BLOG Why I'm thrilled to join the Royal Society of Arts who understand business as a force for good

Published: 29/09/2016

I'm delighted to announce I've been elected a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts. What exactly does the Society do and why do they share my passion for business as a source of good?

I’ve had some exciting news - I’ve been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts FRSA. I’m thrilled and honoured to join this prestigious 28,000-strong Fellowship and become part of a global network of forward-thinkers.
The RSA’s mission is to bring together people from all kinds of backgrounds who share a common interest in improving society. Our strategy is to mobilise talent in order to combine powerful thinking with practical action. Our aim is to bring about social change and make real and positive differences to peoples’ lives.

The RSA knows business is a force for good
There’s one reason in particular that makes me very excited about joining the RSA. The Society’s full title is ‘The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce’. Yes, commerce, as in business.
I’ve become increasingly angry at the near universal idea that business owners are bad people who exploit their employees in order to line their own pockets. It’s a myth promoted by political factions driven by a self-serving agenda to drive a wedge between commerce and employees.
This is a lie. It’s preposterous, prejudiced and ill–informed. The truth is any sensible business person knows a thriving business is built on happy employees.
I see the evidence in my business every day. Looking after our people is great business and great for society. By doing the right thing and being driven by my conscience, I’ve created a business that puts the welfare of all my colleagues at the top of my agenda. In turn, these wonderful people take exceptionally good care of our customers.   
The RSA has always understood the huge value of commerce to society. It knows business is an engine that drives a great deal of social change. That’s why they look to people of commerce to join them in their mission “to understand and enhance human capability to close the gap between today’s reality and people’s hopes for a better world.”
Did you know we have the RSA to thank for lifeboats?
It’s surprising how many life-changing ideas have come from the RSA. We have the Society to thank for many bright ideas past and present:
Chimney brushes
Ground-breaking 21st century technologies
The Northern Powerhouse
260 years of innovation
The RSA has a very distinguished 260-year history. The Society originated in a London Coffee House when founder William Shipley came up with the idea of bringing together talented people from all ranks and professions to share ideas. It was granted a Royal Charter in 1847 and the right to use the term 'royal' by Edward VII
Early RSA Fellows:
Benjamin Franklin
Charles Dickens
Marie Stopes
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Current RSA Fellows:
Stephen Hawking
Walter Isaacson
Judi Dench
Tim Berners-Lee
I’m extremely proud to be part this highly respected and influential group of people and I’m looking forward to getting involved – particularly projects in health and social care.
I’ll be reporting back on RSA meetings I attend in future blog posts. In the meantime, this short animated video gives you a fascinating insight into the creation of the RSA and its past, present and future.
“The RSA is without doubt one of the most influential and exciting influences on British public policy.”
Rohan Silva, Co-Founder of Hubble and Second Home, previous Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister
by Ian Helsby