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RSA Projects put enlightened thinking to work in practical ways. We aim to discover and

RSA Projects put enlightened thinking to work in practical ways. We aim to discover and release untapped human potential for the common good. By researching, designing and testing new social models, we encourage a more inventive, resourceful and fulfilled society.

RSA Projects will play a critical role in developing our thinking: projects will engage Fellows, be action and outcome focused, linking theory and practice.

Fellows are actively encouraged to get involved with all aspects of the RSA’s work and to develop their own local and issue based initiatives. The RSA develops its project work through dialogue, reflection and evaluation including through our Projects blog.

We really welcome Fellows’ input. All projects aim to involve Fellows directly in the design and delivery of our work. We always have ideas in development: please visit our website for more information.


RSA Design & Society

Design used to be done by designers and was manifest in objects and environments. Now it is increasingly collaborative and directed at complex problems that may have no physical form. The RSA‟s recent account of design as resourcefulness and self-reliance betrays an allegiance to design-thinking; that is design as a structured problem-solving process as well as a quality residing in manufactured or constructed things. At the same time we recognise that with design increasingly invoked in everything from biology to public service reform, it has become very easy to lose a grip on what we mean by design. The RSA design programme of seminars, debates, practical design projects and student awards aims for a better understanding of how design should be taught, nurtured, funded and applied in the 21 st century. http://www.thersa.org/projects/design

Student Design Awards

Our work in higher design education aims to help universities produce designers with the skilled formal judgement and practical optimism traditionally associated with design, but who are also inclusive in their processes and able by their influence to increase the resourcefulness of non-designers. Currently, the principle higher education vehicle is our programme of student awards, the briefs for which ask design students and recent graduates to propose solutions to intractable social and service issues, supported by stakeholder workshops, mentoring and work placements. http://www.thersa.org/projects/design/student-design-awards


RSA Education

RSA Education develops innovative, practical educational projects in response to the challenges faced by today's children and young people. The RSA has a long history of working towards good education being available to all, the valuing of skills as well as subject knowledge, and the engagement of learners with knowledge and skills for citizenship. The RSA Education programme has campaigned for a broader education offer that better equips young people for the demands of life in the twenty-first century. Our current projects maintain these concerns, along with intentions to democratise learning and to increase social justice in and through education. http://www.thersa.org/projects/education

Opening Minds

Opening Minds is a vision for radical change in schools, founded on an alternative curriculum created to develop key competences in young people: competences for learning, citizenship, relating to people, managing situations, and managing information. A review conducted in 2010 has demonstrated that schools involved in Opening Minds have led the way in showing how an imaginative competency-based curriculum can meet the needs of their school, engage learners and excite staff. They have been able to do this while still meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum and examination boards and improving attainment. Over 200 schools are currently implementing Opening Minds. The review recommended the introduction of an accreditation system to assure quality and strengthen the support available to schools. To take this forward a charitable body is being established by the RSA to oversee the further development of Opening Minds. All schools, whether already implementing Opening Minds or new to using the framework, can now apply to become accredited RSA Opening Minds schools. http://www.thersa.org/projects/opening-minds

The RSA Academy at Tipton

The RSA Academy in the West Midlands opened in 2008 and moved into its new building in September 2010. With 1100 students it aims to become a centre of excellence for the teaching of Opening Minds, offering a variety of courses to its students including the International Baccalaureate. The RSA Academy is working with the RSA to develop its Opening Minds accreditation programme. GCSE and post-16 results at the Academy have improved dramatically year-on-year in 2009 and 2010, with several students excelling nationally, and more than ever before achieving 5 A*-C grades. Ofsted have recently graded the academy „Good with outstanding capacity to improve‟; and the Academy boasts an enrichment programme that has this year facilitated pupils to travel to events in the US and South Africa. http://www.thersa.org/projects/education/rsa-academy

Whole Education

Whole Education is an exciting new partnership that brings together a group of leading non-political Education organisations, including the RSA. It aims to ensure that every young person has access to an education that will equip them with the skills, qualities and knowledge to succeed in life and to contribute positively to the creation of a good society. The active partners behind Whole Education so far include: RSA, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Innovation Unit, Human Scale Education, Oxfam, UK Youth, Futurelab, ASDAN, Co-operative College, Food for Life Partnership, Flow Foundation and Campaign for Learning. To read more about Whole Education or to sign up and show your support please visit: http://www.wholeeducation.org

The Area Based Curriculum

The Area Based Curriculum programme supports schools and community partners in local areas to develop curriculum projects that use the local area and its communities as inspiration, its people as resources of expertise, and the whole area as a location for learning.

The RSA worked with three secondary schools in Manchester in 2008-9 to develop and pilot an Area Based Curriculum, and the evaluation of this pilot is available on our website.

Building on the evaluation of the work in Manchester the RSA is piloting a second Area Based Curriculum project in Peterborough as a key part of the Citizen Power project. The project team will work with schools and community partners in the city to build a network within which partners will be able to co-design curriculum projects that take the priorities, resources and context of Peterborough as their starting point. We expect that the project will impact positively on the engagement of the students involved, as well as their attachment to their local area.

