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2 minutes to read Posted on Thursday September 3, 2020

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Sebastiaan ter Burg

Sebastiaan ter Burg

Knowledge Development Specialist , Europeana Foundation

portrait of Nicholas Jarrett

Nicholas Jarrett

Senior Marketing Manager , Europeana Foundation

Europeana 2020 - we’re looking for your contribution

At Europeana 2020, we want to explore with you how we can support a sustainable, responsible and inspiring cultural heritage sector for today and tomorrow. We’re delighted to announce the launch of our call for proposals and invite you to join us in leading these discussions. 

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Europeana 2020 call for proposals
Europeana Foundation

2020 is not the year we thought it was going to be. A global pandemic has changed our day-to-day lives. The Covid crisis has brought home how connected our lives are across the globe, while the injustices and societal inequalities that exist between them have been thrown into sharp relief. This demands a response from us. Above all, this year has shown us that we need to build more coherent, coordinated and effective approaches to dealing with the challenges facing society, whether it is a short-lived natural disaster, a pandemic, or the ongoing battle to combat climate change.  

This is as true for the cultural heritage sector as it is for our wider society .    

In recent months, culture has shown to be a compelling force: people turned to digital technology and communication to share culture and come together as families, in friendship groups and as communities. As we move through and on from these crises, how can digital culture create meaningful and positive change in our society? 

Now is the time to look critically at the role of cultural heritage, and reimagine it. 

Europeana 2020 builds on that momentum to explore how - together - we can develop an open, knowledgeable and creative society.

Europeana 2020

The conference will take place online between 11-13 November 2020. It will be a ‘designed for digital’ event that raises voices from across the sector, Europe and beyond, to empower digital change and explore the role of digital cultural heritage in today’s and tomorrow’s world. 

We usually attract an exciting mix of cultural heritage practitioners at our events, with backgrounds and interests in tech, copyright, education, research, impact, communications and more. We welcome both Europeana Network Association members and non-members alike to our conferences, so it’s a great opportunity to connect with an engaged and innovative audience from across the sector.

Call for proposals

We are looking for your proposals for an interactive and engaging event, session or intervention to be held during Europeana 2020. Through our work on building digital capacity we’re listening to voices in the sector to understand the topics that matter the most to you. We want to invite the best ideas to take the stage, and open up our platforms to new voices and subjects. 

We know that each story or experience can be heard through different perspectives and we’re aiming to take an approach that looks at topics from a variety of angles. For example, we’d love to hear about the human dimension of change, about how the events of this year have, could or should, affect structures and organisations in Europe, and how technological changes can support the role of digital cultural heritage in society. 

Through our work with the Europeana Network Association and Europeana Aggregators Forum, we believe in collaboration. So we’d also love to hear from you if you have imaginative, engaging or new ways to connect people or organisations, build partnerships, engage audiences and network from within or even outside the sector.

Our building digital capacity project has begun to surface some consistent themes from you, professionals in the sector. As a guide we’ve listed them below. We’re looking for proposals to cover:

Building digital skills 

For the sector to create lasting change, professionals need future-proof skills, literacies and experience. Europeana 2020 is about supporting one another to help us all engage better with the people we serve. 

Perhaps you have an interesting idea, project or expertise which could help others build capacity on a personal level by improving their knowledge, skills, attitudes or behaviours? Maybe you can help other professionals and users alike to update their skills to fully participate in creating meaningful and lasting change? Or perhaps you are a GLAM professional with a hands on perspective or case study on digital transformation you are burning to share? 

If you have an idea to help individual growth and learning, we want to know about it. 

Innovation and experimentation

Our annual conference always aims to be at the forefront of innovation and we want to hear about the projects and activities that are changing the ways we work as a sector . These could be about new technologies, engaging with audiences, experimentation, agile iteration and risk-taking. And of course innovation doesn’t only relate to technology - we’re looking for innovation that applies to people, processes and skills.

Digital cultural heritage and social change

2020 has provided us with a unique challenge and opportunity to reimagine so many aspects of our lives. We want to give the stage to proposals that will help others create meaningful and lasting social change. This could include ways to address difficult questions around how privilege affects access to culture and inclusivity, gathering diverse opinions, and developing guides on supporting social justice or greening-up their daily activities. It could be training to help colleagues become better agents of change, or advocates for the sector at all levels. Or perhaps it could be ways to increase understanding, representation and engagement of the people we work with and for.

Bridging digital divides

The early months of the pandemic saw a rapid acceleration in digital activities. Combined with the renewed focus on social and racial justice, many are asking how we can use digital to engage more meaningfully with all audiences and communities across society. 

We’re interested in hearing about innovative and interesting ways to bridge the social and technological divides between people who can access, are represented, and feel welcomed by, digital cultural heritage and those who don’t. We’d love to hear about other ways digital divides can be bridged, be they between GLAMs that have digital capacity and those that don’t, - or between colleagues who are digitally literate and those who are not. 

If you can help others find, learn or be those bridges, send us your proposal.

Apply now

The deadline for proposals is Wednesday, 30 September. To submit your application please read the information and complete our form. We are forming a selection committee involving members of the Europeana Foundation, Europeana Members Council, Europeana Aggregators’ Forum and members of our six communities. This committee will define selection criteria to enable a broad and diverse selection, considering actions we support such as No Women No Panel. We’ll share this criteria on our proposals page next week, so watch this space.

Finally, it’s not all about 2020! We really value and appreciate the effort you put into your proposal so we have looked at other ways we can support you in sharing your knowledge and ideas. In 2021 we will develop a digital programme, populated with events and workshops that share knowledge, host discussions and open up conversations across the cultural heritage sector.

If you would also like your submission to also be evaluated as part of this broader initiative you can indicate this in the application process. And if you have something you are burning to share that can help empower digital change and isn’t reflected by the themes above, we’d still love to hear from you.

We can’t wait to read your proposal!

Please note this call is now closed - you can secure your place for Europeana 2020 below