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PhD student Cee Swakamisa elected to prestigious RSA Fellowship


Cee Swakamisa, a second-year doctoral student in the School of Religion, Philosophy and History of Science at the Centre for Religion and Public Life, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) for his contributions to social progress and development.

The RSA is a London-based organisation, whose mission is to unite people and ideas to solve the challenges of our times. Founded in 1754, the RSA has a longstanding tradition of drawing together individuals and organisations combined energy and expertise to find new solutions to social challenges, share the best ideas and undertake rigorous research.

The RSA is particularly focused on the "how" of social change – through identifying solutions, co-design, civic engagement and partnerships. It also does this by:

  • Convening reasoned debate
  • Enabling people to realise change
  • Influencing key organisations
  • Demonstrating practical solutions

The RSA Fellowship is a global network of 31,000 change makers who are committed to championing new ideas and driving social change through innovative ideas, pioneering research and thought leadership, Fellows inspire better ways of thinking, acting and delivering change.

As an early-stage researcher, whose research project investigates the role of faith-based social entrepreneurship in eradicating multidimensional poverty in South Africa, Cee is committed to working collaboratively to understand complex challenges and empower communities by utilising local knowledges and resources to co-create sustainable solutions for the future. As an aspiring social entrepreneur, Cee is also working on establishing a social enterprise with a mission to address the UK’s social housing crisis and accelerate the housing industry’s transition to low-carbon and sustainable homes for Net Zero.

As a Fellow, Cee will be joining an organisation which prides itself on turning world-leading ideas into world-changing actions and nurturing future thought leaders and change makers. Notable past Fellows include Charles Dickens, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, Karl Marx, Stephen Hawking and Nelson Mandela.

Cumberland Lodge Fellowship

Cee's RSA Fellowship comes in addition to another recognition he recently secured, a Cumberland Lodge Fellowship for 2023 to 2025.

Each year a small cohort of talented doctoral students from different backgrounds, ages, and perspectives, are given the opportunity to get involved in the work of Cumberland Lodge, which seeks to address the causes and effects of social division and work towards more open and inclusive societies.

During the two-year scheme, which is designed to fit around the demands of doctoral research, Fellows have the chance to network with senior figures in public life and to participate in, or help to lead, discussions that ultimately inform recommendations for practical action and policy change. Fellows also have opportunities to take part in Programme events outside their own academic disciplines. In doing so, they will gain experience in working collaboratively; engaging in cross-disciplinary discussion; public engagement and facilitation at events; networking; writing for a range of different audiences; and enjoy access to a £300 Personal Development Grant.

For more than 75 years Cumberland Lodge, a charity based in a 17th-century former Royal residence in Windsor Great Park, has sought to break down ‘silo thinking’ and promote thought leadership, collaboration and fresh ideas that support its vision of more peaceful, open and inclusive societies. It also empowers people, through open dialogue and debate, to tackle the causes and effects of social division and promote social progress.