RSAnimate

Sometimes you stumble about something in the web and think: “Hell yeah, this is fantastic”. And that was my reaction towards the animations of RSA. The RSA is short for “Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce”. So basically it’s a society for social progress, based in London.

“In the light of new challenges and opportunities for the human race, the RSA seeks to develop and promote new ways of thinking about human fulfilment and social progress.  We do this by providing a platform for ideas and debate, a programme of innovative research and development, and through the activities of our 27,000 strong Fellowship.  By combining thought leadership, social engagement and powerful forms of collaboration, the RSA can make a vital and unique contribution to civic capacity.” (via thersa.org)

The RSA has several projects which are all pretty impressive. For example the project Opening Minds, where they try to provide young people with a a set of five competencies, including Citizenship, Learning, Managing Information, Managing Situations and Relating to People. Or another project, Design and Society:

“Design & Society argues that design will be fundamental to closing the gap between behaviour and aspiration because of the particular resourcefulness that designers represent. Ready to improvise and prototype, brave in the face of disorder and complexity, holistic and people-centred in their approach to defining problems, designers have a vital role to play today in making society itself more resourceful.” (via thersa.org)

They also organize events where they want to provide platforms for leading public thinkers. And their house sounds like the perfect place to be (watch the 360° tour):

“A famous centre for Enlightenment thinking, the RSA House has been the intellectual and social home of some of the greatest thinkers and social activists of the past 200 years.”

I am honest when I say that I would truely love to work for such an organization. Helping the society to change and to develop by organizing events, platforms and exchange is a life goal of mine.

But the reason for noticing the RSA were their animations I found on the blog of Frank Chimero. And the fact that he founds it through a weblog of a 6th grade class makes me smile. The animations are stunning. They provide a lot of information, visualized in comic style sketches and descriptions, supported with narration. Be sure to watch them all on the RSA youtube channel.

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15 Comments

  • Becca

    thanks for such positive feedback. I’m part of the team that helps create the animates at the RSA. its quite amazing to know that people out there really appreciate the work that you do. you’ve really made my day. :)

  • Steve Johnson

    Hey Becca, are you aware of any effort to build a set of software tools that facilitates the creation of animations similar to the ones used on RSAnimate? The teaching world awaits!

  • Neil Meyrick

    Fabulous work – many thanks indeed – you have really given another dimension to great thinking – especially for the many of us who prefer seeing to hearing.

  • Don Munro

    Hi Becca, I’m a distance Ed teacher and would love to have your people animate a couple of 10 minute podcasts. Do you provide such a service?

  • Becca

    Thanks for such generous comments. Re: the story – it takes me about 3 days to ‘creatively’ edit and cut up a 1 hour talk into a 10 minute monologue – I reallyn appreciate that you enjoy the story. I love editing them, it’s such fun. Currently our partners are CognitiveMedia who do the animation from our audio edits. Do check out they’re website or contact them regarding animations. Regarding getting a pdf of the whole scribe, it’s best to contact CognitiveMedia for prints/pdf’s. Steve it would be great to find out more about that software? Do contact me at the RSA – rebecca.pyne@rsa.org.uk. Again guys, thanks for all the support. Becca :)

  • Alison

    Wow. These videos are AMAZING. I am a Canadian university student that decided to take a couple summer psychology courses for interest sake. A couple months ago, my “Best of YouTube” podcast brought me an interesting video, it was called “The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” I happened to be reading the chapter on motivation and found that the video was a great accompaniment to the chapter. It really helped me understand things more in a audio and visual manner. Since then I have watched a couple more of your videos and really enjoyed them. So thank you so much for the videos and keep up the great work!

  • Cheryl

    This work is fantastic. What a fun and rapid way to learn. It also inspires one to search out the data and research being described. We really need to be able to use this method on a more widespread basis. I work in the healthcare industry and see so many applications both for professionals and for helping educate patients. What’s more this is a method that will work and fit with how our children will need and WANT to learn. THANK YOU for your incredible work. You have created a whole new model!

  • Rafal

    Hi Rebecca, great job!! I really impressed and enjoy watching such animation. Let me know, do you have any customers from abroad?
    Sorry for my language mistakes but I done my best not to make any of them ;-)

  • Becca Pyne

    Thanks again for all the encouraging feedback. :)

    In-house we edit the content from one of our lectures and then we send it off to our wonderful animators at Cognitive Media who produce the spectacular animations.

    Re: software I don’t have any helpful hints – but perhaps check out their website as they may have some info on there http://www.cognitivemedia.co.uk

  • Roger

    These work on so many levels – the childlike one – the ‘can you tell what it is yet?’ one – the image/words time link one, and they all make it compelling viewing. I have watched a lot of them and I have never stopped part way through. In a world of communication garbage these are a freshly opened leaf in springtime…

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