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2 minutes to read Posted on Friday December 13, 2019

portrait of Marco De Niet

Marco De Niet

Manager, Research & Education Services Division & Deputy Director , Leiden University Library

portrait of Zuzana Malicherova

Zuzana Malicherova

Network and Policy officer , Europeana Foundation

Looking back on the Europeana Network Association in 2019

2019 has been a year of changes for the Europeana Network Association (ENA), which continues to work to promote digital cultural heritage as a powerful agent in an ever-changing world. In this post, Marco de Niet, Chair of the Europeana Network Association (ENA), tells us about the highlights and main achievements of the ENA in 2019 and outlines some of the priorities for 2020.

main image

Europeana 2019 - Sebastiaan Ter Burg

November 2019

Europeana Foundation

The Netherlands

CC BY-SA

New governance

With most of the pioneers who shaped the ENA from its very beginning in 2015 ending their terms in December 2018, this year a new Members Council and Management Board have worked to steer governance and develop a new strategic vision for the ENA. Among our ongoing activities, in 2019 we focused on providing guidance and ensuring the good work progress of the ENA communities. 

Empowering Communities

In 2018, the ENA established six communities - EuropeanaTech, Research, Education, Impact, Copyright and Communicators - that function as trans-national networks of professionals who create, curate, preserve, research, publish and use digital cultural heritage online. Communities help ENA members cultivate and share knowledge, expertise and best practices around a specific area of common interest.

This year, the major focus of communities has been on establishing and empowering their Steering Groups, operationalising their communication channels, and creating, refining and implementing their work plans. They have emerged as the ENA’s main vehicle to strengthen the role of digital cultural heritage in general, and Europeana in particular. In 2019 the communities have helped cultural heritage professionals not only by trying to harmonise sectoral differences, but also by supporting digital transformation of cultural heritage institutions across Europe, finding opportunities to engage with various user groups, and working to understand the impact that digital cultural heritage has on them.

Europeana 2019 Conference 

This year we introduced a new format for the annual Europeana event/AGM, building on the six communities at the heart of the ENA. The communities were a driving force behind the Europeana 2019: Connect Communities conference and pre-conference workshops that took place together with the ENA General Assembly at the National Library of Portugal in Lisbon on 26-29 November 2019. This unique interdisciplinary and cross domain event was a great success. It was the first time that the six communities coordinated sessions and demonstrated how they relate to and strengthen each other. Part of the conference was dedicated to the ENA General Assembly, where our network members got together to discuss important matters, approve key documents, and launch the 2019 voting process.

Europeana 2019 - Sebastiaan Ter Burg

November 2019

Europeana Foundation

Netherlands

CC BY-SA

ENA and the climate change action

During the worldwide climate strikes in 2019, various ENA Members Councillors expressed support for the action and their willingness to actively engage in the climate change movement. This initiative was led by Councillor Barbara Fischer, who wrote and shared an article and started a debate on our LinkedIn group in order to call for action. She and her colleagues from the Members Council, Peter Soemers and Killian Downing, pitched their project to make ENA as a community more actively engaged in climate action at the Europeana 2019 event and beyond. We also organised the conference in Lisbon as climate friendly manner as possible

More engaged members 

In 2019, we focused our efforts on expanding the ENA by attracting professionals working in areas related to cultural heritage, while keeping the existing network engaged and active. As a result of these efforts, between January and December 600 new members joined the ENA. Our membership currently stands at almost 2,700. We have been working on actively engaging members in the ENA by creating voluntary activities that can provide professional and personal fulfilment and a sense of ownership and community belonging.

Communicators Community at Europeana 2019 - Sebastiaan Ter Burg

November 2019

Europeana Foundation

Netherlands

CC BY-SA

New communications 

We have continued to try and make the ENA a vocal organisation through  new communication initiatives. The Europeana Communicators community has contributed to these efforts by bringing ENA members together on Twitter and re-developing two dedicated hashtags. #AllezCulture shows support for digital culture and the cultural heritage sector and can be used to promote digital culture in action or as a rallying call. The new hashtag #EuropeanaCommunities brings the ENA, its communities and other Europeana-related networks together. I encourage you to use, follow and share these hashtags for discussions and networking. 

Looking forward to 2020

The ENA has shown great potential in its European-level cross-domain composition, thought-leadership and innovation capacity, particularly in creating communities that help solve issues faced by many cultural heritage institutions. In 2020 we aim to build on these strengths and  create more opportunities for our members to get involved in the work of the communities, where we foresee a lot of growth and development. We would also like to assess the impact that the ENA and its activities can have on the digital transformation of cultural heritage institutions.

We are aiming to make the ENA more inclusive for young professionals and people of all backgrounds, and make Europeana more accessible for disabled people and marginalised groups. We will support environmentally friendly policies and positive actions that can help reduce the effects of climate change, and we will make sure that our activities are as sustainable and climate neutral as possible. Finally, we wish to facilitate a closer collaboration with the Aggregators’ Forum, and together with the Europeana Foundation, we will work towards the overall strengthening of the Europeana initiative.

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