On Friday 25th January a group of us are meeting at John Adam Street to how Fellows can become more involved and connected with each other and with RSA, through face to face meetings.
The existing ‘offline experience’ includes RSA-led events/initiatives at which we are physically present and participating with others (such as Lectures) and spaces which allow Fellows to meet and connect (such as New Fellows Evenings). In this meeting, we want to explore how to develop these existing RSA events/experiences to improve relationship building and also consider new ways of helping Fellows to meet and connect.
There are lots of ideas bubbling away on the RSA Networks platform, including a project on lectures and deliberative space, which I'm personally really excited about- http://networks.thersa.org/discuss/rsa-lectures-and-events. If you would like to come along and haven't got an invite already please let me or Laura Bunt know via the discussion board.
David has posted lots of interesting thoughts on the whole issue of open access and the degree to which the RSA Fellowship experience is restricted to Fellows. I think these are big and necessary questions to ask AND I believe there is an inevitable tension between open access and creating community which doubtless we won't resolve before or on Friday. However, whatever our respective views on this, I personally feel that addressing the quality of face-to-face experience is one of the most powerful ways we can create community in RSA, both for Fellows and as a way of reaching out to wider stakeholders. I'm really looking forward to a great discussion on Friday, and to more f2f working on these issues going forward ....