2 minutes to read Posted on Friday February 26, 2021

Updated on Friday February 26, 2021

portrait of Susan Hazan

Susan Hazan

CEO , Digital Heritage Israel

portrait of Robert Davies

Robert Davies

Research Associate, Digital Heritage Research Laboratory/UNESCO Chair of Digital Heritage , Cyprus University of Technology

portrait of Zuzana Malicherova

Zuzana Malicherova

Network and Policy officer , Europeana Foundation

Support, collaboration and growth: the Europeana Network Association in 2021

In this post, we are pleased to introduce the renewed Management Board of the Europeana Network Association (ENA)! The Board leads the development of the ENA’s strategic vision, and in this post they share the activities and priorities planned for the ENA in 2021 and beyond. 

At the end of 2020, the electoral term of three members of the ENA Management Board came to an end. We would like to express our gratitude to the former Chair Marco de Niet, Sara Di Giorgio and Stephan Bartholmei for their invaluable contributions to the successes of the ENA over the past couple of years. 

As the renewed Board of five members - Susan Hazan (Chair), Rob Davies (Vice-chair), Fred Truyen (Treasurer), Georgia Angelaki, and Milena Dobreva - we will continue to oversee the running of the network. Our main focus will be on providing guidance and a governance framework for ENA Communities, Task Forces and Working Groups, and on evaluating work progress. Read about our priorities below!

Supporting capacity building and digital transformation

In this time of a global crisis, we in the ENA believe, more than ever, in the power of culture as a positive force in the lives of all human beings and as an encouragement to our societies to find new meanings and values within them. The ENA aspires to be a positive-minded community that welcomes innovation, crosses borders and domains, and embraces diversity. Our main objective for 2021 is the empowerment of our members to seize their digital opportunities so they can provide a positive contribution to their local network, and the global community. 

Through the ENA communities and in collaboration with the Europeana Foundation (EF) and the Europeana Aggregators’ Forum (EAF) we will keep supporting the digital transformation of Europe’s cultural heritage institutions. Important work is underway to define how each of the bodies of the Europeana Initiative can work to promote digital transformation in alignment with the Europeana capacity building framework. These efforts will help to deliver a comprehensive package of capacity building support.

Harnessing the potential of ENA members

Active engagement and empowerment of ENA members has been and will remain our key priority. In 2021, we will keep focusing our efforts on expanding the ENA, and find ways to  make our members feel more involved and actively engaged. We will take actions to make the ENA more inclusive for people of all kinds of backgrounds, provide more opportunities for students and emerging professionals to get involved with the ENA, and enable more multilingual collaborations. 

We believe that identifying, encouraging and channelling the potential, skills and enthusiasm of our members is a prerequisite for a sustainable and active network. We plan to create a new ENA Working Group on Membership to examine membership benefits and participation strategies, and to help guide new members through their ENA journey.

Inclusivity and diversity 

A more diverse and inclusive representation, recognising key social and cultural issues and needs, is critical for the success and growth of ENA, becoming an integral part of all we do. Promoting ownership and management of diversity initiatives by members of the communities involved is important in our approach to inclusivity and diversity. Initiatives are needed to identify people from diverse communities and engage their involvement. The ENA New Professionals Task Force, which is nearing completion, will make recommendations relevant to ENA strategy, and an ENA forum has been established to enable discussion around anti-racism. ENA will work closely with the Foundation and the EAF on inclusion and diversity related activities in the form of a dedicated Task Force.

Closer collaboration across the Europeana Initiative 

The ENA can help to increase the impact of the Europeana Initiative’s digital transformation mission in the sector, and together with EAF, provide a rich source of expertise. In the coming year, we will continue to work closely with the EF and EAF to strengthen the Europeana Initiative, also collaborating more closely with the EF Advisory Board and Supervisory Board.

We believe that transparency of planning, communication and decision making is crucial for success, positive alignment and harmonious relations between the ENA Management Board, the Members Council and the ENA membership. This will require clearer accountability for ENA strategies and actions, together with democratic process for their approval. 

Communities, Task Forces and Working Groups 

The six ENA communities are the ENA’s most important instrument in addressing the digital challenges faced by cultural heritage institutions. We look forward to their activities as they continue to work as trans-national networks of professionals and experts who cultivate and share knowledge and practices around common topics of interest. The communities’ plans for the year can be found in their individual work plans - find these on each community page, along with details of ongoing Task Forces and Working Groups

These ENA structures provide a sound basis for current activities, but in the coming year we also want to focus on improving collaboration between community Steering Groups and members, engaging volunteers more productively and innovating online discussion formats. We will evaluate the actions we take to do this to ensure that we are constantly improving and iterating within the ENA. Finally, we will continue to ensure that our activities, within and beyond the ENA, are as sustainable and climate neutral as possible.

You can read more about ENA’s strategic priorities and activities foreseen for this year in the 2021 ENA Activity Plan. You can also join the ENA - it’s free and easy to sign up today and be part of this democratic community of professionals working in the field of digital cultural heritage!

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