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2 minutes to read Posted on Friday December 14, 2018

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Zuzana Malicherova

Zuzana Malicherova

Network and Policy officer , Europeana Foundation

AGM 2018 in Vienna: Building communities and celebrating 10 years of Europeana in style

On 5 December, over 200 members of the Europeana Network Association gathered in Vienna on the occasion of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2018, dedicated to building communities and celebrating 10 years of Europeana. We would like to thank all of you who came and made this event such a success!

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Europeana Network Association AGM 2018
Europeana Foundation

On 4 December, the Members Council came together for their last meeting of 2018, this time at Austrian National Library It was also the last meeting of the current Council as we know it - 28 of the 36 Councillors will step down as they reach the end of their term. Their successors will be decided in this month’s Members Council elections.

The Councillors assessed the achievements of 2018, principally the formation of the Network communities, discussed the progress of community-building efforts since the July meeting and approved the new formal rules and terms of reference for the communities and Task Forces. Afterwards, they formed six breakout groups, each representing one of the six communities, and worked on drafting community work plans for 2019.

Later on, all the present Councillors took a moment to reflect on the successes and lessons learnt from their overall electoral term of the past two years, and each of them gave us some good suggestions for the future improvement of the functioning of the Members Council and Europeana Network Association. The Council then worked on formulating a common ‘welcome’ message as part of their legacy for the newly elected Council members who will take on their roles in January 2019. The end of the meeting was dedicated to the preparation of the General Assembly meeting of the following day. We thanked the Councillors for all their efforts and good work with a famous sachertorte and champagne.

Europeana Network Association AGM 2018, Europeana, CC BY-SA

AGM - praising Europeana as a movement

The next day, Chair of the Association, Merete Sanderhoff, opened the Annual General Meeting at Technisches Museum Wien. A welcome was given by Rehana Schwinniger-Ladak, representative of the European Commission, who talked of Europeana’s achievements and challenges of the past 10 years and discussed the importance and positive impact of cultural heritage for European society.

The keynote speaker Chris Sigaloff, Advisor for the Council of Culture in the Netherlands, then discussed the power of culture in driving societal change and of Europeana’s role at its forefront: ‘Europeana is not only a database, a library or a service organisation. It is an activist movement. A movement which has the ambition to transform the world through culture.’

We wrapped up the morning session with the Executive Director of the Europeana Foundation, Harry Verwayen, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with representatives of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences as a gesture of closer international cooperation within the cultural heritage domain.

Building communities in action

One of the biggest achievements of the Network Association in 2018 was the launch of six communities: EuropeanaTech, Europeana Copyright, Europeana Impact, Europeana Research, Europeana Education, and Europeana Communicators. After the introduction of the community concept, Councillor Marco De Niet moderated a highly interactive panel discussion between the chairs of every community. The audience had an opportunity to interact directly with the speakers and ask questions using Mentimeter. During the lunch break, the AGM attendees had chance to chat with community managers and chairs.

Europeana Network Association AGM 2018, Europeana, CC BY-SA

General Assembly 2018

As is now traditional, the General Assembly session was chaired by the Management Board members and focused on important Network Association formalities.

Merete Sanderhoff gave an overview of the 2018 activity highlights and outlined the priorities for 2019.

Paul Keller presented financial reports for 2017 and 2018 together with a proposed budget for 2019. Attendees formally approved these reports as well as the Association Annual Report 2018 and Activity Plan 2019.

Finally, Max Kaiser and Uldis Zarins launched the 2018 Members Council elections, asking all members to vote for 28 new Councillors, and to follow the elections on Twitter with the hashtag #EuropeanaElects. Voting closes on 14 December - we will inform you about the elections results on 18 December.

Europeana Network Association AGM 2018, Europeana, CC BY-SA

Celebrating Europeana’s 10th anniversary

Harry Verwayen presented the audience with some key facts related to the changing landscape and future direction of Europeana.

Adrian Murphy from the Europeana Foundation outlined Europeana’s involvement in the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 with the very successful Europeana Migration campaign. Adrian showcased the impressive results of the campaign’s collection days and shared some of its sometimes breathtaking stories.

Councillor Susan Hazan then challenged the attendees in a Kahoot quiz.

10 Network Association members shared their favourite ‘Wow’ moments from the first 10 years of Europeana. These impressive stories reminded us of how the existence of Europeana has influenced people's lives, and how together we’ve been transforming the world with culture since 2008.

We then had the pleasure of awarding the top four Unsung Heroes and recognising the extraordinary things they've done for Europeana in the last 10 years: Tamara Butigan, Dafydd Tudur, Marzia Piccininno and Steven Stegers!

Thank you

Europeana Network Association AGM 2018, Europeana, CC BY-SA

We would like to thank all who contributed to this successful event, including our fantastic speakers and presenters, and of course our hosts in Vienna. We couldn't be happier to see our members being so engaged!

You can find some nice event photos on Flickr, and access the presentations on Slideshare. The minutes of the Members Council meeting and the General Assembly will be published shortly on our Network Association Updates page.

We very much look forward to seeing you again next year!

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