Socially innovating heritage and memories

3. Okt 2019

Concepts of social innovation are being explored in the context of "participatory memory practices" in museums

On 19th and 20th September 2019, ZSI’s Ursula Holtgrewe taught a workshop on social innovation, partnership, co-creation and stakeholder engagement for the participants of the Horizon 2020 European Training Network POEM at Uppsala University. The POEM network investigates participatory memory practices in the heritage sector and trains researcher-practitioners in this field. Participants engage young people, refugees and other sometimes marginalised people in co-creating memories in places ranging from Namibia and Greenland to Berlin and Glasgow. They gather and crowd-source digital and material memories, explore users’ ways of accessing them and museum professionals’ new job demands, and investigate business models and digital ecologies of sharing cultural data. These approaches change the heritage-related practices of representing, remembering, showing, learning and debating and aim to include new, also marginalised people and bodies of knowledge. They also reconfigure expertise, identity, and both virtual and physical spaces and objects.  Doing this, they use familiar, but often more creative and colourful methods of stakeholder engagement, participation and empowerment. Yet the perspective of social innovation is not very common in the sphere of culture and heritage in particular, apart from the field of urban renewal and revitalisation. Drawing on a range of workshop participants’ own and “adopted” projects and examples, this made for lively discussion of the meaning of participation and intervention, the depth and reach of change and of desirable and demonstrable impact.

flipchart showing participants' take on participation

Tags: culture, social innovation, training

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