows. This project will invite organisations - and anyone interested - to join with RSA Networks to explore practical ways to meet the challenge.

Longer version

Membership organisations and associations are at the heart of civic life, but research suggests few recognise the coming challenges of a more networked society. Organisations may be bypassed as members use social media and networks to find information, services, and ways to organise. Or - like the RSA - organisations can rethink their current structures and relationships to members.

This project will invite forward-looking civic organisations to join RSA Networks in exploring the implications of social networking for civic institutions, and the practical implications of using social media, creative events, and new ways of organising for civic innovation.

We will draw on work already undertaken by the NCVO Third Sector Foresight Unit, and with their agreement invite the Unit, and practitioners involved in their technology network, to join us.

Some of the greatest opportunities for innovation lie in rural life. Ruralnet UK has pioneered the use of online systems for the past 10 years, and chief executive Simon Berry FRSA is a co-sponsor of the project.

We will run a workshop early in 2008 to co-design project plans in more detail. However, from discussions to date we would expect the project to involve:

  • Collation of current research and thinking about membership organisations in a networked society, in association with NCVO Third Sector Foresight
  • Development of briefing and workshop tools to help organisations think what the future may hold, and what they can do.
  • Events - hosted initially by RSA if possible
  • Collaborative work on online systems, skills development, and organising creative events.

If you are interested in the project - or just in discussing the issues - please drop in a comment on the project page

See research by NCVO Third Sector Foresight
See also

If you are interested in the workshop, or any other aspect of this project, please contact
David Wilcox

Back to RSA networks and engagement

re-inventing_membership.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/29 20:25 by admin