Got an idea for the Fellowship and the planned RSA new coffeehouse?

From Paul in Australia:

One specific prompt I would like to see is a map of the world displayed prominently on the wall with time zones on it, highlighting when are the best times to hook up with Fellows in each country.

I spend half my life reminding people in the UK, Western Europe and the US what the time difference is between Sydney and where they are. A small minority demonstrate they care by saying “I’ve just checked the time difference and…”. Most don’t even think about it until I say “that would be 2am for me”.

With a map of the globe on the wall (showing where our Fellows are), there is instantly more of a chance that people physically in that space in London think about Fellows around the globe. With the time differences marked, there is instantly a better chance that Fellows in London will think about the time difference. And hey presto, without needing any cash spending on fancy technology, we have better connectivity!!!


I’ve emphasised the mentality as well as the technology. Also trying to make it natural and seamless.

As far as evaluation is concerned, I would love to measure the extent to which there is greater connection between London/UK and the rest of the world; the extent to which those in ‘The Coffeehouse in the House’ in London even think about us out here; the quantity & quality of the connections, and how seamless we can make it, e.g. me getting back from work, logging in to the Hub/Forum, seeing that there is a talk or discussion in ‘Coffee Corner in the House’, hooking up, being welcomed as I arrive, and joining in as a full participant.

Again, we would be evaluating connectivity. ‘Projects’, initiatives, action would flow in some cases, but the priority is enhancing connectivity, and the priority for evaluation is measuring the extent of & nature of this enhanced connectivity.


Maria Ana B Neves says:

Thrilled to see there will be more space in the house for fellows and public!

Besides architecural and technological features which I am not sure we need that much, I’d recommend the curation of the space, with a paid fellows+staff team that rotates every 6 or 12 months, equipped with a budget and clear goals meaningful for fellows (which might not be achieved, but giving some direction).

One of the best co-working spaces in Lisbon is a UK brand/concept called Second Home – and they seemed to be making a brilliant job, fostering serendipity, building connections that actually work and generate work for their members and community. Maybe the RSA team have already connected with the Second Home in London? If not, worth consider check this and invite them to help?

In Holland I visited the spaces of a great network called Seats2meet and the core concept is quite aligned what I imagined Matt is looking for, the physical space is brilliantly designed to meet/connect, there is free coffee for everyone and free soup/lunch too. there is a webplatform that shows who is in the space, and what interests/skills the members have. It is very easy to find people based on interests and send a message to someone invite to meet/work/share ideas, then there are events curated to boost ideas and conversations, share knowledge…

In London, my experience of the C4CC (Centre for Creative Collaboration) and The Tent (both Kings Cross area) I learned:
– a kitchen to be used by the space users is a fabulous connector (much better than spaces to be served)
– a small ritual that forces people out of their desks/tables/tablets/phones – such as daily tasks like clean tables, floors, check printers cartridges, etc etc is fantastic to connect people and easy to set up
– a space that is a little chaotic and where things go wrong time to time is also a fabulous way of fostering serendipity

… the rest, I strongly believe the RSA is already brilliant!

ps: am just a little bit sad that more investment is made in London where there is already a great resource supporting us… and not that much budget available to RSA abroad! But keep hoping it will happen in the future!


Mic says:

The refurbishment must be inclusive and provide a physical global hub for all Fellows and our guests, partners and collaborators in our projects. This will then much more readily facilitate the recruitment and retention of more Fellows.


Judy says:

My suggestion would be to get a small number of telepresence robots:

In an experiment with Agile Florida last year, these were found to be the only effective way to get groups of co-located people to engage with remotely-located ones – even when they were told the remote people were top subject-matter experts.


What would you like to see in the RSA’s new coffee house? I would like a video wall displaying chat (like we have here) and the forum and the RSA’s web site.

It can be quite modest like here:

Or very grand….. What do you think?

This is inline with creating “the engine room for our global network¬†“.

What’s your idea?

OR chat about it…