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2 minutes to read Posted on Thursday April 20, 2023

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Altheo Valentini

Altheo Valentini

EU projects manager , EGInA Srl

portrait of Georgia Evans

Georgia Evans

Senior Editorial Officer , Europeana Foundation

Professionals in Focus - Altheo Valentini

Europeana Network Association Members Councillors have diverse jobs and experience across the heritage sector, but are united by their passion for digital cultural heritage. In our ‘Professionals in Focus’ series, we speak to Councillors about their roles, working lives and plans for their time on the Members Council. Today, Altheo Valentini tells us about his work on digital, social and educational innovation.  

Altheo Valentini speaking into a microphone
Altheo Valentini, ALL DIGITAL President, at the AD Summit 2022 in Prague
29 September 2022

How did you enter your profession? 

I have an M.A. in Publishing, Media and Journalism, and for more than 15 years I have been working as a project manager in the framework of various financing instruments of the European Commission, with a particular focus on digital and social innovation. Aiming to increase the impact of my projects at the local level, 12 years ago I launched the European Grants International Academy, which operates as a training agency in the Vocational and Educational Training (VET) and adult education sectors. It is a think-tank for the design and implementation of European and international projects.

What are you currently working on? 

As a sociologist and communicator, I deeply believe in transformative social change, and four years ago, I was captured by the magical world of Hackathons. I’ve since organised the first Social Hackathon Umbria, a 48-hour digital marathon for the co-creation of innovative solutions aimed at solving different societal challenges.

I am also a member of national associations and networks in the field of innovation and I am part of the board of international organisations including All Digital (for the promotion of digital skills) and the Europeana Education Community. Through my work as Chair of the Community, I have had the chance to promote and witness the success of several initiatives aimed at enhancing the cooperation between educators and GLAM practitioners such as the Built with Bits and the Low-Code Fest programmes.      

What are some of the challenges in your role? What are some of your favourite elements?

I gain satisfaction working with and for different target groups, always starting from the assumption that high-quality education and training are fundamental to individual realisation. ‘Education for all’, in my case, has meant in particular developing training courses and other formative interventions for disadvantaged groups. Unemployment, disability, gender and racial discrimination, from one side, can be dismantled with adaptability, guidance and social inclusion from the other.

What was your motivation for joining the Members Council? 

Being part of the Members Council gives me the opportunity to share my experiences directing digital innovation towards transformative social change within the cultural heritage sector. We are currently experiencing a paradigm shift that determines the need for a new approach in the management and participatory governance of cultural heritage. This profound change requires a new cultural approach, particularly towards international participatory governance models. This can be explored through a more aware and proactive use of cultural and artistic heritage, supported by the new ICT applications and tools, which I hope my experience can support. 

What do you plan to do as a Members Councillor? 

As an ENA Members Councillor, I will foster the role of digital cultural heritage in enhancing social cohesion and sustainable development in Europe. On the one hand, the digital native generation, who are currently in school and university education, need to develop their own ways of approaching cultural heritage inherited from the past. On the other hand, the current global scenario, marked by social, political, environmental and financial crises, increased migration flows, acts of radical violence and violation of human rights, requires civil society and cultural organisations to assume greater responsibility than ever in ensuring that people of all ages and backgrounds can develop into informed, critically literate, socially-connected, ethical and engaged global citizens.