Image Credit: Jeremy Bezanger
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In the UK, substantial investment over a number of years has created a mature and varied heritage sector. Now, austerity-driven politics, alongside changes in how people expect to live, work, participate in leisure activities and communicate, are prompting this sector to rethink how it connects with citizens and audiences. Being all about preservation isn’t mutually exclusive with innovation, after all.
At BOP, it’s our job to keep on top of new ideas in order to pass them on to our clients, so here are a few interesting developments we’ve seen recently in the innovation-in-heritage space.
The Open Data Institute, with Nesta, is currently running a challenge prize around connecting more people with heritage and culture through the use of open data. The competition is now down to 3 finalists, whose proposals include a data-driven platform that connects families to volunteering activities around local heritage; a data-aggregating software service to help visitor attractions in a given city plan; and data-based metrics to help grassroots arts organisations improve their proposition and impact.
The RSA Student Design Awards has a brief this year asking students to use design to help people connect better with heritage. This was – encouragingly – the most popular brief by number of submissions, and in contrast to the example above, the majority of the shortlisted proposals are fairly low-tech: contrary to popular rhetoric, you don’t necessarily need data or digital to do innovation. The shortlist includes projects dealing with language and dialect, local history and social history, ground breaking protest movements, archaeology, design history, and participatory approaches to the funding of heritage.
Starting next week, cultural heritage journal Furnace is leading a series of twitter debates – #OurUNESCO – discussing the state and role of UNESCO ahead of its 70th anniversary. You can join in on every third Monday of the month. The journal is also looking for contributions to an issueon ‘cultural heritage in a digital age’. Find out more here.
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By BOP Consulting
Callum leads the BOP team, its portfolio and strategic partnerships. His cultural and creative industries expertise is founded on leading analytical research and policy formulation in the UK and internationally.
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