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David Wilcox

Discovering how our work on Connecting Londoners can benefit from @thersaorg research into communities #RSACities

4 min read

As I reported here, RSA staff are developing a Networked City initiative which I hope offers scope for collaboration with our Networked City London project.

We didn't know about each other until recently - and that prompted me do a quick scan of past and current RSA research, publications and projects by both staff and Fellows that might also be relevant.

The search revealed a wealth of useful content about Connected Communities and other topics from the Action Research Centre and other sources.

It's particularly relevant as we shift our attention to Connecting Londoners - as I've summarised in this note.

We are exploring three linked challenges as services and funding are cut, and the ways that people communicate are changing rapidly:

  • how will Londoners in future find out where to get help for themselves or their families in times of need; find local activities that interest them; share or sell items or services; find opportunities to volunteer; campaign for or against change in their community … and organise projects?
  • how can individuals, groups and organisations make use of the Internet - together with other methods - to cooperate and collaborate more effectively?
  • how can we ensure that those most in need, and most vulnerable, are not excluded by these changes?

I've dropped examples of RSA work into a Google doc which you can view here and pulled out the main links below to offer a taster.

As Paul Vittles reports here, a group of us have been developing an RSA Fellows Forum. That's already providing some new opportunities to connect Fellows and staff.

RSA senior researcher Brhmie Balaram has kindly invited me to a workshop following their public launch on Networked Cities and offered to join in discussion on the Forum.

Meanwhile here's a few of the RSA resources about communities that I found.

Connected Communities and Citizen Power

Public services and local government

Inclusive growth commission

Fellow-led projects - a few examples

London as a city of communities, by Matthew Taylor

A city of communities? In a set of essays about London 2050 Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA, argues that the capital’s strength will depend upon its communities and their connections. So, in 2050 ...

Every community would have a story about how its own internal social capital makes it stronger, more resilient and creative but also how it is a doorway to the world with street neighbours helping each other reach out to both geographical and non-geographical networks of people around the world.