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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday June 24, 2019

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Maria Drabczyk

Maria Drabczyk

Head of policy and advocacy, Board member , Centrum Cyfrowe

portrait of Julia Fallon

Julia Fallon

Community and Partner Engagement Manager , Europeana Foundation

How the Europeana Impact Playbook is influencing a toolbox for heritage-led innovation and diplomacy

What can we learn from the design of the impact playbook? And how can we use that to help us think about the design of our own resources? These are the questions asked by the EU ILUCIDARE project meeting held in Krakow, Poland on the 10-11 June. We talk to Julia Fallon and Maja Drabczyk who were there to help answer them.

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Clémentine Daubeuf / ILUCIDARE

Can you tell us a bit about the history of the Europeana Impact Playbook?

Julia: When we designed the impact playbook in 2017, we wanted it to be like a cookbook. To introduce a common language around impact, and to generate conversations around the topic. Something you could dip into, to use when you needed guidance, workshop formats and inspiration. 18 months and 2,000 downloads later, and we’re observing it being used in all of these ways, and even in some we had not imagined.

How does the Europeana Impact Playbook fit with the ILUCIDARE project?

Maja: The ILUCIDARE project is about building international connections aimed at making heritage-led innovation and diplomacy in Europe an example for sustainable development and international cooperation. The ambition is to establish an international network promoting heritage as a resource for innovation and in international cooperation through a diversity of collaborative activities. As one of the project’s tasks we will build a set of interactive resources, including guidelines and practical hints, maybe even a toolbox of our own. Being a user of the Europeana Impact Playbook, it seemed like a natural fit to inspire my colleagues in the project, and set the background for the project meeting. We used the playbook’s empathy map to structure discussions in our co-creation atelier focusing on the stakeholders’ needs.

What did you get out of being part of the EU ILUCIDARE project meeting?

Maja: It was inspirational for the people present in the room to get acquainted with the Impact Playbook - innovative both in its format and the way it interacts with its users. It showed a potential direction for the tools we want to create within the project. On top of that we used exercises from the playbook itself to facilitate our own discussions. This way we showed how flexible the playbook is and that it can be used in various contexts.

Julia: Taking the time to reflect on what we had produced with the playbook was a really insightful experience. As we are putting the finishing touches to the next phase of the playbook - which deals with data collection and assessment - we’re looking at how we design the delivery of that phase, as well as what we need to do to support how it’s used by practitioners. This has been a really long process though, that has played out over the past few years, so I used a scrum-style retrospective to keep my reflections focused on the most significant.

This process highlighted that our strengths were in using and adapting existing methodologies - not reinventing the wheel - testing every element throughly on ourselves, and ensuring the language we used was simple but thorough. And that we can improve by developing different types of resources to raise awareness and support usage of the playbook- such as webinars walking through specific tools such as the empathy map. Taking these insights forward into the next phases of the playbook means the beta will trial a more accessible format, as well as benefiting from a stronger connection with the emerging impact community.

So, what’s next?

Maja: For ILUCIDARE? One of the project’s ambitions is the development of the so called CH-led innovation handbook and diplomacy toolbox that will support the work of practitioners in both fields. There are two co-creation ateliers planned within the project’s duration - the one we participated in in Cracow and one in Leuven (still to come) that aim to support the delivery of the final product so that it truly answers to the needs of its future users. Our discussions in Cracow were crucial for identifying our next steps in the project.

Julia: I’m incredibly proud of the playbook and what we have achieved since its launch in 2017. I hear a lot about how inspiring it is, and how much it enables conversations, creative brainstorming and the pushing of boundaries when we think about which metrics we collect. That in itself, feels enough.

… But it’s not. Because we know there is more we want to add to the conversation. We have Phase 2 of the playbook to share with you in Beta format over the summer, followed shortly by Phase 3 looking at how to narrate the data collected. And there’s a new energy being injected into the community of professionals across the cultural heritage sector that are interested in developing their practice of impact. So there is a lot on the horizon to be looking forward to!

Wish you were there? You can browse through Julia’s presentation and read the write up of this retro on our impact publication on Medium.