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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday December 1, 2021

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Gina van der Linden

Gina van der Linden

Senior Event Manager , Europeana Foundation

portrait of Georgia Evans

Georgia Evans

Senior Editorial Officer , Europeana Foundation

Looking back on Europeana 2021

Europeana 2021 - Recover, Rebuild, Grow - took place over three full and inspiring days. We were delighted that over 1,750 of you signed up to attend the conference, joining cultural heritage professionals across the globe to listen to more than 60 speakers, attend over 50 sessions and share in varied social activities. Read on to relive the event and find out how you can access the sessions that took place. 

2021 Recover Rebuild Grow 10 - 12 November Online
Europeana 2021
Europeana Foundation

Firstly, we would like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who attended, participated in and spoke at Europeana 2021. It was a pleasure to be joined by you for the conference and we are so grateful to those of you who gave up your time and expertise to take part. We were delighted to see so much engagement and respectful and inclusive collaboration from everyone who attended. 

Each day of the conference explored a different theme of importance to the sector, beginning with a keynote and panel session to set the tone for the day before a full afternoon of sessions. We were inspired, challenged and informed by the talks on offer!

Putting values at the heart of Europe's digital future

The first day of the conference opened with an address from Commissioner Thierry Breton, who introduced the European data space for cultural heritage, underlining the role of Europeana and its vibrant community in establishing such a digital space. Keynote speeches from Yvo Volman and George Oates further deepened our understanding, highlighting the importance of democratic access to digital public spaces and exploring how we can preserve and protect them. Following this inspiring morning, afternoon sessions looked at topics including Open Glam, cultural heritage hackathons, the role of digital cultural heritage in education and more.  

Ensuring sustainable digital transformation

Day two of Europeana 2021 was dedicated to sustainable digital transformation, opening with a compelling speech from Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra. Her address emphasised the importance of cultural heritage in shaping a sustainable and beautiful future. The Europeana Initiative was excited to follow up on the address by launching a Climate Action Manifesto, a commitment to minimising the digital cultural heritage sector’s impact on the climate and environment. After this exciting morning, afternoon sessions explored preserving heritage, greening cultural heritage institutions, creating impact, enabling diversity and inclusion, using immersive technologies and much more!

Using technology to drive social change

The final day of Europeana 2021 looked at how the sector could use technology as a tool for social change. A topical, thought-provoking and insightful keynote from Professor Pier Luigi Sacco opened the day, exploring cultural participation in the digital world, and how to make it inclusive, democratic and collective. The talk further enriched our understanding of participation, which was supported in later sessions on extended reality, artificial intelligence, digital storytelling, crowdsourcing and using digital cultural heritage to raise awareness of the climate emergency.

Social activities

Europeana 2021 also provided plenty of opportunities for participants to relax, network and have fun. Gather.Town provided an informal digital space to make new connections and we were happy to include a dedicated space and lunch event for new professionals and those attending their first conference. Participants were also able to have fun with a pub quiz, mindful origami sessions and a #DigitalAperitivo. This online event, organised by the Europeana Communicators Community, encouraged participants to come together and share the culture they love on social media, in multiple languages. You can still explore all the wonderful cultural heritage shared through the Aperitivo on Twitter

Rewatch the keynotes and panel sessions

With a conference as rich as Europeana 2021, it was hard to follow all of the action, so we are delighted to share the recordings of the keynotes and all the panel sessions. For each session you can find some information about what the session covered, who the expert speakers are, view any related presentations and of course re-watch the sessions themselves.

If you would like to share your thoughts on these sessions, or your experience of Europeana 2021 as a whole, make sure that you fill out the post-event survey, which has been sent to all attendees. Your feedback will help us to improve and develop our events and is really important to us, so please do fill it out!

Join us for Europeana 2022

With another great conference this year, we are already looking ahead to Europeana 2022! If you would like to be the first to hear about what we have planned, register below to receive information.