The mission of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is to enrich society through ideas and action.
We believe that all human beings have creative capacities that, when understood and supported, can be mobilised to deliver a 21st century enlightenment.
Supported by our 28,000 Fellows, we share powerful ideas, carry out cutting-edge research and build networks and opportunities for people to collaborate, helping to create fulfilling lives and a flourishing society.
For more than 260 years, the mission of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce) has been to enrich society through ideas and action; unleashing the creative potential of individuals through the power of enlightened thinking.
The RSA was founded in 1754 as the Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce, it was granted a Royal Charter in 1847, and the right to use the term Royal in its name by King Edward VII in 1908. The Royal Charter Company was registered as charity in England and Wales in 1963 (212424) and is now also registered in Scotland (SC037784).
Today we undertake cutting-edge research, develop innovative new projects and bring the most exciting ideas to a global audience. At the heart of the RSA is the Fellowship, a community of 28,000 like-minded people from all walks of life who support our mission to create a 21st century enlightenment.
The RSA’s Patron is currently HM Elizabeth II, the RSA’s President is HRH The Princess Royal (who replaced her father, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 2011), its Chairman is Vikki Heywood, and its Chief Executive is Matthew Taylor.
List of presidents
1755–1761: The Viscount Folkestone
1761–1793: The Lord Romney
1794–1815: The Duke of Norfolk
1816–1843: HRH The Duke of Sussex
1843–1861: HRH The Prince Consort
1862–1862: William Tooke
1863–1901: HRH The Prince of Wales
1901–1901: Sir Frederick Bramwell
1901–1910: HRH The Prince of Wales
1910–1910: The Lord Alverstone
1911–1942: HRH The Duke of Connaught
1942–1943: Sir Edward Crowe
1943–1945: E. F. Armstrong
1945–1947: The Viscount Bennett
1947–1952: The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh
1952–2011: HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
2011–present: HRH The Princess Royal