Knowledge commons - Design for Life - The RSA - RSA

Knowledge commons

Knowledge Commons

Growing open knowledge for regenerative impact

The RSA is, and always has been, a knowledge commons.

The Coffee House, the events programme, the library, the archive, the Fellowship, the website, are all freely available for common use. We hold open events, we post videos to access for free on YouTube and podcast channels. We also publish our research and innovation awards on our website for all. It creates content for common use. But currently, that knowledge is not commonly produced, managed or owned.

The challenge is to use our platforms and reach to build a body of knowledge, in service of the Design for Life mission, that is open and commonly produced and owned.

We aim to change this by learning from (and contributing to) modern online commons and open standards.

Knowledge commons - Design for Life - The RSA

Designing the RSA knowledge commons

Our work in this process is based on the following principles:

  • Usability: easy to use and navigate. We help people find and access knowledge.

  • Accessibility: accessible to all users, regardless of ability. Flexibility in a wide range of content types.
  • Openness: transparent guidelines allowing anyone to contribute, edit content, and see history of changes.
  • Community: foster a sense of community among users, encouraging them to share knowledge and work together to create and improve content.
  • Sustainability: the space should be sustainable, with a plan in place for maintaining and updating content over time. We also look at the carbon footprint of our digital spaces.
  • Field building: resources are shared not owned, and point towards regenerative resources and actors to grow knowledge. 

Join the Knowledge commons conversation

Connect with other changemakers, communities, and organisations in our Circle community and help create an open-access knowledge space for capabilities growth.

Going forward together

Over the course of 2023, we will begin experimenting with publishing our digital content under Creative Commons licenses and hosting editable files in common spaces such as the internet archive. We will endeavour to make our knowledge accessible, searchable and editable.

Our hope is that our Fellowship and audiences will begin to interact with RSA content in different ways, reusing, remixing and reposting in new spaces, to build a thriving ecosystem of knowledge towards a regenerative world.

We also aim to help curate open content, knowledge, case studies and events from partners and Fellows that share our regenerative mission, to unite and amplify the wisdom of the field.

Knowledge commons related content

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    Alessandra Tombazzi Tom Kenyon

    After investigating ‘knowledge commons’, we're introducing our open RSA standards and what they mean for our practice, products and processes.

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    Tom Kenyon on the importance of sharing knowledge and good practice on place-based and ecosystemic learning.

  • Platforms and the public square


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    This research explores in depth the epochal challenge of misinformation and makes recommendations on how to tackle the issue.