This page provides background on RSA networks, OpenRSA, and the workshop being hosted at the University of Westminster on February 19 2009

How did RSA networks start?

In February 2007 Matthew Taylor, the new chief executive of the RSA, emailed Fellows with a vision that "the RSA becomes a network for civic innovation, empowering both Fellows and staff to develop new initiatives that promote and deliver progress in society". On November 22 2007 the RSA hosted an event where some 250 Fellows developed ideas on how to put this vision into practice - reports and videos here.
During 2008 the RSA developed the network online and through face-to-face events.

What is OpenRSA?

OpenRSA was started as an online network, with occasional events, by a group of Fellows and others interested in supporting bottom-up development of RSA networks. The "open" tag emphasised people's interest in ensuring that the civic innovation processes engaged people outside RSA Fellowship, as well as Fellows.

The February 19 2009 workshop

Details here

How did the workshop come about?
Following discussion online two Fellows, Lizzie Jackson and David Gauntlett, offered to host a half-day event at the University of Westminster to explore further development of RSA networks. RSA staff agreed to participate, in order to provide context and sum up discussions. Invitation and programme here.

Who is designing and managing the day?
RSA sent out the invitations, David Gauntlett and Lizzie Jackson are hosting and facilitating discussion.

What is the purpose of the day?
To provide an update on RSA networks development (from RSA staff), and explore further development during interactive sessions facilitated by David Gauntlett, who is Professor of Media and Communications at the School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster. More here about David's work.

Who can attend?
Since the main focus is the development of network for RSA Fellows, the 30 invitations are limited to RSA Fellows, staff and NESTA, who funded the development programme.

Is there any pre-workshop discussion online?
There has been some discussion on the OpenRSA Google group, which you can see and join here. There is also a discussion area on the RSA networks site here (Fellows only, login required).

Can people who are not attending the workshop contribute to discussion?
Anyone is welcome to discuss RSA networks and project development in the online spaces (as above), and those participating in the workshop are encouraged to reflect this discussion on the day. However, the focus of the interactive sessions on the day will be hands-on 3D model building ... so direct inputs from outside the workshop are difficult to accommodate.

What happens after the workshop?
We hope participants will report of the day online, with continuing discussion on RSA networks site and OpenRSA. Decisions on specific actions will be made on the day.

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