Straight from the source: Lead Innovator reports on meeting with the RSA from London, England


The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce is a London based organisation committed to finding practical solutions to social challenges.   

On the day I arrived in London, the RSA was hosting a Fellows Networks event in the Rawthmells Coffeehouse in an interactive area designed to foster creative thinking and collaborative action.   The room was buzzing with individuals drawn into conversation related to setting a culture of diversity and inclusion and establishing sustainable leadership.

The main focus of my visit was to meet with Sue Pritchard, Director - Food, Farming, and Countryside Commission.  Sue’s background is in leading large scale change for more sustainable futures and has a background in working with governments and enterprise on gender balance, diversity, and inclusion in leadership.  Sue also runs an organic farm in Wales which is also home to a charity - the Silver Birch Foundation - which provides education, training, and development for disaffected and disengaged young people.

We crossed over many elements in our discussion, with the topic related to the future of work and its interface with innovation capturing my attention quite strongly.  Technology is an enabler across a wide range of industries but essentially it can also have the opposite effect - particularly for those individuals who traditionally have performed work requiring a more personal and hands on approach.    The issues we explored largely covered how important it will be to build education systems and new forms of enterprise that have the potential to empower every individual to succeed.  

My next meeting will be in the Bath area where I am visiting with Innovators at an on-farm energy centre.  It will be interesting to see how this group are considering technology and the role it plays in providing pathways for new business concepts.