Cities of Learning (CofL) is a new approach for activating a grassroots, city-based, mass-engagement movement around learning and skills.
It involves learners, institutions, employers, civil society and voluntary and cultural sectors, building around the idea that for cities to mobilise behind a culture of learning, there needs to be coherent ‘skills-matching’. Learners, especially those from underserved communities, can benefit from better access to the wealth of enrichment experiences and opportunities their city offers. The RSA has been piloting this approach with digital badge partner, DigitalMe, in Greater Manchester, Plymouth and Brighton.
CofL doesn’t seek to replace or recreate existing formal or non-formal learning provision, but to build on what’s already there by: building connections through open and collaborative networks; strengthening their impact and value proposition by awarding locally-valued digital credentials; and by linking programme participants to other opportunities via ‘learning pathways.’ By connecting locally-generated, locally-relevant learning opportunities more clearly to local work opportunities, the project also aims to encourage participation by disengaged learners.
The technology underlying Cities of Learning was developed by Navigatr, funded as part of the project. Navigatr has grown into a comprehensive digital badging platform serving cities and regions across the UK.