notes from Bill Thompson
Four tables, flipcharts, in the Tavern Room
Kicks off only five minutes later than planned, after a lunch and chat with the people I know and don’t know, like David Wilcox, Malcolm Forbes, Steve Moore – fresh from his encounter with the newly revitalised mashup-enthused Steve Ballmer at the morning’s Microsoft event.
Malcom and David begin a gentle introduction, describing the FB group, f2f meetings (this the second) and ways in which RSA is changing and has changed esp since Matthew Taylor came on board
Helen Westrupp is up next, also a member of the advisory council [not sure what it signifies, sure it’s an honour] 3 yrs ago women members began to talk about how it worked and how they related to RSA, and found that they felt excluded and unable to connect. After a series of coffee mornings they found that male fellows felt the same – set up Fellows’ Voices: an attempt to redefine the fellows’ relationship to RSA
Worked closely with Penny Egan, former director, and began process of change – stood back when Matthew arrived, waiting to see what happens, and so Fellows Voices a bit in abeyance. Space sort of occupied by OpenRSA – all make RSA sit up and listen and appreciate the resource that the fellows represent.
Fear of having to deal with 26,000 fellows and their ideas was one factor, Virtual coffeehouse in the NE – one initiative that’s out there
Share experiences of networking – with RSA, others. What has come out of it, what might come out of it, what works online vs f2f.
There is a move to create an ‘RSA Facebook’ for fellows – what might that be.
appropriate tools – dating profiles/wikinomics – leverage the power of networks, fellows as resource networks as much as individuals\ f2f brings us passion, trustbuilding, visceral connection and more possibility for action. Perhaps.
Malcolm – plus Steve from RSA who is building online tools to support RSA
Conversation around opening up, opening the RSA
Project space to open up existing projects/people – access
F2F: fellow to fellow. (why the RSA)
How do projects get formed – idea space, ideashare, discover and stimulate – coalesce around ideas>?
RSASpace – set of tools around conversation/ideas/projects
Problem – info overload, too much stuff - social search engine needed, but not sure what that will entail.
Importance of ensuring offline is represented.
Don’t rely on FB – not perfect, not forever
Reaching older/offline fellows and working with them
Inconclusive debate about how to overcome barriers to participation and whether online is the tool. Don’t want to create online elite.
What does RSA have that is different – what does it offer, or can achieve?
Can we extend scope beyond London. Give credibility to the debate
Before we build a social network we need to know what it’s for – and what the RSA is for.
Different points of view expressed. ‘That’s great’ says convenor.
Fred: we should all read The Lunar Men Jenny Uglow – inchoate group of people meeting to discuss things they don’t know but turned out to be the industrial revolution. It comes together now to discuss what may be the knowledge society
Nick: Lunar Soc people didn’t need ‘permission’.
Fred: but Lsoc did give affirmations to them
Malcolm: RSA not going to take on projects, so not a question of resources.
My view: RSA will be as important to post-ind capitalism now as it was to industrial capitalism 250 years ago
Helen: issues of regions and regional impact/siginficance
After a general discussion we break for more coffee, more snacks and to await Matthew.