Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce - Trustees

With the arrival of a new CEO, Andy Haldane (former Chief Economist at the Bank of England and Chair of the Government’s Levelling up Advisory Council), the RSA is entering an exciting new chapter. At this pivotal time, it is seeking three new Trustees to help fulfil its powerful, global ambitions. (Deadline: 11th August)

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About

The Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has been internationally recognised for generating significant social impact since its foundation in 1754. It aims to unite people and ideas to resolve the challenges of our time, through a global community of over 30,000 Fellows and working together with the RSA’s partners for the advancement of society, the economy and the environment.

The organisation is now poised for an exciting new chapter with a reinvigorated strategy developed with its new CEO Andy Haldane (Chair of the of the UK government’s Levelling Up Advisory Council and former Chief Economist at the Bank of England). This will mark a fresh era for the RSA as it refocuses on social change, and translating ideas into measurable social impact for communities across the UK and internationally.

In its early years, the RSA's focus was awarding prizes for new inventions, ideas and artworks. Over time, the RSA developed a leading national role in creating social innovations including: initiating the Great Exhibition with Prince Albert in 1851 to promote inventions and good design, replacing children chimney sweeps with a mechanical solution, a national campaign in 1805 to persuade the planting of millions of trees, promoting girls' schools, organising and overseeing the nation's first public examinations, initiating the 'blue plaques' scheme, the use of the Trafalgar Square fourth plinth to exhibit public art, and the 2017 Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. Notable fellows have included Charles Dickens, Nelson Mandela, Marie Curie, Bernadine Evaristo and Sir Jony Ive.

Today, the RSA undertakes a wide range of activities including: developing its impact programme — the new Design for Life mission, which will work to regenerate people, place and planet, as well as its world-class public events programme, various research, collaboration and innovation projects and running its building of heritage and associated history and archive. All of the RSA's activities aim to strengthen, empower and mobilise networks to work together to seek solutions to today’s most pressing social challenges.


Role specification

The RSA's Trustee Board is the charity's governing body and oversees all of its activities. Trustees are responsible under the RSA Royal Charter, bye-laws and charity law for ensuring that the charitable objectives of the society are carried out and legal obligations met. Trustees have ultimate responsibility for the RSA's strategy, resourcing, risk management and the supervision of the organisation's business affairs.

The RSA comprises three non-profits in affiliate relationships with each other. The core, UK-based global Royal Charter Company, and two affiliates RSA US (a non-profit in the US) and RSA Oceania (a non-profit in Australia).


Person specification

Trustee (Membership)

The RSA is seeking a new Board Trustee with senior leadership experience in a subscription or membership-based organisation.

The 30,000+ global network of Fellows forms a critical part of the RSA's identity and is a key source of income. As such, the successful candidate will have an in-depth understanding of how to attract, engage with, and retain a large subscriber or member base. To achieve its ambitions, the RSA knows that it must nurture a culture of inclusion in all of its work, so needs the Fellowship to reflect and represent a broad range of people. Experience in membership diversification is therefore a distinct advantage.

The successful candidate will be excited to join an organisation with a rich history at a pivotal moment, with the energy and drive to contribute their time and expertise to driving the RSA's future success.

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Trustee (Digital)

The RSA is seeking a new Board Trustee with expertise in digital transformation and digital strategy.

The RSA has ambitious plans for growth, so requires candidates with the vision and expertise to advise on a future-proof digital strategy. Collaboration and engagement with its global community of Fellows is central to the RSA's ambitions; this means that an influential online presence and digital solutions for connecting its communities are critical. The RSA is in the early stages of developing a digital platform to enable its Fellows to connect and it needs someone who can support it to realise the massive potential of online and digital in the delivery of its strategy.

The successful candidate will be excited to join an organisation with a rich history at a pivotal moment, with the energy and drive to contribute their time and expertise to driving the RSA's future success.

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Trustee (ESG/CSR)

The RSA is seeking a new Board Trustee with senior leadership experience and deep expertise in ESG or CSR.

Given the organisation's focus on social impact and engendering social change for people across the globe, applicants will have experience of implementing ESG strategies in large national or international organisations. Candidates will have a deep understanding of how the private sector engages with and supports not-for-profit organisations as part of CSR strategies.

The successful candidate will be excited to join an organisation with a rich history at a pivotal moment, with the energy and drive to contribute their time and expertise to driving the RSA's future success.


Board Composition

Please see details of the RSA's current Board composition here.


Terms of appointment

This role is unremunerated and reasonable, pre-agreed travel expenses will be reimbursed. The Board meets four times per year and meetings usually take around two hours. Meetings are held in RSA's building of heritage, RSA House, in London and can be attended virtually too.

Trustees are often invited to join the Board's Sub-Committees (Audit and Risk, Nominations and Governance, People and Remuneration). Beyond Trustee meetings, Trustees are expected to engage regularly with the work of the RSA.  

The appointment is for an initial three-year term, which can be renewed once for a further three years in line with the RSA's Trustee governance processes.


Location

This organisation is based in London. Board meetings are hybrid enabling both in-person and virtual attendance. The RSA welcomes global applications but would ask that candidates commit to visiting its building of heritage from time to time.


Diversity

As a social change organisation, the RSA believes that everyone, regardless of visible or invisible difference should be welcomed to participate in creating a better future. It therefore welcomes applications from everybody who is committed to its vision and values and can demonstrate the skills competencies and experience required. Read the RSA's full statement committing to diversity, equity and inclusion.


The deadline for consideration is 11th August.

If you would like to register your interest, please fill in the form below.