Building Digital Capacity

As COVID-19 changes and challenges the cultural heritage sector, the importance of building capacity for digital transformation is clearer than ever. We have developed a phased project to help us identify and shape a capacity building framework based on the needs of our sector. 

Sensemaking Digital Transformation in the time of COVID-19

In June 2020 we launched a series of workshops that called upon our community to bring their perspective, experience and expertise together to identify new paths through - and beyond - the COVID-19 crisis for digital cultural heritage. Concurrently, we worked closely with independent charity Culture24 to produce a report to help develop a shared understanding of what building digital capacity in our sector really means. Explore a summary of the findings and the full reports below.

Building Digital Capacity: sense-making findings and outcomes
Title:
A Vision for European Cultural Heritage 2025
Creator:
Sebastiaan ter Burg
Date:
May 2018, Bulgaria
Institution:
Europeana Foundation
Country:
The Netherlands

Building Digital Capacity: sense-making findings and outcomes

We’re delighted to share two complementary reports from our work on building digital capacity, which raise key questions and themes to further our understanding of what supporting digital capacity for the cultural heritage sector really means.

Digital transformation in the time of COVID-19 - sense-making workshops findings and outcomes
Title:
A Vision for European Cultural Heritage 2025
Creator:
Sebastiaan ter Burg
Date:
May 2018, Bulgaria
Institution:
Europeana Foundation

Digital transformation in the time of COVID-19 - sense-making workshops findings and outcomes

Find out more about the workshops we ran with our community to bring their perspective, experience and expertise together to identify new paths through - and beyond - the COVID-19 crisis for digital cultural heritage. 

The digital transformation agenda and GLAMs - Culture24 findings and outcomes
Title:
Europeana Strategy meeting “Migration and culture: how can our past educate our present”,
Creator:
Sebastiaan ter Burg
Institution:
Europeana Foundation

The digital transformation agenda and GLAMs - Culture24 findings and outcomes

Through this report, explore what is happening in our sector to support digital capacity, consider what terms like ‘digital transformation’ mean in practice for GLAM institutions and get a snapshot of digital capacity building initiatives in the sector.

A definition of digital transformation

Building on our sense-making workshops and Culture24 report, we have worked with our peers, partners and Europeana Network Association members to agree a common definition of digital transformation that is relevant to the cultural heritage sector and our stakeholders. We will use the definition to help shape our future strategies and priorities, so that a cultural heritage sector powered by digital can contribute to a Europe powered by culture. Read the full definition, and explore it through our video, below. 

Summary

Digital transformation is both the process and the result of using digital technology to transform how an organisation operates and delivers value. It helps an organisation to thrive, fulfil its mission and meet the needs of its stakeholders. It enables cultural heritage institutions to contribute to the transformation of a sector powered by digital and a Europe powered by culture.

Full definition

Digital transformation is both the process and the result of using digital technology to transform how an organisation works. It helps an organisation to thrive, fulfil its mission and meet the needs of its stakeholders. 

Digital transformation can be driven by heritage professionals of any level - everyone can be an agent of change. It is not just about technology - it’s about mindsets and personal capabilities. 

The impact of digital transformation will be different for each individual organisation. Each change, no matter how small, contributes to a cultural heritage sector powered by digital and a Europe powered by culture. 

Europeana and digital transformation

Europeana’s focus is on digital transformation relating to the digital discovery of cultural heritage collections. This includes (but is not limited to) efforts that help cultural heritage institutions to develop their leadership and capacity for digital transformation, to strengthen infrastructure, improve interoperability, enrich data, share collections and engage with audiences. 

Europeana empowers the cultural heritage sector in its digital transformation - helping it to embrace digital change and encouraging partnerships that foster innovation. We lead with our specialist expertise when best-placed to do so and collaborate when that expertise lies in other networks.

Digital Transformation Task Force

From autumn 2021 - spring 2022, a Europeana Initiative-wide Digital Transformation Task Force aimed to build capacity for digital transformation across Europeana. This Task Force included representatives from the Europeana Network Association, Europeana Aggregators’ Forum, Europeana Foundation and independent consultants. During the course of its work, the Task Force organised three consultation sessions where 44 participants provided input on digital activities (572 comments in total) and digital skills (228 comments in total) from an individual, organisational and network perspective. This has resulted in two publications that can be downloaded below.

The ‘Guide to Digital Transformation in Cultural Heritage’ aims to support the digital transformation of the cultural heritage sector across Europe. It is written for the people who work in, around and for the many different museums, galleries, archives, libraries, heritage sites, arts organisations that hold and protect cultural collections and seek to engage audiences with them. It offers recommendations that frame an approach to digital transformation for the whole cultural heritage sector. 

The Digital Transformation Report on the Task Force details the work that independent charity Culture24 was commissioned to guide and support. It covers the Task Force’s activities between October 2021 and the publication of this report in June 2022 and introduces the ‘Guide to Digital Transformation in Cultural Heritage’ that has been produced collaboratively by the Task Force as a separate stand alone document.

Based on the above, initiative-wide discussions will continue to determine the role and responsibility of Europeana as a whole and of its three separate bodies. 

Developing a capacity building framework

We are working to create a strategy and implement a framework that empowers, motivates and guides the development of capacity building through the cultural heritage sector. Find out more through the document below, which describes the strategy for building and implementing the Europeana Capacity Building Framework. It reflects work in progress and future plans, and describes the guiding principles that have been developed for the Framework.

Strengthening and supporting the process of identifying and developing capacity building efforts is our Thematic Agenda. This attempts to provide an overview of the planned work within the (greater) Europeana Initiative, according to themes and topics, in order to be able to establish a joint horizon and to identify synergies and complimentary work. Find out more through the document below.

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