Thank you for kicking off the discussions! You're right - it's interesting that only some of the candidates have joined us here - hopefully there will be more! Of course I'm biased, but I firmly believe that, with fellows scattered over the country, and others unable to physically/ practically make events, online forums (fora?) like this one provide the best opportunity for debate. The two FRSA social networks hosted here (by Ning) and on LinkedIn are highly active with more than 2,000 members each - let's hope we can have a lively discussion and highlight the issues that really matter. For me, that's how we are going to make the RSA into a truly networked organisation. Maybe that should be a separate discussion...?
Haha - lovely discussion topic David!
Who knows what can we agree on? (Obviously not on the value engaging online... ;-) I'm going to suggest a couple of things we probably do agree on, and one that I'm not sure about. I think we agree that:
My question is whether we all agree on this one:
Hello Andy, David and Jemima. In the main discussion I did pull together some shared suggestions that I thought appeared or were implied in the candidates comments . I hope I understood the messages from everyone that we all broadly wanted to
Enable Fellows to contribute
Utilise fellows’ expertise
Make the RSA offer to Fellows clear
Extend Catalyst possibilities.
The two excellent points you make above Andy add ‘flesh on these bones’
In answer to your question - as I have seen the value of networking (RSA and Churchill Fellows joint project) - I think this idea should certainly be explored. The nature of the RSA 'support' in independent projects would be interesting to debate. This joint project mentioned would not have worked without RSA SkillsBank input.
Thanks David for the thoughts and discussion.
Certainly the key themes coming through on the discussions are:
Are these the key areas you think the council should be focused on? Or are there other key ares to focus on?
Hello All, It's interesting seeing the discussion(s) develop. The views on what we hold in common and what we vary on or are unsure of, should be a key agenda item for the first Fellowship Council meeting this new session - this needs to be collated and put forward to the Chair for the agenda - it is essential that this is ironed out at the start. David - will you pass these discussions to the Chair after the Election?
David, in one of the items you wrote you said that I had reservations about the online approachto the Hustings. I want to say what those reservations are - that we as candidates can put huge amounts of energy into setting up the online groups and entering discussions, but the vast majority of Fellows will never know about it. There is still nothing on the RSA website about the elections - that is the first point of call for most people who have a basic digital awareness - which is probably the majority of our Fellows (any research been done by JAS on this - how our Fellows relate to the centre?). So, I want to work on the central end of the election information. I will be in contact with Michael Ambjorn again early next week to look at getting Election info on the Home page of the RSA website and links to the Fellowship discussion sites - if no-one knows, no-one will discuss! So, that's where I'll currently put my time.
My contribution to the list of what the candidates agree on is, like Andy's, a question - do we agree that central RSA has too great an emphasis on the all important task of bringing in new Fellows to the detriment of retention and 'servicing' of current Fellows. I believe their balance is wrong and in fact is causing Fellows to leave the RSA when renewal time comes around.
In answer to Andy's question about RSA supporting individual Fellow's projects: currently, the RSA scene is one of exciting innovation - but the RSA needs to clarify what its aims are, so that what and who is supported and encouraged and taken 'national' etc is measured against agreed RSA criteria for broad social development. It all goes back to effective committee organisation and discussion. Let's get some good structural organisers on Fellowship Council which will enable all the IT and communication ideas to flow. Cheers, Jenny
Hi Jenny - thanks for joining in with these key points.
I would be delighted if issues from this discussion could find their way to the council agenda, and I'm glad to work with those here to help pull them together if useful.
I agree that the way the discussions have been set up and signposted isn't ideal ... but as Fellow/volunteers we are just doing what's within our capacity and control. We don't, of course, have access to the main site. Hopefully more can be done next time, if there are representations from candidates.
Jenny - that's a really good question and it goes back to the point I made about the Fellowship out in the regions. The focus of The RSA is to London centric and if you don't live there, the value of the membership is definitely less is the regions.
Connecting, collaborating and sharing knowledge between Fellows has to be key to empower them to make the social impact locally. Whether that's through local networks, skillsbank or whatever mechanism, we need to define a strategy that enables this to happen.