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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday February 22, 2017

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

A Call to Culture: recalibrating our 2020 Strategy

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Francis Frith

Believing that culture connects Europe in all of its diversity, contributes to growth and can really transform the world underpins the work of Europeana and all her friends. It has been three years since we launched our 2020 Strategy. The technical landscape keeps evolving; user behaviour changes and information isn’t consumed in the same way anymore. Facing these challenges together, the Europeana Network, partners from cultural heritage institutions, Member States, and the Europeana Foundation took a critical look at our current strategy to see how much actually needs revising. After a yearlong conversation with all stakeholders, from users to MEPs, and curators to creatives, we think our Revised Strategy puts us in the best position to reaffirm our vision for Europeana, and maximise our 2020 impact.

'A call to culture' from Europeana on Vimeo.

Transform the world with Culture is a call to all of us

We, the Europeana Community, have got to where we are because we have worked together: we have solved issues from interoperability to data quality to funding. But this is a task that will never be finished, so the call is out to continue the good work and put even more energy behind it. In the Europeana office, we have learnt from the pain points and from user feedback; we understand that it is nowhere near easy enough to share data with Europeana. We know a clear division of roles is lacking in our ecosystem, and that our way of reaching end-users needs to be modernised. Recognising and addressing these challenges will allow us to move forward. Imagine clearly labelled material, new distribution partnerships and cool ways of engaging people. That is what is needed in today’s landscape where content follows the user. So, to make this happen, we have refined our strategy. We are supercharging our focus around three priorities: making it easier to deliver high-quality content and see the results; scaling with partners to reach wider markets; and engaging people through campaigns and meeting their need to participate with more immersive experiences.

The Process

The goal was a balanced view from each of our five stakeholders: the European Commission, the Member States, the Cultural Institutions, the Europeana Network Association, and the User. To get there, our preparatory work on change priorities, taking into account user feedback was followed by a consultation process with the European Commission, the Member States, a group of Cultural Heritage Institutions, and the Network Association in November. This input was taken back to the Europeana Foundation Board for further discussion, and presented for a round of critique by the Member States. We are excited to be in the position to finally share it with you today.

What’s in it for you?

Partly, this depends on what you can give by answering the Call to Culture. Are you able to improve the quality of your data, make your content more open so that it can be used in Education or Research? If you are a Creative, what can you do to show new uses of our cultural heritage? Whether you are a Cultural Heritage Institution, a policymaker, a researcher, or a creative, working together will help us achieve the difference we want to make. Wherever we reach new audiences, cultural heritage content inspires new creativity and greater understanding of our shared history.

Living up to our individual responsibility

By refocusing our priorities we also need to alter the way we work with each other. We can only achieve these ambitions and ensure their impact by combining and maximising our strength, energy and expertise. There will be organisational changes, as well as platform, product and data adjustments. We need to make cultural heritage count in a changing world, and your input to the Europeana 2020 Strategic Update reboots that journey. With the Business Plan 2017 (to be published on 28 February), and the new content strategy (to be published in March) we can mobilise the cultural community across Europe, maximise the value of our sector and increase the feeling of a shared and diverse Europe through cultural heritage.

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