About Connected Communities at the RSA

Connected Communities is a new programme of work from the RSA’s Projects Team. It will explore how social capital and social networks can be better understood and used to create the communities that we want to live in.

The RSA’s work seeks to bridge the gap between the world we currently live in and the one we would like to see – what we call the social aspiration gap. We want to encourage citizens and communities to be more other-regarding, self-sufficient, informed and engaged. At the neighbourhood level this means being more involved in local decision-making and problem solving, including how we improve the health, education, employment and care of ourselves and others. We need to strengthen local democracy and create more sustainable communities.

The Connected Communities programme will create innovative strategies to help our communities achieve all these ambitions. We will be developing new, participatory ways of researching and mapping social networks and social capital, especially in multiply deprived neighbourhoods.

Steve Broome is the RSA’s Director of Research and will head the programme. He has 12 years experience of researching community regeneration and economic development agendas. He specialises in understanding impact through mixed methods research designs. Steve joined the RSA in 2008 after working on a London New Deal For Communities programme, where he led evaluation and strategy, community safety and community development programmes.

Rosie Anderson is Connected Communities’ Researcher and Project Co-ordinator. She joined the RSA in 2007 after working as a journalist in Wales, Scotland and London for the BBC. She studied Politics at Edinburgh University, and has a particular interest in systems theory, networks theory and the social psychology of decision-making. In addition to her research with Connected Communities she runs the RSA School Governors Network, and is a governor herself in an infants school in North London.

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