Cities of Learning - Design for Life - The RSA - RSA

Cities of Learning

Cities of Learning

Embedding regenerative lifelong-learning in place

Cities of Learning is a movement of people and places committed to nurturing, validating and connecting learning across towns, cities and regions to support a regenerative economy.

The RSA supports local leaders, with digital infrastructure, learning- systems design and a national network of peers, to transform their learning eco-systems towards better outcomes for people, places and the planet.

Our ambition

Through a three-stage process, our work with cities aims to:

  1. Seed what is strong, validating the skills and capabilities that places already have.
  2. Nurture what is desired, embedding the skills and capabilities places want to see in the short term.
  3. Grow what is needed for the future, building next generation skills and capabilities for regenerative places.

The Cities of Learning network

We’re working with leaders and champions to build the Cities of Learning movement in places across the UK including:

Join our virtual Cities of Learning network

Our dedicated Cities of Learning Circle community is full of place-based learning influencers. Interested? Get involved and help us develop the Cities of Learning movement with other Fellows online.

Cities of Learning works with employers, educators, policy makers and learners to agree shared learning priorities for their town, city or region and to recognise those skills through digital badges.

Head of Programme at the RSA Tom Kenyon

Ways we can help

Learning organisations

Make your offer more discoverable, measurable, inclusive and relevant to today’s learners.

We can support you to:

  • add value to your skills offer
  • measure the impact of your programme or demonstrate compliance
  • make your programme more visible to learners
  • help your students better articulate what they have learned with you.


Are you in a Cities of Learning location? If so, get support to discover work-ready talent that fits your company needs and culture.

We can support you to:

  • connect with the right talent for your business
  • enhance your recruitment process and support diversity and inclusivity
  • enhance your training and development offer through badging
  • address skills gaps through responsive learning.

Place-based leaders

Improve the economic, social and individual wellbeing of your borough, town, city or region.

We can support you to:

  • increase access to learning for all
  • prepare specific groups for work
  • address skills gaps or diversity issues
  • encourage a sense of place, identity, and ambition.

Ways to get involved

Learn about the various ways you can partner with or support Cities of Learning:

Create digital badges and learning pathways

Help learners articulate the skills, knowledge and experience they develop through your activities.

Join our place-based learning network

Join our network to share and celebrate insights from learning practitioners across the UK and the globe.

Build a place-based programme

Access support to solve labour market challenges, upskilling and matching talent to jobs in your area. We help our partners drive social change for the public good.

Fund Cities of Learning

Boost the UK’s learning and development ecosystem by funding Cities of Learning.

Foundation stones

Cities of Learning uses quality-assured digital badges to recognise unaccredited learning and respond to employer needs. We then connect badged learning experiences across places and into pathways towards employability, education and personal wellbeing.

We work with these partners to achieve this:

  • Badge Nation helps organisations write and quality-assure digital badges to the RSA standard.
  • Future Creators leads the south-east Cities of Learning network and provides mentoring, support and lived experience to place-based leaders joining the movement.
Cities of Learning partner image, showing Badge Nation, Navigatr, Future Creators and Real Ideas logos

Funding partners 

We’re extremely grateful to our funding partners who generously support this work. Their funding and practical support helps us to provide the practices and training needed to enable cities and regions in the UK to reach their full potential.

Tom Kenyon, Head of Programme

Learn, unlearn, relearn

As economic, climate and societal challenges loom large on our horizon, there is a growing and legitimate interest in what skills the UK economy and society might need in the coming decades.