Those who want greater equality should not stand in the way of devolution

RSA’s Adam Lent points out that for all the claims made for central redistribution, those places that were poor thirty years ago still remain poor today.


Video [4’15] RSA Short: The Power to Create

How can we empower people to be active participants in creating a world we want to live in? The RSA’s Matthew Taylor offers a vision for the future – a world where every individual has the freedom and opportunity to develop their unique capabilities to the full. Click through to watch on YouTube.

Social Mirror for social prescriptions

“People at risk of isolation and vulnerability will soon be able to receive ‘social prescriptions’ that help them use local resources to improve their mental wellbeing. The Social Mirror for social prescribing initiative, which has been approved for funding by the Nominet Trust, will see the RSA and Nathan Matias of the MIT Center for Civic Media develop a ‘social app’ that aims to help people participate in their communities. By responding to a series of questions, users will receive a guided analysis of their online and offline social connections, as well as advice about how they could use their connections to improve their mental wellbeing.

By testing the app’s effectiveness in different contexts – such as among GPs or other health practitioners – the RSA will evaluate the impact of social prescriptions on people’s mental wellbeing, their sense of attachment to and participation in the local community, and their use of public services.”

Making the Connection: Local Post Offices as Community Enterprise Hubs

RSA Research – the RSA recommends that Post Office branches build on their trusted brand and provide a range of new activities, including:

  • Business support to the growing number of home-based businesses and SME’s.
  • Selling local firms’ products and supporting fledgling entrepreneurs
  • Providing access to the internet and digital training courses
  • Advice on affordable finance or changes to welfare, including the introduction of Universal Credit and personal budgets in social care
  • Providing employment and training opportunities to local people
  • Co-hosting public services such as local health centres, running prescription collections services and passing on messages to GPs

More details and publication here.

New report: Managing Demand – building future public services

With many local authorities facing significant financial challenges, a new RSA report examines the steps being taken to shrink demand on public services and prevent councils from being reduced to a state of ‘perpetual crisis management’. The previous RSA report (Beyond Nudge to Managing Demand) argued that local authorities should seek to reduce levels of demand by radically redefining their relationships with citizens, communities and services. This report builds on this core argument. It looks more closely at the potential of demand management to address the challenges facing public services and communities. It traces the ‘state of the art’ from emerging science through to system change and most importantly to a shifting set of relationships between citizens, the state and public services. The report also reviews the financial case for demand management, from emerging evidence from small-scale interventions to early findings from ‘whole place’ approaches. Follow this link.