Sharing our natural and cultural heritage:
Interpretation can make us
citizens of the world

15-18 June 2013 in Sigtuna, Sweden

This conference was a truly global event for it has been organised jointly with the Swedish Centre for Nature Interpretation at the Swedish Agricultural University [SLU] and the National Association for Interpretation [NAI], based in the USA. 146 participants from 31 countries took part.

Sigtuna: what is now a thriving historic town was in ruins around 1700


The conference was held near Stockholm, Sweden’s capital city. Our venue was the Folkhögskola, a college for adult education, in the historic town of Sigtuna on the shores of Lake Mälaren. There are many interesting interpretive sites in the greater Stockholm area such as Skansen, the world's oldest open air museum, the Vasa Museum with its magnificent 16th century warship, national parks, ancient Viking settlements and much more.

Heritage interpretation and Citizenship

Our conference theme has been inspired by the European Year of Citizens 2013, but we widened the scope to consider citizenship at all levels from the community to the wider world. We explored the ways in which interpretation of cultural and natural heritage can develop a shared sense of belonging, of ownership, of responsibility and of mutual understanding.

We debated how skilled interpretation of a place or site – natural or cultural – can reinforce civic values and encourage engagement by local people as well as by visitors from further away. How can interpretation help people to broaden awareness of their own and of other communities? How can interpreters promote more inclusive approaches and foster understanding of different (and even ‘conflicting’) heritage and cultures? We took advantage of discussing these questions among interpreters with diverse cultural backgrounds.

Have a look...

We are very grateful that our Swedish partners from SCNI recorded ten of the lectures.

They can be viewed here.

More impressions of a lively, inspiring and exciting conference

Sessions

Study visit to Sigtuna

Study visit to Uppsala

Study visit to Skokloster

Study visit to Skansen open air museum

Studyvisit to Tyresta National Park

Study visit to Vasa museum

Socialising

Post conference tours

"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
John Cage