Reflection on a Successful Keep Calm Prepare for Change

As a member of the Regional Fellowship Team for the North West I had been watching at close quarters some serious ‘hard yards’ being put in to bring off this event.  I was really looking forward to attending it; it’s the first major one the RSA has put on in the region for a while.  The subject of the event – sustainability – is hugely important to all of us and building on goodwill within the Universities, the Corridor partners and RSA Fellows, a really successful debate, discussion and evening lecture was achieved.  For the Royal Society of Arts, it is a confident step forward and shows that there is support for this kind of event in regions such as ours; it also shows that regional activity can do much to establish ourselves as a credible force for change here.

It was quite a daunting prospect to keep the energy levels and interest up, right through from lunchtime until the mid-evening when the lecture finished.  But the balance of a high quality opening panel debate, followed by workshops on a number of subjects focusing on practical projects that might flow from the discussions, and then finally on to a very enjoyable lecture with two high reputation speakers (Matthew Taylor and Ben Page) to bring the event to a close, meant that the time swept by at a bewildering speed.  Where had 7 hours gone?

The answer, of course, is into an array of networking; projects; discussions and ideas that have flowed from the day and are being pursued across a wide range of people who have been inspired and enthused by the day’s activities.  And, most importantly, there will be another follow up event in a year’s time hosted by the ‘other’ university this time to check on progress and widen the debate out to others.

A fantastic result, and well done Lily for making it all happen.  A proper RSA’er; gold medal to you for your efforts!!  And thanks to everyone who contributed – it all mattered.

Nick Clifford, Fellowship Councillor, NW Region

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