Social Justice in Education

The programme strand will establish interventions (externally-funded projects) that seek to engage working class young people with education, hence facilitating achievement. Research evidence shows how issues of identity effect working class disengagement from education. Both the dissonance between educational and home environments, and experiences of being positioned as 'educational failures' or problems, can lead to self-fulfilling prophesies, with working class children seeing academic investment as 'not for them'. It is this issue of educational engagement as a necessary precursor to achievement that our programme strand seeks to address. Hence the RSA interventions will:

value working class expertise and heritage;strand seeks to address. Hence the RSA interventions will: equip working class young people with the

equip working class young people with the skills and knowledge needed to facilitate choice about school-to-work trajectories;will: value working class expertise and heritage; encourage social mixing; provide a more engaging educational

encourage social mixing;to facilitate choice about school-to-work trajectories; provide a more engaging educational offer. A number of ideas

provide a more engaging educational offer. A number of ideas have been scoped and presented for iterative discussion to key thinkers in the field at an academic salon, and at focus groups with stakeholders such as working class young people, parents and practitioners.about school-to-work trajectories; encourage social mixing; Enterprise Tomorrow’s Investor Most people own shares


Tomorrow’s Investor

Most people own shares indirectly through their pensions in particular. Yet very few realise the rights of ownership. Tomorrow‟s Investor investigates the concept of shareholder democracy, looking to improve working practices and provide better returns for Britain‟s investors. The second phase of this project will report in the autumn on the RSA‟s blueprint for a new low cost, transparent pension fund. http://www.thersa.org/projects/enterprise/tomorrows-investors


Connected Communities

Connected Communities is an action research programme that employs social network analysis as a means to understand, plan for and foster the kind of communities that residents want to live in. This is a multi-faceted programme of interrelated research projects that share the aim of better understanding the conditions under which a new civic collectivism, or social productivity, may emerge - one that is organic, spontaneous, and bottom-up. The programme, which currently focuses primarily on New Cross Gate and to a lesser extent on Knowle West and Peterborough, involves producing social and organisational network maps of the local areas concerned by surveying and interviewing local people. Drawing on these responses, our maps and research are then used to inform bespoke community development strategies that are directed towards regenerating neighbourhoods in inclusive, efficient, locally-owned and embedded ways. http://www.thersa.org/projects/connected-communities

User Centred Drug Services

In 2007 the RSA‟s Commission on Illegal Drugs, Communities and Public Policy recommended that complex drug services should aim to give more control to users. The RSA is working with current and former drug users and practitioners in West Sussex to pilot new approaches. It will explore the drivers and barriers to services and investigate the potential for empowering users in line with the government's aim of providing more personalised public services. http://www.thersa.org/projects/public-services/drugs-commission

RSA Civic Certificate

We are exploring ideas for a new community development qualification with the aim of recognising, encouraging and supporting civic action, particularly that which occurs in local communities and that mobilizes collective effort. Broadly, the project is envisioned as a vehicle and learning framework to directly build capability for active citizenship. The specific objectives of the project are to: develop a learning framework, modules and outcomes for the RSA Civic Certificate; ground the modules in current RSA research (e.g. social networks, public participation, design, learning competencies), learning and values, to enable participants to become RSA change-makers in action; recruit and train RSA Fellows to provide support, guidance and expert knowledge to those taking the Civic Certificate; pilot the Civic Certificate in 2-3 areas; and roll out the Civic Certificate and position it as a route to becoming an RSA Fellow, particularly for groups under- represented in the RSA Fellowship. We are currently undertaking a feasibility study to determine how best to position, schedule, fund and implement this project that will be completed by October 2010. For more information please email jonathan.rowson@rsa.org.uk

The Social Brain

The RSA‟s Social Brain project has created an accessible summary of the most important research in neuroscience, psychology and behavioural economics that is pertinent to social policy (http://www.thersa.org/projects/pro-social-behaviour/social-brain/reports/changing- the-subject). We used this summary to carry out some deliberative research. This latter research is available as part of our Steer report, which was published in June 2010 (http://www.thersa.org/projects/social-brain/reports/steer-the-report). The Steer report examines different approaches to behaviour-change and lays out the RSA‟s own vision of interventions that empower individuals. These interventions are „reflexive‟ in that we give citizens knowledge of the underlying principles that govern behaviour, so that they might use those principles to better steer their own behaviour. Over the next year we will test the usefulness of a reflexive approach to behaviour-change through more deliberative

work. We will also be expanding the Social Brain project in various ways, including research on the role of mindfulness in promoting mental health and supporting habit change. For more information please email jonathan.rowson@rsa.org.uk http://www.thersa.org/projects/pro-social-behaviour/social-brain

Citizen Power

Citizen Power

The Citizen Power programme is investigating twenty first century citizenship and looking at how people and communities can better shape national and local civic and democratic renewal. Based on theoretical argument, action research and policy analysis, the programme aims to develop ideas and practical policy solutions for cultivating civic activism and reinvigorating decision-making in the UK. The programme feeds into the RSA‟s broader work on twenty first century enlightenment, pro-social behaviour and social action. For more information please email sam.mclean@rsa.org.uk and emma.norris@rsa.org.uk

