How can we create stronger cultural connections? Business Plan 2016

Author: Harry Verwayen
24 February 2016 Comment

This year, we’ve done things a little differently with our annual business plan. It still sets out how we’ll carry out our Strategy 2015-2020, and it comes out of valuable discussions with our partners and Network Association. But we’ve made it shorter and more readable with a strong emphasis on the goals to reach rather than the tasks to tick off as we go. We thought you’d like that.

While there’s less text to wade through, we’ve expanded the vision inside the plan, laying out our priorities for the next two years, rather than just one, to help us avoid becoming short sighted. Obviously, things will develop along the way, so we’ll update it next year to reflect that.

So what’s in store for 2016 and 2017?

As you know, we have set ourselves four major goals for the next two years - you’ll recognise the first three from our Strategy 2015-2020, but we’ve added the fourth to help us grow as a community:

Goal 1: Create value for partners
Goal 2: Improve data quality
Goal 3: Open the data
Goal 4: Strengthen the Europeana ecosystem

Each of them individually contributes to our ability to succeed as a platform for cultural heritage; combined they bring us a step closer to our vision to make all our heritage available for re-use, for the mutual benefit of all participants. I encourage you to read about how we aim to achieve these goals, and how you can contribute and benefit. Download the Business Plan 2016.

We have called this year’s business plan ‘Creating Cultural Connections’ because we feel that removing obstacles between institutions, large and small, who have heritage to share and users who are looking for it is our main focus for the year. In the words of one of my colleagues: ‘we need to make it insanely easy to publish on Europeana’ and we need to get to know our users intimately to understand their needs. There are a couple of things in store this year that we’d like to bring to your attention that relate directly to this ambition.

The first is the introduction of what we call ‘thematic collections’- first Music, Fashion and Art History, and later Photography and Newspapers. We bring together some incredible collections in these areas. They deserve to find their audiences.

We’ll also start innovating the aggregation infrastructure to make it simpler for institutions to share their data. This innovation will be organisational - with the development of expert hubs - as well as technical - by revamping Metis and by exploring more lightweight harvesting. Exciting new avenues for all of us, so stay tuned!

Last but not least, this will be an important year for our network with regards to structural long term funding. In particular the coming months under the Dutch Presidency will be critical in this regard. Of course we count on the continuous support of our Network Association members. We’ll invite you to raise your voice and join in with a collaborative campaign in the coming months.