RSA {re}make hubs: feedback session

Fellows feedback session

Around 12 NW Fellows attended a session led by Jo Wiggans FRSA to find out about and feedback on the findings from the NW feasibility study commissioned by the RSANW team to find options to connect ideas to action, using the{Re}Make Hub concept through partnerships and collaboration. The findings are summarised below:

1.Key Findings

There are lively enterprise hubs in Manchester offering support of one or more of the following kinds:  start-up advice and/or funding; incubation units for new enterprises and hot-desking facilities and meeting spaces; There are also limited current or proposed ‘make spaces’ including digital fabrication laboratories and access to specialist equipment.  In each case, the hub offers expert knowledge and resources and the benefits of participation in a hub community. Some specifically support social and community enterprises, whilst other hubs support both commercial and social enterprises.  In addition, there are networks of individuals and enterprises and/or community organisations that facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange.

The study found a perception that the strengths of the RSA are the range of knowledge in the fellowship, its independence and national reach and its reputation for thought-leadership and events that promote understanding of social policy issues.

2.  Recommendations of the study

Over the next two years the RSA Regional Team will seek to stimulate interest amongst fellows in new enterprise initiatives, initially in Manchester, by:

  1. Working with hubs and with fellows to broker useful relationships between RSA fellows and local entrepreneurs. Activities could include mentoring and advice to enterprises/individuals, events, exploring/assisting with joint projects.
  2. Working with the City Growth Commission in Manchester to be a conduit for evidence from RSA fellows and Manchester enterprise hubs about entrepreneurship and economic regeneration in the city.
  3. Revisiting, when other current RSA planned initiatives become clearer, the possibility of an RSA partnership hub development.
  4. Exploring the potential for development of action projects, working with existing organisations, around one or more of the following themes:
  • Food:  including sustainable food production, processing and reprocessing, distribution and presentation.
  • Textiles:  including textile and fashion design and digital manufacturing; intelligent clothing and wearable technologies
  • Public Services:  including support for local/community ownership or management of public facilities;

Thanks to everyone who contributed their views, interviewees and of course Jo Wiggans who is now producing the final report.

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