Citizen Power Peterborough

Citizen Power: Peterborough is a programme of action bringing local people, public agencies and voluntary organisation together to shape the future of the city. The aim is to build connections between people and communities, encourage active citizenship and develop innovative projects to support local people and their communities to make a positive difference. This will be done through the following projects:

Peterborough Curriculum

The Peterborough Curriculum project is connecting local schools with people and organisations in Peterborough to help design parts of their own school curriculum. By getting more people in Peterborough involved with education, and opening our young people‟s minds to their local area, the aim is to provide a school curriculum that reflects local priorities and values. For more information please email louise.thomas@rsa.org.uk

Peterborough Civic Commons

The Peterborough Civic Commons will be a space where ordinary local people, important figures and leading thinkers from around the world can discuss new ideas and the things that matter to them. The aim is to build knowledge and confidence on a range of issues of the day from immigration to economic growth helping people to see different perspectives, come up with practical answers to local and national social challenges and put them into action. For more information please email emma.norris@rsa.org.uk

Peterborough Recovery Capital

Peterborough Recovery Capital project is examining how we can best support people in Peterborough with problems associated with drug and/or alcohol use by developing better collaboration between prisons and the community. The aim is to pilot new ideas to help give people with drug and/or alcohol problems the capabilities, resources and support they need most to help sustain their recovery and reduce the likelihood of re-offending. For more information please email rebecca.daddow@rsa.org.uk

Peterborough Sustainable Citizenship

The Sustainable Citizenship project will encourage, test and support the ideas of local people to promote green behaviour in the city. This will include innovation events to spark off brilliant ideas and a new network of like-minded people, with access to start-up funding to help get the best ideas off the ground in local neighbourhoods. The aim is to

make Peterborough even better known for its environmental innovation. For more information please email jamie.young@rsa.org.uk

Peterborough Civic Health

The Peterborough Civic Health project is designed to help communities measure the vibrancy of community life. The idea is to collect information that communities and local authorities can use to understand the capacity of local people to shape their local area, and how to better focus their efforts. The project will bring together knowledge about local organisations, support groups and community leaders into a „civic directory‟ that will help communities to take action and encourage active citizenship. For more information please email benedict.dellot@rsa.org.uk

Peterborough Social Media

The Peterborough Social Media project is developing an online platform and social media tools for local people. The project is looking at how social media can be used to improve community participation in the city and connect different people and organisations committed to making Peterborough a more vibrant place to live. The long-term goal is to establish a sustainable network of community websites, owned and developed by local people interested in positive change. For more information please email sam.mclean@rsa.org.uk

Peterborough Arts and Social Change

Peterborough Arts and Social Change will explore the role of the arts and imagination in building a sense of belonging in Peterborough (see Arts below). For more information please email jocelyn.cunningham@rsa.org.uk


Arts & Social Change

Arts and Social Change is a programme of creative interventions in cities, to research how the arts effect social relations. The aim is to increase public participation in cultural and civic activity. A key part of the Citizen Power project in Peterborough, Arts and Social Change is to begin establishing the city as place of creative engagement. For the next two years a programme of innovative events, participatory arts projects and artists residencies will weave into the fabric of the city to encourage people‟s sense of identity, attachment and sustainability. This strand of work in Peterborough has developed from the RSAs Arts & Ecology programme, which has now closed having successfully run for five years to support and debate artists‟ engagement with environmental change. For more information please email jocelyn.cunningham@rsa.org.uk and emma.ridgway@rsa.org.uk

The 2020 Public Services Trust

The 2020 Public Services Trust is a registered charity (no. 1124095), based at the RSA. It is not aligned with any political party and operates with independence and impartiality. The Trust exists to stimulate deeper understanding of the challenges facing public services in the medium term. Through research, inquiry and discourse, it aims to develop rigorous and practical solutions, capable of sustaining support across all political parties.

In December 2008, the Trust launched the Commission on 2020 Public Services a major inquiry into how our public services can respond to the significant challenges of the next decade. In a period when resources will be severely constrained, the demands on public

services will rise driven by economic, demographic, social and other trends, often global in nature. Exacerbating the dilemmas for policy makers, many of the trends are also constraining the ability of the State to respond.

Chaired by Sir Andrew Foster, the goal of the Commission was to develop a practical but compelling vision for public services in 2020. It brought to the task a breadth of perspectives and a wealth of experience. Commissioners were drawn from across the political spectrum, academia, and from the public, private and voluntary sectors. The Commission published an Interim Report Beyond Beveridge: Principles for 2020 Public Services in March 2010. The Commission launches its Final Report, From social security to social productivity: a vision for 2020 Public Services in September 2010.

For more information on the work of the Trust please visit www.2020pst.org or contact: Heidi Hauf at heidi@2020pst.org

For enquiries, please contact:

Katy Evans, Coordinator katy.evans@rsa.org.uk Tel. 020 7451 6835