I was recently invited to join the Fellowship of the Royal Society for Arts (RSA). The grounds mentioned were a) my employment as a Research Fellow at Cranfield University in Operational Research and Natural Resources, and b) my potential to contribute to the field of agriculture and environmental sustainability. For more on the Fellowship see the wiki or their home page

I decided to accept and am fellow 8153363. In no time at all the first magazine arrived plus the e-newsletter of the local group. On of the condition of me accepting was that I take my family to the new coffee shops when they open.

The application form is a revelation. Just three questions:

  1. Why they wish to join the RSA
  2. How they expect to engage with the RSA
  3. How aligned they are to the RSA Fellowship Charter

By any measures that is not an exhaustive trawl through one’s entire CV and then some. They are making a judgement on your potential to be a valuable member of their community without straitjacketing it in a priori expectations.

The next observation is that they don’t have a shop full of fellowship bling such as ties and lapel badges, etc. The Fellowship card has a cool design though.

The final observation that I’ve had is that they are very relevant to agriculture and are currently running a Food, Farming and the Countryside Commission. I hope to meet up with this group on a field trip to Bedfordshire at the end of June.

In the longer term what I hope to get out of this is the networking opportunities that might lead to speaking opportunities that could set me up for a run on Toastmasters professional Accredited Speakers program. That’s a very big step up, but could go a long way towards synergising Toastmasters with work.

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